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Viggo Mortensen Has Two Big Conditions To Return As Aragorn For Lord Of The Rings

Will Viggo Mortensen ever play Aragorn, the reluctant ranger-turned-King of Gondor from the "Lord of the Rings" franchise, on screen again? It depends on the script and his bank balance.

Mortensen recently attended the 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), where he was honored with the festival's President's Award — and while he was there, The Hollywood Reporter sat down with the venerable film star and ask if he'd play Aragorn again. Now that there are officially new "Lord of the Rings" film adaptations on the way, Mortensen was quite honest with the outlet.

When asked if he'll appear in the new takes on Peter Jackson's acclaimed trilogy, Mortensen was blunt. "I haven't read a script. So I don't know," he replied. "The script is the most important thing to me unless I'm broke, I have no money and I'm lucky to get any job. So it depends." When THR asked how "often that happens," presumably referring to Mortensen being broke, the actor said, "Lately, I've been lucky and it hasn't for a while."

To be honest, that sounds like a resounding "no," which makes sense; it's been two decades since Mortensen first played the character, and he's probably hesitant to rehash his time in Middle Earth. Plus, Aragorn gets a pretty solid ending in the original films.

Aragorn's story ends quite effectively in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Not only is Viggo Mortensen, frankly, just a little bit old to be playing Aragorn at this juncture, but he closed out the character's journey beautifully in the original trilogy's third and final film "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." When audiences first meet Aragorn, he aligns himself with the Fellowship of the Ring and promises to protect Frodo (Elijah Wood), the humble hobbit tasked with bringing the One Ring to Mount Doom to destroy it once and for all. Though Aragorn and Frodo get separated at the end of the first film, he continues fighting for Frodo elsewhere, whether he's leading the charge during the Battle of Helm's Deep against Sauron's forces or trying to track down Frodo's friends Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd.)

During "Return of the King," Aragorn — who is descended from the legendary King Isildur, played by Harry Sinclair in flashbacks — has to grapple with the fact that, yes, he is destined to wear the long-abandoned crown. Once he accepts his destiny, Aragorn fights Sauron's armies as Frodo finally destroys the ring and is finally crowned king after the Dark Lord is defeaed ... plus, he ends up with his long-lost love, the elf Arwen (Liv Tyler). All in all, Mortensen delivers a stunning performance that brings Aragorn's story full circle — and even though more movies are coming, his work here is done.

What has Viggo Mortensen been doing since playing Aragorn?

It's safe to say that Viggo Mortensen probably has a pretty healthy bank account these days — and at the very least, he's been working on a diverse array of interesting projects that have all allowed him to really show off his impressive range as an actor. After playing Aragorn, Mortensen teamed up with trippy acclaimed director David Cronenberg for 2005's "A History of Violence," 2007's "Eastern Promises" (which scored him an Oscar nod for best actor), and 2011's "A Dangerous Method." (In 2022, Mortensen reunited with Cronenberg for the body horror flick "Crimes of the Future," reigniting their collaboration). He's also known for his stunning lead performance in "The Road," his Oscar-nominated supporting turn in "Green Book," and his strangely funny role in "Captain Fantastic," just to name a few.

Mortensen's latest project, the Western film "The Dead Don't Hurt," stars the actor alongside Vicky Krieps ("Phantom Thread," "Old") with the latter playing Vivienne Le Coudy to Mortensen's angry carpenter Holger Olson. Based on this resumé, it feels like we can take Mortensen's comments at face value ... and not expect to see him pick up Aragorn's sword Andúril again any time soon.