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SHERLOCK's Cumberbatch Into HOBBIT Role!!

Merrick here...

Martin Freeman ('Bilbo') is saying that Benedict Cumberbatch - who stars with Freeman in the magnificent and continuing BBC production SHERLOCK - will appear in Peter Jackson's HOBBIT.

Freeman let the news slip backstage at the Bafta TV awards on Sunday, where Sherlock picked up the prize for best drama series

...says BBC's site HERE

Freeman offered no further insight into Cumberbatch's HOBBIT role. 

Cumberbatch and Freeman play Holmes and Watson respectively in SHERLOCK, a brilliantly modernized take on Arthur Conan Doyle's works from Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.  Cumberbatch was, at one point, supposedly/allegedly asked to succeed David Tennant as 'The Doctor' on DOCTOR WHO -  he's said to have turned down the part, paving the way for Matt Smith's casting as that iconic lead. Not sure how accurate that information is, though.

SHERLOCK is available HERE, where you can also find it via Instant Video  (it's streamable through Netflix as well).  Three entries so far, with more coming.  I loved parts one and three, but felt the second installment was flat, awkward, and tonally/stylistically inconsistent with the stories that preceded and succeeded it.  On the whole, though, it's rather great and I'm eagerly anticipating further adventures - which should air later this year, I believe.

--- follow Merrick on Twitter ! ---

Readers Talkback
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  • May 23, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    shocker, another white actor!

    by DrPain

    As portrayed on screen, why is there no room for minorities in Jackson's middle earth? At least George gave us Lando.

  • May 23, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Sherlock Rulez

    by Spidergreg

  • May 23, 2011, 8:21 a.m. CST

    bales_crackhead_role_oscar: GET YOUR OWN THING

    by Dharma4

    ...Ha, jk, like I give a flying fuck. But anyways, Benedict C. is a solid actor from what I've seen him him. Is Matt Smith joining soon?

  • May 23, 2011, 8:21 a.m. CST

    drpain

    by flax

    Middle-earth is a mythical prehistoric Europe. Must every single film include token minority actors regardless of how much sense it makes? Get the fuck over yourself.

  • May 23, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Gotta be...

    by mbg98

    either the dwarf who left due to personal reasons (probably not, doesn't look too dwarf-y) or Bard the Bowman (most likely).

  • May 23, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Gotta be...

    by mbg98

    either the dwarf who left due to personal reasons (probably not, doesn't look too dwarf-y) or Bard the Bowman (most likely).

  • May 23, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    *From what I've seen him in

    by Dharma4

  • ...third being the original stories themselves.

  • May 23, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Please God no English cameo party ruining this

    by spacehog

    Stephen Fry is, of course, welcome anywhere. I only know Cumberbatch from Sherlock, but thought he was awesome, so more power to him. But I'm a bit conflicted. Everyone knows the LOTR films did gangbusters and I hope the roles for Hobbitman aren't getting handed out like little prizes for Most Recognizable English People. If this keeps up, the movie's going to feel like an Oscar Awards show skit, where the town that Smaug terrorizes is populated entirely by Simon Pegg, Patrick Stewart, Rowan Atkinson, Judy Dench, David Suchet, Bill Nighy, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe, David Tennant, Lady Sovereign, Geoffrey Palmer, John Cleese, Victoria Beckham...

  • May 23, 2011, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Gotta Agree With Your Feeling About The Second Episode

    by MakNeil

    I agree with your interpretation of the second episode. It was directed by Euros Lynn (Torchwood, Torchwood: Children of Earth) but I felt it was less an issue with the director than the writing, which was overly broad, and squandered somewhat the reality-based (and goodwill) nature built up by the premiere episode. It wasn't terrible, but it definitely didn't stick to canon, which is odd considering that it was only the second episode.

  • May 23, 2011, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Bard...Or Smaug

    by Kharank

    He won't be a dwarf, Rob Kazinisky (the guy who left) has already been replaced. Some say he looks Elven, but only minor Elf roles are left to cast (unless PJ has added some more), and can't see him just making a cameo. The consensus at the moment is he will either play Bard the Bowman, or will be the voice of Smaug. The latter is perhaps more likely when you take into consideration some of his other commitments (taking some play to Broadway etc). And this is, of course, assuming that Freeman isn't just blowing smoke up our asses...

  • May 23, 2011, 9:02 a.m. CST

    drpain, there were tons of minorities in PJ's LOTR.

    by blackwood

    They were the bad guys.

  • May 23, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Apparently that whole 'Cumberbatch to be the Doctor' thing was bogus...

    by irishraidersfan

    Apparently he was to audition, but turned that down. He was never offered the role, from what I've read.

  • May 23, 2011, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Matt Smith auditioned for Watson

    by Andy Travis

    Cumberbatch was never offered the Doctor role. Moffat first saw Smith when he auditioned for the Dr Watson role opposite Cumberbatch's Holmes. They liked Smith but he was too similar to Cumberbatch's Holmes in many ways...he later auditioned for the Doctor and the rest is history.

