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Rings Fans Petition Filmmakers - April 26, 2000

More than 11,000 fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy of novels have signed an online petition imploring makers of three movies based on the books to honor Tolkien's vision. The Tolkien Online fan Web site has posted the petition and intends to forward it to Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings movies, and to executives at New Line Cinema, which is producing the epic films.

The petitioners in particular express concern about the depiction of Arwen, daughter of Elrond, as a young elf warrior princess, which the fans feel varies significantly from Tolkien's characterization. "We understand that things of this sort are virtually inevitable, to some degree, in any adaptation," the petition said. "However, we believe wholesale alterations of the kind discussed above are completely unnecessary, would violate the integrity of Tolkien's work and alienate his many fans."

The petition is addressed to producers Saul Zaentz, Harvey and Robert Weinstein; Robert Shaye, chairman and chief executive of New Line;Michael DeLuca, president and chief operating officer of New Line; and Jackson. Jackson is about six months into a planned 18-month filming schedule for the three films, which are being made simultaneously in New Zealand. The first film is slated for a Christmas 2001 release.

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