Sean Astin Willing, But Not Hopeful For 'Hobbit' Role

Sean Astin in 'The Lord of the Rings'Like so many bodies strewn lifeless across the Pelennor Fields, our hopes for an eventual "Hobbit" movie directed by Peter Jackson appeared dead, struck down as the battle for control of Middle-earth wages on. Now however, with recent news on possible movement on a New Line/Peter Jackson conciliation, it appears that our pint-sized friends may return yet again. And that's no surprise to one heroic hobbit.

"I've said since before we started making the movies and have never wavered for a second that 'The Hobbit' would get made," Sean Astin -- who portrayed Samwise Gamgee -- insisted, while out promoting his new film, "The Final Season." "The fanbase wants it. There's too much money to be made doing it. It seems like maybe the time is now."

But even if the Shire is saved, it won't be saved for Sam, who isn't born until 2980 T.A. (1380 by the Shire reckoning), 39 years AFTER Bilbo leaves Bag End with Gandalf in search of Dwarf treasure.

"But obviously Peter is so creative that he can find a way to connect that character if he wanted to,” Sean said, adding to an echoing chorus of "LOTR" stars like Viggo Mortensen, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom who say they would be game for anything Jackson came up with. "[And] he knows that anytime, anywhere, he could just make a phone call or send an email and I'd get on a plane and go anywhere he wanted me to."

One way Jackson COULD include Sam in another story, of course, would be to make a long rumored second film, one that connected the events of "The Hobbit" with the beginning of "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring." But even if he did that, it wouldn't leave much room for Astin.

"It would bum me out is if somebody else played Samwise," he said. "[But] I suppose he could hire a little kid to play Samwise because he's the son of Hamfast Gamgee and Hamfast [is approximately] the age of Bilbo."

Or maybe Astin himself could play the Old Gaffer in a bit of cross-generational casting?

"No, I haven't [talked to Peter about doing a cameo in 'The Hobbit' but] it'll be interesting to see what he does,” Astin enthused. "He's the master."

Sam's long been my favorite character in Tolkien's work, and my favorite passage the scene where he talks to Frodo about being a character in a book. Do you have a favorite Sam quote or passage? Sound off below.