  • May 23, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    So many British TV actors

    by THT3000

  • May 23, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST

    definitely an elf

    by thekylegassproject

    cumberbatch has a very elvish face. i would lay my bet on the high elf of mirkwood.

  • May 23, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST

    wait...

    by thekylegassproject

    nevermind. lee pace is already playing thranduil. still though, he's gotta be an elf...

  • Such a broad, crap version of the character with zero menace... A horrible let-down and a major misstep.

  • May 23, 2011, 9:52 a.m. CST

    That wasn't Moriarty. Just another pawn.

    by David Cloverfield

    Or there's more than one of them... I refuse to believe that such a brilliant show would allow such a shitty performance for no real reason.

  • May 23, 2011, 9:55 a.m. CST

    I ask again

    by alan_poon

    Who has replaced Rob Kazinsky as Fili/Kili?

  • May 23, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Cumberbatch as Doctor Who

    by defcorp

    I remember reading that is was Matt Smith who auditioned for the title role of Sherlock but they had already cast Cumberbatch, Matt had auditioned for Dr Who aswell and got that role.

  • May 23, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    dr pain

    by mara69

    You have no conception of what Middle Earth is or was intended. Tolkien based his Silmarillion, Hobbit and Lord of the Rings on the mythos of Northern Europe, particularly the Finnish Kalevala. Tolkien's intent was to create a mythology for pre-Celtic Britain. And in understanding this and Tolkien's background you can understand the ethnicity of the books and therefore the movies. Ignorance isn't an excuse. Do your homework before you make such stupid remarks.

  • May 23, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    Cameos

    by mara69

    Speaking of cameos, did everyone catch Judy Dench in Pirates of the Caribbean?

  • May 23, 2011, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Too girly for Bard...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    But if they stick a beard on him, might work. <p> Love these idiots who schlump around the internet bitching endlessly about anything that's too "white". It's not even reverse-racism, it's just indescribably stupid! <p> Especially people who complain about Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit movies being "racist" but who've never read the books, probably because they can't read.

  • May 23, 2011, 10:04 a.m. CST

    The problem with Sherlock...

    by Raymond Shaw

    Now I like the Sherlock series and I'm looking forward to more but there one big problem imo . . .SPOILERS . . . . . . . . . The problem is that he doesn't solve anything by using reasoning as was done in the original stories. In the first episode instead of Holmes deducing the identity of the murderer, the killer actually went to see Holmes and then when Holmes was offered the choice of two pills, instead of the script somehow resolving this by using Sherlock's powers of reasoning or powers of observation -- which would have required more intelligence on the part of the writers -- they resorted to Watson murdering the killer. A pretty conventional method used when scriptwriters have written themselves into a corner.

  • May 23, 2011, 10:04 a.m. CST

    BTW, does anyone else think this guy's name seems made up?

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Or slightly dirty? I'LL benedict your cumberbatch, if you get my meaning!

  • May 23, 2011, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Sherlock will always be Basil Rathbone...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    and Watson will always be Patrick Macnee. Sorry.

  • May 23, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Moriarty

    by godric

    I actually thought that the Moriarty at the end of Episode 3 was brilliant and terrifying. It's my favorite sequence of the entire 3 episodes. Can't wait to see what that actor does with the character.

  • May 23, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Moriarty needs to be recast ASAP

    by shutupfanboy

    The one giant problem with that series and after listening to the audio commentary, it won't happen. The rest of is awesome and I can't wait for series 2. I am curious to see who Cumberbatch is in the film, wondering if he is taking one of the two guys who just opted out.

  • May 23, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Elf

    by Phil Black

    Tall, skinny, strange eyes: ELF

  • May 23, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Sherlock

    by Mo_Rephus

    Moriarty in the third installment was absolutely ridiculous. He acted like a jackass, wasn't intimidating and didn't seem anywhere near as intelligent as the character should be. HUGE disappointment. I can only hope they establish that the individual we saw was actually the product of yet another ploy/game by the real Moriarty. As far as the new Doctor Who goes, let's just say I'd rather have good, well told stories with low budget effects (like the original run) than great effects and sloppily told silly stories with incredibly disappointing and moronic endings. "Oh, let's all think about the Doctor and he'll come back!" How silly. The new ones seem like the writers wrote themselves into a corner, didn't know how to get out of it and handed the keyboard over to their five year old. Unlike the original Doctor Who series, the Doctor as written in the new one is an arrogant know-it-all who relies on technology (namely the sonic screwdriver) all too frequently to save the day. He's also written with a bit of a contradiction. He's supposedly this human race loving individual, but often criticizes and belittles the human race comparing them to animals. Then there's the continuity problems. The writers/producers seem to think that because they are dealing with time travel that somehow that means they can write whatever they want and it'll make sense. Not really...when you establish that the new Cybermen are from an alternate universe and then have a story that indicates they have been in collaboration since the beginning of time with every other alien race that's fought the Doctor over the years to finally destroy him, that doesn't really work. Looking forward to Cumberbatch in The Hobbit!! With the one exception I mentioned, I loved the first Sherlock series.

