The Beatles Almost Made 'Lord of the Rings' — Here's Who John, Paul, George, & Ringo Should've Played
Can't you just hear "Come Together" playing while the Fellowship of the Ring crowds around Frodo? Well, I can and apparently the Beatles did too. While promoting the third Hobbit installment, The Battle Of The Five Armies, at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, Peter Jackson revealed that the Beatles wanted to make The Lord of the Rings with Stanley Kubrick as a follow-up to 1965's Help!. Which leads me to wonder, would the Beatles' musical version fall closer to the excellent YouTube video LOTR in 90 Seconds or Jackson's massive, three-film epic journey?
Jackson revealed in a Q&A with Deadline that before J.R.R. Tolkien sold the rights to Lord of the Rings to United Artists, the Beatles approached Clockwork Orange director Stanley Kubrick about doing the film and he told them no. The Beatles, Kubrick, AND LOTR — that just sounds unbelievable, right? Well, Jackson heard it straight from the source, Sir Paul McCartney himself. And apparently, the foursome had already chosen their roles when they approached Kubrick about directing. Jackson told Deadline, "John Lennon was going to play Gollum. Paul was going to play Frodo. George Harrison was going to play Gandalf, and Ringo Starr was going to play Sam," along with a handful of others who'd take on the remaining roles.
While I trust the decisions of the Beatles to cast themselves in these LOTR roles — the Beatles/LOTR mash-up would've been a lot better like this:
John Lennon as Gandalf
No one, and I mean NO ONE, can do Gollum like Andy Serkis. And even though we didn't know about Serkis' Gollum performance when the Beatles wanted to take on the film, Lennon, with all of his wisdom, would've made a much better Gandalf.
Ringo Starr as Frodo Baggins
I can see why Ringo and Paul chose the roles that the did for their adaptation, but personally, I think they should be reversed. First, I get a Frodo vibe from young Ringo Starr and second, it's only fair that he get to step out from behind the drum set and on to center stage.
Paul McCartney as Samwise Gamgee
Again, a role-reversal here is necessary. Mostly because, the same way I don't necessarily believe that Ringo is a lot like Frodo IRL, I can see Paul doling out motivation like Sam did for Frodo when he threatened to throw in the towel.
George Harrison as Elrond
I know, I'm technically downgrading George Harrison from Gandalf, to a supporting role. But Elrond is an important character in LOTR and I feel like it'd be a real waste to not showcase Harrison's formerly luscious locks in their natural state. And to do that, Elrond is the role for him. Also, he could definitely rock a crown.
Images: New Line (5)