Sir Christopher Lee (Saruman) read "The Lord of the Rings" once a year until his death in 2015, and had done so since the year it was published. He was also the only member of the cast and crew ever to have met J.R.R. Tolkien.
2,259 of 2,266 found this interesting Interesting? |
Director Peter Jackson gave one each of the rings used in the movies to Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis as a gift when the shoot was finished. They both thought they had the only one.
1,363 of 1,367 found this interesting Interesting? |
Gandalf's painful encounter with a ceiling beam in Bilbo's hobbit-hole was not in the script. Sir Ian McKellen banged his forehead against the beam accidentally. Peter Jackson thought McKellen did a great job "acting through" the mistake, and kept it in.
1,559 of 1,568 found this interesting Interesting? |
The cast often had to fly to remote shoot locations by helicopter. Sean Bean (Boromir) was afraid of flying and would only do it when absolutely necessary. When they were shooting the scenes of the Fellowship crossing the snowy mountains he'd spend two hours every morning climbing from the base of the mountain to the set near the top, already dressed as Boromir. The crew being flown up could see him from their helicopters.
1,242 of 1,251 found this interesting Interesting? |
The Elvish language lines spoken in this movie are not just quotes from the book, they were derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's own limited dictionary of that language. Dialect coach Andrew Jack used recordings of Tolkien reading his books to guide the actors' and actresses' pronunciations.
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For high-tech tasks, a computer program called MASSIVE made armies of CGI orcs, elves, and humans. These digital creations could "think" and battle independently, identifying friend or foe, thanks to individual fields of vision. Director Peter Jackson's team could click on one creature, in a crowd scene of twenty thousand, and see through his "eyes". Different species even boast unique fighting styles.
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According to Sean Astin in the Extended DVD commentary, when Bilbo drops the Ring before leaving Hobbiton, the floor was magnetic to prevent the Ring from bouncing. This was done to demonstrate the importance and weight of the Ring.
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Viggo Mortensen joined the movie when it was already shooting, never having met director Peter Jackson before, nor indeed having read the J.R.R. Tolkien book. It was Mortensen's eleven year old son Henry Mortensen who was the chief instigator in convincing Mortensen to sign on as Aragorn.
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John Rhys-Davies (Gimli the dwarf) is the tallest of the actors, who play members of the Fellowship. He is 6' 1".
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During filming, most of the members of the Fellowship took up surfing in New Zealand in their spare time. Amongst them was Viggo Mortensen, who wiped out terribly one day and bruised one whole side of his face. The next day, make-up artists tried to mask the bruising and swelling, but were unsuccessful. Instead, Peter Jackson opted to film Mortensen from one side for the entire scene. In the Mines of Moria, when they find the tomb, Aragorn is only seen from one side in the whole scene.
675 of 679 found this interesting Interesting? |
Orlando Bloom landed the role of Legolas two days before he finished drama school.
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Viggo Mortensen did his own stunts. He also insisted on using only the real steel sword, instead of a significantly lighter aluminum sword, or safer rubber sword, which were manufactured for battle scenes and stunts.
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When Pippin is being hit with the apples after asking about second breakfast, it is Viggo Mortensen chucking the apple at his head. They had to shoot the scene sixteen times to get it just right, and Billy Boyd says he believes Mortensen enjoyed himself immensely.
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Originally, the narration at the prologue was to be spoken by Elijah Wood, but it was felt that the information imparted had little bearing on the character of Frodo. Sir Ian McKellen also recorded a narration, but once again, it was felt that Gandalf wasn't the right character to speak it; neither he nor Frodo was present at the events described in the prologue. They eventually settled on Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, as it emphasizes the timelessness of the elves.
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Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), who is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Danish, requested the script be revised, to let Aragorn speak more of his lines in Elvish.
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The hobbits needed to appear about three to four feet tall, tiny compared with the seven-foot Gandalf. This was often accomplished using forced perspective, placing Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) consistently closer to the camera than Elijah Wood, in order to trick the eye into thinking McKellen is towering. In some cases, the camera would be moving, something that would normally break the effect, so special props and sets were designed to maintain the illusion in-camera.
373 of 375 found this interesting Interesting? |
This movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) were filmed simultaneously. The back-to-back-to-back shoot lasted a record-equalling two hundred seventy-four days in sixteen months, exactly the same time as taken for the principal photography of Apocalypse Now (1979).
420 of 423 found this interesting Interesting? |
When the dragon firework goes off at the party, the shriek heard is Billy Boyd actually screaming, as he was unaware at the time that the firework was really going to explode on-set (he thought that it would be in a separate shot). It was not scripted, but the take ended up in the final cut.
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Viggo Mortensen purchased Arwen's horse after production and gave it to Liv Tyler's riding double Jane Abbott
603 of 609 found this interesting Interesting? |
Viggo Mortensen chipped a tooth while filming a fight sequence. He wanted Peter Jackson to superglue it back on so he could finish his scene, but Jackson took him to the dentist on his lunch break, had it patched up, and returned to the set that afternoon.
643 of 650 found this interesting Interesting? |
Liv Tyler accidentally stabbed herself in the right thigh when filming the "If you want him, come and claim him!" sequence. The footage was featured in bloopers and outtakes of this movie.
392 of 395 found this interesting Interesting? |
The Council of Elrond was changed quite a bit from the book, where it is much more a debriefing of several characters about the current state of affairs, and a regrouping moment from where Frodo proceeds with his quest (as in the book, he has already decided to take the Ring to Mount Doom from the very beginning). The screenwriters changed it to a fierce debate where Frodo makes his decision, but keeping visual order in all the quarreling parties was quite a challenge. Because the scene was starting to get too long and expository, it was rewritten even during filming: Boromir's speech at the Council was read from a sheet of paper sitting on Sean Bean's lap, as it was only given to him the night before.
451 of 455 found this interesting Interesting? |
Although in the movie it seems to be only a few weeks or so, in the book, the time between when Gandalf leaves to research the Ring, tries to find Gollum, and when he returns to send Frodo on his adventure is a span of seventeen years. This was significantly shortened in the film for continuity reasons.
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The ironic part about the Fellowship mourning the loss of Gandalf was, at that point, none of the cast members had met Sir Ian McKellen, let alone seen him dressed up as the wizard.
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Peter Jackson's original plan was to exclusively hire British actors for the roles of the hobbits. As it turned out, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan were the only ones, and one of the tasks he charged them with was to coach Elijah Wood and Sean Astin in the ways of British pub culture.
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Hobbiton was made a year before production began to make it look like it was a natural, lived-in place, complete with real vegetable patches. The greens department regulated the length of the grass by having sheep eat it.
412 of 416 found this interesting Interesting? |
The different colors of blue for the elves' eyes revealed what race they were. The Lothlorien elves had light blue eyes, and the Rivendell elves' eyes were dark blue.
515 of 521 found this interesting Interesting? |
Orlando Bloom originally auditioned for the part of Faramir, a supporting character (eventually played by David Wenham) in the next two movies. He was called back and subsequently cast, instead, in the more prominent role of Legolas.
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Viggo Mortensen kept his sword with him at all times off-set, so that he could remain in character. He was questioned several times by police, after reviewing his training sessions with the sword and being spotted by members of the public.
389 of 393 found this interesting Interesting? |
As well as being the only member of the cast and crew to have met J.R.R. Tolkien face to face, Sir Christopher Lee was also the first person to be cast in the trilogy, because of his extensive knowledge of the books. He frequently visited the make-up department, and often gave tips about the facial design of the monsters.
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Orlando Bloom (Legolas) did most of his own stunts, and broke a rib in the process.
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The original cut ran four hours and thirty minutes.
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In one take of the Bucklebury Ferry scene, Elijah Wood overshot his jump, and ended up in the river instead of on the ferry.
