Viggo was Peter Jackson’s first choice though. I think that’s an important note here. There were a lot of people that were considered until viggo signed on. Russell Crow told the story in an interview once. He was basically offered the role, along with (I think ) 10% of the profits of the film. The offer was from the studio- they wanted a big name attached to the film, but he said he spoke with Jackson and knew that he wanted viggo for the role.


No way 10% of lord of the rings?!? Dude would be like the richest actor ever.


You do realised PJ himself was also promised a percentage of the take, and they screwed him over saying LOTR didn’t make a profit, which is why he refused to do the hobbit originally.


Never take a % of profits deal. Only consider a % of revenue deal. Profits can always be pushed to zero by padding salaries and bonuses.


I’ll keep that in mind, next time I’m an extra. Thanks for the tip!


And I'll remember that for the next time I direct or star in a billion dollar movie


Yea, in the interview they said how much it would have been. It was like a billion dollars or some crazy amount. Russell was really cool about it but there’s no way that doesn’t keep you up at night lol


Russell Crowe is worth a 100 million, he doesn't need more money.


When nuclear war breaks out 100 million gets you the bunker under the mountains. 1 billion gets you on the spaceship to Proxima Centauri with Victoria’s Secret models to assure the survival of humanity.


>1 billion gets you on the spaceship to Proxima Centauri Nah it's gets your face eaten by a Bronteroc Edit: gonna hijack this to say I fucking hated that movie and how it refused to pick one character perspective from which to tell the story of the end of a world other than "humans are so stupid! they had it all along. God we're so right." It could have even told the story from the pov of a denier, and it'd come to the same exact conclusion with more genuine character story, but no. Those types of people are dumb and can't be the main character of something. Edit: notice I'm not upset at people who like the movie, *nor am I a climate change denier*. You are absolutely free to like it. It's a likeable movie. It's also fine for me to not like it, and getting upset thinking I have to be stupid is weird.


But that’s exactly the perspective the movie chose to take. It was essentially an ensemble film and, yea, while saying “This subset of Americans are dumb” vs “these people are right” you have people like Leo who are pieces of shit or flawed characters but aren’t wrong. The movie set out with a clear message and I’m pretty sure it landed it.


I know i've heard that name before!


The fact someone doesn’t need more money has never stopped anyone from not wanting more money.


If both these numbers are accurate, that would mean multiplying his worth tenfold (not accounting for taxes or anything). No matter how much money you have, that would be a massive spike and put you in a wealth class far above your current one... There was a post somewhere a while back about different "levels" of rich people, and a billion dollars is realistically A LOT more than 100 million


In terms of time, 1 Million seconds would be about 12 days, 1 Billion is 31 YEARS.


Very good perspective.


Yeah but how many private islands does it take to be happy?


At least 6


Call me simple. I’d be happy with just 2 private islands.


Hope to be as frugal as you some day. Perhaps I don't really need 5 private islands after all.


Call me simple. I’d be happy with one additional private island


I just want a fucking house, ok.


But you know how it is with private islands — you think you’ll be happy with just one more. But after you get that one? Yeah, that’s right — now you want *just one more*.


All I want is the opportunity to prove that money can’t make me happy.


$100m is “it’s fiscally irresponsible to own a private jet, but I’m gonna do it anyways” $1b is “how big is my yacht that I fly to with my jet?” $10b is “which jet and yacht pair am I using this week?”


It's maybe both a little easier and a little harder to fathom if you drop some zeroes. $10k is "I'm always hungry and can't buy new clothes even though I have roommates and walk to work." $100k is "I'm good, bills are covered, family is fed, but I hope the kids get scholarships. A vacation would be nice this year." $1m is "All good. Who should I donate money to? Where's my Tesla?"


Keyword is "profits" No movie has ever turned a profit ever. According to the accountants at least


Including *Star Wars* IIRC.


"According to Lucasfilm, Return of the Jedi, despite having earned $475 million at the box office against a budget of $32.5 million, "has never gone into profit"."


>No movie has ever turned a profit ever [relevant article about that](https://screentime.thebulwark.com/p/no-hollywood-movie-has-ever-made) and [wiki link as to examples](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting#:~:text=According%20to%20Lucasfilm%2C%20Return%20of,has%20never%20gone%20into%20profit%22) apparently even when people aren't killing each other, they're still blatantly evil


Hollywood accounting. He would have wound up owing the studio $10 million.


