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The director had originally proposed a three-part adaptation to United Artists, the then-current rights holders. UA negotiated down to two films, and later refused to fund a sequel.
The original title was "The Lord of the Rings Part One." After the film was completed, the studio told the director that no one would pay to see half of a film. The director objected to the name change, because it would confuse audiences into thinking that they would be getting the whole story. Nevertheless, the studio went ahead and issued the film as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, against the director's objections.
United Artists insisted on the name change from Saruman to Aruman to avoid confusion with the similarly-named villain Sauron. The decision was later reversed during production, thus the brief references to "Aruman".
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