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After the New Zealand premiere, director Peter Jackson joined the actors who played the nine members of the Fellowship by getting a commemorative tattoo of his own. While their tattoos were the Elvish symbol for "9", Jackson received an Elvish "10".
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The two most renowned Tolkien artists are Alan Lee and John Howe, and so it was important to Peter Jackson to have those two on-board. Lee was tracked down to a tiny little village in Dartmoor, England, and was FedExed a package of Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994) and a letter outlining his intentions. They monitored the progress of the FedEx package every step of the way, but were somewhat surprised when Lee rang them only three hours after delivery to say he'd love to work with them. Howe, meanwhile, was living in Switzerland, and because someone hadn't worked out the time differences between Switzerland and New Zealand correctly, he was called at about 2 a.m. He says that the biggest frustration with that phone call was waiting for Jackson to finish his pitch before he could say yes.
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Sean Astin gained thirty pounds for his role as Samwise Gamgee.
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It is estimated that filming of the trilogy pumped about $200 million into the New Zealand economy. The New Zealand government even created a Minister for Lord of the Rings, whose remit was to exploit all the economic opportunities the movies represented.
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Over twelve and a half million plastic rings were made in order to fabricate simulated chain mail for the movie. Two crew members spent the length of the shoot linking the rings by hand into suits of armor. By the end of production, they had worn the fingerprints off of their thumbs and index fingers.
523 of 531 found this interesting Interesting? |
Two sets of Bag End, Bilbo Baggins' house, were built. One to accommodate the Hobbits, the other thirty-three percent smaller, for the full size Sir Ian McKellen, right down to smaller versions of the books on the bookshelves.
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Eight of the nine members of the Fellowship got a small tattoo of the word "nine" spelled out in Tengwar, which is the Elvish script created by Tolkien. They got it at a tattoo parlor in Wellington, New Zealand, to commemorate the experience of the movie. The ninth member, John Rhys-Davies, declined, and sent his stunt double in his place. Elijah Wood's tattoo is on his lower stomach. Sean Astin and Billy Boyd have the tattoo on their ankles (to commemorate all those hours in the hobbit feet). Orlando Bloom, who plays the archer elf Legolas, has his on his forearm. His tattoo is visible during a fight scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Sir Ian McKellen's is on his shoulder. Dominic Monaghan's is on his shoulder. And the eighth member, Sean Bean, has his tattoo on his right shoulder. Viggo Mortensen has his tattoo on his left shoulder. It is visible on some pictures from the movie Eastern Promises (2007).
720 of 733 found this interesting Interesting? |
Liv Tyler deepened her voice so much to play Arwen that her father Steven Tyler asked her if her voice had been dubbed by someone else.
467 of 474 found this interesting Interesting? |
When you see Frodo and Gandalf sitting on a cart at the beginning, forced perspective meant that Elijah Wood was three feet behind Sir Ian McKellen.
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Sean Bean swears that he was not actually in New Zealand on the day they shot the scene where the Fellowship departs from Rivendell, and that he must have been digitally added to the shot.
281 of 284 found this interesting Interesting? |
Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragorn, but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen after four days of shooting, because Peter Jackson realized that an older actor was needed.
276 of 279 found this interesting Interesting? |
The moth to which Gandalf whispers was born shortly before filming that day, and died soon after the scene was finished.
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Sir Ian McKellen hadn't read the books when he was first approached by Peter Jackson to play Gandalf. It was Jackson's enthusiasm for the project that won him over.
316 of 320 found this interesting Interesting? |
During the Council of Elrond, leaves are continually falling in the background to suggest that this is a meeting that is taking place outside. This meant about half a dozen crew members were positioned above the set, dropping leaves at various intervals. This also meant that the production department had to collect numerous sacks of leaves during autumn, and of course dead leaves turn brown fairly quickly, which also meant that every one of those leaves had to be painted.
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A rubber puppet with a horrific face was superimposed over Sir Ian Holm's face when Bilbo Baggins covets the ring in Rivendell. Holm was so delighted with the puppet that the design team had a cast iron version of it made for his mantelpiece, and gave it to him as a parting gift when Holm wrapped all of his scenes on this movie.
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While filming the trilogy, Viggo Mortensen got so into character that during a conversation, director Peter Jackson referred to him as "Aragorn" for over half an hour without him realizing it.
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When Bilbo finds the Ring at the start of the movie, Gollum cries out, "My precious!". However, Andy Serkis was not on set that day, so Dominic Monaghan stood in for him.
301 of 305 found this interesting Interesting? |
Legolas' arrows in the final battle are computer generated. It would have been physically impossible for even the most gifted archer to fire off so many arrows so quickly.
375 of 381 found this interesting Interesting? |
When Gandalf had his big stand-off scene with the Balrog, Sir Ian McKellen was actually acting to a green ping pong ball, which was used, along with the greenscreen technology employed during filming, to give him and other cast members a reference point for some of the larger CGI characters.
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Bilbo Baggins' birthday cake has one hundred eleven candles on it, and they eventually set fire to the polystyrene cake.
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Throughout the trilogy, the color of Legolas' eyes change from blue to brown. This is because the contact lenses Orlando Bloom was wearing scratched his corneas, and could not be worn every day. In some of the shots, the post-production team digitally changed the color of his eyes.
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John Rhys-Davies suffered from a reaction to his prosthetics, usually inflammation around the eyes. That meant that he could never be filmed on consecutive days, and would always require at least a day off for his skin to return to normal. He was never anything less than three hours in the make-up chair.
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Costume designer Ngila Dickson had forty seamstresses working for her, creating over 19,000 costumes.
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Gimli's line "Nobody tosses a dwarf!" was filmed after the "Toss me" line in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
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Before production began, it had to be determined whether computer effects could convincingly create battle scenes featuring thousands of warriors. Peter Jackson invested his own money in the pursuit of this software, using the computers of his special effects company Weta Digital, Ltd. that had been purchased to make his previous movie, The Frighteners (1996).
145 of 146 found this interesting Interesting? |
The Orc blacksmiths shown beneath Isengard, are the WETA Workshop staff, who made the weapons used in this movie.
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The scripts were essentially being re-written every day of the sixteen-month shoot, including input from the actors and actresses, who were all now heavily involved with their characters.
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Orlando Bloom spent two months learning how to use a bow and arrow.
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Sean Astin's scene underwater didn't really happen. He was filmed in a dry studio, with fans making his cloak billow. The water effects were added in afterwards by computer.
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When Frodo falls on the snow and loses the ring, a close-up of the ring with Frodo in the background is shown. In order to keep both the subjects focused, a giant ring (six inches in diameter) was used.
244 of 248 found this interesting Interesting? |
Although Bill the pony is a feature of the novel, the writers initially decided not to include him as the Fellowship make their journey, for the simple logistical reason of transporting a horse deep into the mountains. The problem was solved in the more difficult shots by using the classic pantomime trick of dressing two people up as a horse, one at the front and one at the back.
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More than 1,600 pairs of latex ears and feet were used during the shoot, each "cooked" in a special oven running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. There was no way of removing the feet at the end of the day without damaging them, and so each pair could only be used once. The used feet were shredded to prevent a black market in stolen hobbit feet, but apparently Dominic Monaghan (Merry) kept a pair.
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The scream of the Ringwraiths is actually co-writer and co-producer Fran Walsh.
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Tom Bombadil was a character in the book who never made it into the movie. He appears early on when he saves Frodo and Sam who are trapped by an evil sentient willow tree after having just left the Shire. Peter Jackson originally contemplated having Bombadil incorporated into a cameo scene in which the Hobbits are walking through the forest and see a man with a feathered cap dart through the trees. They then hear Tom singing, and begin running through the forest. However, the production ran out of time to film it. A small reference to Bombadil is made in the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) instead, where Treebeard saves Merry and Pippin from the roots of a sentient tree.
