The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) Poster


The Dead Marshes were actually a water-filled parking lot, the same one that had doubled for outside the mines of Moria in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Passengers in passing trains on the adjacent railway line were able to see Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Andy Serkis performing on set.
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Andy Serkis was pitched the role of Gollum by his agent, who rang him up and asked him if he wanted to do three weeks' voiceover work in New Zealand. However, Peter Jackson was so blown away by Serkis' audition that he decided to have him perform the movements for Gollum as well.
They couldn't recruit enough men in the 6 foot height area to play Uruk-hai so men from 5 foot high were cast as well. They were affectionately nicknamed the Uruk-Low.
Andy Serkis said he based Gollum's desperation and cravings on the withdrawals of heroin addicts.
On the wall of Helm's Deep during the battle, a one-eyed warrior turns to the camera, revealing his scarred empty socket. The performer who played him showed up as an extra, wearing an eye patch; director Peter Jackson politely asked to see what was under the patch, and then inquired if the gentleman would be interested in appearing in the film sans eye patch. The gentleman was reluctant at first and quite self-conscious, but afterward said the experience had made him more comfortable with his condition.
John Rhys-Davies also provided the voice for Treebeard. It wasn't achieved by electronic distortion, but by making the actor speak in his naturally booming voice at lowest pitch possible, through a wooden megaphone.
Rendering Gollum would often take six hours for one shot, so WETA would leave the shot to render over night and check the results in the morning. Every now and again a computer glitch would occur, for instance, one morning the team woke up to find every hair on Gollum's head standing upright in a sort of punk looking afro, or his eyes would pop in and out of his head as he spoke.
As the Orcs have black blood, it was only natural that the inside of their mouths should not be pink but black as well. To achieve this, the Orc actors had to swill a liquorice-based mouthwash prior to each of their scenes.
When Grima Wormtongue sees Saruman's army of 10,000, he is so shocked that a tear falls from one of his eyes. This wasn't in the script; it's something that Brad Dourif can do at will, and he and the filmmakers decided that it would work well for the scene.
The 10,000 Uruk-Hai battle chants for the Helm's Deep battle sequence were provided by a stadium of 25,000 cricket fans, who chanted the war chants, "Derbgoo, nashgshoo, derbgoo, dashshoo," spelled out on the Diamond Vision screen, with Peter Jackson himself leading the crowd.
Andy Serkis drank bottles and bottles of "Gollum juice" (a mixture of honey, lemon and ginger) to keep his throat lubricated for his intense vocal performance.
When Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) are in Osgiliath, Sam says, "By rights, we shouldn't even be here." This was a nod to the deviation the screenplay had taken from the book's storyline. In the book, Sam and Frodo never passed through Osgiliath at all.
The scene where Gandalf calls for his horse and Shadowfax comes galloping across the fields and straight up to his master was achieved in the very first take.
There were so many extras used in the sequences at Helms Deep, and the filming went on for so many months that almost all the extras and principal actors got t-shirts reading "I survived Helms Deep". There were so many of these shirts that extras would often meet other extras in New Zealand's main cities because they would recognize the shirts.
Gollum's pupils and body language signal his frame of mind. "Treacherous Gollum" has narrow pupils and his shoulders are hunched up, like a wild cat, making him appear sinister and predator-like. While "Friendly Gollum"/ "Smeagol" has slightly wider pupils and his body movements are similar to the movements made by a child , making him look innocent and cute. This is most obvious in the scene when the two sides of his personality struggle with each other.
In the wide shots of Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli running after the Orcs, all three performers are running injured. Orlando Bloom had a couple of broken ribs (from a fall off a horse); Viggo Mortensen had a broken toe (from kicking the helmet in the Orcs funeral pyre scene); and Brett Beattie (Gimli's stunt double) had a knee injury. Peter Jackson said that all three were very dedicated and continued to film the scene, often yelling "ouch" or "ow" after "cut" was called.
One time while Bernard Hill was in England, a woman came up to him and told him about how one of her children had died shortly before then, and that parents shouldn't have to bury their child. His confrontation with this woman affected him so much that he asked to have a line put in about it.
Viggo Mortensen was so impressed with the horse his character rides that he purchased him from the owners. The horse was shipped back to New Zealand for the additional shots that were filmed in 2002.
