Amazon definitely believes in their upcoming Lord of the Rings series. Though they specifically chose this project from a team of creators new to working in film, they are paying a billion dollars for five seasons of content. Currently, it’s the most expensive production in the history of TV. And so far, the cast list has also been mostly unknown actors. Now, there’s a rumor with an exciting new list of names, and one of them is Russell Crowe. While this is still all rumor, it’s a rumor worth talking about.
The rumor suggests that Russell Crowe be cast as Durin. Even if you can’t place that name, if you’ve seen the movies, that may ring a faint bell for you. When the group is in the mines of Moria, Gimli talks about the history of the place as threats are drawing near. He talked about how the Dwarves had sealed themselves inside Moria. It’s been said this happened, “Until the world grew old and the Dwarves failed and the days of Durin’s race were ended.”
As you may already know, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings is taking place ages before the movies we’ve seen. Durin was originally a Dwarf in the First Age. All of his descendants who looked like him were given his name. This was an honor and kept his lineage going, until Moria. Here, the suggestion is that we’ll be seeing Russell Crowe playing the original Durin the Deathless.
One of the things that makes the new Lord of the Rings series so exciting is that it takes place during an age we haven’t seen before. While characters like Galadriel and Elrond are names we know, mostly, we’re going to be seeing characters only briefly ever mentioned in the main Tolkein texts. If you’re a Tolkein fan, this has big potential to be wildly exciting.
Russell Crowe already has the hair to play one of the Dwarves these days. He’s got the commanding voice you want to hear from a powerful Dwarf of Tolkein significance. As for whether he’d be interested in taking on Lord of the Rings is anyone’s guess.
He’s been fairly adventurous with scripts in the past. He very famously took on the Ridley Scott project, Gladiator, when it only had 21 pages of script. Crowe has not been shy about calling the available script at the time terrible. They traveled around filming locations while working on that script together. Writers would send things in, they would toss them out. A lot of the script happened on set. It was no way to make a movie, but it turned out to be one of his most famous projects. One could say that the way Amazon is committing to such a large budget on such an unknown project in such an important franchise could be exciting enough to draw Russell Crowe in, even if he hasn’t really done many fantasy projects in the past.
We don’t yet know if Russell Crowe would be interested in Lord of the Rings. A while back, we had 20 actors announced for the project, all of them mostly unknown names. It’ll be interesting to see whether Amazon does decide to take on well-known actors or stick with casting decisions that leave more mystery in the air.