This March Liverpool will be taken over by thousand of pop culture fanatics, cosplayers and Conmose! Yes that's right we are going to Liverpool Comic Con 2020., brought to you by Andy Kleek and the Monopoly Events Team. It will be held from March 6th - 8th at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre at King's Dock located in the Port of Liverpool. Last year tens of thousands of fans made their way to the Exhibition Centre to indulge themselves in everything Comic Con Liverpool had to offer. They had an amazing guest list and this year it seems to be even bigger and better. Besides the Movie- and Television guests (which we will be discussing in a series of articles; this being the first), there will also be lots of props, entertainment areas, cosplay, merchandise and much more! But for now let us tell you about the first movie- and TV guest of Comic Con Liverpool! The one guest to rule them all!
Wait...what? Yes, that's right...the one and only Elijah Wood will be making his way to Liverpool! Last October we already met Mr. Wood at Comic Con Los Angeles and we thought we would never get that chance again...and then Comic Con Liverpool announced the "One Guest To Rule Them All". This is of course a reference to Elijah's role of Frodo in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time: "Lord of The Rings". But that's not all. I can't imagine that anyone has never heard of Elijah Wood, but just to be sure, let us tell you some more about this amazing actor....
Elijah Jordan Wood was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (US) on Wednesday January 28th, 1981. Ejijah was the second child of Warren and Debra Wood. He has an older brother named Zach (Zachariah) and a younger sister named Hannah. As child Elijah was full of energy and at the age of two he earned his nickname 'Monkey' by locking his mother out of the house and ruining the family kitchen. As his parents were the owners of two Delis in Cedar Rapids, Elijah spent a lot of time in the restaurants after school. He has had an interest in movies from a very young age and especially for Horror movies. He saw the first one around the age of 4. He would use to sneak in when his brother and his friends watched these kind of movies. He later stated that the first horror movie he saw was a movie called "Truth or Dare: a Critical Madness" (1986). He also stated that he did not thing it was very scary. When he was in elementary school, Elijah started doing plays, like: "The Sound of Music" and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". In a Marion County Creative Council production of "See How They Run", he served as a choir boy.
Elijah comes from a 'musical' family. His great-grandfather and his maternal uncle both played in professional bands and Elijah listened to a wide range of music during his youth. The first tape he bought was a "Best Of" compilation of The Monkees and his brother introduced him to the music of The Smiths, Prince and The Cure. His love for all kinds of music stayed with him throughout his youth and adulthood and he is known be a superb vinyl DJ. As I already mentioned, Elijah was bursting with energy as a child and at the age of 7 his mother encouraged him to take up modelling (as a way to let out his creative energy). This brought him to star in some regional TV commercials, as well as printed advertising. It soon became clear that Iowas was to small for Elijah's talents and the family went California (except for Elijah's father) to take a chance in Los Angeles. This was initialized by the modelling school Avant (where Elijah had enrolled earlier on). They let Elijah and some other students participate in the IMTA convention in December 1988 (IMTA stands for International Modeling and Talent Association). For the talent showcase portion, Elijah sang the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". At least, that was the plan, but during the song Elijah forgot some of the lines. For a normal child this would be the end of it all, but not for Elijah. He improvised by starting a duet with the MC of the show and this won him a huge round of applause and a contract with manager Gary Scalzo, who asked Elijah if he wanted to be an actor. Scalzo had been working with young talents for a while and he saw a lot of potential in Elijah. His mother decided to move to Los Angeles with Elijah and Zach (Elijah's father and sister would join them later). Elijah started auditioning andnot long after that he landed his first job in Paula Abdul's music video "Forever Your Girl" (check out the YouTube video below). Fun Fact: The music video was directed by David "Se7en" Fincher.
Elijah's mother Debra saw the growing potential of a glorious career in showbiz for her son, so she did all she could to keep him from becoming a 'spoiled brat'. She laid down some ground rules and insisted on Elijah doing his homework and chores. For her it was most important that Elijah remained grounded and with that he had to know that he wasn't any better than anyone else. Otherwise she would have pulled him out.
