Viggo Mortensen declined to reprise his role as Aragorn in The Hobbit trilogy
When Peter Jackson originally announced that THE HOBBIT would be broken into three films we were all left wondering how he planned to pad the story to fill that much running time. Aa we saw with THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, Jackson has stretched the material so far and appears to be back-filling the second and third film with other writings from J.R.R. Tolkien. This year's THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG will feature the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas along with Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, and Hugo Weaving. One character absent is Aragon.
I never considered having Viggo Mortensen appear in the story since Aragon was human and did not have the lifespan of these magical beings. But, you never know what could have been planned. In fact, it does turn out Mortensen was asked to appear in the films but chose not to take part. Here is what Mortensen told The Guardian:
"Before they started shooting, back in 2008, one of the producers did ask if I would be interested. I said, 'You do know, don't you, that Aragorn isn't in The Hobbit? That there is a 60-year gap between the books?'
From the sounds of it, Mortensen had no desire to come back for further adventures in Middle-Earth. Even as a cameo, an adult Aragon would have to be shoe-horned into the plot and many fans would likely have seen right through that ploy to get fans of the actor back in theaters. Mortensen continued to say:
"I'm interested in seeing that world again, and seeing what Peter Jackson's done, how he's made use of the improvements in special effects and cameras and the different way of shooting, which will probably enhance the visual aspect of the experience, the sound also," he explained. "And I'm interested in seeing how he's managed to make three movies out of a relatively slim volume…Jackson is a clever person – I'm sure he'll have done something really interesting with it."
Mortensen has been working steadily with David Cronenberg, Walter Salles, John Hillcoat, and others while still working on his poetry and art. Mortensen also recently completed a screenplay adapting Mari Sandoz's novel The Horsecatcher, a story of a Cheyenne Indian boy who must kill a man as a rite of passage, a story he hopes to direct as well.
Hopefully, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG will move with a quicker page than AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and not feel like a padded way to spread the box office over three release dates. We will find out on December 13, 2013.