Feanor

Brandon Lovesee

New Member
Probably the most prominent of the early elves, I was surprised to not see a casting thread devoted to him yet (maybe I'm just blind.) So let's start the discussion with a couple of events that this person needs to do:
  • Make the Silmarils
  • Kinstrife (drawing his sword)
  • Refuse to break the Silmarils
  • Rebellion: the Oath, kinslaying, leading people over the sea, buring of the ships, etc
  • Go out in a blaze of glory (literally)
I'll just go ahead and make the obligatory Tom Hiddleston suggestion here.
 

Haakon

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Yes, Hiddleston. He's obviously a candidate here. But maybe we can broaden our discussion. :)
 

MithLuin

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I think Hiddleston would be perfect for a lot of reasons (beautiful, tall, can portray a sympathetic fall, can be brutally vicious, I can see him better as Fëanor than as any other role in this project, etc).

But. There is one reason I would shy away from actually casting him. And that is because...he would broadcast from an early point that Fëanor is going to be a villain. And...that is not what we should see. Fëanor should come across as a hero (okay, proud flawed hero, but still a hero), and only in the grief after the death of his father should we see his madness take him down an irredeemable path - the Oath, the Kinslaying, the Ship Burning, the trying-to-take-on-a-horde-of-balrogs-single-handedly that speaks of utter madness and disregard for others.

If someone can suggest an actor who could play the proud-and-noble aspect of Fëanor's character straight, and then *surprise* the audience with the descent into madness, I would entertain an idea beyond Hiddleston.

Otherwise, yes, I'm all in favor of casting Tom Hiddleston as Fëanor.
 

Carlia

Member
But. There is one reason I would shy away from actually casting him. And that is because...he would broadcast from an early point that Fëanor is going to be a villain.
Yes, the same thing happened to Christpher Walken and Jack Nicholson. It is sad because I think he would do a fantastic Fëanor.

Maybe Richard Armitage could be a choice, too?
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
Hiddleston can do flawed hero well enough - The Hollow Crown (which I have not seen) and Coriolanus (which I have). But, yes, his feature film roles do tend to be villains, and he's in that Jaguar commercial about British villains, so...the association is rather strong at this point.
 

Haakon

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Hiddleston can do flawed hero well enough - The Hollow Crown (which I have not seen) and Coriolanus (which I have). But, yes, his feature film roles do tend to be villains, and he's in that Jaguar commercial about British villains, so...the association is rather strong at this point.
Hiddleston was GREAT in The Hollow Crown as prince Harry/Henry V. If we do Fëanor as a positive force, a boy genius, a bright star that just burns with a fire that is too hot and too bright, we don't have to let the viewers see the coming darkness until after a while.
 

MithLuin

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Oh! I did not mean to imply that I thought Tom Hiddleston could only play him as a villain from the start, or that I think the man lacks the range to portray unfallen!Fëanor. On the contrary, I think he would do so brilliantly. I think he brought a lot of nuance to the role of Loki that was not in the script and has to be credited to his work with the directors. And the clips I've seen of him as Henry V are very well done. Can Tom Hiddleston portray a beautiful, arrogant and impatient, yet dripping with charisma, First Age elf? Oh, hells yeah. [And then all the Loki cosplayers will be Fëanor cosplayers and it will be glorious!] Ah-hem.

I just mean that, after portraying so many villains, when he appears on screen, the audience will assume that this character will be a villain. Kinda like when you see a character played by Sean Bean, you don't expect that character to live until the end. There *are* film roles where Sean Bean lives (I think?), but he's often the villain and he usually dies. I think that Ned Stark is the most honorable/good guy role Sean Bean has ever had, and he *did* play that convincingly. It is possible to convince the audience not to see all the past work of an actor in a new project, but some actors are better chameleons than others. An actor like Cary Elwes disappears into the role, and you don't *see* him in it - so you can cast him as Robin Hood, Pope John Paul II or Ted Bundy (he's played all 3 roles). An actor like Jack Nicholson on the other hand...not so much. We might want to look for an actor who has experience with both villains and heroes, or is at least a bit less stringently typecast.

I have not seen Crimson Peak, but it was my understanding that the audience is supposed to be unsure of his intentions at first in that one. The female protagonist doesn't know any better, obviously, but the audience is also meant to think that maybe he's okay? And then of course...not. The trailer screams 'don't trust this guy!' though, and that's what I mean...that even if the script and direction has clever subtlety to it...the first thought when he appears on camera will be, 'oh, that's the villain.'

So far, that is literally the only misgiving I have about casting Tom Hiddleston in this role. I think he'd be brilliant and do an awesome job, and give us all the family angst we want in this season, and all the madness we want in the next. But if someone can suggest an actor who might be less of a give-away....I am willing to consider him!
 
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MithLuin

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Tom Hiddleston as Caius Martius in Coriolanus:

I mean...it's hard *not* to think of Fëanor...
 

MithLuin

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Oh, and since it came up....Curufin should be a dead-ringer for Fëanor. (Not the same actor, but *strong* resemblance.)
 

Haakon

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We could have Edward Norton as Fëanor and Tom Hiddleston as Curufin. They aren't exactly identical but have some similarities.
 

MithLuin

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We could have Edward Norton as Fëanor and Tom Hiddleston as Curufin. They aren't exactly identical but have some similarities.
The main similarity is that I like both actors a lot and they are good at the dual personality thing (Norton moreso, but still). :p I would like to use more 'nobody' actors for the Sons of Fëanor, but I realize this is fantasy casting, so we can do whatever there.

We are going to have to think about apparent age - elves allow for fathers to be cast as younger actors than their sons and have it still 'work', but I'm not sure what we want to do there. Like in the 2011 film 'In Time', where Olivia Wilde (b. 1984) plays Justin Timberlake's (b. 1981) mother in a world w/o aging.


Fëanor's force of personality is more important than his physique being that of a smith. I forget which writer (maybe Mark Twain? Or Chesterton? Or George Bernard Shaw? I wasn't joking when I said I forgot!) complained about all the paintings of Joan of Arc taking into account her French peasant/farm girl origins without bothering to portray her as the type of person who could lead an army. But that's the point here - we need to see him as an extremely charismatic prince (demagogue, even) first, not a smith. 'Smith' should be the primary identification for Mahtan, and some of the minor Noldor, and most of the dwarves. It should be secondary for Fëanor and Eöl.
 
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Haakon

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I think Norton would not be a completely satisfying choice. Gerard Butler is a more interesting alternative I think, but maybe not perfect. I don't think Hiddleston is perfect either. In my mind, perhaps Christian Bale comes closest to making the cut. So far. The search continues!
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe Richard Armitage could be a choice, too?
I think yes, he could definitely be a choice! Perhaps the biggest - or only? - problem with Armitage is that he played Thorin in that movie about dwarves. It might 'taint' the impression. But then again, he wouldn't do Fëanor the same way. (And he wouldn't have a beard!)
 
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