297 of 303 found this interesting Interesting? |
When the Fellowship comes out of hiding from the crows during their stop on the hills, Gandalf says "Spies of Saruman!" However, during the first take of this scene, Sir Ian McKellen jokingly said "Spies of Star Wars!"
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The climactic fight scene was shot in the middle of a heatwave, with temperatures in excess of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-eight degrees Celsius). Many of the actors playing the Uruk-Hai had to be carried off the set with heat exhaustion.
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One of the indistinct words that Gandalf whispers to the moth when he is trapped by Saruman is "Gwaihir", the name of the eagle that later rescues him from the tower.
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If you watched the extended versions back-to-back-to-back, it would take you six hundred eighty-one minutes (eleven hours and twenty-one minutes; nearly half a day).
231 of 235 found this interesting Interesting? |
Sir Sean Connery was, at one point, offered the role for Gandalf, but he turned it down, due to reportedly "not understanding the story".
195 of 198 found this interesting Interesting? |
Every actor and actress in this movie wore a wig, apart from Billy Jackson, Peter Jackson's toddler son, seen listening wide-eyed to a tale told by Bilbo Baggins at his birthday party. He had perfect Hobbit hair.
311 of 318 found this interesting Interesting? |
Aragorn battling the Ringwraiths at Weathertop was Viggo Mortensen's first day on-set. It was also the first time that Mortensen had ever handled a sword.
218 of 222 found this interesting Interesting? |
Wherever possible, costume designer Ngila Dickson followed J.R.R. Tolkien's descriptions of the characters' clothing to the letter. One such example is Bilbo Baggins' waistcoat, which sports brass buttons, as referenced in "The Hobbit".
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Sometimes when there is a close-up of the ring you can hear a gruff voice chanting. This is the voice of Sauron and the words he is chanting are "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them", in the language of Mordor. Whenever Frodo puts the ring on, it is also Sauron speaking to him.
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When Frodo is leafing through Bilbo's book in Rivendell, a page with dwarven runes is shown. The runes translate thus: "Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks, and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the keyhole." This is a reference (actually a direct copy) to a map in the book "The Hobbit" and the runes tell of the secret entrance into The Lonely Mountain. Another page, to which Frodo turns, shows two illustrations of swords on one page, and a key on the other. While varying visually from their movie counterparts, these swords are Glamdring and Orcrist, the two swords Bilbo and the Dwarves found in the troll cave. The key is the key used to enter stone troll's hoard from The Hobbit novel which did not take place in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).
237 of 242 found this interesting Interesting? |
New Zealand's Army was cast as extras for large battle scenes in this movie, but was forced to back out, due to having to serve as peacekeepers in East Timor.
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The nocturnal screams of possums were used for the screeches made by the Orcs in the mines of Moria.
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Composers are usually involved with movies for about six to eight weeks. By the time this movie was released, Howard Shore's involvement was stretching back for two years.
142 of 144 found this interesting Interesting? |
It's common practice with a big budget movie to have more than one unit shooting at any given time, usually two or three. With these movies, there were occasions when there would be between five and seven units shooting at any given time.
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Miramax was the first studio to express an interest in Peter Jackson's interpretation of the books, but wanted to do it all in one movie. Jackson refused, leaving him with four weeks to find another studio for funding. Thinking that no studio would agree to three movies, Jackson was prepared to settle, and touted the project as two movies. Even then, most studios didn't want to take the risk. Calling upon his friend Mark Ordesky, who was an executive at New Line Cinema, a pitch was set up with New Line Cinema President Robert Shaye. Shaye's only quibble with the presentation was that it should really be three movies.
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The jeweler that made the different sized rings that were featured in the movies is in Nelson, New Zealand. Two of the rings (the biggest and the smallest) are there for public viewing.
108 of 109 found this interesting Interesting? |
During the council scene in Rivendell, when the fate of the Ring is being decided, when Boromir makes his plea for the Ring to be brought to Gondor, the "Gondor theme" can faintly be heard. In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), when the characters finally reach Gondor, this theme is heard as a full orchestral piece. Composer Howard Shore didn't plan out that this Rivendell background music would develop into the "Gondor main theme" by the third movie, but it ultimately did evolve into it.
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Sean Astin reckons that there were fifty separate days of the sixteen-month shoot where the Hobbits had their prosthetic feet applied and they were never seen on camera.
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J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel describes the fate of all of the surviving dwarves from The Hobbit. Gimli originally comes to Rivendell only to escort his father, Gloin, a member of Bilbo's quest, who has come to inform the Elves that servants of Sauron are searching for Bilbo. Gimli ends up being selected, so that the Dwarves, along with all the other free peoples of Middle-earth, would be represented in the Fellowship. Balin, whose tomb they find in Moria, was also a member. Sadly, most of the other surviving dwarves accompanied Balin there, and were killed when the Orcs and the Balrog returned.
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The Elves are speaking Sindarin, a fictional language, which is influenced by Welsh.
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The scene of Bilbo finding the Ring in the prologue was the last scene that Sir Ian Holm shot as Bilbo Baggins. This same scene was also the first that Martin Freeman shot as Bilbo for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).
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At the birthday party, when Bilbo is naming various hobbit families, he says "Proudfoots" and a hobbit calls back "Proudfeet", with his large feet in the foreground. The shot was deliberately framed to imitate the shot used in The Lord of the Rings (1978), as an homage to the movie that introduced director Peter Jackson to J.R.R. Tolkien's works.
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When the trailer was released on the internet, on April 7, 2001, it was downloaded 1.6 million times in the first twenty-four hours.
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While the rest of the Fellowship struggled through snow drifts, Legolas walked on the top of the snow. This is in line with the information given in the novel, where Mirkwood Elves are so light on their feet that they are able to walk on top of snow.
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Liv Tyler had never read the book when she was approached to appear in the trilogy. She quickly boned up on Middle-earth lore, to the extent of even learning some Elvish.
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118 of 120 found this interesting Interesting? |
In order to make forced perspective a bit more interesting, the filmmakers devised a new system, consisting of a pulley and a platform. When the camera moved (which is normally impossible, as the forced perspective would become obvious), the actors also moved, and the perspective (seven-foot Gandalf, four-foot hobbits) would always be okay. They also used three differently sized props (large, medium, and small) to interact with the different-sized characters.
91 of 92 found this interesting Interesting? |
The Tolkien estate was never in favor of director Peter Jackson's movie adaptation, but seeing as J.R.R. Tolkien signed the rights away in 1968 for $15,000 ($99,233 in 2012 dollars), there was nothing they could do about it. Tolkien's grandson Simon Tolkien came out in support of the production, and was, according to some accounts, disowned by his relatives, although Simon's father Christopher Tolkien later denied this.
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One of the stuntmen dislocated a shoulder in the scene where the Hobbits tumble down the hill after pilfering vegetables. This was also the first day of shooting.
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When Arwen escapes from the Black Riders through the river by flooding them, the spell she speaks isn't subtitled. According to the Encyclopedy of Arda (see External Links: Miscellaneous # 58), she says: "Nîn o Hithaeglir lasto beth daer; rimmo nín Bruinen dan in Ulaer", which means roughly "Waters of the Hithaeglir, hear the word of power, rush, waters of Bruinen, against the Ringwraiths!"
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The voices of the Black Riders (heard when they reach the Shire, before Gandalf returns, and when Arwen carries Frodo across the river) were provided by Andy Serkis, the voice of Gollum.
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Dominic Monaghan (Merry) wore a fat suit made of foam. He drank three liters of water a day so he would not dehydrate.
162 of 166 found this interesting Interesting? |
Although larger actors were cast as hobbits, and shrunk by visual effects, the filmmakers discovered that full-size actors (six feet tall) did not look right when the effects were applied. Therefore, the hobbit actors averaged around 5' 6".
113 of 115 found this interesting Interesting? |
The illuminated door that leads to the Mines of Moria was painted with the same substance of which cats' eyes and road signs are made.
