SmaugThe two-billion dollar, two picture prequel based on an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book “The Hobbit” rumor mill has started to churn, with speculations about the voice actors (and on-camera actors) popping up, including names of returning voice actors as well as voice acting candidates for roles that have not yet been assigned.

It goes without saying that Andy Serkis (Gollum) will reprise his role as well as on-camera actor Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, but other character roles are up in the air, including that of the Smaug the Dragon, with high profile names being bandied around the likes of Jeremy Irons.

MrCere at suggests that voices that have not yet been associated with an animated or CGI character (specifically lions, dragons, and even Jedi Knights) be considered for the role. This would eliminate greats such as Jeremy Irons (Scar in The Lion King), Sean Connery, Liam Neeson and James Earl Jones.

Those still in the running on MrCere’s list include (in alphabetical order) James Caan, George Clooney, Ossie Davis, Robert De Niro, Vin Diesel, Edward James Elmos, Morgan Freeman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dijmon Hounsou, Ben Kingsley, Paul Newman and Patrick Stewart.

The blogger writes, “If I could, I would audition Diesel, Freeman, Hopkins and Kingsley and would be comfortable with any of them. Any voice would have effects done but before the sound guys go to work. I want the best performance possible to make Smaug so much more than just a monster. I hope the studio and the actor chosen aren’t interested in people seeing the film and saying, when they hear the dragon, ‘Oh, isn’t that Actor X?’ The audience should be thinking only of the scaly, magnificent lizard. I think my list of auditions would all be able to transcend voice recognition and turn in a performance worthy of the character that spawned 1,000 imitations. But if I had to pick a guy right now, at this moment, it would be none other than Rodrigo Santoro. In case that doesn’t ring a bell, and for most it will not, he is the Brazilian actor who played Xerxes in ‘300’. His voice in the film was obviously enhanced for his role but he sounded amazing. His hint of an accent would even work for Smaug. Give Xerxes a listen with your eyes closed.”

Who would round out your voice cast for The Hobbit?


Image: Goldie Took


  1. I don’t see any really valid reason why awesome voices ( Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, etc.) should be discriminated against just because of their awesome performance in other roles! For all that I can see, that should be another reason for them to be considered. If their voices are recognized, so be it. I believe that as long as the quality and performance are awesome, and they will be, let it happen.

  2. john malcovich (sinister yet charming) or Peter O Tool for Smaug Just ideas
    Dylan Moran = Bilbo Baggins (Black Books) Priggish funny good emotional range
    Sean Connery = Thorin

  3. i think if the actor who originally voiced smaug from the cartoon in 1977 is still alive, give him the chance to redo the voice, if he doesnt sound “old”.

  4. The fine actor who did the voice of Smaug in the animated version was Richard Boone, who starred in the old TV series Paladin. He was good, but I think the character needs a more wily, less formidable approach. After all, according to Tolkien, dragons often did in their victims by charming them out of their defenses.

  5. Try Brendan Fraser as Bilbo, he looks enough like a Baggins.

    For Smaug, Richard Boone died years ago. If it’s creepy and familiar you want how about William Shatner?

  6. Harvey Firestein as the voice of Smaud would be a surprise but such an interesting one. Smaug should be different !!!!

  7. Oh my. I think the best I’ve heard so far has to be Ossie Davis. No one extremely recognizable, because I think it would “jolt” people out of the character too much. No morgan freeman, no anthony hopkins (who turned down a role in the trilogy, so I doubt he’d be interested anyway) and please god, no vin diesel. Vin does not have the age in his voice for this role, he sounds far too “urban” for lack of a better term. Too young. If they choose him they may as well CGI a pair of sunglasses and a wife beater onto Smaug. Patrick Stewart would do a fabulous job, and if they have to go with a big voice, I’d choose him, though he might still be a bit too recognizable for it. I also favor Jeremy Irons, because I think he has the perfect mix of age and menace in his voice for it, but I can understand how people might think that a bit akin to choosing Sean Connery for the role.

    At this point I’m hoping for Ossie…listen to an interview with him, and close your eyes. I can easily picture him as a huge, menacing dragon.

