21 December 2001
The Lord of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson confirmed yesterday that “one or two” liberties would be taken with J R R Tolkien’s script in the second movie of the trilogy, The Two Towers.
As a warning to readers, this story reveals plot details for the first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring.
Under intensive scrutiny from Tolkien purists in the build-up to The Fellowship of the Ring, Wednesday’s premiere revealed several changes from the book in the first movie, not all of them expected.
Yesterday, Jackson revealed “one or two” more departures from J R R Tolkien’s script for the remaining two movies, starting with The Two Towers, due to be released next Christmas.
These included expanded roles for Rohan King Theoden (played by Bernard Hill), his nephew Eomer (played by New Zealander Karl Urban) and some other characters.
“Some (parts) are slightly bigger in some instances,” Jackson said.
In The Fellowship of the Ring, the biggest change was the Jackson-invention of a Uruk-hai called Lurtz – but this had been known and anticipated for a long time.
The screening indicated Jackson’s reasoning: he had brought forward the pivotal Boromir warrior death scene from the start of the second book to the end of the first movie to create a logical climax.
But doing so had created a “villain vacuum” for the closing stages, which Lurtz filled.
Other, more minor changes, included the testing of ranger Strider or Aragorn, by having him confront Frodo, also at the first movie’s end.
And few would have expected to see a physical presence of the evil lord Sauron, though this was only to show the character’s earlier form.
Jackson said that rough cuts had been made of all three films, though some pick-up shooting and “refining” would be required over the two years of production to go.
“It’s just a case of polishing and all the special effects.”
There were “a couple of hundred” effects shots to come.
Spoken to later, Weta Studios director Richard Taylor said, in some respects, that the completion of the later films would be easier than in the first.
That was because the fledgling industry crew had proved their mettle.
“We no longer have to step up to the mark,” Taylor said.