In 1989, Elijah landed a small role in "Back to the Future II". Later on he stated that it was mind blowing for him to be on the set of a movie franchise like "Back to the Future". He saw the first movie, before he started acting. In 1990, Elijah had a small role in the movie "Internal Affairs" (starring Richard Gere and Andy Garcia), as well as a leading role in the TV movie "Child in the Night" (alongside Tom Skerritt and JoBeth Williams). Also in 1990 he got the role of Michael Kaye in the movie "Avalon". This movie directed by Barry Levinson was nominated for 4 Oscars as well as a nomination for the Golden Globe award for Best Picture. In 1991 he played the role of Willard Young in "Paradise" (starring Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson) and in 1992 he landed a role in "Radio Flyer". For his roles in both "Paradise" and "Avalon", Elijah was nominated for the prize of Best Young Actor at the Young Artists Award. For his role as Mike in "Radio Flyer" he was not only nominated, he also won the award. Fun Fact: Elijah auditioned for this role at the age of 9 and did not get it. But when the director decided to change the script, he did a re-casting. Elijah auditioned again and this time he got the part. Over the next tow years he appeared in four movies: "Day-O" (as Dayo), "Forever Young" (as Nat Cooper), "The Adventures of Huck Finn" (as Huck Finn) and opposite Macauly Culkin in "The Good Son" (as Mark"). At this point in his career Elijah had played in a lot of movies with very mature story lines, which is remarkable for such a young actor. In "The Adventures of Huck Finn", however, the young Elijah showed his comedic side. In 1994, Elijah starred as top billed actor in "North" (as North) and "The War" (as Stu Simmons"). Fun Fact: In "The War", Elijah was billed over Kevin Costner. Not bad for a 13 year old, right? It was also around this time that Roger Ebert (famous movie critic) called Elijah the most talented actor in his age group in Hollywood history...
Nest to his work in the movies, Elijah also kept appearing in nationwide TV commercials of big companies and in 1995 he appeared in the music video for The Cranberries' "Zombie". It was also around this time that his parents divorced. He later stated that it wasn't very traumatizing, because he never had a close relationship with his father, he had always felt closer to his mother. In 1996, Elijah starred as Sandy Ricks in the movie remake of "Flipper". This movie made one of Elijah's dreams come true: swimming with dolphins and he later stated that this was the main thing that persuaded him to do this movie.In the years following Elijah could count on a steady stream of jobs, appearing in movies (and TV series), like: "The Ice Storm" (as Mickey Carver), "The Faculty" (as Casey Connor) and "Deep Impact" (as Leo Biederman). In "The Ice Storm" he worked with director Ang Lee. The movie is set in the 70's and Lee wanted his actors to fully understand their characters. He gave them a lot of research material of the time the movie was set in, as well as in depth questionnaires about their characters. He even insisted on Elijah listening to Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side of the Moon", because that was the music his character would listen. Another thing Lee insisted was that his whole cast and crew were taught in practicing Tai Chi. Working in this manner made Elijah realize how much he loved being an actor and that he was in this for the long run.
While Elijah was filming for "The Faculty", a movie critic told him about Peter Jackson's plans to make Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" into a series of movies. The critic also mentioned that in his opinion, Elijah would be perfect for a role in these movies. Elijah had never read Tolkien's "The Lord of The Rings" books, but he wasn't entirely unfamiliar with Tolkien's work. "The Hobbit" had always been one of his favorites. As the casting for "The Lord of the Rings" started in London, New York an Los Angeles in 1998; Elijah took his chance and walked into the Los Angeles office to read the script in a secret audition. The script had left a deep impact on him and he wanted to increase his chances to get the role of Frodo. To do this Elijah decided to make a taped audition. He bought a Hobbit-like costume, had some dialect coaching and started shooting three scenes in his home and in the woods. He had some help to edit these scenes and when it was finished he brought it to the office in Los Angeles. And this enthusiasm paid off. Th LA office sent the video to Peter Jackson, who was casting for Frodo and his hobbits in London. Jackson later stated that he initially wanted British actors to play the Hobbits. When he got the package from Los Angeles, he was desperate to find the right actor for Frodo. He watched the tape and knew that he did not have to look any further: Elijah Wood would become his Frodo! When Jackson returned to Los Angeles, he invited Elijah to come in and read for the part. As Elijah was a big fan of Jackson's movie "Heavenly Creatures", he was very happy to do this. A few months later Jackson called him and asked him to move to New Zealand for a year and a half...he got the part!
