PARK CITY, Utah — In the eyes of many geeks, “Star Wars” ruined its perfect batting average by going back to the well, as did “Indiana Jones” and several other notable franchises. But now, [movieperson id="259466"]Dominic Monaghan[/movieperson] is promising that “[movie id="21104"]Lord of the Rings[/movie]” won’t leave a similar bad-sequel aftertaste in the mouths of its beloved fans.
And, to ensure it, Monaghan and his fellow Hobbits are making plans to once again return to Middle-earth.
“They really want us to come back, and I think there’s a really strong chance that we might be back,” Monaghan revealed to MTV News at the Sundance Film Festival, doing publicity for his Slamdance breakout “I Sell the Dead.”
While it remains to be seen whether his old friends [movieperson id="67985"]Elijah Wood[/movieperson], [movieperson id="2368"]Sean Astin[/movieperson] and [movieperson id="228738"]Billy Boyd[/movieperson] feel the same way about returning for “The Hobbit” or another possible prequel in development, Monaghan was eager to add his name to the returning “LOTR” talents. “It’s being produced by [movieperson id="84517"]Peter Jackson[/movieperson], who obviously made the first films, and his special-effects company are making it,” he explained. “It’s directed by Guillermo del Toro, who I think, outside of Peter Jackson, would be the number-one person to give this any amount of the tenderness that it deserves. Obviously, [movieperson id="42067"]Ian McKellen’s[/movieperson] going to be back for it, and [movieperson id="183055"]Andy Serkis[/movieperson] is going to be back for it.”
As die-hard fans of J.R.R. Tolkien know all too well, however, the participation of Monaghan and friends means that new scenes will have to be added to the beloved book. “We’re not in ‘The Hobbit,’ no, but I think the idea in [Jackson's, Del Toro's and the other producers'] heads is that the trilogy of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films was so beloved by the fans that they’re really keen to try to say thank you for the support that they gave to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies and possibly bring back some of those characters that they know and love,” he explained of new story lines.
“It’s a completely different story,” Monaghan continued. “You don’t have the same characters all the way through it. And I always read ‘The Hobbit’ as being more of a children’s introduction to the story, and then ‘Lord of the Rings’ was kind of the main piece.”
As for the “going back to the well too many times” stigma that haunted Indiana Jones last year, Monaghan insists he isn’t afraid of pushing his perfect record as Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck a bit further.
“I don’t really see myself retiring [Merry]. I don’t have any kind of retirement ideas,” said Monaghan, whose angst-ridden “Lost” character Charlie Pace has brought him an equal amount of fame in recent years. “You obviously want to be careful that you’re playing the same beats. You just re-explore that character. And I think once you’re in your Hobbit feet and your Hobbit costume, it’s pretty easy to get back in there.
“And you would watch the films,” he said of his plans to prepare to play Merry again. “And try to understand the tonality of what you were trying to play. I was trying to play a boy, like an 11-year-old boy [in the original films], so I would just go back into what it was like to be a boy and have that sense of innocence [again]. So it’s not a huge push to get me back in there.
“I’ve been chatting with Pete and [writers] Fran [Walsh] and Philippa [Boyens] about the chance of us coming back,” he said of the recent activity that fans all over the world will undoubtedly find precious. “I think the fans of the first three ‘Lord of the Rings’ films will be charmed by going back into the world.”
The MTV Movies team is the braving Utah temperatures, celebrity-packed screenings and swag-filled parties at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to bring you news and sneak peeks of the big screen’s next big things. Head over to the MTV Movies blog for reviews, interviews, clips and more.