  • ...What was his name? He was in the books, can't remember his name

  • So is that what the casting director or who ever tries to explain to the ethnic minority actor wanting to at least audition for a part in this franchise? "Sorry, you can't be in this deep mythological fantasy land movie because your people didn't exist there. In that FANTASY world". Yeah, right. I'm glad Star Trek has TUVOK, I'm glad when they created him they weren't stuck in the past, adhering that all Vulcan's had to look like Leonard Nimoy. It's really beyond sane belief that any ethnicity other than european can't be apart of a fantasy world filled with hairy footed hobbits, elves, wizards, dwarfs, orcs, floating fire eyes, giant eagles, shadow demons and dragons.

  • May 23, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Elementary, my dear Bilbo!

    by tangcameo

    I doubt that was Moriarty. I'm guessing they'll be a bit more literal about him, making him one of Sherlock's professors from college and he just manipulated a mentally unstable former student to pretend to be him. I'm more interested in the sniper, an obvious reference to Colonel Moran of The Empty House, who will probably turn out to be SAS in the modern version.

  • May 23, 2011, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson to drpain:

    by gurugurugaijin

    "I think you'd make a perfect troll."

  • May 23, 2011, 11:31 a.m. CST

    The all white casting...

    by Hipshot

    Is totally understandable, given the source material...which is racist as hell, but of its time. And not just racist, but culturally elitist, operating from the assumption that the Celtic peoples were superior to all others. All people create such myths, and it is their right to do so. Is it unfortunate that darker-skinned people (riding elephants...) are the villains? Yes. Does it hurt to see that kind of white=good, dark=bad imagery everywhere, all your life? Of course. But it isn't the responsibility of the film-makers to fix that. As you can tell from comments on this board, most white people don't give a shit. They would LOVE to have all the positive imagery favor them, as they have mostly experienced most of their lives. It's all right. As the world gets browner, we'll have the fun of watching them twist in the wind, and have not an ounce of sympathy--as they have extended no sympathy to us.

  • May 23, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Race

    by D Jones

    Ok hipshot or pain ,please explain how the source material is racist? I know most people that argue over silly things like this just make statements ,but give no facts other than rhetoric spewed from other people ,but just once prove what you say you know just for fun.

  • May 23, 2011, 11:51 a.m. CST

    hipshot

    by DirkD13"

    I'm white and my wife is half-nigerian (and half Italian). Hence I agree with you very much but am so fucking sad about it.

  • May 23, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Skinny fuckers...

    by workshed

    ...make me sick. Cumberbatch is superb as Holmes and the only person who would have been better would have been this bloke... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFAxMVRFaQ8

  • May 23, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Racism...

    by Hipshot

    In a work based on a British world view is hierarchical as hell--whites better than non-whites, Brits better than non-Brits. Englishmen better than Irish or Scotts or Welsh Then the whole class thing on top of that. I don't blame them for it, but it is glaringly obvious that's their view. For Christ's sake read Kipling's thoughts on "the lesser breeds." I mean, they're civil about it, but it's there. Add to that the "white is good" and "dark is bad" and you have a pretty clear situation. All cultures do this (say that they are better and more human, etc.) so there's nothing unique about it, or particularly evil about it...it just sucks to be on the sharp end of this shit, and I reserve the right to comment about it.

  • May 23, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    dirkd13"

    by Hipshot

    Sorry that you're sad. Love your wife and kids (if any) and know that this is just human tribalism. It's been around forever, and we're moving past it, slowly. Tolkien was a masterful writer, but a man of his time and culture. Doesn't stop me from enjoying him, or say, ER Burroughs. But you have to have a sense of humor about it...for instance, enjoying watching Jaden Smith play "The Karate Kid" and listening to the internet geeks flip out about it.

  • May 23, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    drpain

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Your insistence that every movie imaginable MUST have "non-white" cast members, whether or not they fit into the film's canon or not, says a lot more about YOU than it does about the filmmakers. <p>And Tuvok is an example of "racial equality", now...a nothing character played by a totally bland actor? As opposed to say, I don't know...Captain Sisko, who was actually the lead on his show? Seems like kind-of a strange example, but okay...

  • May 23, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    While we're at it...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    how about we remove any possible perceived "racism" in Middle-earth for the films, and instead of blatantly killing the Orcs/Goblins, Bilbo and the Dwarves invite them to Elrond's Council to settle their differences through a healthy debate?

  • May 23, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Cumberbatch as Sandman

    by Brian

    Cast Cumberbatch as the Immortal Dream in Neil Gaiman's epic Sandman. I'd love to see this on HBO with a budget like "Game of Thrones" Who else wants to see this?????

  • May 23, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    DrPain, I agree with you.

    by King_Knut

    And while we're on the subject, why were there no white actors in Boyz n the Hood? Or Europeans in the Seven Samurai? Why oh why oh why was there literally NOT A SINGLE HONKY in Cleopatra Jones? That's just racist!