Elijah later stated that he was ecstatic and when he hung up the phone he couldn't even speak...he only screamed of joy! Normal kids leave home for college when they are 18 years of age, but not Elijah. He traveled to New Zealand on his own to work with a bunch of strangers on one of the biggest movies of all time. Elijah was one of the first ones to be on location in New Zealand, together with his 'fellow Hobbits' Sean Astin (Samwise), Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Dominic Monaghan (Merrin). Since the friendship of these 4 Hobbits was the heart of the story, Jackson wanted their bond to be strong in real life. So while other cast members were not on location yet, the four young actors started taking lessons in horse riding, fencing, dialect and rowing, as well as script readings and costume fits. Over the weeks the rest of the cast would start to join them. When filming started Elijah made long days: starting at 5 a.m. with make up and costumes, followed by the start of filming at 8 a.m. (until at least 8 p.m). Since all three movies were filmed simultaneously, it was hard for the actors to grow into their role. Scenes of all three movies would be filmed in non-chronological order. He also had to film in parts of New Zealand that were secluded and had bad weather conditions. So it was hard work indeed. After a much needed Christmas break, he would return to New Zealand in January 2000, were he and the other cast members would spent the entire year filming 6 days a week. During his little time off the set, Elijah would go surfing, eating in local restaurants and even deejaying in some of the nightclubs. The bond between the actors of the movie grew stronger and all of the members of the Fellowship decide to get a tattoo of a 9 in Elvish script. In December 2000, the last scenes were filmed and Elijah returned home.
After his adventure in New Zealand he was exhausted and for a while he did not know what to do with himself. In 2001 he agreed to do a part in Edward Burns' "Ash Wednesday", but after he said yes, he had second thoughts about it. He was still exhausted from filming "The Lord of the Rings" and he later stated that he almost called Burns to call off the whole thing. Luckily he didn't and Elijah got back in the saddle. He did some voice work for video games and animated movies and made a cameo in "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over".
He also did a movie called "Try Seventeen". In the years following he had to return to New Zealand on multiple occasions to do over some scenes for the LOTR movies, which came out between 2001 and 2003. During this time he also had to do a lot of promo work for the movies. Talking about this promo work; when he was in New York to promote the movie with Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom in 2001, he was confronted with the 9/11 attacks in a personal way. On September 11th, he left New York by plane at about the same time a plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Luckily his plane was diverted to Cincinnati, but that could have ended quite differently. In 2003 Elijah started filming for his role as Patrick in "Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind" and just after he finished he was rushed into the hospital with pain in his abdomen. It turned out to be his appendix, which had to be taken out. In December the the last installment of the LOTR trilogy "Lord of the Rings; Return of the King", hit the cinemas and the movies blasted all records. With a grand total of 30 Oscar nominations and cashing in 17 of these nominations the trilogy still remains one of the most successful movie projects in Hollywood history.
