Lord Of The Rings Star Shares Why He Never Read The Books

By Tyler Pisapia | 4 weeks ago

lord of the rings

Despite being somewhat synonymous with the franchise, Elijah Wood recently confessed that reading the Lord of the Rings books is still a big empty box on his to-do list. When he was just 18 years old, Elijah Wood was cast as (arguably) the main character in what would become Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. By 2001, the movies were just standing on the shoulders of the books, which had already etched themselves into history as some of the most popular novels of all time.

However, proving that there’s a unique, enduring quality to Tolkien’s work, the film franchise found even more success. When it was all said and done, the three films (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) had been nominated for dozens of Academy Awards and even earned a rare sweep across most of the major categories in 2004. Although his adaptation of Frodo hit the mark for book and film fans alike, Elijah Wood recently confessed in an interview with Esquire that he has not actually read any of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings novels. Fortunately for those clutching their pearls at the mere thought that the young actor didn’t take the role seriously — he’s actually got a pretty good explanation. 

elijah wood lord of the rings

Elijah Wood noted that, between the script and character work that he was doing as an actor to properly portray the character, he found that he simply didn’t have the time nor the mental capacity to add in the “dense and verbose and incredibly literary and beautiful” book series. In other words, the guy was doing too much work to make the movies the masterpieces that we know them to be today without having the homework of reading The Lord of the Rings books. 

As ScreenRant notes, The Lord of the Rings is a daunting literary task for even the most seasoned book reader. Clocking in at roughly 1,137 pages of rich, dense high-fantasy, one could understand the fear of going mad while trying to properly digest all that, as well as the script for the film. 

Since that time, Elijah Wood has enjoyed a fun career in filmmaking but admitted that he’s still never found the time to backtrack for the Lord of the Rings books. However, that doesn’t mean he’s shying away from adaptations of immensely popular movie franchises. Speaking to Comicbook.com over the summer, he confessed that he has his eyes on two less-dense but equally fan-beloved franchises that he’d like to resurrect.

The Lord of the Rings actor told the outlet that he would be really interested in doing a reimagining of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Elijah Wood noted that, despite there being seven films (and one spinoff with Freddy vs. Jason), he still sees a lot of untapped potential to a character that invades and attacks people in their dreams. In the same interview, he also noted that he would be keen to take on a new adaptation of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, which has been adapted several times in the past, but never by way of the man who brought the One Ring to the fires of Mordor — so there has to be some interest.