  • May 23, 2011, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Merrick, Cumberbatch was asked about DOCTOR WHO

    by GenreBoy

    There's an interview up on Youtube, where they asked Benedict as to whether he would ever feature in a episode of Doctor Who, after now working with Steven Moffat. He expressed that he didnt want to be in a single episode. Then asked if he wanted to be the Doctor? he smiles and says "Maybe" an says that it hasnt crossed his radar much and then goes back to say, "Not an Episode". You can find the interview here. http://youtu.be/06yazF4SFUU

  • May 23, 2011, 1 p.m. CST

    "hipshop" is Talking hipshit

    by Tassium

    These literatures are of the past, todays Britain (England don't cha know) is far more multi-faceted race-wise than probably any other european nation.

  • May 23, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST

    "Roots" remake supposedly in the pipe

    by Smartacus

    Time to start casting it in a "diverse fashion". I'm going with John Cho in the previously (and very predictable) LeVar Burton role of "Kunta Kinte". First Cho gets to be Sulu, then Kato. He's pretty much got Asian roles in the bag. Lets stretch his acting chops a little bit and see what he can do here. Limping adult version played by Ed O'Neill. Continuity be damned!

  • May 23, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Saw him as the monster in Danny Boyle's "Frankenstein."

    by Lenny Nero

    He was absolutely stunning.

  • May 23, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    tassium--

    by Hipshot

    It may or may not be true that English literature of that period is "more multi-faceted race wise" than other European literature. Doesn't make what I said shit. Just means that the English were less racist than other Europeans. I'm perfectly willing to accept that possibility. They clearly considered whites superior to non-whites, and I'm sorry, that's pretty much a textbook definition of racism: "The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races." So your attempt to insult me is pretty laughable. I never said they were worse than others at the time. Just that Tolkien's work did indeed emerge from a racist context. I don't hold it against the man.

  • May 23, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Benedict Cumberbatch! Alright!!!

    by AsimovLives

  • May 23, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    fa_tass_dinomolester, and Smartacus

    by Hipshot

    Nope, the racism shouldn't be removed. Nor should it be denied. It's just there, man. It doesn't diminish the work, it just means it was created by human beings. We're moving beyond that stuff, slowly, but all you have to do is look at the Talkbacks to see how far there is to go. I've had to live with that understanding. Won't hurt you to do the same. ## Casting "Braveheart" with black people would be asinine: it is an historical piece specifcally dealing with the Scots. The same would be true of "Roots." But fictional works are often different, unless changing races means destroying an entire back-story. Denzel taking a white guy's role in "Pelican Brief" or Jaden Smith in "Karate Kid" doesn't change anything specific about those roles. Casting Will Smith as "Sherlock Holmes" would be absurd. Casting Idris Elba as a "Holmes" like character in a contemporary London might work fairly well, just as casting Yul Brenner in a role played by Takashi Shimura works fine if you shift the rest of the social context. Members of "Group X" rarely complain if "Group X" people take non-"Group X" roles, but squeal like pigs when their favorite roles get taken. It's actually pretty funny to watch.

  • May 23, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Fine...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    I'd admit Tolkien was a product of his culture, which was in fact racist...but bringing political correctness into a film to the point of screwing-up a fictional world is just as dumb as making something offensively racist (which LotR/TH are not)... <p> There are example, such as Idris Elba playing Heimdell, where really, who the fuck cares? <p> TH, however, would be severely screwed up by seeing Billy Dee Williams pop up as a duplicitous elder of Laketown who betrays Thorin and CO. to Smaug, then leads a battalion in in the Battle of Five Armies to "redeem" himself (not that it wouldn't be funny as hell). <P> BTW, I put "redeem" in captions since Lando had a city full of people to look after and hence didn't really do anything intentionally wrong...which is what I was referring to, before any screeches at me.

  • May 23, 2011, 2:13 p.m. CST

    CumberBITCH.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • GIVE. ME. A. BREAK. It's a movie, like any other movie. If it bothers you SOOOOOOOOO much. Then dont watch it. These are the same people who probably saw THOR and bitched at...Why Was some white guy Odin? And WHY is his son Blonde hair & blue eyed. Never mind the fact The Asgardians were multiethnic, they probably still focused on Idris Elba's character and bitched "Why is the Black guy the Door man?!" "And why in the hell are the frost giant "Burple?!?" I's smells me some racism!" it's just tooo damn much. People just need to go an have a coke & a smile.

  • May 23, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Great, now more of my Good Omens dream cast has been...

    by AnnoyYou

    ...co-opted by the damn Hobbit. Sigh. Aidan Turner would have made a great Crowley. Cumberbatch would have been a superlative Aziraphale. Maybe Good Omens will happen when Jackson springs them! Maybe not. Sigh.

  • May 23, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    hipshot -

    by Son of a Butch

    I can't help that notice that between all of your going on and on about racism in British literature and whatnot, you have yet to show just how LOTR, *specifically*, is racist. Is it just... racist by default because of the prevailing attitudes of the time during which it was written? Or what?