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Sir Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins) was the voice of Frodo Baggins in the 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of "The Lord of The Rings".
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Although Frodo calls him Uncle Bilbo, Frodo is (according to J.R.R. Tolkien) Bilbo's second cousin once removed, which is also how Pippin describes his relationship with Frodo in the Prancing Pony.
111 of 113 found this interesting Interesting? |
During Bilbo's party, Pippin can be seen in the band playing a guitar.
177 of 182 found this interesting Interesting? |
New Line Cinema insisted on a prologue of two minutes. What they received was one that lasts for seven and a half minutes.
110 of 112 found this interesting Interesting? |
The four actors playing the young Hobbits would have to go into make-up at 5 a.m. and stand for an hour and a half while their prosthetic feet were being applied. Sean Astin's personal make-up artist doing this was named Sean Foot.
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The big trees in Lothlorien forest are made of rubber.
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Gollum looks different in this movie than in later installments, because scheduling forced those scenes to be filmed based on an early design (made before Andy Serkis was cast in the role). He is only seen in brief glimpses, partly due to this discrepancy, and partly to tease audiences before his entrance in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). Peter Jackson (jokingly) said in the commentary on the Extended DVD that sometime in the future he would enjoy creating a "Special Edition" (à la Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)) where this inconsistency could be fixed.
132 of 135 found this interesting Interesting? |
In one of the most obscure references to the book, Bilbo states proudly to Gandalf that Frodo is "a Baggins, not some blockheaded Bracegirdle from Hardbottle." Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, the relative who knocks on the door during this scene, was mentioned in the book as being born a Bracegirdle from Hardbottle.
109 of 111 found this interesting Interesting? |
About twenty-eight separate Hobbit holes had to be built for the Shire. Each one had to be different.
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Sir Ian McKellen teased Sir Ian Holm that his old-age make-up made him resemble Dame Judi Dench's mother.
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Security was tight on the set. At least three people were arrested for attempted break-ins.
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Peter Jackson has the entire Bag End set in storage.
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The large tree that stands above Bag End was built especially by the production department. Every leaf had to be manually attached.
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In each movie in the trilogy, the subtitle of the movie is incorporated as dialogue. In this instance, Elrond: "So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of The Ring".
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1,460 eggs were served to the cast and crew for breakfast for every day of shooting.
279 of 290 found this interesting Interesting? |
There are several close-ups of fingers toying with the Ring. While some have lovely cuticles and nails, some look quite ragged. The latter are Elijah Wood's hands. He has a habit of biting his nails.
125 of 128 found this interesting Interesting? |
Production designer Grant Major personally supervised the translation of all the writings in Balin's tomb into Dwarvish. He was then horrified to learn that a visiting J.R.R. Tolkien scholar had taken great offense at seeing the phrase "Joe was here" among the writings. They scoured the contents of Balin's tomb and found nothing, only to learn that the scholar, who was overly serious about everything to do with Tolkien, had been told this by a crew carpenter, who has having a joke at his expense. Intrepid fans later published screen captures and translations of Moria wall segments, where the runes spelled "John was here", and "Made in New Zealand". During pre-production, Weta artists asked Tolkien expert Michael Martinez if there were any examples of Orc graffiti in the book. Martinez found one citation (in the chapter where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum see a defaced statue in Gondor). He used other passages to argue that the Orcs would have used runes to carve graffiti on Moria's walls.
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Some of the customers in the Prancing Pony are walking around on stilts to emphasize the height difference with the Hobbits.
103 of 105 found this interesting Interesting? |
The overall budget for the trilogy was $300 million, plus another $200 million for publicity and marketing.
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Fans were offered the chance to have their names in the Special Edition's lengthy closing credits for $39.95.
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Usually on a theatrical movie, when the director comes to view the dailies, there's about twenty to twenty-five minutes of footage to be seen. Because of the number of different units out filming at any one time, the dailies for this movie were about three to four hours long.
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With the exception of the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, there are no curves or circles in the architecture of Moria, only polygons.
99 of 101 found this interesting Interesting? |
During the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, twenty minutes of this movie was shown to a crowd at a nearby castle, including members of the production, the first time this movie's actors and actresses had seen any completed footage.
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Ranked number two on the American Film Institute's list of the ten greatest movies in the genre "Fantasy" in June 2008.
76 of 77 found this interesting Interesting? |
When he makes tea for Gandalf, Bilbo mentions "cold chicken and pickles". A line from "The Hobbit" has Gandalf telling Bilbo to bring out the cold chicken and pickles.
157 of 162 found this interesting Interesting? |
Sir Patrick Stewart was offered the role of Gandalf, but he turned it down because he didn't like the script.
97 of 99 found this interesting Interesting? |
For the role of Lurtz, it took eleven hours for Lawrence Makoare's full costume and make-up to be applied.
96 of 98 found this interesting Interesting? |
For the musical background to the chase in the mines of Moria, Howard Shore wanted some heavy chanting, so he cast a Maori choir.
135 of 139 found this interesting Interesting? |
Cate Blanchett's role as Galadriel required her to film for only a month.
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Peter Jackson considered casting Sylvester McCoy as Bilbo Baggins before settling on Sir Ian Holm. McCoy would later play Radagast the Brown in Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.
111 of 114 found this interesting Interesting? |
This movie stayed in the U.S. top ten grossing movies for thirteen weeks.
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Bret McKenzie made a silent cameo as an elf during the Council of Elrond scene. His attractive character was noticed by fans, who dubbed him "Figwit" (short for "Frodo is great...who is THAT?!?"). His celebrity on the Internet was such that Peter Jackson (who has informally accepted the use of the name), brought him back in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), with two scripted dialogue lines.
178 of 185 found this interesting Interesting? |
The map Gandalf picks up in Bilbo's study is a reproduction of the map J.R.R. Tolkien drew for the book "The Hobbit". The map is of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, which is the site of the quest in The Hobbit. The map plays a significant role in director Peter Jackson's trilogy based on that book.
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This movie was the first recipient of the American Film Institute's Movie of the Year Award.
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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 movie in New Zealand, but couldn't commit due to scheduling conflicts in the U.S. Crowe was born and lived in New Zealand until he was four years old, when his family moved to Australia.
125 of 129 found this interesting Interesting? |
The sounds of the Orcs were, in part, recordings of elephant seal pups at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, a marine mammal hospital that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases sick and injured seals, sea lions, whales, and dolphins.
68 of 69 found this interesting Interesting? |
The shots that were too visually complex to be conveyed on a storyboard were rendered digitally on a computer, in a stage known as pre-visualization. Peter Jackson received a lot of pointers on this from George Lucas and his Star Wars producer Rick McCallum at Skywalker Ranch. When he returned to New Zealand, he hired a lot of recent digital artist graduates to help him create his pre-visualization concepts.
67 of 68 found this interesting Interesting? |
James Horner was contacted to compose the music for this movie, but he was unavailable because of his work on A Beautiful Mind (2001). The choice of Howard Shore as composer took some people by surprise, because he was associated with dark thrillers and had never worked on an epic movie of this scale. Both Horner and Shore were Oscar nominated for their respective scores, with Shore ultimately winning his first Academy Award for this movie.
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Sir Christopher Lee broke his left hand after he slammed it on his hotel door. The injury is obviously seen as Saruman jeers at the Fellowship's plight on Caradhras.
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During one take of the Buckleberry Ferry scene, a very strong splinter found its way through Dominic Monaghan's prosthetic foot and into his own, causing him considerable pain. While crew members took the splinter out of his foot, Monaghan bragged to his fellow hobbits as to how large the splinter would be, but it ended up being very small. From that point on, Billy Boyd would tease him about splinters whenever something happened to Dominic, much to Dominic's frustration.
138 of 143 found this interesting Interesting? |
The three trolls, which were turned to stone in "The Hobbit" novel (depicted in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)), make a cameo in the background while Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Aragorn are resting after fleeing from Weathertop.
