Tom Budge‘s trip to Middle-earth turned out to be more of a layover than an extended stay.
The actor, who had been cast in a mysterious role in the upcoming Amazon series, announced this past weekend that he has left the show due to creative differences.
“It is with great sadness that I am writing to tell you I have departed Amazon’s Lord of The Rings television series,” Budge wrote in an Instagram post over the weekend. “After recently seeing the first episodes shot over the last year Amazon has decided to go in another direction with the character I was portraying…I must thank the creative team for their encouragement towards trying something that I believed was new, exciting and beautiful. And I sincerely thank the extraordinary cast and crew for their love, support and friendship over what has been a very difficult and unusual experience. Alas, some things just cannot be. Destiny my mother, I thank thee.”
Since the show is being kept shrouded in such intense secrecy, we had no idea what character Budge was portraying and therefore do not know if that role has been recast or if that character has been excised with his narrative duties spread across a number of other characters. There’s no way to know for certain, but it seems as if he might have been able to alter his portrayal enough to fit the producers’ vision and remain on the series, which could have set him up for life. (Even if he was just on the show for a few episodes, the amount of money he could have made signing autographs at conventions in the future is staggering.) But this caption makes it seem like he had a vision for his character and he stuck to it, and was uninterested in compromising on that vision at the end of the day. If that’s the case, I respect the hell out of his decision to walk away. Maybe we’ll learn more of the true story one day.
Amazon’s mega-expensive Lord of the Rings series, which is set hundreds of years before the events of Peter Jackson’s trilogy, is filming now in New Zealand and is expected to arrive on Amazon Prime Video sometime in 2021.
I’ll leave you with this bio of the actor that was sent out when he was initially cast in the show in January of 2020:
TOM BUDGE is an Australian actor, musician and writer. He burst onto the big screen as the unforgettable Pickles in Paul Goldman’s highly praised Australian Rules. Since then he appeared as Samuel Stote in Nick Cave and John Hillcoat’s multi-award winning film The Proposition, Alister Grierson’s Kokoda, Rachel Perkins’ Bran Nue Dae, Neil Armfield’s Candy, Julius Avery’s Son Of A Gun, and Jeremy Sims’ Last Train To Freo – which earned him best supporting actor nominations at both the 2006 AACTA Awards and the Film Critics Circle Awards. Most recently Budge played the self-appointed town mayor Mr. Frankly in Mirrah Foulkes’ directorial debut feature film Judy & Punch, which premiered to critical acclaim at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Budge has also appeared in the tele-movie Mabo, the HBO mini-series The Pacific, and the WWI Australian mini-series epic Gallipoli.
Budge’s stage work regularly garners glowing reviews; the Company B Belvoir St. production of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2004 Helpmann Awards and after a 10 year break from theatre work he was again nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for Eddie Perfect’s “The Beast” at the Melbourne Theatre Company in 2013. He received rave reviews for his performance as Clov in Andrew Upton and Hugo Weaving’s re-energized multi award winning staging of Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015, and in Kate Mulvaney’s “The Rasputin Affair” at the Ensemble Theatre in 2017. Budge is also a seasoned musician, composer, lyricist and emerging screenwriter. He has long split his time between acting and music and has toured with the Tom Budge Band locally and internationally.
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