Lord of the Rings

Last Update: 23 September 1999

23 September 1999

Sean has been confirmed in the part of Boromir in The Fellowship of the Rings, the first film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Click here for the Lord of the Rings page.

04:00 PST, Tuesday, 14 September, 1999:

Despite assorted confirmations of Sean being cast as Boromir in LOTR on various websites, Sean's agent in the UK has advised me the role is still being negotiated.

I received the following message from Sean's agent this morning:

As Sean Bean's agent and the person negotiating the deal for Sean Bean on LOTR, I can confirm that Harry Knowles is correct in that Sean Bean has been offered the part of Boromir by New Line, however until satisfactory negotiations have been concluded and we are currently still in discussions, I would never assume that anything is definite.

Out of fairness to Sean and his agent -- and not to take anything away from all the webmasters who have diligently been tracking the casting of the LOTR trilogy, and who have been in touch and who have directed fans of LOTR to The Compleat -- until I receive absolute confirmation from London that all the negotiations are over and done with, all the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted, Sean Bean as Boromir will stay on the Rumours page (for now).

Useful links:

The following article appeared in The Mail on Sunday (UK), 12 September 1999:

Sean's Bean cast as lord of the ring
By Chris Brandes

Sean Bean has landed a leading role in a new Hollywood epic based on Tolkien's best-selling adventure Lord of the Rings.

The 40-year-old actor, who played the hard-hitting soldier Sharpe in the ITV series, will star as the warrior Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring, the first movie of the film trilogy.

Last night, a Hollywood insider said: "It's a fantastic role for Sean. The three movies are expected to be huge box office hits.

"It's quite a large role although the character will not be in the two sequels."

Sean - whose rogue secret service agent Alec Trevelyan battled Pierce Brosnan's James Bond in GoldenEye - will appear alongside other British stars including Sir Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee and Ian Holm.

The insider added: "Executives have been after Sean for quite some time. They're delighted he is finally on board for the project."

Sean's character Boromir is described as a "tall and handsome" lord - who joins the quest to destroy the evil Sauron.

He is initially tempted to possess the ring but redeems himself by saving his companions during battle.

Sean, last seen as real-life SAS man Andy McNab in a TV version of the book Bravo Two Zero, will start work on the movie in New Zealand next month.

07:00 PST 10 September 1999:

Early yesterday morning (09 Sep) I received the following email from Cirdan, one of the webmasters running a LOTR website on the Internet:

Hi Winona,

this I morning I got a mail from Michael Deluca (New Line Cinema).
He confirmed that Sean Bean is the warrior Boromir in the Lord-of-the-Rings-Trilogy!!!!
Great News :)

Cirdan from the German/English LotR-MovieNews-Site http://come.to/Herr-der-Ringe

Although Cirdan didn't provide details in his email, he later posted the text of his correspondence with Michael Deluca on his web page. The text is as follows:

I got the confirmation from Mr. Michael Deluca from New Line Cinema himself that Sean Bean will play Boromir in the upcoming Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And we all know..he will die at the end of the first movie...

Yesterday I sent this e-mail to Mr. Michael Deluca:

Subject: Re: lotr
Author: stefan.servos@okay.net (Cirdan) at INTERNET
Date: 9/9/99 1:22 AM

Hi Mr. Deluca,

in the name of all Tolkien-Fans:
give us a hint: Who will play Boromir ...

(Sean Bean???)

CU, Cirdan from Germany


Mr. Deluca´s replay:

To: Cirdan
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 1999 11:59 PM
Subject: Re[2]: lotr
> it's sean bean

Shortly thereafter, Xoanon at theonering.net/ posted the following information on his website:

Bean IS Boromir!!!
Xoanon @ 9:27 am CST

Xoanon here,

Michael Deluca the emailiac as I like to call him, has apparently mentioned that Sean Bean will indeed play Boromir. The news is on Cirdans LOTR page, hopefully more news to follow as I check up on this.

UPDATED!(10:40am ET)

TheOnering.net™ has just learned, through Sean Bean's agent that he HAS been cast as Boromir, this is official confirmation! TheOneRing.net™ just placed the call a few moments ago to the UK. :)


At more or less the same time, Harry from Ain't It Cool News posted the following message:

LORD OF THE RINGS Casting: Boromir is Confirmed

Hey folks, Harry here. Cirdan from Germany got confirmation yesterday from Deluca that Sean Bean has been cast as Boromir. At the same time, TheOneRing.Net confirmed the casting with Sean Bean's agent. So there ya have it. The Fellowship is apparently completed now. Now... let's finish up that casting, and begin hearing about the rest of the production. Sets, effects, and all of that fun stuff!

At 0730 PST (09 September 99) I emailed my contact at Sean's agency in London. I specifically asked:

Is Sean confirmed as Boromir in Lord of the Rings?

and I quoted the initial information which had been provided to me by Cirdan.

The response I received at 1507 GMT (09 September 99) was that Sean's agent was still in negotiations re: Sean and this role.

As of 07:00 PST (1500 GMT)(10 September 99) the situation remains unchanged.

