David Bowie Was Almost Gandalf In The Lord Of The Rings

Photo: Terry O'Neill/Getty Images
David Bowie reached legend status long before his death on January 10, 2016. In addition to making the quirky so damn cool with his musical stylings, the "Life On Mars?" singer appeared in films like Labyrinth, the Twin Peaks prequel film Fire Walk With Me, and The Prestige. However, had the world turned slightly differently, Bowie's legacy would have included a major role in the Lord of the Rings franchise. After years of speculation, it has finally been confirmed: Bowie was up for the role of Gandalf in Peter Jackson's franchise, but turned it down.

According to Lord of the Rings casting director Amy Hubbard, who worked on all the movies in the series, Bowie was initially offered the role of the wizard. Speaking to the Huffington Post, she states that it was a dream of Jackson's to get Bowie in on the films:

“We approached [Bowie]. I’m pretty sure it was Peter Jackson’s idea in the first few weeks that we got going. It was one that he’d always wondered about, and we rang Chris [Andrews, an agent at CAA] and [Bowie] was far too busy.”

However, before you begin typing in "David Bowie's Lord of the Rings audition tape" into Google, you should know that the pop star never read for the part. According to Hubbard, he never had time to audition — the conversation about the role took place at a CAA New Year's party in which Bowie was performing. Having zero time to audition clearly didn't bode too well for Bowie having the time to actually star in the movies.

Ian McKellen did a marvellous job at portraying J.R.R. Tolkien's wizard, so we can't complain too much. Still, I'd have given anything to see Bowie rocking that beard.
Advertisement