151 of 157 found this interesting Interesting? |
While filming the scenes on the River Anduin, Orlando Bloom and John Rhys-Davies were swept out of their boats.
101 of 104 found this interesting Interesting? |
Bilbo's cake caught fire as he was about to leave the party, but Sir Ian Holm gamely finished the scene.
82 of 84 found this interesting Interesting? |
John Astin, Sean Astin's stepfather, was considered for the role of Gandalf. He had also worked with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh before in The Frighteners (1996), and came back very excited about their passion for film, which led to Sean Astin to pursue the role of Sam.
63 of 64 found this interesting Interesting? |
As Gandalf and the others leap the stairway gap in Moria while fleeing the Balrog, incoming arrows shot at them by goblins high above seem to rapidly flex. This is not an accidental special-effects artifact, arrows actually do this, and it contributes to stable flight, similar to a gyroscope's effect. That one of Legolas' arrows does not flex in a flying-point-of-view shot may indicate that elvish arrows are enchanted, or that the filmmakers just wanted to spare the audience the extra distraction in that shot.
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Development of a live-action adaptation of the book "The Lord of the Rings" had been in process as far back as 1957, when Hugo Award-winning science fiction magazine editor Forrest J. Ackerman had successfully convinced J.R.R. Tolkien to grant him permission to attempt one. In the forty plus years before Peter Jackson finally managed to film the trilogy, John Boorman, Stanley Kubrick, and The Beatles had all either attempted or expressed interest in filming their own adaptations.
61 of 62 found this interesting Interesting? |
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, changed its name to "Middle-earth" for the movie's opening.
138 of 144 found this interesting Interesting? |
Elijah Wood dressed up in breeches and a flowing shirt and went out into the hills to shoot his audition tape. His friend George Huang directed the video.
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The main sound elements for the cave troll's roar were a walrus, a tiger, and a horse. Despite its fierce nature, Peter Jackson considered the cave troll not to be an inherently bad creature: "I wanted to not make it an over-the-top movie monster but a creature that you could sort of believe in, so we wanted to make him a little stupid, like he is not really evil; [..] he's like a big simple kid who just has got bad friends. [..] I always imagined that the troll has a mother [..] and she's probably got his bed turned down and a glass of warm milk by his bed, and he's just not going to come home, [..] and I always felt quite sad really."
92 of 95 found this interesting Interesting? |
In the Extended Edition DVD, during the "Concerning Hobbits" prologue, there is a brief shot of Sam holding up a bunch of flowers by the rootball for planting. This is the only place in the trilogy where Sam (Bilbo and Frodo's gardener) is actually seen gardening.
91 of 94 found this interesting Interesting? |
Tolkien based Gandalf on two figures of mythology: first Väinämöinen, the hero of the Finnish epic Kalevala. The other is Odin, the Mayor deity god of Norse Mythology. Odin is traditionally seen as an old one-eyed wanderer, with a long grey beard, an old brimmed hat and a staff. Tolkien referred to Gandalf as an "Odinic wanderer".
91 of 94 found this interesting Interesting? |
The bridge in Hobbiton was built by the New Zealand Army out of polystyrene.
58 of 59 found this interesting Interesting? |
The water used on the Rivendell set was brought in, and contained chlorine. The entire water system had to be waterproof, so that the chlorinated water would not leak into the ground and contaminate natural water. After shooting was finished, the water was collected back.
90 of 93 found this interesting Interesting? |
The portraits hanging above the fireplace in Bag End are based on the likenesses of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.
57 of 58 found this interesting Interesting? |
The New Zealand government brokered a new tax deal when New Line Cinema threatened to pull the production.
88 of 91 found this interesting Interesting? |
Opening the movie was the hardest part of the film according to director Peter Jackson. During the editing phase, he had compiled a lengthy prologue that served as a "crash course in Middle-Earth history", but it got so long and overstuffed with information and names that it nearly collapsed under its own weight. Jackson decided to do away with the prologue entirely, opting to open with a monologue by Bilbo Baggins about Hobbits, and divulging the necessary background information through expository dialogue by Gandalf in the rest of the movie. However, upon screening the finished film, New Line thought the beginning was too confusing, so they insisted on a brief 2-minute prologue, against Jackson's wishes. So it was after production had wrapped and Jackson was recording the musical score with Howard Shore in London that Jackson and editor John Gilbert were huddled in a corner with an Avid machine, hastily compiling a prologue from the footage with which he had originally dispensed. They decided to keep things manageable by telling the prologue from the perspective of the One Ring, ending up with a 7-minute prologue that New Line begrudgingly accepted. Bilbo's monologue about Hobbits would later become the second scene of the Extended Edition of the film ("Concerning Hobbits").
55 of 56 found this interesting Interesting? |
Large amounts of hair had to be imported into New Zealand for all of the wigs. They found some women in Russia who were cutting their hair and selling it to filmmakers.
98 of 102 found this interesting Interesting? |
During filming, Liv Tyler left her pair of prosthetic ears on the dashboard of her car. When she returned, they had melted.
162 of 171 found this interesting Interesting? |
Galadriel's house at Lothlorien was the largest miniature set built for the trilogy.
83 of 86 found this interesting Interesting? |
The design for the Hobbits' feet took over a year to perfect. Over eighteen feet were produced for the four lead Hobbits alone, and each pair would take about an hour and a half to be put on over the actors' real feet.
95 of 99 found this interesting Interesting? |
Co-producer Rick Porras' wedding ring was the template for the One Ring.
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In this movie's first theatrical release, a story circulated that when Sam tells Frodo that he is now the farthest he has ever been from home, a car is visible driving by in the background (top-right corner of the screen). Arguments ensued. Some said it was smoke from a chimney, others said they saw the glint of sunlight reflected from the windshield of a fast-moving vehicle. In the version of the movie released on DVD, there is definitely no car, only chimney smoke and a one-frame flash of light that could conceivably be a car, but not in any sense that could be considered a goof. Peter Jackson said (in the commentary track on the Extended DVD) that he looked at every frame on a computer, and has never seen anything resembling a car, and claims that it's nonsense (and certainly the original sighting remains unconfirmed by IMDb goof spotters). In the documentary of the Extended DVD version, editor John Gilbert says that there was a car in the background, but they thought no one would notice it. They got rid of it in the DVD version. In a subsequent magazine interview, Jackson agreed that the car was there.
106 of 111 found this interesting Interesting? |
Twenty of the thirty minutes of the end credits of the Extended Edition are dedicated to listing the charter members of the official Lord of the Rings Fan Club. Included as charter members are Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Sir Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, and many other cast and crew members.
65 of 67 found this interesting Interesting? |
A scene involving the Fellowship escaping the Uruk-Hai, via some river rapids, had to be abandoned, as extreme flooding in the Queenstown area had washed the set away.
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78 of 81 found this interesting Interesting? |
While Sir Christopher Lee was always Peter Jackson's first choice for the role of Saruman, Jackson did consider Tim Curry, Jeremy Irons, and Malcolm McDowell for the role.
77 of 80 found this interesting Interesting? |
David Bowie expressed interest in the role of Elrond, but Peter Jackson stated, "To have a famous, beloved character and a famous star colliding is slightly uncomfortable."
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"Moria", in Koine Greek, quite appropriately means "folly", or "foolishness". In Elvish, it just means "black chasm". In Italian (accent on "i") it means a deadly epidemic, like pest or smallpox. In Dwarvish, it's Khazad-dûm, a very more reassuring "House of the Dwarves".
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The total crew amounted to over 3,000 people, of which approximately 300 were in the art department alone.
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This is one of five movies to have sat at number one for any amount of time on the IMDb Top 250. The others being The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Godfather (1972), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), and The Dark Knight (2008).
