Exclusive: Christopher Lee On The Hobbit

He may play Saruman again

Speaking to Christopher Lee earlier this week, as you do, we discovered that the venerable 86-year-old has hopes of dusting off his wizard’s robes to play Saruman again in Guillermo Del Toro’s adaptation of The Hobbit.

Now you’re probably asking how the evil white wizard could possibly show his face again when he’s not even featured in The Lord Of The Rings prequel. Well consider the fact that the mooted two-film adaptation will probably be forced to add plenty of new material and Lee’s encyclopaedic knowledge of his character could fill in the gaps.

“I’ve read the books time and again,” said the 86-year-old. “Originally Saruman The White and the rest of the wizards, or the Istari as they call them, were immortal. There were five of them, two of them never appear, I know their names but they never appear, and the only three that are mentioned are Saruman The White, Gandalf The Grey and Radagast The Brown who you never see – so basically it’s two wizards.

“They lived for thousands of years and they were sent to the earth and they are virtually immortal. When it all started, Saruman was the noblest, the finest, the bravest, the most dependable and reliable of them all, he was number one. But somewhere, somehow, and it was never actually explained, he turns and it’s probably the Palantír (the wizard’s crystal ball thingy) that makes Saruman realise that if Sauron can do this, why can’t I do it and Saruman wants to become The Lord Of The Rings himself.”

“I’d be interested in seeing how that transition from good to evil occurred and, yes, of course I would return to the role if I was asked.”

So there you go, assuming Guillermo’s not the kind of guy to hold a grudge (apparently Lee turned down the role of King Balor in Hellboy II: The Golden Army) and assuming he’s got some space to fill in The Hobbit parts one and two, he could do worse than to get a willing Christopher Lee back in the robes again.