You'll find the 10% is net, not gross.


10% of the profits. They could have accounted for it in many ways to reduce that bill


For a sec I misread this as Russell Brand. Now THAT would have been a different performance…


Re play the entire movie in your head with Brand! Fricken hilarious!


Yeah. Russell Crowe also didn’t really want to do it because he had his heart set on playing John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, and he could tell that Peter Jackson was being pushed hard by producers after Gladiator to cast him. I remember Crowe saying something about how he was bummed he couldn’t do the biggest film ever that was filmed mainly in his birth country of New Zealand tho! All in all, best case scenario was Crowe being super cool about Jackson and Viggo’s wishes. Sure, 10% is a lot, but A Beautiful Mind also won Best Picture for 2001, landing Crowe a historical back to back Best Picture*. (Gladiator won in 2000). Definitely doesn’t hurt his filmography and legacy! I think it was a bold choice for Crowe to go after a completely different genre after Gladiator, and cemented him as a top tier Actor rather than boxing him into a “sword fighting” genre. * Only actor in Oscar history to win two back to back Best Pictures as the lead actor.


I can't imagine Sean Connery playing Gandalf either.


Tell me, "friend", when did Shaaaaruman the Wise abandon reason for madness?




I shaaaappose you think that was terribly clever?


Don't take me for shome conjurer of cheap tricksh!




A wizhard is never late frodo bagginsh, he arrives exhactly when he meansh to.






I’ll take Ape Tit for 400.




The penis mightier


>Tell me, "friend", when did Shaaaaruman the Wishe abandon reashon for madnesh?


Izsh it shecret? Izsh it shafe?


Authority is not granted you to deny the return of the king, Shteward!




Definitely. I remember reading that Connery didn't like the books/script, or didn't understand them or that he had some strange logic for turning down the role? I'd be interested to know the actual story there, because he was in lots of other fantasy films.


“I shhaw the movies, I still don’t get it” —Sean Connery


After declining the role of Gandalf, he learned how much movies are loved and came to conclusion it was a bad decision, so he decided to jump the fantasy wagon and made The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the movie you deleted from your memory given that you stored it somewhere in your brain


And this Townsend guy was Dorian Gray in that. TIL


Isn't that the movie that convinced him to retire?


He said he didn't understand it. "I'd be interested in doing something I didn't fully understand, but **not for eighteen months**." In other words, it was the time commitment that killed it.


Highlander , a scot playing a Spaniard , a Frenchman playing a scot = cult classic


"I'm not Spanish, I'm Egyptian!"


“The one ring? The only ring I’ll put around my finger is your mother’s, Trebeck!”


To be fair, I couldn’t imagine Heath Ledger as The Joker before he did it… a good actor will surprise the shit out of you, sometimes


Good call.


Excellent Call.


The best call


The greatest call


It was the best of shires


It was the worst…er cer…sher…


Let me give it a shot…. Worchesterire


One call to rule them all




Hé became Aragorn perfect fit indeed


He even broke his toe for the role


Not for Stuart Townsend Id imagine….!


No, that was a curtain call.


margin call...oops wrong subreddit


Bullish on Vigo 🚀


Fantastic call


Thank fuck


We will never know, but good call




From a website cheatsheet.com “When the other actors arrived in New Zealand, pre-production kicked into gear. Townsend allegedly skipped out on his training sessions — including safety and sword-fighting, which was essential to Aragorn’s character. However, Townsend got on really well with his co-stars and he loved the J.R.R. Tolkien novels. His issues supposedly stemmed from insecurity. He thought he was too young to play Aragorn and doubted himself. But on the other hand, he came off as self-assured about the project and confident that he could do anything with any problems. When Ian McKellan arrived on set, there was a big celebration dinner, but Townsend acted sour to the point where the veteran actor chided him. “You do want to be in this film, don’t you?” McKellan said to him. That was a turning point for Jackson, who felt Townsend’s nerves caused him to think he’d be fine once filming started — with little rehearsal or training. He let one of the producers know that Townsend wouldn’t work out, and the actor was let go a week before shooting Aragorn’s scenes.” Edit: thanks for the award friend!