30 of 30 found this interesting Interesting? |
The Weta Workshop produced fifty-eight miniatures, which were so large and detailed that they were nicknamed "bigatures".
58 of 60 found this interesting Interesting? |
The city visited by Gandalf, when he's looking for information about Bilbo's ring after his birthday party, is Minas Tirith, shown extensively in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
56 of 58 found this interesting Interesting? |
Peter Jackson shot many scenes directly from the earlier, animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (1978) directed by Ralph Bakshi.
79 of 83 found this interesting Interesting? |
Dominic Monaghan suffered from hay fever while filming the scene in the cornfield.
77 of 81 found this interesting Interesting? |
Viggo Mortensen claimed that, although the filming of the trilogy was technically wrapped by December 2000, they had run over-budget, and that the second and third movies required expensive re-shoots of subpar footage over the following years.
54 of 56 found this interesting Interesting? |
Pregnancy changed Peter Jackson's vision of "The Lord of the Rings". Originally, he wanted to cast Lucy Lawless as Galadriel and Uma Thurman as Arwen. Unfortunately, both became pregnant after being asked to read, and the roles were filled in by Cate Blanchett and Liv Tyler, respectively. Thurman was also considered to play Eowyn in later installments, but Miranda Otto landed that role.
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John Howe designed Bag End to resemble a perfect English house, despite him never having actually been to England.
52 of 54 found this interesting Interesting? |
John Howe, brought in to work on the production because of his longstanding reputation as being one of the great artists of J.R.R. Tolkien's work, was given the task of designing the Moria Orcs himself.
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The only trilogy to have all three movies nominated for the top 100 greatest films of all time by the American Film Institute.
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Miramax spent $14 million to develop the project, but because of the projected budget, the Weinstein brothers needed Disney's approval to go ahead. Harvey Weinstein made the pitch for two movies, with a projected budget of no more than $180 million. Disney's head Michael Eisner rejected his proposal, thinking that The Lord of the Rings would not translate well to film, and there was a limited audience for the fantasy genre. After Eisner's rejection, the Weinsteins reluctantly let Peter Jackson shop the project to other studios. Jackson later said that he was happy that the deal with Harvey Weinstein fell through, calling him "a real bully" who ruled through "mafia thuggery". Weinstein reportedly wanted to take the project from Jackson and give it to Quentin Tarantino, and also forbade him to cast Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd (who would later accuse Weinstein of sexual assault). Jackson vowed never to work with Weinstein again, and took the project to New Line Cinema's chief executive, Robert Shaye instead, who finally approved the project for three movies with a combined budget of $300 million.
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Sir Ian McKellen originally declined the role of Gandalf, due to scheduling conflicts with X-Men (2000).
51 of 53 found this interesting Interesting? |
Elijah Wood never wore a full chainmail Mithril vest, only the top half.
90 of 96 found this interesting Interesting? |
Dominic Monaghan (Merry) originally auditioned for the role of Frodo.
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Peter Jackson was concerned that the executives at New Line Cinema would object to the amount of smoking in this movie. He jokingly suggested that if there was an objection, that Gandalf would be re-written to have recently given up smoking, and instead would suck on candies, in an effort to curb his addiction. Fortunately, for the filmmakers, there was no objection to the smoking.
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The trilogy was voted number nine in Total Film's 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list (November 2005).
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Twenty-nine Ringwraith costumes were made.
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There were supposed to be one hundred forty-four Hobbits at Bilbo Baggins' party. Due to budgetary constraints, there were only one hundred.
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In the mines of Moria, the battery for Sir Ian McKellen's illuminated staff was hidden within the folds of his robes.
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During production, co-writer Brian Sibley visited the set. Sibley had previously written the BBC radio adaptation (with Sir Ian Holm), as well as the text to two maps of Middle-earth. In this case, he was researching for two books about the production of the movie version. He met co-writer Fran Walsh and discovered that they both had an interest in genealogy. They discovered that they had common ancestors buried in New Zealand, and were, therefore, distant cousins.
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Because Lawrence Makoare's vision was impaired while he was made-up to look like Lurtz, he could not pull punches during the sequences when he battles Aragorn in hand-to-hand combat. Rather than having Makoare do this sequence over until he could pull his punches, Viggo Mortensen decided to fight back just as realistically, making the physical blows completely real.
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In the book, it is Frodo who had been pilfering Farmer Maggot's crops, and he had stolen mushrooms from the farm, years prior, when he was only a child.
36 of 37 found this interesting Interesting? |
When Bilbo makes his farewell speech at the party, Dominic Monaghan read the speech for the reaction shots of the hobbits.
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At Bree, when the Nazgul "kill" the hobbits, Peter Jackson does a close-up reaction shot of Merry, as he pulls back, you can see Frodo come into frame. To facilitate the shot he wanted, Jackson had Elijah Wood sit on the edge of the bed and then slide in as the camera pulled back. If you watch carefully you can see he is in motion.
65 of 69 found this interesting Interesting? |
Although Bilbo Baggins' opening scenes are in Hobbiton, Sir Ian Holm never actually worked on the location. His scenes were all done against a greenscreen.
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Despite Liv Tyler's significant role in the movies, the character of Arwen only appeared very sparingly in the books. She briefly appeared in one scene in The Fellowship of the Ring before the Council of Elrond, and again with just one spoken line in The Return of the King after the One Ring is destroyed. In the book, it was an Elf called Glorfindel who safely delivered Frodo to Rivendell, not Arwen. Other key scenes from the books were not shown in the movies, while many others were altered for the sake of entertainment. Several characters from the books, including Tom Bombadil, Radagast, and Bill Ferny, were never shown, or hinted at, in the trilogy.
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The designs for the Mines of Moria sets were inspired by the works of Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Dutch artist M.C. Escher.
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In the movies, the shards of Narsil are kept at Rivendell, and not reforged and given to Aragorn until midway through the third movie. This is a notable difference from the book, in which Aragorn is already in possession of the broken sword when the Hobbits first meet up with him in Bree. According to Peter Jackson's commentary on the DVD, one of the reasons for this change is because he felt Aragorn would look silly wielding a broken sword.
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There is a second hidden extra in the four-disc version of the DVD. It is the preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) that was attached to theatrical prints of this movie, near the end of its theatrical run. You can find it by going to the chapter index of the second disc, going to the last chapter "Official Fan Club Credits" and pressing "down". An icon of The Two Towers appears. Press play and you'll see director Peter Jackson presenting this feature. The same trailer is on disc two of the Blu-ray release. Just stay at the special features screen after letting the extended credits roll.
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Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) has clearly been around for ages, as evidenced by his vast knowledge and long-time acquaintances with many characters. However, a fact not explicitly stated by the movie is that all Wizards arrived in Middle-earth around one thousand years after Sauron's defeat. None of them participated in the Last Alliance of Men and Elves, which also explains why neither Gandalf nor any other wizard is present nor alluded to in the prologue.
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The chapter titles "A Long-expected Party", "A Short Cut to Mushrooms", "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm", "Lothlorien", and "The Breaking of the Fellowship" from the book are spoken lines at their respective points in the storyline, with the exception of "The Breaking of The Fellowship", which is foreshadowed during the scene at "The Mirror of Galadriel". "Riddles In The Dark" is also mentioned, the name of a chapter from "The Hobbit". In the Extended Edition DVD, the prologue title "Concerning Hobbits" was mentioned by Sir Ian Holm (Bilbo) in the opening scenes at Bag End, before the first chapter is named.
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Viggo Mortensen became very attached to his sword during filming while trying to fully become his character. He often carried it around with him, and even had the police stop him once for having it in public.
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Cate Blanchett joked that she took the role of Galadriel because "I've always wanted pointy ears."
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In the entirety of the trilogy, Legolas only speaks five words to Frodo: "and you have my bow" during the scene at the council of Elrond. It could even be argued that these words were aimed at the entire council, not just at Frodo.