The Main Door of Helm's Deep was built so heavily and so well that the real battering ram that was built to knock down the gates failed to do so until the door was weakened. Someone had built the door a little bit too well and Peter Jackson can be heard on the Extended Edition DVD commenting that if they had to defend a castle, he would want the WETA workshop guys to build the door.
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) had lost the tip of his left middle finger in a farm accident when he was younger, so special prosthetic fingertips were made from a cast of his right middle finger. During shooting he decided to pull a prank on Peter Jackson. He cut the tip off the prosthetic finger and filled it with fake blood, then went up to Jackson and said "boss, I had an accident."
When Gollum eats a whole fish, it's actually Andy Serkis chewing on a fish-shaped lollipop.
One of the reasons for the casting of David Wenham was his resemblance to Sean Bean, his on-screen brother.
Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan spent so much time up the tree (TreeBeard) during the making of the the film that they spent their time between takes writing a screenplay. Additionally, it was so difficult to get up and down to their "perches" that they were left there during breaks while the rest of the crew went off to eat, though someone was kind enough to pass theirs up to them.
About 200-300 horses were used in the trilogy. Because most of the scenes involving horses are intense battle scenes where the horses could likely be harmed, a horse and rider were fitted with the same type of suit that Andy Serkis wore for his role, and were filmed in the studio doing typical "battle" things, like galloping and rearing up, so the footage could be inserted digitally into the battle scenes. In that way, no horses were hurt.
When Miranda Otto arrived on set, she was introduced first to the people she'd be working with the most. When she met Viggo Mortensen, she commented about her character falling in love with his: "It's going to be SO easy to fall in love with this man!"
On Miranda Otto's first day of shooting, Liv Tyler was said to have welcomed her with enthusiastic open arms, saying, "I'm so glad there's another woman in this film."
The Helm's Deep battle took four months to shoot, all of it at night.
When Gollum spits in disgust at Sam's cooking of rabbits, that is Andy Serkis' very own spittle flying through the air. Serkis lists that scene as his favorite from all three films.
Andy Serkis said that he based Gollum's voice on the sound of a cat coughing up a hairball.
Andy Serkis (Gollum) was ruled ineligible for a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2003 Academy Awards because his character onscreen was computer generated.
Andy Serkis' hobby of rock-climbing came in very handy for his mainly on-all-fours performance as Gollum.
To make the many sparkling lights in Galadriel's eyes, the crew put white Christmas lights behind the camera.
Between takes, Brad Dourif stayed in character by continuing to speak with an English accent until all his footage had been completed. This was so convincing that, at the end, when he spoke with his normal voice again, Bernard Hill thought that his English accent was real and that his American accent must be fake.
While filming the trilogy, Viggo Mortensen got so into character that during a conversation, Peter Jackson referred to him as "Aragorn" for over half an hour without him realizing it.
The scene with the Uruk-hai before the Battle for Helms Deep starts, where they stomp their spears into the ground, was inspired by the same act the stuntmen would do between takes to pass time. After seeing it, Peter Jackson liked it, and put it in the movie.
To increase the number of Rohirrim riders, many of the "men" were actually women with beards glued on. Peter Jackson and others have noted that in many cases they were more skilled riders than the men.
The map that Faramir and Madril look at is the map featured in the books, drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien.
Andy Serkis did the voices for the three orcs arguing with each other at the Fangorn Camp scene
Originally Liv Tyler's character Arwen (and love interest for Aragorn) was to be included in the fighting force of Elves who join the men in the battle of Helms Deep. This was a relic of the script treatment for Miramax, which condensed all three books into two films, and met with fan fury on the internet with its free-and-easy approach to J.R.R. Tolkien's work. Tyler had even trained with swordfighters in preparation for her scenes, when the decision to remove her was made by the writers, who realized that this approach wasn't working. Arwen, who doesn't appear in the book of "The Two Towers", was ultimately reworked into the story by lifting elements from the Appendices at the back of the novel, utilizing flashbacks to her and Aragorn at Rivendell. It took the writers about a year to come up with this solution.
Bernard Hill would spend up to nine hours in make-up to become the aged Theoden. He wore contact lenses to give his eyes the milky look that very old people can have, but it wasn't sufficiently successful so his eyes were later tinkered with digitally.