Ain't It Cool News (Harry Knowles)
September 6, 1999

So... Where are we now? Basically at this point. All the 'Fellowship' is cast except Boromir ...Gandalf is Ian McKellen. Merry is Dominic Monaghan. Pippen is Billy Boyd. Sam is Sean Astin. Frodo is Elijah Wood. Aragorn is Stuart Townsend. Legolas is Orlando Bloom. Gimli is John Rhys-Davies. These are all CONFIRMED. As for Boromir, we know that Sean Bean is being talked with, BUT has not been cast and may not be depending how the negotiations go. Boromir is the last of the 'Fellowship' to be filled. And... I'll be working to get ya the latest on that front.

Ain't It Cool News (Harry Knowles)
August 30, 1999

LORD OF THE RINGS casting: Boromir + Gollum descriptions

Well... Apparently I have yet to nail one, but I do have Boromir. The actor that New Line and Peter Jackson are currently looking at is Sean Bean (006). Sean is apparently in negotiations and is not quite yet signed, but he is the leading contender at the moment for the role of Boromir... and one source involved in the L.A. realm tells me he's in. Personally, I have taken quite a likening to this casting as Sean Bean is one of those actors we really don't see that much of.

Lord of the Rings/Sean Bean Rumour History

Rumours of a live-action movie centred around J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit began to surface in 1997. An article, Hobbits to risk all in dark land of Middle Hollywood, appeared in the London Sunday Times on 25th May, 1997. Sean's name didn't appear at this point, although Danny DeVito and Sean Connery were touted as being prime candidates to play important roles.

Sean Bean - in the part of Strider - began to be associated with the proposed live-action film in two newsgroups, alt.fan.tolkien and rec.arts.books.tolkien.

Ain't It Cool News has been following the development of the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings story. On 6-02-97, they reported that Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures) was set to direct a feature version of the film for Miramax, and that Saul Zaentz (The English Patient) would be producing.

In that same column, Ain't It Cool News reported that a British newspaper (The Sunday Mirror) had reported that Sean Connery was in talks to play Gandalf for the project, and that Saul Zaentz apparently wanted Sean Bean to portray Strider. Zaentz "views Sean as the next Ralph Fiennes, and was sold on Bean because of his performance in the British TV show Sharpe's Rifles."

An article in US News and World Report (97 03 10) (Goodbye, Darth Vader. Hello, Gandalf - Will Lord of the Rings be the next retro hit? by John Marks) confirmed that Saul Zaentz owned the movie rights to the Tolkien works and that he was negotiating over the property with Miramax Films, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co.

An item appeared in Ain't It Cool News on January 24, 1998, purporting to quote Sean's agent as stating, "This is the type of role we're looking at for Sean. We're very pleased he's been linked to the film." This quote has not been verified.

An article in the February 1998 issue of Dreamwatch, a British sci-fi magazine, reported that apparently, after legal wrangles and negotiations caused by Tolkien putting a clause in his will forbidding Disney purchasing the rights, production on the film was set to start.

Miramax had apparently bought the rights from Saul Zaentz. Peter Jackson was still the director, through his own company, Wingnut Films. Shooting was set to start in the spring. And while Sean Connery was 'at one time' linked to Gandalf, Sean Bean was still apparently after the Aragorn/Strider role.

Meanwhile, in another twist to this saga, Peter Jackson, on January 30, 1998, posted a message on his Official fan website, in which he stated:

"I'm working on an unnamed film for Miramax Films. I've signed a confidentiality agreement which prevents me from discussing it until Miramax decides otherwise."

"There is obviously spectulation about what this project is, but don't bother asking questions about it, because I can't answer them at this time. I will not confirm, or deny, what the movie is."

"Most of the rumours I read on the net about my next project are total rubbish. In fact I've hardly seen anything approaching the truth, so don't believe everything you read ... keep an open mind at all times!"

"I will not tell you what I am working on, but:

  1. It is not produced by Saul Zaentz. I've never met, or spoken to Saul Zaentz.
  2. It will not star Sean Connery.
  3. Dreamworks, Spielberg, Lucas, are not involved in any way, and never have been."

On August 24, 1998, however, NEW LINE CINEMA announced: "Filmmaker Peter Jackson will make a live-action LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy for the studio, which will be shot back-to-back over about a year, with a combined budget of over $130 million. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is being considered for a Christmas 2000 release, followed by THE TWO TOWERS in the summer of 2001, and THE RETURN OF THE KING at Christmas 2001. Jackson will direct, co-write, and co-produce the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, with Saul Zaentz and MIRAMAX's Bob and Harvey Weinstein as executive producers. Production on the film, which does not yet have a cast, will begin next year, in New Zealand. NEW LINE has also acquired the rights to THE HOBBIT, and the worldwide merchandising rights to consumer products based on the film property."

Further to that, a message posted to the alt.fan.tolkien newsgroup on August 28, 1998 re: casting in general and for Strider/Aragorn in particular claimed:

"...while Peter Jackson "officially" is saying that no casting has been done, the gossip mill says that he already has a handshake deal with Sean Bean (Patriot Games, Goldeneye, the Sharpe series) who it seems is a great Tolkien fan and has lobbied hard for the part."

After nearly a year of speculation and rumouring, it was at last announced by Ain't It Cool News, as well as a number of other reliable news outlets, that the role of Strider/Aragorn would in fact be played by actor Stuart Townsend.

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