But Elijah wasn't gonna let his role as Frodo define his career, so inn April of 2004 he made his way to London, for a new movie project called: "Green Street Hooligans" (also called "The Yank". In this movie he plays the role of Matt Buckner, a Harvard journalism student that is wrongfully expelled. When he goes and visit his sister and her husband in England, he meets her brother in law Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam). Pete is an avid supporter of Millwall FC (footballclub from London) and runs the hooligan firm of the club. After a little while Matt and Pete become friends and Pete introduces Matt to the violent world of the hooligans. What better way to shake of your Frodo image than that role, right? Fun Fact: Since the film, Elijah remained a supporter for the club. Soon after this he started filming for another amazing movie: "Sin City" (2005), where he played the role of Kevin. He got this role after his (in his own words) his easiest audition ever. The director of the movie, Robert Rodriguez, had him come to a hotel room and told him to bring some glasses. He then asked Elijah to sit there quietly, while he read Marv's lines (Marv was played by Mickey Rourke in the movie). He filmed this and sent it to Frank Miller (the other director and writer of the novel) and he was so creeped out, that they wanted him for the role. Why is creeped out good, you might think? Well, Kevin is a mute, cannibal serial killer. Elijah was happy to do the role, because he is a big fan of the graphic novels by Frank Miller.
In 2004, Elijah also travelled to Prague to film "Everything is Illuminated" (I love that movie). It's adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer's first novel, with the same name. Elijah plays the role of Jonathan, a young Jewish man who travels to the Ukrain to find the women that saved his grandfather from the Nazis in WWII. On his way through the country, he gets the help of the eccentric local Alex. As mentioned before: Elijah has been very musical throughout his life and in September of 2005 he established his own record lable, named: Simian Records. This gave him the opportunity to showcase some of Elijah's favorite bands and reach a wider audience for these bands. Over the years, that followed Elijah had to shift his attention between his passion for movies and his passion for music, so he had to choose for more ensemble pieces in his movies. In "Paris, je t'aime" (2006) he plays Le Garçon, a traveler who get fascinated by a vampire. In "Bobby" (2006) Elijah plays the role of William, a young man that wants to get married to avoid getting sent off to the battlefields of Vietnam. The movie is set on the day that Senator Robert Kennedy was murdered in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5th, 1968. It follows the fictional lives of 24 people in and around the hotel on that day. The movie was written and directed by Emilio Estevez and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture. Also in 2006, Elijah played Aaron Feller in "Day Zero". The story follows the live of three friends that get 30 days to report for duty, when military draft is reinstated. He also voiced Mumble in the animation movie "Happy Feet" (2006) and the voice of Spyro in the games with the same name. Besides being busy with his record label, voice work and acting, Elijah also found time to do a lot of charity work for children and climate. In 2007 he went to London to shoot for "The Oxford Murders", a murder mystery. And that's just 2006. In the following years, Wood remained busy doing movie, short movie, TV, music and charity. He also spent more time deejaying (alone and with his friend DJ Zack Cowie). His first participation in a sequel movie (next to the trilogy to rule them all) was in 2011, when he went back to voice Mumble in "Happy Feet 2". Elijah hadn't been in leading roles for a couple of years (also because the hard times the movie industry went through at this time), but in 2010 it was announced that Elijah would play the lead role in the sitcom "Wilfred" (which was a remake from the acclaimed Australian show with the same name). He started working on this in 2010. In this bizarre TV series Elijah plays the role of Ryan Newman, a depressed man who is the only one that sees the neighbor's dog Wilfred as a grown man in a dog suit (wait what?). He also voiced main character Beck in Disney XD's animated "TRON: Uprising". It was also about this time that Elijah finally succumbed to social media and opened up a Twitter account, only to abandon it soon after. He joined other stars abandoning Twitter and Facebook until 1 million dollar was donated to the Keep a Child Alive campaign. He also appeared in the short film "Fight for your Right Revisited" in 2011 and in the TV movie: "Treasure Island". In June of 2011, "Wilfred" premiered and turned out to be a big success (it would stay on for 4 seasons).