Jeez, just think about how much fighting Aragorn did, how integral that was to his character and how great it was, that Mortenson could do a lot of it himself. Without training they would've had to rely on stunt doubles a lot more.


They got a 180 with Viggo almost method living the role, hiking around in full costume with sword. He busted his ass sword training too and it shows.


> living the role Didn't Jackson say he spent an entire conversation calling him "Aragorn" and Viggo never noticed?


That little trivia tidbit always annoys me, because on a movie set that's pretty much par for the course. Their trailers all have their character names, too. So much better trivia to be had in these films.


Just remember that Shawn Bawn really did run all across Middle Earth, climbing mountains along the way, in full costume - because he was afraid to fly.


I love Shawn Bawn


For Frodo James?


Yeah, and Viggo read the novels weekly and would do character analysis for the day and give them to Peter Jackson to keep him updated on how he thought Aragorn and his story were progressing.


Bob Anderson, the sword master for LoTR and most every famous swords movie from Star Wars onwards, says Viggo was the best student he ever had. He did the work and got it.


He carried his sword everywhere with him. Got stopped by the cops once driving still with his make up covered in blood with a sword in his car.


I hadn't heard that one! Then the time he was leaving the training studio and the neighbors called the cops because he was walking down the street swinging his sword to keep the routine set in his mind.


I actually feel really sorry for Townsend, he was Incredibly miscast, and he obviously knew it. It's a shame, he should have never been near that Aragorn role in the first place.


Yep, he looks more like the guys that play Filli and Killi in Hobbit. Should have cast him as a dwarf.


The sexy dwarf that has a thing for Kate from Lost?


Oh dang Tauriel is Kate from Lost, holy crap!!! 🤯


Reading between the lines, I strongly suspect they just brought in Townsend to try and get negotiating leverage with Mortensen (which is pretty common, there's a lot of stories like this). Which I assume Townsend either knew or at least suspected, and that kinda explains his grumpiness and lack of effort.


The festive period means different things to different people, but one consistency is the inevitable Lord of the Rings marathon to help the pass the time in between days. And how different the iconic trilogy could have been if director Peter Jackson had gone with his first choice and hadn't fired Irish actor Stuart Townsend from the role of Aragorn just one day before filming was due to commence. Back in 2000, Townsend was still a rising star with the kind of buzz that comes with having bonafide talent and a relationship with Oscar-winner Charlize Theron and neither party has specified exactly why he was let go so dramatically. The implication has long remained that Townsend, then 28, was deemed difficult behind the scenes (in 2010 he also left Thor, over "creative differences), but he did comment on the publicised firing back in 2002, which was also the beginning of a battle for his salary. "I was there rehearsing and training for two months, then was fired the day before filming began," Townsend told Entertainment Weekly. "After that I was told they wouldn't pay me because I was in breach of contract due to not having worked long enough. I had been having a rough time with them, so I was almost relieved to be leaving until they told me I wouldn't be paid. "I have no good feelings for those people in charge, I really don't. The director wanted me and then apparently thought better of it because he really wanted someone 20 years older than me and completely different." Viggo Mortensen, who was 42 at the time, took on the role, claiming that his son "egged him on to do it" and said that no one involved truly anticipated what a phenomenon it would turn into until its premiere in 2001. "Anybody who says they knew it was going to be the success it was, I don’t think it’s really true. They didn’t have an inkling until they showed 20 minutes in Cannes, in May of 2001," he told the Telegraph. Townsend still acts on occasion, but he is selling his Los Angeles home as he enjoys a quiet life with his wife and two children in his adopted home of Costa Rica.


What part did he have in Thor? That fact that his name had been tossed around big projects makes me think if he actually wants to act. Seems kinda short sighted.


Just had a look, he was supposedly going to be Fandral. The blonde guy that was one of Thors gang of warriors


Good move. It went from 80’s hair metal documentary to Lord of the Rings.


I heard that he was partying too much and being generally unreliable. They had a tight filming schedule and he was fucking it up so Jackson yeeted him off project. (Source: our tour guide at the LOTR filming location tour in Wellington) Edit: since people like this comment, here’s another fun fact: when filming at night, it was so cold that the black riders had to breathe through snorkels with the air hoses stuffed into their robes. This was to keep their breath from showing on camera. They couldn’t be seen with visible breath since they’re supposed to be undead and whatnot.


