Right from Yahoo! news.

Mortensen negotiating to replace “Rings” lead

By Charles Lyons and Claude Brodesser

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) – One week into principal photography, New Line Cinema’s “Lord of the Rings” has lost a principal.

Stuart Townsend (“All About Adam,” “Wonderland”), who had sitgned to play the role of Strider/Aragorn, has left the production. Viggo Mortensen is in negotiations to replace him.

While the studio has not confirmed his departure nor given an official reason for it, sources close to the New Zealand production told Daily Variety that director Peter Jackson and Townsend didn’t see eye to eye about the role; others said they believed that Townsend was exiting because he lacked the star power to carry off the part.

Mortensen has appeared in such films as “G.I. Jane,” “A Perfect Murder,” “Portrait of a Lady” and “Vanishing Point.”

Representatives for New Line were unavailable for comment late Thursday.


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