For one shot where Gollum is crawling and splashing down a river after a fish, Andy Serkis was actually in the water. It had been snowing the previous night, and the snow had melted, but the water was still freezing cold. Peter Jackson was worried that Serkis would forget about the cliff due to the cold and would fall off so he put two crew members near the edge to stop him in the event that he got too close. Serkis walked off the set wearing towels and tin foil.
The Extended Version reveals that Aragorn is 87 years old. This is said to be due to the fact that he is a descendant of the Dunedain, gifted with long life. (Readers of the book knew this already.)
Gollum/Smeagol is a CGI character, but Peter Jackson wanted the character to be performer-oriented, so actor Andy Serkis, the voice of Gollum, played the character in a motion capture suit. Serkis also played scenes with Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Sean Astin (Sam) on set to give the actors a focal point. On those occasions when Serkis was actually in shot Gollum was composited over him in post production.
Orlando Bloom originally auditioned for the role of Faramir.
In the cave scene where Faramir lifts the Ring from under Frodo's shirt, David Wenham was afraid of accidentally stabbing Elijah Wood so a swordsman was called on to do the scene.
There were never more than 100 Uruk-hai at any time; the rest were all computer generated.
The Battle of Helm's Deep features hundreds of spears made of cardboard tubes so that none of the charging horses would be injured.
One frame of Gollum would take around eight minutes to render, while one frame of Treebeard could take up to 48 hours to render.
Sean Bean had finished shooting his scenes and had returned to England, when he was asked to return to New Zealand to film an elaborate flashback scene. Unfortunately, this scene did not make it into the theatrical cut of the movie, although it is included in the Extended Edition.
The location for Edoras was in the midst of a national park. The Conservation Society of New Zealand gave them permission to film there on the proviso that they left it in exactly the same condition that they found it. This meant lifting most of the natural vegetation and grasses up and storing them in a purpose-built nursery, as filming in the location would last approximately 18 months.
Bernard Hill was originally considered for the role of Gandalf.
The dawn shot of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas pursuing the orcs came about when Viggo Mortensen persuaded the second unit team to camp out on location. Mortensen's efforts in organizing the overnight trip were so effective that actors and crew from the other film units, including Miranda Otto, came out to join him.
The battle at Helm's Deep was edited down from twenty hours of footage, shot over a three month period with the rain machine battering down on the cast.
Elijah Wood's sister Hannah Wood is one of the refugees in Helm's Deep, as is Henry Mortensen, Viggo Mortensen's son. Philippa Boyens' son Callum Boyens is the boy who gives Aragorn his sword, but that isn't his voice in the final cut. Callum's voice had changed by the time it came to do the looping, so a different voice was cast.
When Merry and Pippin are being carried off on the back of the Uruk'hai, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan are in reality being carried on the backs of two stuntmen wearing oversized costumes and a false enormous head to give the impression of height disparity.
Viggo Mortensen broke a tooth during the shoot. He immediately wanted to continue filming and requested super glue to reattach the broken tooth so he could use the pain for his character. Producer Barrie M. Osborne told him that they were taking him to a dentist and that they would finish filming afterwards.
The Gollum that is briefly glimpsed in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) is an entirely different creation than the one that appears in this film. It was during the filming of the second movie that Peter Jackson realized that Andy Serkis' physical performance would have to be employed in the digital creation of Gollum. So Weta Digital had to alter the design of one of the lead characters in the film, scanning Serkis' face so that they would be able to incorporate some of his facial characteristics (the fact that Jackson had also filmed a flashback to be included in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) with Serkis playing the original Smeagol only cemented this decision). This ultimately meant, however, that Weta Digital had only 2-1/2 months to redo two years' work. Serkis himself thought that the final result looked like a combination of his father and his newborn baby.
Originally, while Faramir's group is approaching Osgilliath, the city of Minas Tirith would have been just visible in the background (lying against the rocks in the far distance). However, Peter Jackson was afraid that people would confuse it with Helms Deep, and had the effect removed from the theatrical version, though he did include it in the Extended Edition.
If one watched the extended versions of all three films back to back it would take him or her 681 min (11 hr, 21 min) to finish it.
The Lembas Bread that Sam and Frodo eat in the beginning of the film was actually shortbread cookies made by the art department
In the Extended Edition, Pippin tells Merry about a dream he had in which they smoked a large amount of pipeweed, and then Merry got sick. During filming, Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry, did indeed get sick when he tried to smoke.