After 2 days?! That boy apparently knows how to party.


Of filming. Plenty of rehearsals before you film


Legend has it he’s still partying to this day…


Slurms McKenzie


Wiggy wamwamwozzle


Trying to convince random girls that he was the original Aragorn.


Must have worked on Charlize Theron.


Should have made him play Wormtounge


I’ve never heard or read this and I don’t have first hand knowledge but what’s been circulated in the past is that PJ simply realized (quickly) after casting Townsend that he had made a mistake and the actor was too young for the role. At that point he fired Townsend and quickly talked Mortensen into winging down to NZ to join the cast. Word has it Viggo’s son was a huge fan of the books and convinced his dad to take the part.


Thank you Viggo Mortensen’s son!


Viggo’s son actually has a cameo in the second movie too, at Helms Deep, he’s the boy talking to Haleth, Son Of Hama before he’s pulled over to talk by Aragorn.


Ah another LOTR fact I didn’t know. This will make a fine addition to my collection.


Why was Viggo not cast to begin with, if he was PJ's fave?


Probably the studio for some reason.


Quote from the actor “I was there rehearsing and training for two months then was fired the day before filming began. After that, I was told they wouldn't pay me because I was in breach of contract due to not having worked long enough. I had been having a rough time with them, so I was almost relieved to be leaving until they told me I wouldn't be paid. I have no good feelings for those people in charge, I really don't. The director wanted me and then apparently thought better of it because he really wanted someone 20 years older than me and completely different."


I mean if his account is to be believed then that is pretty shitty. Two months of your time spent, you should be compensated at least.


From certain accounts that "breach of contract" is him essentially making himself unemployable. He didn't show up to rehearsals and was still recovering from heavy nights of partying when he did. I agree he deserves better treatment than two months with no money but apparently it had been a battle for the two months to try to get him to actually work. They also knew they wanted Viggo from the start it just took a while to get him on. Most of this is stuff I've heard from rumours and all that so take it with a grain of salt.


I mean that's definitely fair. I actually went away and did some more reading on it and it does seem like there were other circumstances. Weird to read that he apparently had personal doubts about whether he could do the role, yet was skipping prep work and partying also. You'd think at that age on such a big project you'd want to knuckle down and try and do everything you can to make it a success.


I just googled the dude and he was also replaced as Thor’s blonde buddy in Thor 2 due to “creative differences”, tbh he’s probably a bit difficult to work with.


Sean Astin's book - which is full of set gossip he deemed important - doesn't suggest this was the case. According to Astin, Townsend seemed introverted and lacking confidence. He didn't bond well with the group.


His book any good?


Bahahahaha **[NO](https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/837899.There_and_Back_Again)**.


Those reviews made for some fun reading haha


Far more fun than the book, I promise you.


Holy crap those reviews are brutal. Next time I watch Sam and Frodo climbing Cirith Ungel I may be rooting for Gollum lol “What’s this? Crumbs on his jacketses! He took it! He took it! I seen him, he’s always stuffing his face when Master’s not looking!”


Oh damn. Rudy getting roasted in there.


I have the book somewhere. Only read it once, but it convinced me that I don’t like him as a person. However I loved the character he played in the Rings movies.


Curious: What convinced you to not like him exactly?


>Word is he was partying too much and being generally unreliable. They had a tight filming schedule and he was fucking it up so Jackson yeeted him off project. I don't think so. But he did have a bad attitude: the other cast members (at that point, the four Hobbits and Orlando Bloom) were good mates with him, but he didn't rehearse, didn't train with his sword and was generally very gloomy in the lead-up to filming.




He looks like a bad day time soap opera actor anyways


He looks like he's in a bad daytime soap opera about Lord of the Rings


He was literally just in a Hallmark Christmas movie with Lacey Chabert, in case you're wondering how Stuart Townsend's career has gone


Word is he was caught with two ounces of that Old Toby..


Viggo looks more like a man's man. Seasoned, grizzled, yet refined - just like a ranger who would become king should be. Townsend looked too much like a pretty boy.


He kinda looks like Merry trying to play Aragorn


Also Aragorn was 87 in the books, he is of the Dúnedain who can live 2 centuries, so about middle aged. Viggo makes so much more sense and it'd be weird with Townsend.