  • May 23, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Listen up, nerds.

    by Dr. Strangelove

    Tolkien was not racist, nor were his stories. This idea that Tolkien's "white" characters are all good and his "dark" characters all bad is as simplistic as it is false. Anyone and everyone has the capacity for good or evil in Tolkien's world, as proven by characters like Saruman, Wormtongue and Gollum -- all "white" guys by the way. If this were not so, the ring would not be dangerous. They could simply give it to one of the "good" characters like Gandalf or Elrond to use it or keep it safe. But we know this is not the case. That kind of power can turn anyone evil -- even Frodo. As far as representing other cultures, Tolkien put tremendous effort into telling his tales from a very specific, "historical" point of view. These are stories within stories, and who is telling the story is just as important as the stories themselves. In the case of LOTR, the tale is told by Hobbits and the fellowship, and in a more general sense, the "Free Peoples" of the northwest corner of Middle-Earth. Just as the Romans had little knowledge or interest in the details of the cultures outside their own realm, the Easterlings and Hardrim seemed strange and exotic (and probably barbaric) to the protagonists of the War of the Ring. But Tolkien is quite clear that it would be a grave mistake for the reader to make those same assumptions about these distant cultures who have fallen under Sauron's evil influence -- just as many "white" elves and "noble" Numenorians had been corrupted in previous ages. Sam's thoughts as he observes the body of the dead Easterling in The Two Towers is all the evidence you need that Tolkien did not regard these other "races" of men as inferiors or innately evil: <i>"It was Sam's first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil at heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace."</i> These are not the words of a racist. They are the words of a man who experienced first-hand the hell-on-earth that was "modern warfare" in WWI and understands that there are orcs and heroes to be found on every side of every conflict. These cries of racism speak more to the ignorance and prejudices of the critics than to anything actually found in Tolkien's work.

  • May 23, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Fine, it's racist. Know what? I don't care.

    by Smartacus

    Look, I don't give a flying fuck who thinks it's racist or even if they're right. I've read these books all my life, seen them depicted repeatedly in pictures and later in animation. I expect them to be white just like I expect Superman to be white or Batman to be white, or Spider-Man to be white. I am sorry if this makes little black boys the world over upset or in some way feel neglected but I will not enjoy a Hobbit film if it contains a racially mixed bunch of dwarves trodding along to Erebor. I have no interest in seeing "Asian Dwarf" followed by "Gay Dwarf", and then "Black Dwarf" with all their associated distinctive behavior and campy dialogue. It just doesn't work for me and I'm not about to apologize for that. Like probably every single person who will see this film I hope to see something on screen that is as close to what I have imagined for most of my life as possible. Like probably every single person who will see this film I expect to be disappointed in a number of areas. For everything Jackson got right in LOTR I found a few details here and there that didn't fit my preconceived notions. That's the way it goes though. If he got it mostly right (and he did) then that's all I could ask.

  • May 23, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    son of a butch

    by Hipshot

    LOTR specifically racist? You mean as in white people and black people? There were no "negroes" in LOTR although it was pretty clear that the "whiter" you were (fairies, in this case) the "better" you were, and the darker creatures were worse. No, it's the social context in which the entire thing exists. The "my group is better than yours" is pretty universal. You'll notice that I've never suggested that the casting be multiethnic. But others keep bringing that up, and then talking about how absurd it is. Well, that's fine, but I'm just having a conversation about the underlying psychology and sociology of these things. Hell, I enjoy Tolkien's work. Racism is pretty much hard-wired into us, and it takes generations of specific aversive conditioning to re-wire that shit. Note the comments on this board for evidence. People don't even like it being pointed out, but it amuses me to do so. So yeah, when you're watching armies of white, good people slaughtering armies of evil dark people, we both know perfectly well you wouldn't enjoy it as much the other way around. But it is certainly entertaining to make you show your true colors...and so EASY too!

  • May 23, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Tony Cox? WTF?

    by Smartacus

    Damon Wayans or NOTHING!

  • May 23, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    My "it's racist" title comment.

    by Smartacus

    To be specific hipshot I was referring to my desire to see LOTR with a cast of all white characters as "Fine, it's racist". Not the work itself. I've always thought that anyone who found LOTR or any of Tolkiens work to be racist was an imbecile. I meant that if my desire to see it cast the way I imagined it was racist then fine, so be it. I don't care.

  • May 23, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Orcs = Blacks

    by slaughterstorm

    Seriously though, all the Uruk-Hai warriors were played by big black dudes and native New Zealanders.

  • May 23, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Ok, Uruk-Hai casting...

    by Smartacus

    If you begin with the premise that all of the primary characters in a story are white European types then you're probably not going to be casting a lot of "non-white" people in those roles don't you think? That just kind of stands to reason. Now, you're casting Uruk-Hai. These roles will be wearing plenty of makeup. The primary prerequisit for playing these parts is that you are big. It isn't that you're black or Maori. It's that you have the physical stature to play the part. Now, are you a racist because you offer those jobs to anyone who meets your primary prerequisit? Are you absolutely certain that only black people and those Maori ancestry were offered roles as orcs or Uruk-Hai? Where others see racism I see an opportunity offered to people who would otherwise not have a part in this film at all. Just like you don't cast a lot of 400 pound ham-beasts in your movie about the last days of a barracks in Auschwitz you don't cast too many black people in LOTR or The Hobbit.

  • May 23, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST

    I was going to weigh in

    by Mr Lucas

    but dr. strangelove basically ended the whole argument with his eloquent post.