Many of Treebeard's lines come from the book, but were spoken by Tom Bombadil in the first volume.
The 30-foot "bigiature" of Helm's Deep was the first of the oversized miniatures constructed for the trilogy.
The animatronic puppet of Treebeard was 14 feet high.
Sean Astin shot his short film The Long and Short of It (2003) during a re-shoot in New Zealand. LucasFilm was demonstrating its new High Definition Digital Video cameras (used on Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)) for Peter Jackson, and Astin asked the LucasFilm crew if they could stay an extra day so he could use the camera to shoot his short film. They agreed, and Astin shot the film in six hours.
The Deeping Wall blowing up and the boulder smashing into a tower in Osgiliath weren't created digitally, but by destroying the miniatures
EASTER EGG: In the extended DVD version on the first movie disc, go to chapter 29-30 under the scene selection. Press down under chapter 30 and a gold ring will appear. It's a hidden extra of the MTV awards for Andy Serkis receiving best virtual performance.
The dead horses that can be seen at the end of the battle scenes are all made of polystyrene.
A scene of a fresh-faced Aragorn meeting Arwen for the first time was filmed, but Peter Jackson was unable to find a suitable place for it.
Tell-tale signs (grayer hair, blotchy skin) are introduced to show that the Uruk-hai are an inbred set of creatures, who are already starting to erode.
When Aragorn kicks the helmet after he thinks Merry and Pippin are dead he lets out a scream. This scream is genuine. Peter Jackson wanted Viggo Mortensen to kick the helmet as close to the camera as possible, but on the fourth attempt he breaks two toes. He lets out the scream in response to the pain but doesn't tell them to cut, so the scream you hear is real.
When Legolas is talking to Aragorn before the Battle of Helm's Deep, he refers to 300 against 10,000. It is a reference to Thermopolyae where 300 Spartans killed 10,000 Persians. David Wenham would later go on to star in the action biopic 300 (2006) about the event.
Instead of being hired out, all the hero horses were actually bought for the production, to allow them the chance to get used to the comings and goings of film crews.
Peter Jackson and producer Barrie M. Osborne actively campaigned for Andy Serkis to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Gollum. Academy regulations, however, forbid an actor to be nominated when he is not physically to be seen on screen, despite Serkis' active input into the role.
The sound of the fell beasts that the ringwraiths ride is actually the noise of a donkey.
Forced perspective was just one of the tricks used on the Helm's Deep "bigiature" to make it look like the real thing. Parts of the set that were far away from camera were built to a smaller scale, to make them look further away. The shots were also always made in smoke to increase the sense of atmospheric distance. During the design process, parts of the model were filled with Action Man dolls to provide a scale reference.
Initially, the musical score was deemed ineligible for the Academy Awards because of a new rule which stated that scores featuring themes used in a previous film were not eligible for submission. This rule was very unpopular and was quickly abandoned. The score became eligible again, though it did not receive a nomination.
Aragorn's basic costume is changed slightly in this film, compared to the previous one: he wears the leather wrist gauntlets of Gondor, which he took from Boromir's body to honor his fallen comrade.
In each film in the trilogy, the subtitle of the film is incorporated as dialogue. In this instance- Saruman: "Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard... and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman... and the union of the two towers?"
Gimli's armor weighed about 30kg (66lb).
While the three hunters are surrounded by the Rohirrim, three or four cameras were used at once to get a more realistic shot. The whole sequence was filmed non-stop from the moment the Rohirrim ride up to the moment they ride away.
New Line wanted Peter Jackson to start the film with a prologue done by Cate Blanchett, something that Jackson didn't want to do. Ironically, a year earlier New Line had been opposed to opening The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) with a prologue narrated by Blanchett, something Jackson was in favor of.
Brad Dourif, who played Grima Wormtongue, has a goddaughter named Arwen.
Brad Dourif had to shave his eyebrows off, and because he was recalled several times during the trilogy's filming, he ended up doing that five times over the course of three years.
The design for Gollum took over 100 maquette sculptures and over 1000 drawings to get right.
The scene of Denethor was removed in the theatrical version, which made his first appearance in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). However, he appeared in the Extended Edition.
