Actors who appeared in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies are uniting to try and buy the house of author J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote the novels director Peter Jackson adapted into movies. As Polygon reports, Ian McKellen (Gandalf), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) and Annie Lennox (who wrote the song "Into the West" for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) have announced that they are launching a campaign to purchase 20 Northmoor Road in Oxford, England.
Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the house and even entertained another legendary fantasy writer there, C.S. Lewis (who penned The Chronicles of Narnia). Tolkien moved into the house in 1930, and lived there for just under two decades until 1947.
The crowdfunding campaign is called Project Northmoor, and hopes to buy the property, currently up for sale, in order to convert it into a literary centre. To do this, the team need to raise around $6 million – that's £4.5 million. The money will be used to purchase and renovate the property, though the campaign’s website have extra goals that stretch up to needing £4.8 million.
“Unbelievably, considering his importance, there is no centre devoted to Tolkien anywhere in the world,” Rhys-Davies said. “The vision is to make Tolkien’s house into a literary hub that will inspire new generations of writers, artists and filmmakers for many years to come.”
The celebrities have recorded a video about Project Northmoor, which also sees appearances from others including actor Derek Jacobi, a once-Archbishop of Canterbury, and illustrator John Howe, who was one of the chief conceptual designers on Jackson’s first trilogy. In the video, posted to Vimeo, McKellen comments: “We cannot achieve this without the support of the worldwide community of Tolkien fans, our fellowship of funders.”
We’ll have to wait and see if the campaign is successful, but for now, check out everything we know so far about the upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show.