The ‘Lord of the Rings’ cast want to save the house where J.R.R. Tolkien wrote ‘The Hobbit’.
Sir Ian McKellen, John Rhys-Davies and Martin Freeman – who play Gandalf, Gimli and Bilbo Baggins in the film series – have come together as part of Project Northmoor to save the Oxford house, 20 Northmoor Road, where the famed author penned the novel that inspired the movies.
Project Northmoor – backed by the three actors – has begun crowdfunding this week in a bid to raise a whopping $6 million to create a literary centre in honour of Tolkien at the address.
Speaking to People magazine, John Rhys-Davies said: “This is just an opportunity that can’t be ignored. If people are still reading in 1,000 years, Tolkien will be regarded as one of the great myth-makers of Britain and it will be evident within a matter of years that not to secure this place would have been such an act of arrogance and ignorance and folly on our part.”
The actors have filmed a promotional video to save the house, with ‘Gladiator’ star Sir Derek Jacobi and singer Annie Lennox, who penned ‘Lord of the Rings’ theme ‘Into the West’, also backing the project.
Rhys-Davies added: “If The Lord of the Rings is about anything, it’s not so much about Hitler and his rise, it is about the fact that generations may peacefully go by but now and again there emerges a threat that actually will challenge your very civilisation and a generation must arise to deal with that threat. This is a wonderful opportunity to preserve that. If you had been able to get Jane Austin’s house just 30 to 40 years after her death, what a snip it would have been. Future generations will thank us. I can’t honestly see any reason why one would not want to support this.”
For anyone that makes a donation over £20, the project owners have confirmed they will put together a Red Book of Funders that would sit in Tolkien’s study on the property.