David Bowie Was Nearly In 'Lord Of The Rings', Until Producers Remembered 'Labyrinth'

He was up for playing Elrond, but memories of his time as creepy backcombed goblin Jareth kiboshed it
IMAGE Lucasfilm/New Line Cinema

David Bowie's acting career wasn't exactly predictableThe Man Who Fell To Earth, The Elephant Man, Zoolander, that two-minute cameo in Extrasbut it turns out that the rumors that he was up for a role in Lord of the Rings are, bizarrely, true.

The Huffington Post reports that the singer was an early shout to play Elrond, the Lord of Rivendella role taken by Hugo Weaving in the endbut that the memory of his turn as Labyrinth's codpieced ball juggler Jareth the Goblin King killed that idea stone dead.

Speaking at New York Comic-Con, Lord of the Rings writers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh said that they were "quite keen" on Bowie as Elrond, but that the studio pushed back.

"I don’t think the studio were that keen at that point so we never did meet with him," Walsh said.

"I remember that conversation," Boyens said. "There was a little hesitancy there because Elrond and the Goblin King. I mean, you know, elves."

Rumors that Bowie was on the shortlist for a role in Lord of the Rings have done the rounds for a few years, though it was broadly assumed that he was in for Gandolf.

Dominic Monaghan, who played the hobbit Merry, said that he saw Bowie in the casting offices, while casting director Amy Hubbard said that while they were interested in casting Bowie he was "far too busy".

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.ukMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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