While he was working on "Wilfred" he did a supporting role in the romantic comedy "Celeste and Jesse Forever" and the YouTube parody "The Death and Return of Superman". In 2012 Elijah returned to the role of Frodo for Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit". This made an end to years of speculation. Although Frodo was not in the original Tolkien book, Jackson adjusted the script and involved Elijah. Also in 2012 he starred as Frank in the remake of the 1980 slasher movie "Maniac" and he appeared in some short films. After his promotion tour for "The Hobbit" and "Wilfred", Elijah made his way to Barcelona (Spain) to film for the movie "Grand Piano" (also known as "Blackmail")directed by his friend Eugenio Mira. For his role as pianist Tom Selznick, he had to brush up on his piano skills. He played three hours a day for three weeks. He also did some other movies, but there was another big step in Elijah's career. Over the years (starting in 2002) Elijah had been working in front of as well as behind the camera. In 2010 he met two young filmmakers named Daniel Noah and Josh C. Weller, when he was set to work with them for their movie "Mothership" . When they met to discuss this movie, the trio began to talk about horror (which had been a passion of Elijah since he was a child). While the movie "Mothership" suffered some major setbacks, a friendship between the three men was formed. Through their common love for horror a new project came to life: a production company named The Woodshed Horror Company. The goal of this production company was to produce heart felt horror stories, different from the cliché sort of horror movies.Horror movies that test the boundaries of the genre. The first movie that the Woodshed Company attached to was "Toad Road" (2012). With their second production, called "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night", the company placed itself in the spotlights within the genre. It was completely filmed in black and white and the dialogues were all in the Farsi language. After its premiere at the Sundance Festival of 2014, the movie got great reviews and won several awards. By this time the company had a new name (due to copyright issues) and Spectrevision was born. Meanwhile Elijah was still going strong in producing music, but after he helped wrap up some projects he stated that this would be his last work for Simian. In April of 2013 the short film "Setup, Punch" was screened at the Tribequa Film Festival. In this movie Elijah takes on the role of stand up comedian Ruben Stein. As a preparation for this role, Elijah did a comedy routine at the Improv in Los Angeles. And although he was very nervous before he took the stage ("I felt like I was about to jump out of a plane"), it all went very well. Also in 2013, he played in "Pawn Shop Chronicles". Other names on the cast list are: Norman Reedus, Michael Cudlitz, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon and the late Paul Walker. The biggest part of the year, Elijah spent travelling the world promoting "Grand Piano" and "Maniac".
In 2014 and 2015, Elijah worked on the movie "Set Fire to the Stars". Not only did he star in the movie, but he also co-produced it. He starred in the movie "Open Windows" , a found footage techno-thriller that has all of the action taking place on a computer screen. When his partner at Spectrevision Josh Weller came with an idea for a movie about a virus that would turn children into savages, they all agreed on Elijah taking the main role in it. All except for Elijah. From the start he made it clear, that he did not want to act in a movie produced by his own company. But the partners were hell-bent on Elijah taking on the role of Clint, so they organised an intervention to persuade him to take the role. Eventually Elijah succumbed to the pressure, because he absolutely loved the script. Late 2014 Elijah began filming for "The Last Witch Hunter" and in January 2015 he went to Las Vegas to start filming for "The Trust". This was a dream come true for Elijah, because in this movie he got the chance to work with Nicolas Cage (one of his favorite actors). In 2016 it was announced that Elijah would make his comeback on television with a leading role in "Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency". This would prove to be a role right up to his alley. He would play the role of Todd Brotzmann for two seasons (18 episode). Unfortunately it was cancelled after two seasons. Speaking of roles right up his alley, in 2017 Elijah took on the role of the eccentric Tony in Netflix's "I don't feel at home in this world anymore". His new movie "L.A. Rush" is in post production right now.
It seems impossible to capture Elijah Woods' career in one article, because he truly is a jack-of-all-trades. Over his career span of two decades, the man has done a ton of movies, TV shows, short films, voice work, producing, directing and so much more. I did my best to capture all the facets of his career, but as I said it seems impossible. Take a look at his IMDb page to check out all of his movie- and TV work. We met Elijah at Los Angeles Comic Con in October 2019 and all I can say is that it was legendary. And now you get the chance to meet him in the UK.
Elijah will be attending Liverpool Comic Con on Saturday and Sunday.
Photo Op: £92 (€108)
Autograph: £82 (€97)
Of course there are a lot more guests, so keep an eye on our website for the next guest article coming soon!
Tickets for Liverpool Comic Con can be purchased on their website. See you there?