  • May 23, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Cumberbitch does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Ha Choppah - I like it! BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH TO PLAY THE KING OF THE WOOD ELVES. spoiler: These are the Elves who capture the dwarves (later freed by Bilbo in the barrels). The Wood Elf King also leads one of the five armies. No, I don't know this for sure, but given that part hasn't been announced as cast yet and the fact that Cumberbatch does pretty much look like an Elf King i'd bet big that's the one.

  • May 23, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    GREAT!

    by Warren Fahy

    This guy's great, as is the updated SHERLOCK. I think he's the best Sherlock ever -- never cared much for Brett and while Rathbone was fantastic, the material he worked with was not so much. Cumberbatch is the closest to ever capturing the quixotic genius in action.

  • May 23, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Tolkien's orcs weren't blacks. They were lower class / working class english - cockney. Read the dialogue, it's all there.

  • May 23, 2011, 4:39 p.m. CST

    soooo - it's not ACTUALLY racist, then.

    by Son of a Butch

    Unless you think orcs as a race were unjustly villified.

  • May 23, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    @Godric Cool name. Buechner fan?

    by Mickster_Island

  • May 23, 2011, 4:42 p.m. CST

    @Godric Cool name. Buechner fan?

    by Mickster_Island

  • May 23, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Anyone seen FRANKENSTEIN with Benedict Cumberbatch?

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    I heard it was pretty good.

  • May 23, 2011, 5:20 p.m. CST

    cobra--kai, apparently Lee Piss doesn't exist in this dojo, either...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    because he was announced as playing Thranduil back in April: <p>http://www.facebook.com/notes/peter-jackson/casting-news/10150239464391558

  • May 23, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    And weirdly

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    he's two years younger than his "son", Orlando Bloom.

  • May 23, 2011, 5:52 p.m. CST

    the_choppah, have you seen SHERLOCK yet?

    by AsimovLives

  • May 23, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Beware the jabberwock, my son...

    by mbg98

    The jaws that bite! The claws that catch! Beware the jub jub bird... And shun the frumious Cumberbatch.... Ok maybe not.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:05 a.m. CST

    dr. strangelove

    by PatientZer0

    Well fuckin said. I'm Irish, so I can say whatever the hell I want, so here goes: You want more dark people in literature? WRITE SOME FUCKING LITERATURE. And stock it with dark people. You want more dark people in movies? MAKE SOME FUCKING MOVIES. And stock them with dark people. But here's the deal: You don't get to bitch when a product of a person's culture (You know, that thing you're whining about but obviously don't possess enough of to create your own shit) doesn't include people, races, or ideals that are not endemic to that culture. "At least George gave us Lando"...You idiot. George didn't give you shit. And you might think less about what people can give you, and what you can create for yourselves. Fuckin' racists. Raising yourself or your people or your culture up doesn't require tearing someone else's down. It does, however, require that you MAN THE FUCK UP and earn what you want.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:11 a.m. CST

    smartacus

    by PatientZer0

    To your point, I saw a lot of white faces under the Uruk Hai makeup in the appendices in the LOTR Extended editions. And to Hipshot and the other fucko whose handle I don't care to scroll up and read: There's a difference between Racism (where a race is diminished by the conscientious application of pressures or barriers) and the presence of Race. Making a film true to it's euro-centric roots is the presence of race. Making a film where you change the thrust of a story's euro-centric roots is racist. It's not about the casting, dick, it's about the intention.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Has Bard been cast? Or the Necromancer?

    by Dennis_Moore

  • May 24, 2011, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Ah, hipshot. Good to see you again.

