Belfast Telegraph

David Bowie was 'too busy' to appear in Lord of the Rings

The late musician was reportedly director's Peter Jackson's first choice to play Gandalf in the fantasy saga.

David Bowie was too busy to star as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings.

It was revealed earlier this year (16) by original cast member Dominic Monaghan, who played hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck in the saga, he had a chance encounter with the Ziggy Stardust star while auditioning for 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring.

"I’m assuming he read for Gandalf," Dominic told The Huffington Post. "I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for. He may have read for something else but I’m a huge David Bowie fan, and I (am) lucky enough to know his son (film director Duncan Jones) now, so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.”

Rumours swirled that the iconic musician, who died after a battle with cancer in January (16), was the first choice to play wizard Gandalf the Grey, a part that ultimately went to Ian McKellen.

Now, the movie's casting director Amy Hubbard confirmed director Peter Jackson was interested in Bowie taking the role of the legendary wizard, but the icon was far too busy to take on the project.

"He was unavailable,” she told The Huffington Post. "It was a very quick conversation with the legendary Chris Andrews at CAA. I do believe that (Bowie) went over and played for everybody at the Millennium party. That would’ve been New Year’s Eve in the year 1999, which was when the films were being shot. He went over and entertained everybody, but he never auditioned. That’s for sure."

"We approached him," she added. "I’m pretty sure it was Peter Jackson’s idea in the first few weeks that we got going. It was one that he’d always wondered about, and we rang Chris, and (Bowie) was far too busy.”

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