After a slew of casting news last week, Sylvester McCoy (who it had previously been revealed might be playing a wizard in the films) has told fans at the Armageddon Expo that he has been cast as Radagast the Brown in The Hobbit.
And this actually happened as far back as Saturday? Huh.
McCoy is probably best known for playing the Seventh Doctor in Doctor Who, and was in the running to play Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings before being beaten to the role by Ian Holm (they look kinda similar, don’t they?). Apparently McCoy met with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens last week in Wellington, where he was offered the role of Radagast. Unfortunately, no contracts have been signed yet. Hopefully they will be soon.
With previous news of McCoy being in talks to play a wizard in The Hobbit (and definitely not being Gandalf), many guessed Radagast would be the one…and they were right! At least now we have confirmation from the man himself.
Radagast the Brown is a wizard focused very much in nature; he has a greater understanding of beasts and plants than other men in Middle-earth, and can speak to many animals. A fun bit of trivia for you: while he is hardly in The Lord of the Rings (the book), in The Fellowship of the Ring, it is Radagast who sends the eagle who rescues Gandalf from the top of Saruman’s tower, Orthanc (in the film, Gandalf communicates with a moth to ask for help). However, this is an accident. Radagast’s actual intention was bringing news of Sauron’s forces – it only just so happened that the eagle spotted and rescued Gandalf. Sounds like he’s a bit more bumbling than our good Grey friend.
If I recall correctly, Radagast has an absolutely minuscule role in The Hobbit, being mentioned only once by Gandalf, or something like that. It seems definite that the character’s part will be heavily embellished for the films.
McCoy was one of two incarnations of the Doctor rumored to have a part in The Hobbit films, and this just leaves the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant. Bleeding Cool suggests that there is something “Goblin-Kingy” about him. David Tennant as the Goblin King? I would love to see that.