SPOILERS NewsWire: The Hard Truths of Editing Return of the King (from Peter Jackson Himself) - Ain't It Cool News
Here's the highlight of the article, in particular a Peter Jackson letter that tells about the editing of ROTK:
The problem is that the sequence was originally shot for The Two Towers, as it is in the book. Since The Two Towers couldn't sustain a 7 min "wrap" after Helm's Deep, we thought it would be a good idea to save it for the beginning of the Return of the King. The trouble is, when we viewed various ROTK cuts over the last few weeks, it feels like the first scenes are wrapping last year's movie, instead of starting the new one. We felt it got ROTK off to an uncertain beginning, since Saruman plays no role in the events of ROTK (we don't have the Scouring later, as the book does), yet we dwell in Isengard for quite a long time before our new story kicks off.
I'm very surprised Jackson decided to do this. In The Two Towers: Extended Edition behind the scenes footage, he sounded very upbeat about the idea of starting ROTK at Isengard. It seems to me they should simply have ended The Two Towers at Isengard, at least with Gandalf breaking Saruman's staff. The audience NEEDS to see this villain broken and defeated, not just surprised by the ents' attack! Post your own thoughts about his change in our Movies Forum!
Click the link below to read the entire article (warning: objectionable language).