‘The Hobbit’: Orlando Bloom is back — whether Tolkien purists like it or not

May 27, 2011 | 5:01 p.m.
%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom's Legolas battles against Uruk-hai warriors at Helm's Deep in the 2002 film "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." (Pierre Vinet/New Line Productions)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." (Pierre Vinet/New Line Home Entertainment)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom star in the 2003 movie "Ned Kelly." (Carolyn Johns/Focus Features)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp take to the high seas in 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." (Walt Disney Pictures)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom signs autographs for fans during the gala performance of "Haven" during the 29th annual Toronto International Film Festival September 11, 2004 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Jim Ross/Getty Images)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom in a scene from the 2005 film "Kingdom of Heaven." (David Appleby/Twentieth Century Fox/Associated Press)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom in a scene from the 2005 film "Kingdom of Heaven." (David Appleby/Twentieth Century Fox/Associated Press)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom plays opposite Kirsten Dunst in the 2005 film "Elizabethtown." (Neal Preston/Paramount Pictures)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom arrives at the 77th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005. (Beatrice De Gea/Los Angeles Times)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom in 2006 sequel "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." (Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom in the 2007 third installment, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." (Peter Mountain/Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Orlando Bloom plays with a soccer ball at the New York Entertainment Soccer Tournament at the Tribeca Film Festival April 23, 2011. (Timothy A. Clary/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

%name The Hobbit: Orlando Bloom is back    whether Tolkien purists like it or not

Actor Orlando Bloom and his wife, model Miranda Kerr, arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala, May 2, 2011 in New York. (Timothy A. Clary/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

Orlando Bloom is ready to slide back in the saddle as the elf-prince Legolas from the “The Lord of the Rings” movies for Peter Jackson’s upcoming two-part adaptation of “The Hobbit.” It’s a move that may irk some die-hard fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien novels —  Legolas does not appear in the bookshelf version of “The Hobbit,” a tale set 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings” unfolds.

“Ten years ago, Orlando Bloom created an iconic character with his portrayal of Legolas,” Jackson said in an announcement on his Facebook page. “I’m excited to announce today that we’ll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more. I’m thrilled to be working with Orlando again. Funny thing is, I look older — and he doesn’t! I guess that’s why he makes such a wonderful elf.”

Bloom, who next appears as the Duke of Buckingham in “The Three Musketeers” in October, is one of several actors from the original “Lord of the Rings” franchise whom Jackson has enlisted for “The Hobbit.” Elijah Wood returns as Frodo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Andy Serkis  as Gollum. Also, Cate Blanchett will reprise the role of Galadriel, another character absent from “The Hobbit” novel.

Martin Freeman, best known from the British version of “The Office,” plays the lead role of Bilbo Baggins in the movie, which is currently shooting in New Zealand. The first Hobbit film is slated for release in late 2012, the second in 2013.

–Rebecca Keegan


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75 Responses to ‘The Hobbit’: Orlando Bloom is back — whether Tolkien purists like it or not

  1. Pat Yarrowolas says:

    This is great news.

    • Rebecca Taylor says:

      I agree! I had been wondering (okay, hoping) that Orlando Bloom would come back as Legolas in one or all of the new Hobbit movies, and I'm soooo glad that he is, although the die-hard fans of Tolkien probably won't be too happy….well the die-hard fans that aren't female ^^
      Now I'm as much for keeping a movie-adaption of a book true to it's original content as anyone, and I have read the Tolkien books too, but I think that in the case of Orlando Bloom as Legolas, it's GREAT to make an exception ;) I don't think Bloom has ever looked sexier than when he's on the screen as Legolas. And as Jackson said, he still looks the same age; more than 10 years later! I can't wait to see him as Legolas again =D

      But one problem with the article; the Hobbit will be a three-part movie trilogy like The Lord of the Rings was, not a two-part movie. And just like Lord of the Rings, the three movies will appear back to back yearly. First came out in 2012, next will be November this year 2013, than the last in 2014 =]

  2. Erin says:

    Don't see why it would be a problem… it was implied he was there, and I think there were enough people at the feast that it would be odd if he wasn't there.

