The Complete List of Film Changes, a popular Internet resource for fans interested in learning about the storyline changes director Peter Jackson is making in his upcoming film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has now found a permanent home on Tolkien Online.
Well-known to Tolkien fans who have closely followed the production of New Line Cinema‘s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy over the past two years, The Complete List of Film Changes attempts to document all the differences between Tolkien’s books and Jackson’s films, as revealed in news articles, “spy” reports, filmmaker interviews, publicity stills and other sources.
“The fan interest in these films is intense. No other film in the history of motion pictures has been so closely scrutinized from the moment pre-production was announced,” says the List’s author, who uses the screen name of Ancalagon The Black after a dragon from Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythology.
“As a fan of the books for the past thirty years now, I’ve been reading everything I could find about the film adaptation since I first learned of it,” Ancalagon continues. “Occasionally, I would come across message board debates on Tolkien websites about some departure the filmmakers were rumored to be making from the books, only to discover that rumor was completely unsubstantiated. I felt that with so much for fans to debate about the filmmaker’s adaptation, we should have a resource that documents what changes have been actually reported and what hasn’t. So, I began compiling a list with links to the sources that originally reported them.”
However, with all the news and rumors coming out about the Lord of the Rings films, Ancalagon’s List was soon becoming unwieldy to maintain without assistance. “I originally posted it on a number of Tolkien and film sites throughout the Internet, but I couldn’t find the time to keep each version up to date,” he explains. “Also, it was getting to large to fit onto anyone’s message board, so I began looking a site to host a web page for the List and give it permanent home. I eventually decided to ask Tolkien Online because it has the most active Tolkien message board on the Internet and attracts the most knowledgeable Tolkien fans.”
Jonathan Watson, one of Tolkien Online’s two founders, agreed to the request. “Ancalagon’s List fits in well with our goal of bringing fans together and providing an environment for discussing his works,” Watson says. “Tolkien Online is designed to encourage fans to learn about and voice an opinion upon Tolkien-related news articles, images, and fan fiction.”
Such an environment appears to be attracting a great many fans, according to Tolkien Online’s other founder, Ted Tschopp. “Today we have over ten thousand registered users, and — according to a service that measures Internet activity — our web site has the most page loads of any Tolkien-inspired site. This tells us that not only are many fans coming to Tolkien Online, they are hanging around for a long time to discuss what they are learning.”
Does The Complete List of Film Changes provide something for Lord of the Rings fans to talk about? Absolutely, says David Mullich, one of Tolkien Online’s news reporters and Movie Forum moderators. “The fans that come here discuss and dissect every detail about the films that comes out, and often they refer to Ancalagon’s List to separate truth from rumor. Conversely, Ancalagon recently revised his list to include arguments for and against each change from fan discussions on our message board.”
The Complete List of Film Changes is accessible from Tolkien Online’s main page, or you can click on the link below.