A new technique for creating realistic translucent materials was developed for the creation of Gollum. The so-called technique called "subsurface scattering", allowed the 3D-artists at Weta Digital, to simulate light casting into objects and bouncing around underneath the surface and casted back out again. This has been used ever since in the vfx production to create realistic skin.
The first sequel to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture when the original film did not win the award itself, and the third sequel to be nominated for Best Picture.
The eponymous Two Towers in the book are the Tower of Orthanc in the city of Isengard and the Tower of the Moon in the enemy-occupied city of Minas Morgul. However, the eponymous Two Towers in the movie are the Tower of Orthanc and the Barad-dur (the Dark Tower) in Mordor.
Kate Winslet was offered the role of Eowyn.
During one of the takes for the scene in which Gollum (Andy Serkis) pulls Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) back before they run towards the Black Gate, Serkis accidentally pulled Astin's wig off his head. Astin immediately stormed off the set in considerable pain to get the wig re-attached. Serkis thought Astin was angry with him and became angry in response. Later that day they both made up and Astin later remarked that "it was embarrassing" that the incident would be discussed on the DVD release.
The Warg attack against the Rohirrim was originally supposed to be set at night, and at Edoras. After working on the Edoras set during the day, Peter Jackson decided that it was too windy and too cold to bring cast and crew back for a night scene, so the scene was re-written to happen during daylight.
The sounds of the Orcs were in part recordings of elephant seal pups at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, a marine mammal hospital that rescues, rehabilitates and releases sick and injured seals, sea lions, whales, and dolphins.
559 people are listed in the end credits. This number is significantly higher on the Extended DVD Version.
The "miniature" of Orthanc tower ended up being 27 feet tall.
Sean Astin suffered two injuries in rapid succession. First, he impaled his foot on a piece of glass underwater, while filming the scene in which Sam rushed out to Frodo's boat. Literally the day after that scene wrapped, he filmed the scene in this film where Gollum leads Frodo and Sam to the Black Gate. During that scene, Gollum grabs Frodo and Sam to stop them from rushing towards the Gate. Andy Serkis grabbed Astin by the hair, and pulled so hard that it yanked the wig right off his head, causing him considerable pain.
When arriving upon the set to film the scene in which Andy Serkis (Gollum) has to catch a fish, they discovered that it had snowed overnight. Peter Jackson had the snow cleared on the set (which included defrosting the river as well as the land surrounding it) by 1:00 PM.
Some of the physical inspirations for Gollum's wiry frame were resident artist (and J.R.R. Tolkien expert) John Howe and rock singer Iggy Pop.
The bodies lying underwater in the Dead Marshes were made of silicone.
Most of what is seen of the Black Gate is a miniature. There was no real location as such, and the scene where Frodo, Sam and Gollum are on a hilltop was filmed indoors. The miniature of the Black Gates of Mordor was partly made of lead.
Although Wargs in the novel are described merely as looking like wolves, the filmmakers decided to add in elements of hyenas (which are not members of the wolf/dog family) to their build, to create a uniquely fearsome appearance.
Miniature photography for the trilogy took up a total of 988 days.
The movie's line "My precious" was voted as the #85 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
Rohan armor weighed 22 kilograms dry and 24 wet.
WILHELM SCREAM: An Elvish warrior falls off the Deeping Wall and screams.
Christopher Lee read the Lord of Rings trilogy once a year until his death in 2015 and is the only member of the cast to have met J.R.R. Tolkien.
Bernard Hill cracked his sternum while riding his horse.
A stuntman broke his leg playing the soldier who is hit by the "bolt" from the ballista type device used to hoist the ladders.
Early trailers included a brief scene of Eowyn waiting to attack an Uruk-hai from behind a pillar; this scene is not included in either the theatrical version or the extended edition.
The theatrical version contains roughly 800 special effects shots. The DVD Extended Edition adds about another 160 to that total.
Gollum says the word "precious" fifteen times in this film.
11,000 sandbags were used for the construction of the Dead Marshes set.
The role of Eowyn, the White Lady of Rohan, was first offered to Irish actress Alison Doody in December 1999, who had to decline the part because she had just given birth to her second daughter. Miranda Otto then auditioned for the same role.
One of the main reasons Sean Astin took the part of Sam was the advice of his father John Astin, who had previously worked with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh on The Frighteners (1996) and had been enthused with their rapport, understanding of film and appreciation of their crew.
