Rumor of the Day: Elijah Wood in talks for The Hobbit

It's been expected for a while now that Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis would return respectively as Gandalf and Gollum for the upcoming two-part adaptation of The Hobbit. But now talks are also possibly underway with a rather surprising alumnus of the original The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

According to Deadline, director Peter Jackson and his co-producers have apparently been talking with Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the Rings movies. What makes this surprising is that Frodo does not appear in The Hobbit at all, which centers around his cousin (whom he thinks of as his uncle) Bilbo Baggins. In fact, Frodo is not born until nearly 30 years after the events of The Hobbit and is adopted by Bilbo in the gap between that story and the events of The Lord of the Rings.

Deadline treats this news as hearsay, so we'll keep it as a rumor for now. It's hard to fathom how Frodo could be worked into the story, unless he's seen in some sort of flash-forward or coda added to make it into two full-length movies.

The production is also said to be considering an appearance by Orlando Bloom as Legolas, another character who does not show up in The Hobbit. But elves live a lot longer than hobbits, and Legolas is the son of the Elvenking, Thranduil, who does play a supporting role in The Hobbit, so theoretically it would easier to somehow fit him into the adaptation. Cate Blanchett's Galadriel is also rumored to be appearing. And of course negotiations are underway with McKellen and Serkis, whose characters actually do appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel.

Production on the two movies, which are said to be budgeted at more than $500 million combined, is slated to begin next month in New Zealand.

Does the thought of Wood returning to Middle-earth sound exciting? Or does it sound like Jackson and company are taking too many liberties with the material?

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