Three “The Lord of the Rings Limited Edition” sets, one for each movie, will hit store shelves on August 29. Each two-disc set will include the original theatrical and the extended versions of the film, along with Costa Botes’ feature-length documentary on each film’s creation.
In July 2001, I saw Costa Botes at a round table film discussion at Azusa Pacific University where he screened a brief amount of his behind-the-scenes footage, none of which made it into the extended DVDs. He told me then that New Line intended on releasing an “Ultimate Edition” in the distant future, so perhaps these are them. These new documentaries will be feature-length, and more “organic”, apparently.
Additionally, it’s being reported that the DVD will contain both the theatrical and extended editions of the films. How can they do this? By using a “branching” format that gives you a visual cue to view an extended scene if you want to while you’re watching the film… which, in my opinion, is definitely not an elegant solution, and may indeed ruin the film itself (the visual cue, that is).
In any case, I’ll still end up buying it just for the documentaries…