Lord Of The Rings: Viggo Mortensen Gives Advice To The Next Actor To Play Aragorn

Read the books, Mortensen says.

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Amazon is spending a mountain of money on producing a new Lord of the Rings TV show that is rumoured to at least partially focus on telling the story of a young Aragorn. Viggo Mortensen played Aragorn in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and now the veteran actor has offered some advice to the next person who plays the role of the famous Ranger.

In an interview with Collider, Mortensen started off by confirming he hasn't seen any scripts for Amazon's show. That being said, he said the next person to play Aragorn should "very thoroughly" read J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, as well as some of the Nordic sagas that might have inspired it, including Sigurd the Dragon Slayer and Volsunga.

Mortensen said the next Aragorn should also watch movies by influential director Akira Kurosawa.

Also in the piece, Mortensen talked about his own preparation for his starring role in The Lord of the Rings--or lack thereof. Because he replaced Stuart Townsend just before filming was due to begin, Mortensen had to learn a lot on his feet. It was challenging and not ideal, Mortensen said, adding that he hadn't read the book before signing on to make the movie. As Mortensen says in the bonus features of The Lord of the Rings, his young son pushed him to make the movie.

"My son was really into me doing it, and he was 11 at the time, and that kind of pushed me over the edge to say, 'Yeah, okay,'" Mortensen said. "And obviously I'm glad I did it. It opened a lot of doors for me, and we had a lot of fun making those three movies. But it's not ideal. I sometimes have said no because I’m not gonna be able to do justice to it."

The new Amazon Lord of the Rings show is based on Tolkien's acclaimed and much-loved novels. Amazon is committed to multiple seasons of the show, which will be produced in partnership with the Tolkien Estate, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.

Little is known about the story for Amazon's Lord of the Rings show, but it's been confirmed that it's set in Middle-earth and will "explore new storylines" in the time before The Fellowship of the Ring.

The show is being written by JD Payne and Patrick McKay. They have no previous TV writing credits, but neither did Game of Thrones TV show writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. That seemed to work out pretty OK.

According to reports, the contract between Amazon and Lord of the Rings rights-holders states that the show must enter production within two years.. Amazon is reportedly spending $1 billion to produce the Lord of the Rings TV show, so it is no small undertaking.

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