    • SarahGoodwitch says:

      At the feast, yes– in the caves, NO. In The Two Towers, Legolas tells Gimli that he hates caves, and would pay a fortune to be let out of even the most beautiful caves if he ever wandered in.
      But continuity never bothered Peter Jackson….

  3. Kristin says:

    Actually, even though it is 60 years before LOTR, elves are ageless so he was definitely alive then. Also, his Dad is in it and they go to Mirkwood, where he lives. So it's not THAT far from canon.

  4. Jack Meoph says:

    They should put the HULK in this movie also. Yeah, he wasn’t in the original book, but it would be cool to see HULK fight the Trolls, instead of Bilbo just tricking them. HULK SMASH TROLLS!!!!!! ARRRRRRR

  5. greg says:

    Hey fantasy nerds, if it will bring chicks into the theater, that great! Don't be afraid, it will be better than another night alone in your mom's basement.

  6. Michael says:

    Even purists would be hard pressed to kvetch. Multiple chapters take place in Legolas' home palace. His father, Thranduil the Elf King, has significant dialogue and leads an army of his people into the final battle. Indeed, it would be harder to explain Legolas' absence than his presence. The film could flesh out his character (of all the Fellowship, the least developed, by Tolkien's own admission) by showing him as contemptuous of the dwarves — it would highlight the change wrought by his friendship with Gimli in LotR.

  7. Raeja says:

    so what will happen next between hobbit and Legolas?

  8. Joseph says:

    As Erin and Kristin said, Legolas was probably in attendance of Thranduil's dinner party that Bilbo kept crashing while lost in Mirkwood, so this makes a certain amount of sense. And once Bilbo goes to rescue the Dwarves from Thranduil's palace, I can see how Legolas might appear for a bit…and definitely at the end, at the Battle of Five Armies…we can expect to see Legolas killing orcs…and when Bilbo receives his mithril coat from Thranduil, why not also have Legolas there as well? All in all, I don't mind this so much. I do hope Hugo Weaving will be back as Elrond.

    • AKMS says:

      He will be :-)

    • Alyssa says:

      Actually, Bilbo gets the mithril coat from Thorin in the Lonely Mountain after Smaug has been flushed out. I just finished rereading the book adn I remember that part. Plus, in LOTR, Gandalf tells Gimli it about it when they're in Moria, to which Gimli replied what princely gift it was, making Frodo nervous.

    • Julia says:

      Legolas is bound to be in it somewhere! I agree especially with the Battle of the Five Armies! That'd be COOL!

    • Athlynne says:

      Bilbo got his mithril coat from Thorin, not Thranduil.

  9. momopony says:

    this is a great opportunity to show legolas in action along with other elves which frankly they needed alot more of in the last two movies, maybe show some elf cleavage….

  10. Emily says:

    I'm exited! You could definitely say the fact Orlando is coming back to play Legolas makes me want to see The Hobbit that much more. It makes perfect sense for him to be there, anyway. Mirkwood IS his home. He WAS alive 60 years ago. Why shouldn't he be in the movie?

    • Isildur says:

      >Why shouldn’t he be in the movie?

      Because he wasn’t in the book. This was a monetary decision, not an artistic decision. Any dialog he has is going to be written by Jackson, not Tolkien. That’s arrogance.

      • Bob says:

        Books and films are different mediums in there own right, not being true to the book is good sometimes, especially in the hands of a film maker who knows what he is doing, in LOTR Jackson focused on elements in the book that Tolkien simply brushed over, because it worked on terms of cinematic story telling, e.g. The split personality of Gollum and Arwen’s decision to choose a mortal life. These were all steps away from the book and for good reasons, films like this should not be judged on accuracy to the book, that takes away the medium of film as it’s own medium. Films should be true to the books on terms of core of the story, not content and characters, Jackson’s brilliant at that, there is a reason why RotK won eleven oscars on it’s own.

      • ACP says:

        You are calling yourself Isildur, that's arrogance, you dork.

      • BLD says:

        Isildur, you are the man! Legolas should not be included in the movie since, obviously, Tolkien didn't want him there!!!!!!!!! Jackson needs to stick with the Tolkien layout.