    by spud_mcspud_returns

    I love these discourses on race, and since you are particularly intelligent, and raise some very interesting points, I'd like to spar with you a little.<P> "Members of "Group X" rarely complain if "Group X" people take non-"Group X" roles, but squeal like pigs when their favorite roles get taken. It's actually pretty funny to watch." Well, I await the all-white ROOTS or the day that Benedact Cumberbitch plays Malcolm X with interest. By your own quote above, that would send non-white viewers into a frenzy. I believe we had this discussion a few years back in a WHO TB - this idea you have that "most white people don't give a shit. They would LOVE to have all the positive imagery favor them, as they have mostly experienced most of their lives." And as I said back then, what's stopping black people from creating their OWN mythologies for themselves, creating black heroes, black movies, black stories? You can't even claim that Hollywood isn't doing this - Blade is played by Wesley Snipes - a black actor playing a black character. Michael Bay's entire career began with a high-octane action classic starring two black leads. The liberals are working hard to make us understand the plight of the black man in modern America - remember WHITE MAN'S BURDEN, with John Travolta? Subtle as a sledgehammer, but an utterly white liberal response to the kind of whining you're alluding to with your comments. If the (admittedly mostly white) Hollywood makes movies where black people are the villains, they're in the wrong. (Shall we forget that the vast majority of movies made by black film-makers depict either black-on-black violence, eg BOYZ N THE HOOD, or focus on perpetuating the black stereotyping that seems so prevalent in Western culture??). If Hollywood makes movies where black people are NOT shooting each other in gang fights, or slapping their bitches around, or perpetuating the aforementioned black stereotype in other ways, then they're accused of making black characters "too white", and are in the wrong. Would you, hand on heart, argue that black film-makers - who, after all, are the first wave of people you'd need to break this stranglehold of white-dominated myth-perpetuating - are actually breaking these stereotypes - or perpetuating them for profit? Spike Lee, for all his bluster, just keeps on with the myth of how the white man keeps the black man down. You know what? It's 2011. We have a BLACK PRESIDENT. Whether or not you can argue he got there by merit or by virtue of white post-imperialist guilt combined with voting on race rather than policy - doesn't matter. He's THERE. Black people have attained the highest political office in the Western world. WHY are you still going on about the white man keeping the brother man down?<P> As for Tolkien - in his time, attitudes were certainly more racist than they are now. But looking at THE HOBBIT sociopolitically, Hobbits are a race that never travel, never leave their immediate geography, and NEVER breed outside their own race. They're NOT meant to be seen as a different species - they're as human as Men, Elves, Dwarves and the rest. If you imagine Middle-Earth as a more tribal, less integrated version of our own world, the likelihood of a race as insular as the Hobbits retaining the same skin colour and characteristics is not unbelievable at all. Do I think Tolkien was racist? Possibly - but only if you define a racist as a person who doesn't want to see every race merged into one. He was proud of being English, proud of what England was, and he fought for that. Is that so wrong? The Hobbits represented his own worldview in that way, and though they don't hate other races, they don't like to integrate with them either. Which should be acceptable, in a truly liberal world. If I were to say that Africans should stop going on about being proud of being African, I'd be derided for saying that - and rightly so; people should be proud of who they are, where they're from, and the positive things they stand for. Hollywood was founded by (mostly) white people - more specifically, by another persecuted race - the Jews. Arguably the Jews suffered a more focussed, more vicious, more successful near-genocide under the Nazis than the Africans ever have. The Jews were almost completely wiped out. They recovered from this, a percentage of Jews moved to America post-war, supported and invested in the nascent motion picture industry, and now dominate Hollywood. And you know what? GOOD ON THEM. They got involved, worked hard, and created a form of entertainment that continues to dominate the West. I have yet to hear any Jewish people on these talkbacks, whining about how awful it is that Jews are under-represented on screen and in Middle-Earth and anywhere else (which I know you haven't said, but countless others such as mr.pain-in-the-ass have), or that Jewish people are massively stereotyped in Western entertainment, or anything else. They have just got on with making movies and changing things by increments, and not let racism (and let's face it, anti-Semitism is anything but dead, unfortunately) stop them.<P> When black entertainment keeps on churning out violent morons like Chris Brown, who only serve to perpetuate negative stereotypes of black people, ask yourself - can you keep on blaming the whites for these stereotypes, when black people are so happy to play up to them for profit? For every Will.I.Am, there are ten DMXs - for every progressive black artist, there are ten happy to act like gangstas, to rap about hos and money, or to constantly whine about a segregation that ended nearly half a century ago. You can't put this on white people. If you want to see more black people in the Western media, get them to stop whining about the past, look to the future as EQUALS with every other race, and to stop relating everything to the past, when you're trying to build toward the future.<P> As for Jaden Smith in THE KARATE KID - I was more bothered that he was learning kung fu. Shouldn't the movie have been THE KUNG FU KID? Why not just, you know, teach him KARATE? Or better yet, since you can't improve on the original, don't make the fucking movie? But if you want a properly racist treatment of a character currently at the movies, look at Idris Elba's Heimdall in THOR. Initially, there was a massive outcry that someone who wasn't Nordic looking - or even white - was playing a god. Which is RIDICULOUS - they're fucking GODS. But get past that, and what is Heimdall in the end?? For all the misguided fanboy bluster, and Branagh's uptight middle-class liberal justifications, Idris Elba basically plays... a doorman. Yes, the only black guy in Asgard is the guy that says "Your name's not down, you're not coming in". Now THAT is perpetuating a negative black stereotype...

  • May 24, 2011, 4:32 a.m. CST

    And as for this SHERLOCK...

