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Viggo Mortensen: ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Is ‘Worth Watching’ Because of J.A. Bayona

Mortensen also reveals he's working on a new David Cronenberg project that's part body horror, part "film noir story."

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, Viggo Mortensen, 2003, (c) New Line/courtesy Everett Collection

Viggo Mortensen in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

Viggo Mortensen confirmed in an interview with GQ magazine this week that he will be watching Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” television series when it debuts, but the reason he’s excited for it has less to do with his own history as Aragorn and more with the involvement of filmmaker J.A. Bayona. The director behind “The Orphanage,” “The Impossible,” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is directing the first two episodes of Amazon’s “Rings” series, plus serving as an executive producer. Mortensen starred as Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s three “Lord of the Rings” movies.

When GQ asked if Mortensen is “planning to watch” Amazon’s “Rings” series, the actor responded, “Yeah, directed by a Spanish director, [J. A.] Bayona. Yeah, I’m interested to see what they do. They’ve been shooting that in New Zealand. Bayona is a good director, so it’ll probably be worth watching. I’ll be curious to see what they do, how they interpret Tolkien. I don’t know how much the Tolkien estate has allowed them to use.”

Mortensen also revealed in the GQ interview that he’s cooking up a reunion project with David Cronenberg, with whom he made films such as “Eastern Promises,” ” A History of Violence,” and “A Dangerous Method.” The first title earned Mortensen an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

“Yes, we do have something in mind. It’s something he wrote a long time ago, and he never got it made,” Mortensen said of his next Cronenberg project. “Now he’s refined it, and he wants to shoot it. Hopefully, it’ll be this summer we’ll be filming. I would say, without giving the story away, he’s going maybe a little bit back to his origins.”

GQ asked if “back to his origins” meant Cronenberg was returning to body horror, to which Mortensen replied, “Yeah, it’s very interesting. It’s almost like a strange film noir story. It’s disturbing and it’s good, I think. But since his origins, he’s obviously developed in terms of technique and self-assurance as a director.”

Mortensen is currently making the press rounds in support of his feature directorial debut “Falling,” which opens February 5. Head over to GQ’s website to read his interview in its entirety.

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