  11. Alex Poe says:

    You know who I think they should put in the Hobbit?


    He's always very popular.

    And Darth Vader should be the villain – And he should be Batman's dad.

  12. MrTemecula says:

    It should not take two movies to tell the story of "The Hobbit" considering it's more of a children's tale. Quests and a big, dirty dragon. I loved the Ring series since it mostly conformed to the books. I'm afraid Peter Jackson's ego is involved and he's going to try to improve "The Hobbit" with adult sensibilities. That's a shame.

    • AKMS says:

      After all the sh*t Jackson's had to wade through because of this film, maybe we should cut him some slack and allow a not-so-objectionable degree of artistic license. As others have pointed out, Legolas was the least developed of the Fellowship.

    • Rosefolly says:

      It is my understanding that most of the additions are what was happening off stage when Gandalf went away, events that Tolkien described elsewhere. Also, Tolkien himself later expressed frustration that he had written The Hobbit at so very young a level as compared to LotR. I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, and I am actually pleased that this will not be a child-like story.

    • Isa says:

      bom..conto infantil????vc nao tem ideia do que esta falando né,pelo que parece nao leu o livro nao leo o senhor dos aneis e nunca leu nada sobre Tolkien!! primeiro devemos nos informar sobre algo pra daí nao ficar falando besteiras!!!

  13. Kent says:

    @Jack Meoph . . . I think the Hulk is a smashing idea, LMAO.

  14. Mereanor says:

    You go Peter Jackson! Kudos to you for even attempting to bring Tolkein to life. I'm as hard core Tolkein as the next fan and I say it's O.K. to stray from the originl because if Tolkien were alive he would put Legolas in too. He hadn't thought of Legolas when he wrote the Hobbit but being Thranduil's son it's inane to think he wasn't there helping out.
    All you whining complainers who say Mr. Jackson is ""arrogant" to write dialogue for Legolas and that "Tolkein didn't write any dialogue for Legolas." and i"t'ts an economic decsion "etc,
    Grow Up. Let' see you try to make and market a film.
    Oh really .
    Such sour immature grapes.
    Get a life and have some fun.
    Peter Jackson is.

  15. T says:

    Why would they not have him in the movie when so much takes place where he is.. I was excited b4 but now i’ve got more hope it will be a great addition to the rings

  16. trajan says:

    Yoda's not in the original story but I think he's fit right in to the Hobbit storyline…and Egg Shen from Little China, make Lo Pan leader of the trolls…Q probably has nothing to do right about now, I'd like to see Q in this continuum…let's include a Stargate for Bilbo to walk trough and he could emerge in Eureka where he finds the One Ring in Warehouse 13…and Kim Kardashian could be in a wedding scene with Conan the Barbarian!

  17. Jay says:

    which Conan? I hope you mean the Schwarzenegger! :>

  18. Alyssa says:

    Where does Galadriel fit in with "The Hobbit"?

    • Ares B says:

      She's member in the White Council and takes part in chasing the Necromancer out of Dol Guldur.

      • SarahGoodwich says:

        More like chasing the wild goose, since Sauron was actually just re-locating to Mordor, and he fooled the White Council for 80 years until it was too late.
        Meanwhile Dol Guldur remained under the control of the Nazgul, and was impregnable until the Ring was destroyed.

  19. Gandalf says:

    as you might have heard there will be two movies. remember the time in the hobbit when gandalf is away? he is at the white council meeting with guess who: galadriel and saruman among others. it all is written in the lotr. the second movie will be about these things that happened during or after the hobbit but before the lotr that are not mentioned in the hobbit itself but in other works of tolkien like the lotr. and as of legolas: as most just said, it would be most likely that he appeared at several events of the hobbit. it's just that the hobbit is much older then the lotr and there was probably no concept of legolas but of his father king thranduil. legolas is prince so he literally had to be at the court let alone the battle of five armies which both take place in the hobbit. i spoke.

    • Dorkness Rising says:

      Yes, from what I've understood, they will be getting into some of the Silmarion and the Quenya to further explain the actual history of Middle Earth.