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70 of 76 found this interesting Interesting? |
Although this movie received a PG rating in the U.K., it was with a disclaimer that some scenes might be unsuitable for young children. After Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), it was only the third movie to receive such a disclaimer.
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In the book, it is Gandalf who guesses the answer to the riddle that guards the entrance to the Mines of Moria. In the movie, it is Frodo.
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Stuntwoman Lani Jackson doubled for Arwen for some fight scenes that were cut from this movie. Jackson appeared in the trilogy as various stunt orcs.
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Howard Shore used the music of Richard Wagner as his primary influence for the movies' musical scores. Wagner's most famous work is the four-opera cycle called "The Ring of the Nibelung".
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In a departure from the original Tolkien, Gandalf's sword (Glamdring) does not glow in the presence of orcs (like Bilbo's Sting) and is never named. In the commentary for the Extended Edition, Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens joked that "budgetary cuts" led to "not enough blue left" for both swords. However, the commentary for one of the Hobbit movies explained that a glowing Glamdring would have looked too much like a Star Wars light-saber.
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During the Fellowship's stay in Lothlorien, Boromir says that his father Denethor is "a noble man". In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Denethor was played by John Noble.
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Peter Jackson wanted either Russell Crowe or Daniel Day-Lewis for Aragorn. Both of them turned it down, Crowe choosing A Beautiful Mind (2001) instead, despite him hailing from New Zealand. He was also unwilling to play a role similar to his one in Gladiator (2000). Both The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and A Beautiful Mind (2001) would later contend for the 2002 Academy Awards (Oscars) for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Score, Editing and Make-up, with Fellowship winning Best Make-up and Score, and Beautiful Mind winning Best Picture, Director and Screenplay.
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Though this is the first time that three movies have been shot concurrently, it is not the first time that more than one movie in a planned trilogy have been shot simultaneously. In fact, the cast of this movie features actors from the other projects. Sir Christopher Lee appeared in The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974), although those movies were shot as one, then decided later to split in two. Elijah Wood made his movie debut in Back to the Future Part II (1989), which was shot back-to-back with Back to the Future Part III (1990). Hugo Weaving, and later Bruce Spence (who played the Mouth of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Extended Edition) also appeared in The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), which were shot at the same time.
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Look carefully at the left hand margin of Bilbo's book when Frodo is flipping through it at Rivendell. Just before he turns it to look at the map, you can briefly see the names of all thirteen Dwarves featured in The Hobbit. (Bilbo also mentions wanting to go and see Lake-town again in the same scene.)
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In order to make the actors playing Hobbits and Dwarfs look noticeably smaller than humans, Wizards, and Elves, roughly three techniques were used. The easiest way was to simply put some actors farther away from the camera than others, using forced perspective as a way to make some appear taller than others. In other situations, a small actor was used as a scale double, with the face of the real actor digitally superimposed over the double's face. Finally, for several shots, actors were filmed separately against a greenscreen, and were digitally composited together into the same shot with the desired height (the final shot at the end of the Council of Elrond was filmed this way). In Middle-earth lore, Dwarfs are slightly taller than Hobbits. Luckily, John Rhys-Davies (Gimli the Dwarf) was slightly taller than the actors playing the Hobbits, so in every shot in which Gimli and a Hobbit actor appear, he did not have to be filmed separately from his fellow actors.
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Movie theater prints of this movie were labelled "Changing Seasons" on the film cans and the actual reels.
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Richard Taylor's Weta Workshop made over 45,000 individual items from prosthetics to armor for the trilogy.
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The Beatles wanted to star in an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, and asked Stanley Kubrick to direct. Kubrick declined, feeling the book was unfilmable. The cast would have been Sir Paul McCartney as Frodo, George Harrison as Gandalf, Sir Ringo Starr as Samwise, and John Lennon as Gollum.
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Liv Tyler was scared to operate a car during filming in New Zealand, due to having to drive on the opposite side of the road than what she was used to in the United States. She often had Orlando Bloom drive her around, as he was familiar with driving on the left side of the road, being from England.
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Bilbo says the words, "I'm not at home", when some relatives bang on his door. "Not At Home" is also a chapter title from The Hobbit.
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1,800 Hobbit feet were made for the production.
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The MTV Council of Elrond spoof easter egg Lord of the Piercing (2002) does not appear on the U.K. version of the four-disc set. This is because the BBFC would have required a "12" certificate for the set had it been included, instead of a "PG" certificate. For the same reason, one of the documentaries has had some swearing cut out.
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Hugo Weaving was recovering from the flu during the filming of the scene where Elrond talks to Gandalf at Rivendell, and as a result, he had a hoarse voice. Co-writer Philippa Boyens remarked on the DVD commentary that she felt it actually enhanced the quality of his voice.
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Bruce Willis, a fan of the book, expressed interest in the role of Boromir.
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When the Hobbits are shown reacting to Gandalf's fireworks at Bilbo's party, they were actually reacting to a flashing light and an air horn.
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WILHELM SCREAM: (At around three minutes and twenty seconds) After Sauron's third strike that kills a swath of enemies, The Ring is displayed while he is clutching his weapon. It can be heard briefly and partially.
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In the French version, names are translated (as in the books) into names that sound medieval to French people. Thus, Frodo and Bilbo Baggins are called "Frodon et Bilbon Sacquet", the Shire is "La Comté", Rivendell is "Fondcombe", and so on.
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Tom Baker was a candidate for the role of Gandalf after his brief, but praised, cameo as the dying Elven King in Dungeons & Dragons (2000). He turned it down, not willing to spend sixteen months in New Zealand.
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Stanley Kubrick once considered directing a Lord of the Rings adaptation. Ironically, his death was indirectly responsible for Peter Jackson being able to get the cast he wanted. Sir Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett were going to appear in Minority Report (2002). Kubrick's death caused director Steven Spielberg to delay that movie and make A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) first.
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In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the number fifty Greatest Movie of All Time. This movie was the most recently released entry of the one hundred movies compiled in the AFI's list.
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Ralph Bakshi, who made The Lord of the Rings (1978), admitted in a 2001 Empire Magazine interview that he was jealous of Peter Jackson and his "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
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Soria Moria Castle is a Norwegian fairy tale made famous by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in their classical Norske Folkeeventyr. J.R.R. Tolkien acknowledged that the name (in sound, not meaning) lay behind his "Mines of Moria".
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Christopher Plummer was offered the role of Gandalf, but turned it down because of the long filming commitment.
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Tom Wilkinson was offered a role in the trilogy, but he didn't like the prospect of a sixteen-month-long production keeping him away from his family. He did In the Bedroom (2001) instead, which would contend with this movie for Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the 2002 Academy Awards. Neither film won.
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In August 2002, the home video release set a U.K. record, when it chalked up sales of 2.4 million.
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In an interview on the podcast WTF With Marc Maron, actor and comedian James Corden revealed that his first movie audition was for the role of Samwise Gamgee.
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Billy Connolly was considered for the role of Gimli. He played Dáin II Ironfoot in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
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The lead Ringwraith's horse, a black Thoroughbred gelding, was purchased by an American equestrian, and began a competitive career in three-day eventing under the name "Frodo Baggins".
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The story that Bilbo Baggins tells at his birthday party about the trolls, took place in "The Hobbit".
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Pippin causes a dwarf skeleton to fall down a well, immediately alerting the orcs to the presence of the Fellowship. In the book, he throws a stone. The orcs don't attack for a few more days, but it still appears to have alerted them, as they hear the echo of something tapping that stone.
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When Frodo escapes from Boromir and runs up the hill with the Ring on, he sees Sauron's lair of Barad-dur zoom closer. This is not an effect of wearing the Ring. The place he runs to is Amon Hen - "Hill of the Eye," a place for guarding the borders of Gondor - and it has a magical property which allows someone at the peak to see vast distances as though looking through a telescope.