In an earlier version of the script, Arwen was to have fought alongside Aragorn at Helm's Deep. Footage of Arwen fighting some Uruk-Hai was shot, but was not used in the final film.
The only film trilogy to have all 3 films nominated for the top 100 greatest films of all time by the AFI (American Film Institute).
Stuart Townsend was replaced shortly after shooting began because Peter Jackson and the producers realized the character of Aragorn needed to be older.
Peter Jackson's first two choices for the role of Aragorn were Daniel Day-Lewis and Russell Crowe. Crowe was excited about the prospect of being involved with a major motion picture in New Zealand, but couldn't commit due to scheduling conflicts in America.
The set for the Helm's Deep battle scene was built on location in New Zealand over a period of seven months.
Prior to Emiliana Torrini, Björk was approached several times to both co-write and sing "Gollum's Song". She refused them all due to her pregnancy. Although she was not officially involved, producers did pick three artists with a similar sound, and asked her to choose. Her pick didn't work out, and after approaching her one final time to sing, the song went to Torrini.
Edoras is only ever filmed during the day as it was well nigh impossible to transport all the necessary night-time lighting equipment up to the location.
Early in pre-production Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke were set to play Eowyn and Faramir. Scheduling conflicts prevented this, but it meant that these two parts were finally cast relatively late into production.
Cate Blanchett has only three scenes in this film.
Several members of the cast returned to New Zealand when Peter Jackson thought of some more ideas for scenes.
Most of the Helm's Deep set was made of polystyrene.
The "bigiature" model of Helm's Deep stood 7 feet tall and measured 20 feet square.
The scene where Gamling (Bruce Hopkins) and Theoden (Bernard Hill) get ready for the battle (speech from Gamling), Hopkins' sons, Tom Hopkins and Joe Hopkins, are sitting at the entrance of the room, their backs to the camera, as refugees.
Once Andy Serkis was cast as Gollum, the designers had to alter their concepts of the character that they had been working on for about three years to marry up with Serkis' features.
The Line "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard" has become a well known internet meme. There is even a music video.
General release prints of the film were made from a digital master that has been digitally noise and grain reduced. As a result there is less grain but also digital noise reduction artifacts in the form of smearing of textures (the worst case is in a shot shortly after Aragorn falls off the cliff).
David Wenham hadn't read the books when he joined the production as Faramir.
Kevin Conway was originally cast as Theoden but decided to reprise his Gettysburg (1993) role of Buster Kilrain in the prequel Gods and Generals (2003) instead.
Conceptual artist John Howe was the model for Gollum's sinewy arms.
Originally, one of the concept drawings of Gollum showed him having skeletal nostrils for a nose. However, that idea was dropped, because Weta Digital's concept artists felt that the skeletal nose made Gollum too unsympathetic and "zombie-like." Another concept showed Gollum having a small potbelly. That idea was also dropped as well.
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Movie theater prints were labeled "Grand Tour" on the film can and the actual reels.
Stephen Sinclair's screenplay credit stems from when the film was being proposed to Miramax as a two-parter.
Gimli the Dwarf being portrayed as a comic relief character throughout the film proved divisive both with fans of the original book and general audiences. Some loved the seemingly non-stop barrage of humorous situations Gimli was put through, even feeling it made him more charming and felt it brought much needed levity to an otherwise dark film while others that the constant pratfalls, slapstick and other assorted embarrassing moments the character was subjected to (tripping over his own feet while running and trying to cover it with a boast, falling off his horse, being told rather condescendingly to lower his ax by Aragorn, being forced to beg Aragorn to toss him after refusing to be tossed in the previous film) were not only disrespectful to the character, especially seeing as Aragorn and Legolas were never subjected to the same humorous humiliations, and felt that the slapstick pratfalls were out of place with the more tragic tone of the film and ruined a number of otherwise powerful and dramatic moments (such as when Gimli is being dragged away by two men during the climactic battle at the end of the film).
In the wide shots of Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli running after the Orcs, John Rhys-Davies' character (played by his stunt double Brett Beattie) drops something as he runs.
Gollum's singing while slapping a fish in preparation to eat it in the Forbidden Pool scene was Andy Serkis's idea.
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Voted number 19 in Channel 4's (UK) "Greatest Family Films" (as trilogy).