  20. Edvard says:

    Where does Frodo fit in this movie? Isnt The Hobbit 60 years before the lord of the rings? Confused.

    • Julia says:

      From the trailer it seems as if Bilbo is telling this story to Frodo… maybe he "interrupts" once in a while with a comment, or is just in the beginning scene. Idk.

  21. j cave says:

    Actually i think Peter Jackson looks a LOT younger than he used to.

  22. Frank says:

    Technically, Aragorn is also alive during this time. He's 87 in LotR. I have absolutely no problem incorporating characters who were alive at that time. PJ can still remain faithful to the core story of the Hobbit while adding "backstories". What's the big problem? It will be thoroughly enjoyable if done correctly. As far as Frodo, Sam, Merry & Pip…also no big deal. The movie starts with them and then flashes back to "The Hobbit" story. Totally workable.

    • PureAman says:

      I believe Mr. Jackson, in perfect orc-fashion, should continue to usurp, pillage, rape, murder, etc., the original story much as he did with the LOTR films. So by all means, add as many characters as he deems fit, whether they were in the original Hobbit story or not, whether they even appear in Tolkien's writings at all or just more figments of current, past, or future pop culture, in order to attract as much of a viewing audience as possible, to of course collect the maximum amount of the box office rating as possible. Long live hollywood.

      • Spydyee says:

        Have you actually read all of Tolkien's works as well as the History of Middle Earth published by his son? If not then be quiet. PJ is not raping a pillaging anything. he is developing and fleshing out the logical things talked about in the Silmarillion. Some things like Legolas being at his father's palace is just logical. Please try to remember that many of these characters in the later books had not been created when the first book was written. If Tolkien had written the Lord of the Rings first then the Hobbit I am sure that Legolas would have been mentioned.

      • Sarah says:

        I'd like to see the Mighty Thor in The Hobbit, as well as the rest of the Avengers.
        Sure they weren't in the book, but it's a movie and so changes are inevitable– in fact anything goes.
        In fact we can show Legolas swinging through the trees and going "AAAA-EEE-AAAAA, EE-AAA-EE-AAA!" and call the Mumaks to trample the orcs, that would be really neat. And then Superman could come down and spin Arda backwards, and then they have a "re-boot" where old Gandalf comes and counsels young Gandalf about how the original story ended differently, but the timeline changed and now everything is different– and this IS in the books under "Myths Transformed."

        Then Sauron puts a bug in Gollum's ear and it makes him tell everything, since Gollum isn't really evil; and it turns out that Gandalf accidentally killed Sauron's wife and that's why he's so angry.

  23. ungitan says:

    He will have methril for dinner my precious. !!! oh no Viggo, he must be so rejected LOL

  24. Hobbit says:

    I don't see how anyone could have a problem with Legolas being in The Hobbit film. I'm as die-hard a fan as they come, which means that I know that a good block of the story involves Thranduil, king of Mirkwood, and that Legolas is his son, prince of Mirkwood. It wouldn't make sense if he didn't make an appearance. Also, I think it would be quite nice if they had a small, young Aragorn/Elessar appearance in Rivendell. Peter Jackson kind of messed up the timeline in the LOTR movies by having Frodo set off on his journey nearly right after he got the ring, so Aragorn might be in his twenties. If they do that, they could put in the scene where Aragorn first meets Arwen, and she basically ignores him. That would be funny. Galadriel's appearance probably has to do with the meeting of the White Council in their plans to throw the Necromancer out of Mirkwood. My only problem with the character line-up is this contrived she-elf character that P.J. decided to stick in there, Tauriel. I understand that in such an overly male character line-up (I guess it's really only male characters in the book. Well, besides the spiders. haha), that they would want to put a character in there for girls to relate to. But that being said, along with the fact that I am a girl, I still don't think that this new character is a good idea; but it's better than pulling a FOTR and replacing a really awesome character (Glorfindel) with another female character (Arwen). I just have to say, though, that if she tries to take away from Beorn's part in the story, I'll throw a bloody fit.

  25. frankie says:

    british version of the office? You mean the original the office?

