Peter Jackson was pressured into killing off a Hobbit at the end of his Lord Of The Rings trilogy, two of the film’s stars say.
All four of the main Hobbit characters in the film – Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin – survive at the end of J.R.R. Tolkein’s books.
For the end of third film, The Return Of The King, though, studio executives asked Jackson to kill off one of the characters.
Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd – who played Merry and Pippin in the films respectively – were speaking to IGN about their new Lord Of The Rings-themed podcast The Friendship Onion when they spilled the beans on Jackson’s quandary.
“It’s a good job that didn’t happen, because it would have been me,” Monaghan said. “It definitely would have. There’s no way they are killing Frodo and Sam, and the only ones that would be left would be Merry and Pippin.”
“They wouldn’t kill Pippin because Pippin has a really strong story with Gandalf,” he added. “It would have definitely been me. I think Pete quite rightly was like, ‘This is a luminary piece of written work, and we need to stick close to the text.’ So, he stuck by his guns. Yeah, I’m thankful that didn’t happen.”
Elsewhere, Andy Serkis, famous for playing Gollum in the legendary trilogy, is set to narrate a new audiobook series of the legendary J.R.R. Tolkien novels. The new audiobook version of the classic trilogy will come out on September 16, and follow on from Serkis’ recent readathon of The Hobbit.
“Walking back into Middle-Earth over 20 years after my first life-changing adventure there and experiencing it all over again — this time for many weeks alone in a sound booth — has brought in equal measures of pure joy, sheer madness, immense pleasure, and a level of psychological and physical fatigue I have never quite experienced the like of before,” Serkis said in a statement.
Last year during the first coronavirus lockdown, Serkis raised £280,000 by reading the whole J.R.R. Tolkien book The Hobbit in one sitting as part of a charity readathon.