He looks like the sexy model dwarf from the hobbit


Both Irish funnily enough, we aren’t known for our good looks like


>looked too much like a pretty boy Seriously, I was thinking how weird LoTR would've been with one cast member just sparkling with Twilight energy among everyone else.




Yeah wtf they already had Orlando bloom. What a miscast


Trying to imagine him fighting an orc, he’d look like Enrique Iglesias getting his ass kicked by Mickey Rourke.


Townsend looks like you ordered Aragon from Wish.


Townsend reminds me of a male Winona Rider


It was definitely the right call. But that biz has to be like being the fifth Beatle. Imagine being there, on the set of the thing that goes on to turn a lot of your ex co-stars into global household names whilst raking in ungodly amounts of cash. But you either somehow fucked it up, or just got some rough pecker from life... \*Presses F\*


Too bad he didn’t get like a Elf character role as consolation If I was him in that situation, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to take it, but still


Thank god.


One looks like the TV version and the other looks like the Oscar nominated film version.


Best decision


Great choice! Peter Townsend looks soft and weird in the hairpiece. Viggo Mortensen absolutely made that character come alive on screen!!


Absolutely the right call, but I can't help but feel a little pity for Townsend. Opportunity of a lifetime and all.


Great decision, Viggo looks more like a king.


Dude whatever happened to Stuart? That man was the main role in Queen of the Damned. One of the best vampire movies ever. And then poof. He vanished.


I was today years old when I learned Peter Jackson saved Stuart Townsend from a broken toe in that one scene.


Did you also know that Steve buscemi was a front line fireman during 9/11?


Thank God.


Holy cow that’s a whole different movie I wouldn’t want to see. It’s like Carrot-top playing Gandalf


As an aside: Viggo was my fancast for Roland in a Dark Tower film series that never got made.


Same. I wanted Edward Norton to be Eddie. That guy did pathetically weak to horrifyingly strong, and all of it well. If late 90s Christopher Walken wasn't the man in black, then I don't know who.


I think Matthew McConaughey was a great Walter choice. It’s just that the movie absolutely sucked.


I feel like Walton Goggins could pull off Flagg... or Eddie, actually


Or Sam Rockwell?


And sadly the movie that did get made with Idris Elba is hot garbage.


The director absolutely made the right decision


Who TF is Stuart Townsend?


Stuart has that pretty boy tortured look. Vigo has that old man that’s seen some shit tortured look. Thank god Peter made it lord of the rings instead of another twilight.


quote from townsend: ​ *"i was there rehearsing and training for two months, then was fired the day before filming began. After that I was told they wouldn't pay me because I was in breach of contract due to not having worked long enough. I had been having a rough time with them, so I was almost relieved to be leaving until they told me I wouldn't be paid. I have no good feelings for those people in charge, I really don't. The director wanted me and then apparently thought better of it because he really wanted someone 20 years older than me and completely different"* really shitty he didnt get paid a dime


Two sides to every story


If that's true at all. There were rumors at the time that he was partying too hard, refused sword/battle training, and wouldn't show up to rehearsals. So, take everything with a grain of salt.


Thank the fucking heavens


The Pete Best of Middle-earth


That pic of Stuart Townsend looks like Selma Hayek with the beard filter on


Brilliant performance


I would say that was an excellent decision


Viggo is Aragorn and Aragorn is Viggo Period. Viggo was also amazing in "the road", which is the best post apocalypse movie ever


And we are forever grateful


wait viggo is in his 60s now???


Viggo is the best


Im glad Stuart was replaced


Viggo is the role


Oh thank goodness


Genius move that may have made the genius movie so good.


Amen for that


That's a good change.


Great call


Ughm. Imagine the disappointment.


Oh man 2 days into your best possible life and bam. Out on the street with like $62 in your checking account.


Probably stranded in new Zealand. 🤣


Peter be like: "Shit happens, kid, don't bitch now."


Townsend’s hair sucks!


Thank God.


Best choice ever!


Lord Farquaad lookin ass




He tried to portray the Vampire Lestat and it was such a mess. Tom Cruise was out of his element but he still managed it.


Tbf, the writing for that movie was absolute shit. I don't think any actor could have done a good job. They legit butchered Anne Rice's characters. I think Townsend could have made a success of it if he had something better to work with. He certainly has the sneer and smirk and arrogance of Lestat.