  26. Conor says:

    I don t see a problem with this as long as he is standing in the background doing nothing other then kill some shit anymore then that and you might aswel as others have said might as well add other charictors that would have been alive. but sadly the fact is legolas is going to talk and have kines witch is wrong putting in images that were not discrib is fine if it is possible the people were there puttin in conversation that never happened and changing lines however is not all in all if he dose speak and just fights I ll be happy however i don t think that will happen at all

  27. Gil says:

    I Don't Have A Problem With Other Characters From Professor Tolkien's Appendix Stories Which Do In Fact Cover Literally Thousands of Years, From 1st,2nd, &3rd Ages….What I Do Have A Problem With Was Jackson Screwing Up Some Of The Main Characters Like The Steward Denethor, & His Son Faramir. Tolkien Actually Compared Denethor's Nobility With Aragorn's, &
    Faramir Never Even Thought Twice About Frodo's Mission To Destroy The Ring.

  28. Gil says:

    Two English "Metro-Sexuals" Like Ian McKellan, & "Orlando" who was way more believable as Prince "Paris" of Troy rather than an "Ancient"-Warrior-Elf Who Looks Like He just passed Puberty
    Was Wrong For Tolkien’s Characters To Me. But Special Effects Can Let You See & Believe Anything. Balrogs or Not.

  29. Gil says:

    Now I Hear Jackson Is going to thrust some Elf "chick" onto the last remnant of testosterone left in Middle-Earth (Dwarves Clothed In Designer Renaissance Suits) just to make the films more palatable to Female Audience!!?? Tolkien Already Gave People The-Wraith-Slayer. I've Even Heard
    Female-Fans Complaining about this. Jackson was going to do that with Liv Tyler at the battle of Helm's Deep, but He Wisely Changed it at the end. Galadriel Is Arguably The Most Powerfull Elf there is so why screw it up?Let Teenage Girls Go See Those Stupid "Twilight" Films And/Or A
    Justin Beiber Lip-Sinc.

  30. Gil says:

    These Books Are Literally Some, If Not The Best Fictional Works Of Literature The Twentieth Century & Future-Generations Has/Will Ever See. Jackson Barely Got Away With Presenting Tolkien's Vision, Unlike The Way Hollywood "Re-Invented" Homer's "Illiad" Which Insulted My Intelligence With That "Glamour-Boy"-Movie "Troy". I know it's impossible to literally interpret great books & then directly transfer them onto film. Re-Writing Someone Else's Genuis & Then Calling It Even Close Is Entirely Different. I Do However Wish Jackson Well, & I Hope Looking Forward To Him Following The "Spirit" Of These Great Stories & Modern-Day Parables Set Back In An Ancient
    Mythical Past.

  31. Linda says:

    Please, can we find a way to get Andy S. an Academy Award. Is there no way to reward this man for his excellence in acting? Can a new category be created? Between LOTR and the most recent Planet of the Apes movie, it is quite clear that this fine actor needs recognition! Does anyone else agree with this?

  32. Stephanie says:

    I am so glad Orlando and Elijah and Ian will be in the movie again. I will miss Aragon for sure can't wait for the movies.

  33. lydia says:

    hey that is so cool orlando i havent seen the new movie but i am reading it. was orlando with miranda when he played as legolas? i love you orlando you are sooooooo CUTE!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo

  34. Maggie says:

    Wow, how is it possible?
    10 years and Legolas hasn't changed a bit!
    He's still the exactly the same and just as beautiful, sexy, and totally gorgeous as ever!

  35. dont hate says:

    so many trolls, comments suggesting batman, hulk and darth vader ? they dont even make since, if your a fan of middle earth and tolkien then it shouldn't be that hard to except legolas being adopted into the film version of the hobbit . Like many comments already state, it is plausible in the timeline and realm of middle earth for him to be around. just because tolkien did not mention him by name only means he didn't think to create and give recognition to the character at the time he wrote the hobbit but did when he wrote LoTR trilogy . in fact its pretty reasonable to suggest that had we wrote the hobbit AFTER the LoTR trilogy instead of first , that legolas would be mentioned by name and have a bigger role/ A role in the actual book.

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