“I was really disappointed”: Saoirse Ronan Felt Compelled To Turn Down Peter Jackson’s $1B Epic in Favor of Commercially Panned Vampire Movie

Saoirse Ronan Felt Compelled To Turn Down Peter Jackson’s $1B Epic in Favor of Commercially Panned Vampire Movie
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Saoirse Ronan first showed her impressive acting skills at only 12 years old in Atonement. Starring alongside Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, she grabbed the attention with her portrayal of Briony Tallis and even earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.


However, she got the center stage in a high-profile movie for the first time two years later, leading Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, a story about a high school girl, who gets murdered, but her spirit continues to watch over her family.

Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan.

The crucial stint in a Peter Jackson-directed movie at such a young age further underlined Ronan’s prowess and opened floodgates of opportunities, so much so that when The Lord of the Rings director came calling for another movie, the actress had to turn down the approach.


Read more: Saoirse Ronan is Tired of Starring in Oscar-Worthy Movies, Wants To Star in a “Modern” Comedy Like Rebel Wilson’s $288M Film

Saoirse Ronan Explains Her Decision to Reject Peter Jackson’s Blockbuster Movie

After the historic success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson decided to work on another epic fantasy adventure film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The movie about Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his journey with a wizard and a group of dwarves was the first installment in The Hobbit trilogy.

Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson, director of Lord of the Rings.

Considering it acted as a prequel to the very successful The Lord of the Rings trilogy and was also based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, there was plenty of hype around its casting. Crucial roles in such movies end up defining the whole career of many actors.


At the time, Saoirse Ronan was rumored to be starring in the epic battle between Bilbo and the dragon Smaug. However, she set the record straight, stating (via Irish Mirror): 

“There was talks about me playing the wood elf Itaril but I had to turn it down. I was really disappointed but there were other projects I had to consider and to spend a year doing The Hobbit wouldn’t have left me time for anything else.”

The Hobbit train moved without Ronan and ended up dominating the box office in 2012. It grossed just over $1 billion in worldwide collection. In the same year, the actress also appeared on the big screen with another movie, but it attracted contrasting results.

Read more: “That look is really working for him”: Greta Gerwig Helped Timothée Chalamet Up His Charm While Working in 5 Oscars-Nominated Film ‘Lady Bird’


How Saoirse Ronan’s Vampire Movie Panned Out at the Box Office

During the peak of The Twilight’s popularity, Ronan came up with her very own vampire-centric movie, titled Byzantium.

Saoirse Ronan in Byzantium.
Saoirse Ronan in Byzantium.

She played the role of Eleanor Webb opposite Gemma Arterton’s Clara Webb. The two mysterious women seek refuge in a seaside town and find themselves being chased by their dangerous past after the secret that they were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood is revealed.

Neil Jordan’s non-traditional and feminist take on vampire lore – which touched on subjects like yearning for love, betrayal, dangerous sensuality, and brutal consequences – impressed critics but failed at the box office, managing to collect a mere $828,284.


Read more: “She’s Meryl reborn”: Ryan Gosling Had the Highest Praise For 4-Times Oscar-Nominated Actress, Claimed She’s “like someone from the Golden Age” of Hollywood

Source: Irish Mirror


Written by Vishal Singh

Articles Published: 514

Vishal Singh is a Content Writer at FandomWire. Having spent more than half a decade in the digital media space, Vishal specializes in crafting engaging entertainment- and sports-focused stories. He graduated from university with an honors degree in English Literature.