Elijah Wood as Frodo © New Line Cinema

I spoke with Elijah Wood about his new animated movie 9, which opens next month. Of course, with The Hobbit prequel to The Lord of the Rings on the frontburner, questions about The Lord of the Rings, that solidified his career were bound to come up.

As Frodo hasn’t been born yet, I guess you’re not in The Hobbit?

Elijah Wood as Frodo © New Line Cinema
Elijah Wood as Frodo © New Line Cinema

No, I remember somebody actually asked me, ‘Would you want to play Bilbo?’ No, I don’t want to play Bilbo. That would be far too weird. Yeah, Frodo doesn’t exist, he’s not born yet. For awhile there was talk of a bridge film that was being bantered about, this notion that the second film that they would make would bridge chronologically the gap between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, conceivably some of the characters could exist. But I don’t think that’s going to happen now. I mean, certainly, if they found a way to make the character work I would love to be a part of it, but I’m just excited that they’re doing it.

I’m so excited that they’re getting so many of the original team back together creatively, because it’s really I think going to help to keep the continuity of what was already established. I think it’s going to be great, I love Guillermo del Toro, I think he’s amazing.

Do you think it will happen, given the Tolkien estate’s current unhappiness?

The ring casts its magic on Frodo © New Line Cinema
The ring casts its magic on Frodo © New Line Cinema

There’s some talk of that, I just saw Peter [Jackson] at Comic-Con and as far as he’s concerned it’s full steam ahead. Technically they don’t actually have a green light yet, which is funny because we’re all talking about the movie as being filmed next year. It’s not green-lit because they don’t have a script yet, so they script’s not finished. I think all of that business will start to occur in the next couple of months, and it remains to be seen whether that’s going to be a roadblock for them or not.

Their complaint is they haven’t received a cent for the Rings trilogy. Were you surprised at that?

Was I surprised? No, not at all. There was a prior lawsuit. I was surprised that it came back around again, just because it was news to me, I hadn’t been following it closely. I followed the initial lawsuit that the family had issued, which I believed proved unsuccessful. So I think this is their second time around, and I think that this one being that they want to use The Hobbit as leverage to stop them making this so they get paid, who knows if it works.

The quarrel seems to be with New Line.

Yeah, there have been a few quarrels with New Line. That’s nothing new.

How was it meeting with the fans at Comic-Con?

Frodo *not* surrounded by fans © New Line Cinema
Frodo *not* surrounded by fans © New Line Cinema

I love Comic-Con, I love going down there. I’ve loved it since I first went eight years ago. It’s a fantastic festival and it’s comprised of fans, so there’s this great excitement, everybody’s there, super-pumped for everything. It’s the most positive festival, everybody’s just really excited to see new offerings of films and comics, so I’ve always loved it, and it is a great way to connect with fans. So it was fun to bring the movie down there, and we got a great reception in Hall H which was awesome. .

At Comic-Con, did they ask more questions about 9 or Lord of the Rings?

About 9. Good on them, huh.

Do you ever get tired of fans talking about Lord of the Rings?

Really, honestly, I don’t because it’s an experience that I hold so dear, and I love those movies too. And not only that, but I also understand why people are excited about them, and I’ve got plenty of stories, I could sit around and talk for hours, and I honestly don’t get tired of it. And I think I just have perspective on it, I know that for the rest of my life I’ll be asked about it, and I accept that, and thank God that I’m going to be asked about something that I think is really genuinely great. It was a great experience; only positive things came out of it, so people can ask all they want.


Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.