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Bernard Hill was considered to play Gandalf. He played King Theoden in the next two movies.
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Helena Bonham Carter expressed an interest in the role of Arwen.
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Liv Tyler was one of the last actresses to be cast, on August 25, 1999.
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The only movie in the trilogy to be given the PG rating in New Zealand.
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Johnny Vegas auditioned for the role of Samwise Gamgee. He recalled, "I was dreadful. I'm in front of a bluescreen, they go, 'Imagine a spider' and there's me going, 'Oooh, Shelob! Shelob!' Peter Jackson's taking his glasses off and rubbing his eyes, saying: I flew from New Zealand for this."
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There are forty-seven chimneys in the Hobbiton location.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be nominated for Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects.
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As the Felloswhip mourns Gandalf's loss outside Moria, a shocked, tearful Frodo turns to face the camera. Director Peter Jackson had told Elijah Wood before filming the shot, "I want your grief to be frightening."
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Sir Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf in favor of Finding Forrester (2000). He's quoted as not understanding the part. Not appearing in the trilogy cost him an estimated $450 million.
Producer Tim Sanders left the project after principal photography had commenced.
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Sir Christopher Lee played a similar role in the Star Wars prequels, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), and in those movies, Count Dooku (Lee) is a former Jedi who has turned to the Dark Side, and become apprentice to Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid).
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When the four Hobbits are hiding underneath the grass verge early in the movie, the black rider approaches above them. There is a gap between the tree and the pathway to the right of the screen in which you should see the rider pass through before entering the center of the screen, however he does not pass through it.
Lurtz's face marking is an upside down Hand of Saruman.
About 3,100 shots (78% of the Super 35 film) were color graded at Colorfront in Wellington, New Zealand, using 5D Colossus software, after being scanned by an Imagica XE scanner full 2K resolution (2048*1536). The color-graded shots were then recorded on Kodak 5242 intermediate film by two Arri Laser film recorders at ten bits per channel. Because only 78% of the film was digital, a digitally-squeezed anamorphic print could not be made for the whole movie. Instead, the digital shots were recorded on an inter-negative hardmatted at 1.77:1, intercut with the non-digital original negative (which had been color timed by The Film Unit, New Zealand), and printed to 2.39:1 anamorphic Kodak film, using an optical printer at Deluxe, Los Angeles, California. Fuji 3519-D was used for release prints.
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Featured two actors who have played James Bond villains: Sir Christopher Lee in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), and Sean Bean in GoldenEye (1995).
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During the confrontation with the Balrog, Gandalf says "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor." These are mystical aspects of the most powerful visible force in Middle Earth: the Sun. The five Wizards, of which Gandalf was one, swore obedience to the "Secret Fire."
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Elijah Wood was the first actor to be cast on July 7, 1999.
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Nicolas Cage turned down the role of Aragorn due to family obligations.
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Sir Ian McKellen was the only Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar nominee that year that was from a Best Picture nominated movie.
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The filmmakers approached Liv Tyler after seeing her performance in Plunkett & Macleane (1999), and New Line Cinema leapt at the opportunity of having one Hollywood star in this movie.
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Included amongst the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Christopher Lee portrayed Sherlock Holmes. McKellen in Mr. Holmes (2015), and Lee in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962), Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991), and Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls (1992).
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In an Extended Edition-only scene, Frodo and Sam see a group of Wood-Elves on their way to the Grey Havens while they're leaving the Shire. The final film ends with Frodo going to the Grey Havens and leaving Middle-Earth with the rest of the elves.
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When Saruman is overseeing the work being done by the orcs below the tower of Orthanc, if you listen closely you can hear a sound effect which is similar to a light-saber, and then cuts back to Saruman, Sir Christopher Lee starred as Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
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Although it is a popular belief that illustrator John Howe cameoed as one of the nine Kings of Men in the prologue, this is not true according to Weta Workshop's Daniel Falconer. Artist Alan Lee was one of the Kings as was actor Larry Rew.
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Although the books were originally published as a trilogy, the films were initially going to be made into two 'Lord of the Rings' films preceded by 'The Hobbit'. These plans changed after Peter Jackson brought the project to New Line Cinema: the previous studio, Miramax, initially wanted the trilogy covered as a 'duology'.
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Andy Serkis played another bald character, who is a CGI character, Supreme Leader Snoke in the third Star Wars trilogy. Fans speculated that "The Lord of the Rings" was one of George Lucas' influences behind the Star Wars saga. Sir Christopher Lee played Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels.
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Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee) and Billy Boyd (Peregrin "Pippin" Took) appeared in The Witches of Oz (2011) and Dorothy and the Witches of Oz (2012).
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Elijah Wood and Sir Ian Holm appeared in movies about parasitic extra-terrestrials. Wood appeared in The Faculty (1998), and Holm appeared in Alien (1979).
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The moth was an antheraea polyphemus (Polyphemus moth).
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Gandalf doesn't have the sword Glamdring when he goes to the Shire before leaving to see Saruman. If he had, Saruman would've confiscated it. Wherever he left it, he had no time to retrieve it.
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Christopher Lee appears in both Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings franchises; the two biggest fantasy franchises ever. He is the only actor to appear in both. He plays Count Dooku in Star Wars, and Sarumen in Lord of the Rings; two very similar evil/wizard/lord characters.
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Director Peter Jackson called the process of filming the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy at the same time as something that he would do only once in his life. Little did he know that he would also direct the Hobbit trilogy little over ten years later.
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Peter Jackson originally planned to adapt the book "The Hobbit" into the first part of a trilogy, with the other two being adapted from "The Lord of the Rings". The Hobbit was eventually adapted by Jackson into not one, but three films: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
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Alan Lee: In the prologue, one most famous Middle-earth artist can be seen as one of the nine human Kings.
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Zo Hartley: A Hobbit couple, who were about to kiss, before the other ate a cupcake instead, in the Extended Edition.
Michael Elsworth: Cirdan the Shipwright in the left of Gil-galad and Galadriel during the prologue, and an archivist who escorts Gandalf to the archives in Minas Tirith.
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Gino Acevedo: One of the Dwarf-lords during the prologue.
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The dummy of Sean Bean's body, seen at the end, was so convincing that a crew member, while taking lunch orders, asked other cast members if he wanted anything.
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Sean Bean is wearing a fiberglass bodysuit underneath his costume for his death scene to stop the arrows sticking out of him from wobbling.
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When Frodo is leaving everyone behind at the River Anduin, to take up the quest on his own, divers went into the water to make sure it would be free of any sharp objects or debris for Sean Astin to run into when Sam goes chasing after him. Although they gave the "OK", Sean ended up stepping on a piece of glass that completely pierced his foot from bottom to top, requiring a helicopter to transport him to the nearest hospital, and receive several stitches.
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Sean Bean named Boromir's death in this movie as his favorite on-screen death.
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Sir Ian McKellen enjoyed playing Gandalf the Grey more than his transformed state (Gandalf the White) in the next two movies.
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The climax of the movie actually intercuts the last chapter of the first book (Boromir trying to take the Ring from Frodo, Frodo's decision to leave the Fellowship) with the first chapter of the second book, which shows Boromir's death and funeral, Merry and Pippin's capture, and Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas beginning their pursuit of the Orcs.
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Body count: one hundred eighteen.
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That's a silicon shell of Sean Bean that goes over the waterfall at the end.
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Lurtz, the Uruk-Hai leader, does not appear in the books; Boromir is killed by an anonymous Orc and his death goes unwitnessed, and Aragorn does not fight any of them. Lurtz was invented for the film to give the Uruk-Hai a face. His name is never spoken aloud in the theatrical release, and only appears in the end credits. However, in the Extended Edition, Lurtz's name is spoken by Saruman. Despite some initial fears that he was an entirely new character, he really wasn't much different from other "generic Uruk-hai leaders" already present in the book.
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