    by spud_mcspud_returns

    I read somewhere once that the reason the working-class Brits don't rise up and overthrow our Tory overlords is that we have grown too accustomed, through centuries of being ruled by effete obscenely rich upper-class bastards, to having posh leaders, which explains why the Tories and Labour constantly change places in Government and nobody else gets a look in. (The fact that Labour is now basically also Tory except for the bleeding-heart liberal wankers is usually overlooked for this argument). Basically, we prostrate ourselves at the feet of anyone with a posh accent and an attitude of supreme arrogance.<P> This would explain why everybody loves SHERLOCK - effete public schoolboy genius Cumberbitch spends 90 mins sneering at (and condescending to) everybody around him, while solving crimes using methods not much evolved from WHERE'S WALLY? and a CSI Wii game. In the entire course of 90 mins, nobody thinks to deck this smug bastard, nobody wants to punch him in his arrogant, self-satisfied feline fucking boat-race, and nobody calls him a cunt.<P> Absolute rubbish. SHERLOCK is basically fanwank where Steven Moffat has written his smug attitude into the character of Sherlock Holmes, and turned him into the GQ version of a modern detective - a man so vapid that nobody wants to emulate his innovative and lef-field methods of detection (because he doesn't have any); rather, the Times supplements and men's fashion mags have devoted reams of waffle to Sherlock's "fashion" (wouldn't a genius devoted to nothing but intellectual pursuits eschew fashion altogether, wearing identical clothes as Einstein did, to conserve precious intellectual exertion?). This just shows this show for what it is: Moffat and Gatiss' slavish devotion to a re-interpretation that ignores genius for fashion sense, substitutes social awkwardness for breathtaking arrogance, and turns a man unable to do much of anything except think into an example of the upper-class gentleman twat that Moff and Gatiss so utterly worship and patently wish they were.<P> If SHERLOCK is who most TV writers wish they were, they can have him. He's a wanker, and a completely dislikeable one at that. And as for it being an innovative re-interpretation... PLEASE. Superimposing "WRONG!" as a text message over everybody who gets the message isn't clever, it's fucking silly. All the bells and whistles on this re-imagining only serve to show how little this SHERLOCK has to do with the stories or the previous versions. It's all style, zero substance. It's shit.

  • May 24, 2011, 4:36 a.m. CST

    One last broadside, hipshot...

    by spud_mcspud_returns

    "So yeah, when you're watching armies of white, good people slaughtering armies of evil dark people, we both know perfectly well you wouldn't enjoy it as much the other way around."<P> Lies, damned lies. When Wesley Snipes is carving up those skinny honky mofos in BLADE - and the oriental guys, and white guys, and other black guys etc - I fucking LOVED it. Because Wesley Snipes is so fucking COOL in those movies, I want to BE Wesley Snipes after I've watched them. Cool transcends colour, and Snipes is very, very cool.

  • May 24, 2011, 5:25 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    fa-tass-dinomolester, aha! I gambled big... and lost! I've got to feel sorry for a guy called Lee Piss though.

  • May 24, 2011, 6:29 a.m. CST

    spud_mcspud_returns, you think SHERLOCK is crap? OH C'MON, MAN!!

    by AsimovLives

  • May 24, 2011, 6:31 a.m. CST

    From his own mouth

    by MoffatBabies

    in an interview he made it clear that he was not interested in being IN Doctor Who. If I remember correctly, when asked to clarify, he made it pretty clear he wanted the main role.I really, REALLY hope that when the time comes for Smith to step down, for whatever reason, Cumberbatch takes the part.

  • May 24, 2011, 7:29 a.m. CST

    moffatbabies, that would be cool.

    by AsimovLives

  • May 24, 2011, 7:33 a.m. CST

    If Cumberbatch wants to be the 12th Doctor

    by Christopher Bynum

    I'm down with that, but he would be awesome as the Master.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:20 a.m. CST

    "This would explain why everybody loves SHERLOCK"

    by buggerbugger

    Not everyone. I thought it was absolute fucking arsery which managed to tick off pretty much every item on my mental list of What You'd Include If You Were Writing A Very Predictable 21st Century Updating Of Sherlock Holmes within the first 90-minute smugfest. It didn't really help matters by having Mark "Tedium By Numbers" Gatiss writing an episode. The only thing that could have signalled "This very short series is already fucked" quicker would have been an on-screen writing credit ascribed to Chris "Risible Shite" Chibnall or Gary "Banal Fanwank" Russell.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Moffat is spread too thin

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    I blame this side project Sherlock for this season of Dr Who being subpar so far (other than one great episode TDW). Dude needs to focus on his primary job.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    I licked my wife's Cumberbatch...Twas tasty.

    by blackmantis

  • May 24, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Edward Hardwicke

    by Psychonaut

    Aside from the very long posts about whether Orcs are racist (or something) this TB would seem to be the best place to mention something which I thought might warrant a story on this site, but doesn't seem to have been given one. Last weekend, the best onscreen interpreter of Dr John Watson, died. Edward Hardwicke played Watson in all but the first season of Granada Television's adaptations of the Holmes stories in the 1980s - early 1990s, opposite the late Jeremy Brett as Holmes. Hardwicke's Watson was solid, dependable and intelligent. He and Brett had a fantastic chemistry, and excellent as Cumberbatch/Freeman, Rathbone/Bruce and many others have been over the years, I think that it was Brett and Hardwicke who best captured the relationship that was in the books: a profound friendship and mutual respect. Watson full of admiration for Holmes' brilliance, but at the same time enough of his own man to scold Holmes when the detective placed himself in danger through rashness or single-mindedness. Perhaps more importantly, Hardwicke's portrayal of Watson as cheerful, decent, charming and brave, with sometimes the impish sense of humour of an overgrown schoolboy, all made it plausible why the solitary, misanthropic Holmes would come to hold the affection for Watson that is displayed in the books (as Holmes hisses at one villain who took a shot at Watson in one of the later stories: "If you had killed Watson, you would not have left this room alive.") RIP Mr Hardwicke