Peter Jackson has made his verdict… You can make yours in December 2001.
Lord of the Rings will meet filming deadline
By Mike Houlahan of NZPA
The Evening Post – November 12, 2000
The three-film trilogy Lord Of The Rings will finish shooting on schedule on December 22, the movie’s New Zealand director Peter Jackson said yesterday.
The movie-adaptation of J R R Tolkien’s fantasy classic has been filming in New Zealand for 14 months. It has brought stars such as Elijah Woods, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Ian Holm and Liv Tyler to the country.
“One of the unique privileges of doing this film is it’s a book you grow up with,” Jackson told a rare press conference held on set in Wellington.
“They’re characters you imagine in your mind, and the book creates an incredibly vivid picture of what their faces look like.
“For the last year, the best moments for me have been when I’ve had a quite moment in a corner waiting for a camera to be set up or something, I’m sitting there and it dawns on me from time to time that here I am at Bag End or here I am at Helm’s Deep, and there’s Aragorn there, or Gandalf or Frodo.
“There’s moments when, even if you put the technology to one side, that you feel you have been physically transported into the books.
FILMING HAS BEEN A ‘PRIVILEGE’
“Everybody will share the movie when it comes out but it’s been a real privilege for those of us in the same room as these characters.”
Wood – who stars as Frodo Baggins – said: “The great thing about taking so long to make a film like this is we’ve all been able to live with our characters for such a long period of time.”
“I’ve been able to see my character through all its changes and all the growth.”
Lord Of The Rings producer Barrie Osborne would not be drawn on amounts in relation to a reported blowout in the budget of what was intended to be a $US260 million ($NZ659.89 million) movie, but confirmed the film’s budget had been “enhanced”.
“This film was originally contemplated by Miramax as a two picture film. Peter felt very strongly it should be three, and when it changed hands to New Line they worked with us to get to the current situation we are in,” Osborne said.
“Normally if a picture is blowing out or having difficulties it reflects on the shooting days but we’re finishing on our shooting day, as scheduled.
“Any enhancements we’ve done to the film have been strictly done in co-ordination with New Line Cinema, who have been very generous in helping us out.”
Lord Of The Rings was a “healthy three budget film,” funded at an appropriate level for three epic films and appropriate to bring Tolkien’s work to the screen, Osborne said.
Jackson said storylines of the three movies would coincide closely to that of Tolkien’s books.
He had anticipated problems with having to alter or change things from the much-loved books but said these had failed to materialise.
“We’ve found ourselves going back closer and closer to the books… the more we started to know the books and tell their tale, we’ve found we keep going back to them again and again.
“Tolkien’s voice, hopefully, comes through strongly.”
McKELLEN SEEKS ‘REALITY’
McKellen, who plays Gandalf the Wizard, said Jackson had stressed he wanted what appeared on the screen to be real.
“That’s been a huge attraction for me and for everyone else I think, that it is a fairy story of sorts but we are making believe that it actually happened.”
The first film, The Fellowship Of The Ring, is scheduled for release Christmas next year. It should have an 8000-10,000 screen release, Jackson said. The subsequent films would be released a year apart.
Jackson said he had another movie planned after Lord Of The Rings was completed.
While he would give no details, he did say it would also be filmed in New Zealand.