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The Hobbit and Wilfred
Elijah Wood's return to Middle Earth will be a small one — and not just because he'll reprise his role as the tiny hobbit Frodo Baggins.
Wood, who next will star in the quirky FX comedy, Wilfred, will make a brief appearance in the big screen adaptation of The Hobbit, the prequel to the blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy.
"I actually spoke to [director Peter Jackson] a while ago and I had an idea that there was something that they were thinking about," Wood said at the Television Critics Association winter previews Saturday. "So it was in my mind as a possibility, but not as a fully formed concept that they were sure about until recently where I was given an offer."
It's not clear how Frodo will fit into The Hobbit, considering the character didn't appear in the J.R.R. Tolkien book, the events of which occur 60 years before the Rings trilogy.
FX orders Elijah Wood comedy Wilfred
"I actually don't know [when I appear in the movie]," said Wood. "I probably know just about as much as everybody else does. I haven't read a script, I haven't read any of the scenes that the character is going to be in. It's a very, very small piece and I think it only would make sense for me to do it if it were very small. It's more of a nod of what we had done before.
"Look, I'm just excited to be able to go back," he added. "You don't often, 11 years down the line, get a chance to revisit a character and a place and a time in your life."
But will it be easy for him to step back into Frodo's bare feet?
"Well, you know I played that character for the better part of four years so it remains to be seen," Wood said. "But it's been some time so I'm sure I'll have to ramp into it a bit, re-watch some of the films."
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In the meantime, Wood will be shooting more episodes of Wilfred, a reworking of the Australian series in which the show sees Wood playing Ryan, a young man who, following a suicide attempt, begins an unlikely friendship with his neighbor's dog, who he sees not as a canine, but an Australian man, dressed in a cheap dog suit.
"It's exciting for me to be part of a comedy," Elijah said of joining the TV show, which also stars original Australian "Wilfred" portrayer Jason Gann, as the canine character.
"It's something I've never really been given an opportunity to do and I'm so proud of this ensemble and this creative process. It's been a lot of fun so far." he added.
Adapted for FX by David Zuckerman, who helped develop "Family Guy," Elijah said he was drawn to "Wilfred" because of its off-kilter nature.
"To be working on something that is not easy to define and is quite unique and has a darkness -- we can explore that," he said. "We're just starting [work on the project]. We did our pilot and we're gonna start our production in March and we'll just have to see where it goes. I'm just excited about the prospect of where it's going."
Gann, the Australian actor who co-created and played Wilfred in the original series, dons the dog suit again for FX. Wood recalls the first time he worked opposite Gann in costume:
"It was awesome. It was during the network test. It was surreal, yeah, but really exciting, he said. "For me, it gave me so much to work with because there he is in the wardrobe."
Wilfred premieres this summer on FX.