In the News: Cinescape – New `Lord of the Rings’ Production Info

by Dec 2, 1999Lord of the Rings (Movies)

The following article is from Cinescape, wherein they comment on the article from the Wall Street Journal.

`Lord of the Rings’ Prod Info

Cinescape – December 1, 1999


Helmer Peter Jackson and New
Line big shots Robert Shaye and
Michael Lynne are talking up their
challenging Lord of the Rings film
production. In an article in the Wall
Street Journal, additional
information about the production
was provided as well as tidbits on
further promotions for the films to
come.

Regardless of how big the buzz has been on the project,
New Line is still well aware of what a big risk bringing
Tolkien’s epic story the screen is. Robert Shaye, founder
and CEO of New Line, addresses the risks involved in
making the trilogy in one fell swoop… and a lot of money…
saying, “Could it backfire? Sure, if the first film is a disaster
it doesn’t augur very well for the next two… [b]ut — and I’m
knocking on my desk here — we feel very certain that this
has a universal currency in terms of interest, and we think it
could be a franchise right off the shelf.”

Shaye and company are playing it smart, defraying the
expenses up front with word of of a number of international
financial partners as well as “serious lucre in merchandising
and licensing deals” to come.

Shaye and New Line prez Michael Lynne also talked of how
the production was brought to them after Jackson was
unable to craft the epic into a two-part film series, with the
helmer noting, “any attempt to compress the story or
simplify it would disappoint.” Jackson didn’t just come
bearing scripts, but a short video reel demonstrating a
number of the film’s potential creatures. Lynne’s
assessment of the video? “It was amazing: things we hadn’t
seen before, that played tricks with perception, with how
vision works. We were blown away.”

Regarding the current production, the paper notes that the
films have 85 speaking parts, noting that none of those parts
will be filled by still rumored Sean Connery. On this point,
Jackson is quoted as saying, “Never talked to him.”

As far as the special effects are concerned, Jackson was
asked if he had any concerns that the visuals on the screen
might eclipse the actors. Jackson answered, “Lord of the
Rings is wonderful source material, an amazingly intricate
epic story with wonderful characters. We’re just trying to
take all the great stuff from the books and use modern
technology to give audiences a night at the movies quite
unlike anything they have ever seen before.”

As far as plans to further promote the production, the Journal
reports that New Line will be doing a series of videotape
interviews with Jackson as well as conduct Internet remote
chats from and during the production.

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