The Lord Of The Rings: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Trilogy To Rule Them All – Screen Rant

Posted in Tattoo Shop on Jan 03, 2020

Peter Jacksons big-screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a huge gamble for the studios, because they had to finance three mega-budget fantasy epics before even releasing the first one. If the first movie wasnt a hit which, thankfully, it was; a big one! the studio still wouldve had two movies in the can that were ready for release.

RELATED:5 Reasons Why The Hobbit Trilogy Wasn't As Good As The Lord Of The Rings (And 5 Why It Was Better)

Fortunately, Jacksons movies were too big to fail. With groundbreaking visual effects, brilliantly paced scripts, and a carefully selected cast of actors, The Lord of the Rings trilogy was destined to be successful. So, here are 10 behind-the-scenesfacts about The Lord Of The Ringstrilogy to rule them all.

Before the final design for Gollum was created, the character went through a few different looks. One of the earliest concepts had skeletal nostrils in place of Gollums nose. However, when the artists at Weta Digital rendered this look, Gollum came off as unsympathetic and inhuman, more like a zombie than a person. Another idea that was scrapped was giving Gollum a little potbelly.

Gollum was initially supposed to be 100% computer-generated, but when Andy Serkis was cast, Peter Jackson decided to use performance-capture technologies so that Serkis could actually play the character. This forced the Weta team to redesign the character yet again, having worked on it for three years.

Eight out of the nine actors who played members of the Fellowship got a tattoo with the word nine written in J.R.R. Tolkiens Elvish script Tengwar, to commemorate their time working on The Lord of the Rings trilogy together. They all headed down to a tattoo parlor in Wellington, where the movie was shooting, to get the tattoos done.

John Rhys-Davies was the one who refused to get a tattoo, and his stunt double stepped in to complete the nine. Sean Astin and Billy Boyd got their tattoos on their ankles in honor of the many hours they spent having the hobbit feet makeup applied.

When Peter Jackson was making the first Lord of the Rings movie, he wanted to open it with a prologue narrated by Cate Blanchett, but New Line Cinema executives were reluctant to let him do it, and pushed him to cut the prologue.

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Ironically, when it came to making the second movie, The Two Towers, New Line executives were pushing Jackson to open the movie with another voiceover monologue by Blanchett, and Jackson was hesitant to include it. Its common for directors of Hollywood blockbusters to clash with studio executives, but they rarely clash twice over the exact same issue.

Viggo Mortensen was never supposed to play Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Initially, during pre-production, Stuart Townsend was cast to play the role. However, after four days of shooting, Peter Jackson realized that Townsend was too young and the part required an actor who was older.

So, Mortensen was brought in to replace Townsend. Mortensen wasnt sure about taking the role, because hed never read J.R.R. Tolkiens books or met Jackson before. However, his 11-year-old son was a fan, so he was the main proponent of Mortensens eventual decision to take the role and join the production.

After Viggo Mortensen signed on to play Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he insisted on doing his own stunts, like Tom Cruise does in the Mission: Impossible movies. When Aragorn kicks a helmet and cries out in anguish, thats because the helmet was really heavy and Mortensen broke two of his toes when he swung his foot into it.

Most of the stunt performers in the battle scenes used aluminum swords, which are lighter than the real ones, or rubber swords, which are safer, but Mortensen insisted on using an actual sword made of steel in all of his scenes. Veteran sword master Bob Anderson said that Mortensen was the best swordsman Ive ever trained.

Peter Jackson is a huge arachnophobe in real life, so he based the design of Shelob on all the types of spiders he grew up hating in New Zealand. The Shelob sequence in The Return of the King is filled with practical effects.

When Frodo is wrapped in Shelobs web in a comatose state, Elijah Wood is actually staring into space without blinking, because for whatever reason, hes able to do that. And when Shelob pierces Frodo, the white foam that dribbles out of his mouth came from a couple of Alka-Seltzers hidden in Woods mouth. The webbing was created using a flexible, latex-type material.

When Andy Serkis got a call from his agent about the role of Gollum, he was only being asked to do voiceover work for three weeks in New Zealand. The character was going to be created entirely using CGI, with the actor providing just his voice. However, when Serkis auditioned, Peter Jackson was so blown away that he decided to use performance-capture technology so that Serkis could play the character on-set.

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Serkis based his performance on the actions of heroin addicts, while the voice was inspired by cats coughing up hairballs. Before shooting, Serkis drank Gollum juice (a mix of honey, lemon, and ginger) to prepare his throat for the intense voice work.

Pippins song arose from co-writer Philippa Boyens stumbling upon Billy Boyds hidden talent for singing. In the middle of shooting, some of the cast and crew went for a night out at a karaoke bar. There, Boyens was surprised by how great Boyds singing voice was.

Boyens remembered that in the book, Denethor asked Pippin to sing him a song as Faramir was heading off to war, and so she knew there was an opportunity to show off Boyds singing talent within the story. She dug up the lyrics from the original text and let Boyd come up with his own tune to sing it to.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, after Gandalf arrives at Bilbos home, he bumps his head on a ceiling beam. This moment hilariously sells just how small Bilbos hobbit-hole is, and how tall Gandalf is in comparison. But as it turns out, Gandalf bumping his head wasnt in the original script.

Ian McKellen actually bumped his head on the ceiling beam by accident in the middle of a take and didnt let it ruin the scene. He kept acting through the blunder and finished the take. Peter Jackson decided to leave in the mistake, because McKellen did such a good job of incorporating it into his performance.

All three movies in The Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed back-to-back. Before the trilogy went into production, the record for the worlds longest film shoot belonged to Francis Ford Coppolas Apocalypse Now, which was in production for a whopping 274 days across 16 months. And technically, Apocalypse Now still holds that record.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy tied with it with the exact same number of filming days. Shooting sequels back-to-back is a commonplace practice its been used for the second and third Back to the Future movies, the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and the second and third Matrix movies but rarely before the first movie has hit theaters.

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Ben Sherlock writes about movies, TV, and comics for Screen Rant and CBR. He also directs short films (when he has the money), performs standup comedy filled with pop culture references, and bores people with Star Wars trivia.

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The Lord Of The Rings: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Trilogy To Rule Them All - Screen Rant

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