Retro-Cast: If Lord Of The Rings Was Made In The 1980s – Screen Rant

Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy did a great job adapting the book series, but if it were to be made in the 80s, this would be the cast.

Peter Jackson'sLord of the Ringstook the early 2000s by storm, given its epic source material and near-accurate adaptation (animplausible feat for any other period of time prior). The graceful Elves, the mighty Dwarves, the adorable Hobbits were all incredible, but nothing was as impressive as the sheer grandeur of the cinematic narrative its battles and landscapes.

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Ralph Bakshi had already come up with an animated version in 1978, but how would Lord of the Rings as a live-action movie be different had it been produced in the eighties? There were tons of actors skilled enough to play every character, and then some, but which of them would possess the required emotional strength to do justice to the story.

The charm of Ferris Buelleris evident to this day: this iconic movie made Matthew Broderick a superstar, permanently altering the trajectory of his career.

He may have gone on to do other roles, such as voicing adult Simba in The Ling King (1994) as well as the live-action Dr. Niko Tat0poulos in Godzilla (1998), but the best one remains his plucky teenager taking an unsanctioned school holiday with his friend and girlfriend. Ferris' adorable delinquency makes for a great Frodo (although rather different from Elijah Wood).

The incandescent Sydney Poitier has mastered the concept of versatility: he shifts from serious portrayals of race-relations in mid-century America to gangster-hunting to sports comedies.

Ian McKellen's Gandalf is no doubt one of the bestimaginable versions of the beloved wizard, but picturing the fiery Mr. Tibbs or the disciplinarian Mark Thackeray in long white robes and a flowing beard is surprisingly easy to do.

Eowyn is a rare example of a strong female character in the Lord of the Rings (Galadriel and Arwen taking on more indirect, passive roles in comparison). To cast her correctly, therefore, is not a matter of acting talent as much as the inner vigor of the actor involved; ergo, Linda Hamilton.

RELATED:Lord Of The Rings: 5 Ways Gandalf Is Different From The Books (& 5 He's Not)

Her performances in The Terminator franchise, Black Moon Rising (1986), and King Kong Lives (1986) prove beyond a doubt that she possesses the fighting spirit that Eowyn has been endowed with.

It's impossible to choose a superior option than 1980s Harrison Ford when it comes to Aragorn, a major player in the storyline (who also has the third installment in the series refer to him directly).

The actor had established himself firmly in cinematic sci-fi/fantasy with Star Wars, as well as Blade Runner (1981) and the Indiana Jones franchise. Ford is clearly able to pull off a strong, heroic character without having the audience doubt his motivations, which is a compulsory requirement to take on the mantle of Aragorn.

Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy is as iconic as the films themselves: thesprightly scoundrel who accidentally falls into an ocean of adventure when an old man (inadvertently) drags him into the convoluted world of time-traveling.

This parallel with Samwise Gamgee notwithstanding Gandalf being the old man in thiscase it shows that Fox is more than capable of playing Frodo's best friend, and, arguably, the real hero of the Lord of the Rings.

In the 80s, Robert Rusler and Robert Downey, Jr. were known fortheir teenage-oriented filmography, for instance,Vamp and Back to School, both released in 1986. However, as a pair of close pals working together (and pulling pranks on others), they shine in Weird Science (1985).

RELATED:Lord of the Rings: 5 Ways Frodo Is Different From The Books (& 5 He's Not)

To be clear, their characters, Max and Ian, are jock bullies who torture the two innocent nerd protagonists for the fun of it, but their villainyis just a matter of casting here. All they would need to do to become Merry and Pippin is to not take pleasure in the suffering of others.

Gollum is hands down the most difficult character in the LOTR universe, not just because of his visual uniqueness, but also his peculiar mannerisms, incomprehensible grammar, and tendency towards bursts of aggression, all of which have been carefully cultivated by the inimitable Andy Serkis.

Assuming that the technology to render Gollum on-screen so believably existed in the eighties, the pool of possibilities expands ever so slightly. In the end, though, Steve Martin is the perfect choice.

The grumpiest member of the Fellowship, Gimli, might seem like a serious character, but to be able to handle his various eccentricities requires an actor of considerable comic skill.

This is because the Dwarf's sense of humor, however negligible, is undeniably deadpan, the trickiest type of comedy to grasp. Bill Murray's Caddyshack (1980) and Ghostbusters (1984) are films that lend support to the argument that he would have been an excellent Gimli.

Johnny Depp is acknowledged as a fantastic actorof the absurd be it Edward Scissorhands (1990), Arizona Dream (1993), Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and so on.

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But one must never forget that he began his career as Glen Lantz, Nancy's protective boyfriend in ANightmare on Elm Street (1984). Regardless of the fact that he ends up gruesomely murdered anyway, Depp demonstrates his ability to portray caring, vigilant characters, the very definition of Legolas Greenleaf.

It's not easy to justify placing anyone other than Christopher Lee in Saruman's shoes: the veteran performer delivers an exquisitely eerie rendition of the White Wizard who turns evil midway through the plot.

In fact, the man was old enough to play the role even back in the 80s, but there is an equally intriguing alternative. Marlon Brando's deceptively violent characters from Apocalypse Now (1979) and Last Tango in Paris (1972)substantiates his casting as Saruman.

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In real life, Ajay disguises himself as an academic, mainly writing textbooks for children who all hate him for making their lives more miserable. He also writes about TV and film, strewing his opinions across the internet to see if people care (they don't).

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Retro-Cast: If Lord Of The Rings Was Made In The 1980s - Screen Rant

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