The past couple of weeks have seen a number of familiar "Lord of the Rings" faces confirm their returns to Middle-Earth in Peter Jackson's upcoming two-part prequel, "The Hobbit": First Elijah Wood joined up as "LOTR" hero Frodo Baggins, then news broke that Andy Serkis had locked a deal to reappear as Gollum, and finally came the refreshing news that Sir Ian McKellen is back on board as wisdom-spewing wizard Gandalf. But although reports of Orlando Bloom's return as Elvish archer Legolas in "The Hobbit" surfaced more than a month ago, we've had no confirmation since.
Today, however, comes word from Movieweb (via Heat World) that Bloom is indeed nearing a deal to reprise the beloved role. But here's the kicker: According to the report, he's in line to receive a cool $1 million for what will be just a two-minute cameo.
Now, no sources were cited in Heat World's report, so we taking this rumor with a big grain of salt. Should the rumor prove true, however, Bloom would reportedly be making more for 120 seconds of screen time than the paychecks of Aidan Turner and Robert Kazinsky, who play dwarfs Kili and Fili in the films. As diehard J.R.R. Tolkein fans surely know, Kili and Fili accompany Bilbo on his quest to kill the dragon Smaug and reclaim the Lonely Mountain, while Legolas doesn't even appear in the author's "Hobbit" tome (so he'd hardly have an integral role in the films).
So we're betting the $1M figure is a bit inflated, though we are banking on Bloom's involvement in the films. In all likelihood, he would appear in much the same way that Wood is set to make his return: in a set-up sequence at the beginning of both "Hobbit" films in which the story of Bilbo's fictional novel, "The Hobbit, or There and Back Again," is either read from or related.
With the way casting is shaping up, it could be that this introductory sequence is planned to occur somewhere in the middle of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," with the entire Fellowship huddled around a campfire as Gandalf regales them with Bilbo's adventure. If that's the case, we'd be pretty psyched because that would likely mean that Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Bean, Billy Boyd and John Rys-Davies casting announcements are soon to come. Cross your fingers!
Do you think $1 million is too much for a two-minute cameo? And what do you think of the theory that the "Hobbit" story will be told by Gandalf to the members of the Fellowship?