Lord Of The Rings Art Recasts Trilogy With ‘80s Stars (Including Harrison Ford As Aragorn)


  • AI-generated images imagine what
    The Lord of the Rings
    would look like if it was cast in the 1980s, including Sean Connery as Gandalf, Harrison Ford as Aragorn, and Val Kilmer as Legolas.
  • One of the greatest strengths of Peter Jackson’s trilogy is its cast, and many of the actors remain best known for their roles in the franchise.
  • None of the actors were giant movie stars prior to joining Jackson’s movies, allowing them to more fully become those characters for audiences.



The Lord of the Rings trilogy gets a 1980s-inspired recast in a new batch of AI-generated images. Based on the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson brought the world of Middle-earth to life for the first time in 2001, telling the epic tale of Frodo’s (Elijah Wood) quest to destroy the One Ring across three films. The trilogy’s cast includes a number of actors who have since become synonymous with their roles, including Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, and more.

In a new batch of AI-generated images shared by @lotrology on Instagram, the Lord of the Rings cast gets an ’80s-inspired reimagining. Check out the images below:

The carousel of images features a number of big names stepping into now-iconic roles, including Sean Connery as Gandalf, a role he was actually offered in real life but turned down. Check out the full list of recastings below:




Sean Connery


Michael J. Fox


Harrison Ford


Val Kilmer


Brian Blessed

Samwise Gamgee

John Cusack


Richard Gere


Peter Cushing


Meryl Streep

Would Lord Of The Rings’ 1980s Castings Have Worked?

Gandalf fighting the Balrog in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

There are so many beloved aspects of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the cast is certainly one of them. None of the actors were really considered big movie stars (though many had impressive filmographies) prior to joining the franchise, which is one of the key differences with the ’80s recastings above. Ford and Connery, for example, were big stars in the ’80s thanks to the likes of Indiana Jones and James Bond. Fox, too, was very much a known quantity due to Back to the Future in 1985.

Ford and Connery would go on to star together in 1989’s
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

It could be argued that one of the many reasons why the Lord of the Rings cast ended up being so effective in Jackson’s trilogy is due to each one having relatively little baggage. Most of the actors didn’t have any other roles for which they had become iconic Hollywood figures, and this ultimately helped them fully embody their characters in Middle-earth. Despite this, however, it would obviously be remarkable to see how the franchise would be different if it had starred big movie stars like Ford and Connery.

Lord of the Rings
trilogy is currently available to stream on Max and Prime Video.

Actors like Kilmer and Kushing, too, are evidently very talented, with the former rising to fame after 1986’s Top Gun and the latter playing an especially evil villain in 1977’s Star Wars:A New Hope. Streep, too, is widely considered one of the best actors of all time, and her take on Galadriel could have been a memorable one. While it’s interesting to imagine how a 1980s version of The Lord of the Rings would have been different, Jackson evidently struck gold with his castings in the early 2000s.

Source: @lotrology/ Instagra

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