Viggo Mortenson has admitted that he held discussions with a producer to return as Aragorn in The Hobbit trilogy. Unfortunately for Lord Of The Rings fans, though, this chat failed to evolve beyond words, and Peter Jackson was unable to find room for the beloved character in the prequel series.
Viggo Mortenson made this admission to The Independent while promoting the release of Captain Fantastic over in the United Kingdom. Discussing his role in The Lord of the Rings movies and how Aragorn almost made an appearance in The Hobbit movies, Mortenson revealed that he did have talks about reprising his most famous role, but that ultimately things didn't work out. Said the actor,
I was asked in the early stages by a producer. I told him, 'He's not in the book; it's 60 years before and he would have been an infant.' He says, 'Yeah, we can take certain liberties.' And I said I'd look forward to reading it and that if he's going to reappear, I would love to revisit him. I later heard - I don't know if it's true - that they talked to other actors about playing him. I was waiting to hear but I never heard from anyone, so I just assumed they weren't going to take that liberty.
After clearing the air during the same interview over his quotes from 2014 that suggested he'd previously had a dig at Peter Jackson, Viggo Mortenson made it perfectly clear that he still holds the Academy Award winning filmmaker in nothing but the highest regard. This then led Mortenson to explain about just how close he came to returning as Aragorn in The Hobbit films, even though his character isn't in the books and he would have been an infant. And while, in the grand scheme of things, he wasn't actually that near to portraying the character again, it's still tantalising to think of how he could have been squeezed in.
It's also superb to hear just how eager Viggo Mortenson is reprise the role of Aragorn, who when we last left him in Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King had been crowned as the King Elessar Telcontar of Gondor, married Arwen (Liv Tyler), and then united the two kingdoms. That was a pretty happy ending for the character with a pretty firm conclusion, but apparently the actor isn't necessarily ready to leave the character behind entirely.
Obviously, because of the huge success of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, there's always going to be a desire for some kind of spin-off. But while most actors wouldn't want to risk ruining the reputation of their previous portrayals, Viggo Mortenson is clearly aware of the scope of J.R.R. Tolkein's world and that there's still plenty more story left to tell. That being said, considering the roles and films that he's taken on since, it's a little surprising to hear that he still has a hankering for Aragorn. A History Of Violence, Easter Promises, The Road, A Dangerous Method, and now Captain Fantastic have been much smaller productions that allowed him to stretch these characters down avenues that mainstream blockbusters usually avoid.
If he could do that again with Aragorn in an extra Lord Of The Rings film then that's something that a huge amount of people would be interesting in seeing. It's just a shame that, 16 years on from The Return Of The King, the likelihood of that happening is incredibly remote.