The movie's line "Precious" was voted as the #93 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
Some of the local stuntmen playing the Uruk-Hai would perform the haka (a traditional Maori war dance) between takes to pass time and keep warm.
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Patrick McGoohan turned down the role of Gandalf due to poor health.
The armor and weaponry of the Rohirrim is based on the attire of Anglo-Saxon and Swedish warriors in the Migration Era, in particular on finds from Sutton Hoo, Valsgärde and Vendel. Where dragons and ravens would have been featured on the helmets, horses are used instead.
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During the assault on Isengard, an Ent is set on fire. When another Ent tears down a nearby dam and Isengard is flooded, the Ent on fire dunks its head into the oncoming wave of water to put itself out.
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Originally, a fight scene involving Eowyn and Orcs in the Glistening Caves, at Helm's Deep, was shot and a small shot of this scene was even shown in a trailer, for the film, but the scene never made it into either the Theatrical or Extended versions of the movie.
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Bernard Hill who plays King Theoden and John Rhys-Davies who plays Gimli have both played captains to the two ill-fated sister ships Titanic (1997) and Britannica (1971).
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The scene where Sam is violently dragging Gollum by a rope around his neck is similar to the scene where Pozzo arrives dragging his slave, Lucky by the neck with a long piece of rope in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot". Frodo, Sam and Gollum have character elements of the four main characters in "Waiting for Godot". Frodo has the character elements of Vladimir (compassion and philosophical thinking), Sam has a combination of Vladimir, Estragon and Pozzo's characteristics (cynicism and harshness towards Gollum, and yet has a philosophical outlook] while Gollum has a combination of Pozzo and Lucky's characteristics (opportunistic and devious as Treacherous Gollum, and childlike and servile as Friendly Gollum). Ian McKellen played the role of Estragon in "Waiting for Godot" costarring with Patrick Stewart as Vladimir.
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When Gollum taunts his good personality, Smeagol, by saying "Nobody likes you", Smeagol slaps his hands over his ears, while nervously saying, "Not listening... I'm not listening." Smeagol's action of covering his ears pays homage to the "Hear no evil" monkey figure in the famous "See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil" sculptures (aka. The Three Wise Monkeys). This is one of the two films where Andy Serkis does an impression of a famous artwork. The second film being Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011).
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Gollum shares similar characteristics with Grendel from Beowulf (2007), based on the Anglo-Saxon epic, "Beowulf". Both characters were humanoid creatures who lived in a lake in/or under a mountain, and were both portrayed as outwardly savage, but inwardly childlike creatures. Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum, shares the same birthday (April 20th, 1964) with Crispin Glover, who portrayed Grendel in Beowulf (2007).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Bernard Hill's role was previously played by Philip Stone in The Lord of the Rings (1978) and Jack May in the BBC Radio adaptation. Stone also appeared in S.O.S. Titanic (1979), in which he played Arthur Rostron, captain of the RMS Carpathia, which rescued the survivors of the Titanic. Hill appeared in Titanic (1997) as that ship's captain, Edward John Smith. Hill also appeared opposite Jack May in The Bounty (1984).
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Christopher Lee' s voice in the Italian version of the film was dubbed by Omero Antonutti.
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Alan Lee: The Concept Designer can be seen as the Rohan collecting weapons at Helm's Deep (to the left when Aragorn yell's "Then I shall die as one of them!").
Dan Hennah: the art director is getting suited up in the armory at Helm's Deep. Look over Aragorn's right shoulder after Legolas says "They're frightened - I can see it in their eyes."
Barrie M. Osborne: the executive producer appears as a Rohirrim soldier throwing a rock down on the Uruk-Hai attacking the gate at Helm's Deep.

Director Cameo 

Peter Jackson: Wearing chainmail at Helm's Deep, throws a spear at the attacking orcs.

Director Trademark 

Peter Jackson: [children] Jackson's children Billy Jackson and Katie Jackson appear as "cute Rohan refugee children".


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Viggo Mortensen broke two toes while kicking the steel helmet by the orc pyre, and that take is the one that actually appears in the movie. Peter Jackson said that he was really impressed with the shout of pain Aragorn cried out for the fate of the two hobbits, realizing only later that it was real pain for his toes. He was also impressed by the fact that Mortensen continued acting even while so seriously injured. Mortensen later remarked that the only reason it was even mentioned on the DVD release was because he was an actor and that the stunt crew were injured far worse and pushed through it.
