Four Actors Who Almost Played Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings

The UK has spent a whole damn year in lockdown. That’s 365 days of staring at the same four walls. That’s 365 days of longing to be outside.

That’s, like, watching the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, like, twice? I’m pretty sure that would take a year to do, right?

I remember the first time I saw The Lord of Rings; I instantly fell in love. I had t-shirts, I had video games, I had dollies action figures. (Just because I made Legolas and Gimli kiss and go on a honeymoon in Barbie’s private jet, it does not make them dollies.)

Honestly, it is – and always has been – one of my favourite film franchises to date; I didn’t know how these films could be bettered, until I found out that Vin Diesel almost played Aragorn.

For real.

Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry in the franchise, recently explained that Stuart Townsend was originally cast in the role of Aragorn, only for it to go to three-time Oscar nominee, Viggo Mortensen, due to director Peter Jackson’s lack of trust in Townsend portraying the role how he wanted.

Of course, I think Viggo’s performance is one of the best in the whole series – find me a man who will break his toes on set, and keep that take in the film, and look that damn cool whilst doing it. I dare you – but this got me looking as to who else was close to appearing as Aragorn in the series, such as…

Nicolas Cage

I don’t think you understand how much I would have paid to have seen Nicolas Cage in The Lord of the Rings, simply because, well… NICOLAS FRICKIN’ CAGE, PEOPLE. I want him in everything I watch. Hell, if he was in a Raid: Shadow Legends, I would finally watch one, without threatening to put my phone in a blender, just to make it stop.

The Con Air star was originally offered the role of Aragorn, but turned it down, as he was concerned he’d be spending too much time away from his family. All I’m saying is that if there ever is a LotR remake, I will happily pay to accommodate all of Cage’s family wherever the shoot may be, just so I can see this happen.

Daniel Day-Lewis

Can you imagine a world where one of history’s most acclaimed, most successful thespians, is talking to Andy Serkis, on all fours, pretending to eat a raw fish?

Peter Jackson was seemingly adamant on casting Daniel Day-Lewis in the role of Aragorn, and offered it to him several times, only for the There Will Be Blood star to repeatedly turn it down. I do, however, think this is a relief for the crew, who no longer had to worry about Daniel’s method acting.

For example, on the set of Nine, Daniel refused to speak to the English-speaking crew in anything other than Italian, as his character was Italian. Imagine how difficult it would have been in crew-catering, when Daniel’s asking for you to pass the salt in Elvish.

Russell Crowe

There’s something so Lord of the Rings about Russell Crowe. Not only does he look perfect for the role, but even his name sounds like it’s come from Middle Earth.

Director, Peter Jackson, was apparently very keen on seeing Russell take on the role of Aragorn, too, but the actor feared that it was too similar to his in Gladiator, so turned it down. As long as it was nothing like his character in The Mummy, then we’re all okay, aren’t we? Because I never want to see that again. Ever.

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel auditioned for the role of Aragorn. Open that door. What do you see outside? A small basin? Well, let that sink in.

You could tell me that – after my 27 years of drinking water, that H2O was, in fact, dry; not wet, and I’d be less shocked than hearing that Vin Diesel nearly got the role of Aragorn.

Unfortunately, Vin didn’t land the role, and – from what I assume – he went on to do very badly, with his career spiralling into a series of lacklustre, poorly received films, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Fast and Furious, Avengers, and other box office flops.

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