Of course, during the time of The Hobbit, the character of Saruman is actually a good guy so it’ll be interesting to see him in that context this time around. The announcement came today from Christopher Lee’s own website in this short statement:
Slowly but surely, Peter Jackson has managed to secure the return of the majority of the major stars from The Lord of the Rings franchise for his soon to be shooting prequel, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Sir. Christopher Lee had been in talks to reprise his role as the wizard Saruman and it now looks certain, providing that he is in good health, that he will be appearing in the movie.
I find this news most interesting because I remember reading an interview with the famous actor that came out early in 2010. In that interview Lee had said that he would definitely NOT be returning for The Hobbit movies. A couple reason were given for this. First were all of the problems that kept pushing the project back, and second was the actor said he was getting too old. He said he was worried that his health would keep him from making the trip to New Zealand.
I guess he’s feeling better and wants to make the effort. For that, I applaud the man and can’t wait to see him back in action on this film. In the book, Saruman didn’t have a massive role, but then again neither did Gandalf. Supposedly both of their roles will be expanded (Gandalf significantly) for these movies.