The first appearance of the White Wizard in Fangorn Forest was made intentionally confusing, by compositing the eyes of Christopher Lee into the face of Ian McKellen; the voices of both actors were also mixed in alternating intensity to add to the confusion.
In the scene where Aragorn has washed up on the shore of the river that he fell in when the Warg dragged him off the cliff and Arwen comes to him in a dream to revive him, the dialogue was originally in English. But Liv Tyler was entranced by the Elvish language, and since both characters and actors knew how to speak it, she talked Peter Jackson into letting them translate the script for that scene. Everyone agreed that it turned out much better her way than the way it had been originally planned.
It was clear to the writers from the very beginning that the entire final sequence of the novel (Frodo and Sam's encounter with Shelob) would be part of the third film, not this one. Also, the confrontation with a defeated Saruman at Isengard was deemed to be too anti-climactic, and was therefore moved to the third film as well. This tactical move meant the battle for Helm's Deep became this film's natural climax.
During one take while filming the scene when Aragorn is floating down the river, Viggo Mortensen was dragged under water for many seconds. He managed to kick himself back up off a rock, perhaps saving his life. A safety team then rescued him and took him to shore.
Gandalf's line near the end declaring that "The Battle of Helm's Deep is over; the Battle of Middle Earth is about to begin" is paraphrased from part of one of Winston Churchill's most famous speeches of the Second World War, of June 18th 1940: "...the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin."
Body count: 468
The scene where Theoden, Legolas and Gimli arrive at Helm's Deep, having lost Aragorn, was Bernard Hill's and Miranda Otto's first day on set.
Peter Jackson felt that in the book, Faramir's casual refusal to seek the Ring was anticlimactic, and inconsistent with the Ring's maddening temptation of other characters such as the Nazgul, Gollum, and Boromir. For this reason he added the now-controversial subplot involving Faramir's hubris and the captivity of Frodo and Sam in Osgiliath.
Though this is the film that carries the title of the middle volume, scenes from the book "The Two Towers" are actually spread across all three films. Boromir's death scene and funeral, and the beginning of Aragorn's pursuit of the Orcs, made up the first chapter of the book, but were used at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Scenes after the Battle of the Hornburg (Helm's Deep), up to the part where Gandalf sets out with Pippin towards Minas Tirith, were moved to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), as were all scenes involving Frodo and Sam up to the part where Frodo is captured by Orcs.
The Uruk-Hai using an explosive device from Saruman to breech the wall at Helm's Deep was a creative interpretation. The book only mentions "blasting-fire" blowing up the wall, but implies it is due to Saruman's devilry.
Another problem faced by the writers was that - unlike "The Fellowship of the Ring" - no major characters die in the course of "The Two Towers", something which could have easily provided them with an emotional climax.
In the movie, Lord Elrond dispatches a squadron of Elves to Helm's Deep to assist the Rohan soldiers. This doesn't happen in the book, since the Elves are occupied with defending their own homes from attacks by Sauron's forces at the same time. However, the decision was made to include Elves in the film, to show their sacrifices and avoid the suggestion that the Elves leave all the fighting in the movies to humans.
In the extended version of the film. Aragorn reveals to Eowyn that he is 87 years old, although he appears relatively young and he was a Dunadan, Men descended from the Numenoreans whom live three times longer than normal men.
When the eye of Sauron turns towards Gondor, the sounds of the New Line Cinema logo are heard.
When Gollum says "Murderer", and Smeagol cries and whimpers at the sound of it, this is a clue to Smeagol's past (Deagol's death flashback in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Smeagol's genuine feelings of guilt and remorse over murdering Deagol are valid hints that Smeagol/Gollum was never evil from the very beginning, but was merely a sad, gloomy and innocent creature who was tortured and corrupted by the One Ring.
The character of Erkenbrand, one of King Theoden's army lords in the novel, was left out of the movie. In the book, it was he and Gandalf who led the final charge of the Rohirrim against the Orc army, while Éomer is fighting the battle from within Helm's Deep alongside Theoden, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. In the movie, Éomer is sent away early on, and it is he who secures the victory against the Uruk-Hai together with Gandalf.

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