  8. I have to believe that Andy Serkis will voice Smaug as well. He voiced several of the Orcs from the trilogy. PJ has a knack for saving money on voice talent by using the other actors.
    As for Ossie Davis? He passed away 3 years ago.

  9. I think Alan Rickman, Peter O’Toole, James Earl Jones, or Jeremy Irons for Smaug. I am really upset that these people aren’t going to use the same people as in the LOTR for The Hobbit. Andy Serkis, at least, needs to be in the movie as Gollum. Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, and Hugo Weaving should be the same characters from the LOTR, but if Andy Serkis was replaced, that would be too much. I can’t think of anyone else being those characters other than them, but I agree with others who want Sean Connery as Thorin. That is a good choice, for he is usually in serious parts; “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (for those who saw this movie, good for you. for those who didn’t, shame on you), or he was also in “Hunt for Red October”, as an example. And he’s also cast as a…not exactly sissy, but not as a really tough guy, just “confused” I guess, when he played Indiana Jones’s father in “The Last Crusade”, so he can also be a good guy. I still stick with what I said before; the original cast from the LOTR should be in The Hobbit.

  10. I think Jeremy Irons would be the best choice for the voice of smaug. He has a the voice that draws you into the role and smaug needs that evil sounding voice.

  11. I’ve heard suggetsions that Martin Freeman (Arthur Dent in Hithiker’s Guide) should play young Bilbo and I have to whole-heartedly agree.

  12. Ian McShane would be ideal. He has the right amount of intelligence, menace and mischief in his voice to fit the bill. My other thought would be Clint Eastwood. He even reminds me somewhat of the Richard Boone voice in the old animated version. His smokie, ‘I’m gonna get you any second’ rasp would no doubt, send the proper shiver down the old Barrel Riders spine. Voices are so important to characters like Smaug which we see but don’t see.

  13. I would hope that the character of Smaug would take precedence over the name of the actor providing the voice. As Esmerelda pointed out, Tolkien described a dragon’s voice as enchanting, almost soothing. It needs to be in the actor’s lowest register, resonant yet breathy. The example that comes to mind is James Earl Jones as Vader saying the line “Sister…so you have a twin sister”. I think James is too recognizable for the part, and I have too much reverence for Vader to want to associate that voice with another character. 🙂

    Enhancements will be key to getting it perfect. I’m hoping for something ultra deep, rich and warm, but with bit of a gutteral trill to it. I also hope that they amp the bass so that you can feel it as well.

    Darren Riddle…are you also known as Duf?

  14. i think Djimon Houson,Robert Carlyle, or Jeremy Irons would make a great Smaug……when i hear their voices i can just picture a dragon in my mind. I also think that Sean Connery or Geoffrey Rush would be great in the role too. Michael Clarke Duncan would make a great Beorn.

  15. Using the typical “name brand” actors would be a mistake and a distraction for these films. For me, seeing a recognizable actor in a movie you are trying to escape to is a little like Christopher Reeve seeing the penny in “Somewhere in Time”.

  16. Ron Perlman has such a commanding voice…and a face that’s usually hidden behind a mask : ) I think he would be the best option.

  17. I think that louis armstrong would be perfect for the job 😀 haha no just kidding mates, ..
    But John Rhys-Davies would be a good choice i think .. he did Tree Beard in Lord of the Rings.
    Loved it !

  18. First of all, good points from Esmeralda. I personally like the Jeremy Irons idea because he does have the charm filled, mischievous type voice that could easily slip into evil. Many good choices out there, I’m sure they’ll find the right one. There is no mention of Bilbo, I’m not sure Ian Holm can really pull off this role at his age. Wish this movie could have been made earlier for continuity sake. If I only see one movie in 2011, The Hobbit will be it.

  19. Call me crazy, but when I think who should be Smaug’s voice, Josh Taylor who plays Roman Brady from Days of Our Lives, hands down the best for this role….

  20. Number 1 choice would definitely be Christopher Plummer. The character is obviously going to have at least a bit of an English accent.
    Second would be Peter O’Toole.
    Third Sam Neil.


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