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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
What was it like, pre-movies?

brucewayne
Bree

Jan 1 2013, 7:33pm

Post #1 of 17 (837 views)
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What was it like, pre-movies? Can't Post

I was too young to get caught up with the hype. Were people nervous? Were they going to be a monumental flop or the greatest movies of all time? What were people's thoughts on the casting choices? What were some of the predictions?


Escapist
Gondor


Jan 1 2013, 7:40pm

Post #2 of 17 (517 views)
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I thought it was great! [In reply to] Can't Post

*I remember the competition with Narnia and Harry Potter.
*I saw a news story about the making of the films and the young actors who had been fans of the books and it just seemed great.
*I was fairly open minded to how they might do it since I hadn't been super impressed with the cartoon versions (but had still watched them and knew people who were fans).
*I had the strangest feeling (especially right after the first movie came out) that (1) there were a lot more people who loved the same stories that I did than I had realized and they were all coming out of the woodwork for this and (2) a long held secret favorite series I had read numerous times was suddenly being discussed and I had the hardest time talking about it because I had internalized it so much - don't know how those two items got linked into the same feeling (maybe I was one coming out of the woodwork)


Lily Fairbairn
Half-elven


Jan 1 2013, 7:52pm

Post #3 of 17 (503 views)
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I heard... [In reply to] Can't Post

...some Hollywood insiders on a panel discussion say it was common knowledge in Hollywood that New Line was going to have a huge disaster with FotR. Of course, after it was such a success, the common knowledge changed pretty quickly.

Speaking as a private individual, I'd been wanting a movie of LotR for many years, but was burned very badly by the cartoon. So I was very wary before FotR came out. I realized as soon as I saw it that my misgivings were for naught and Jackson had made a masterpiece---with flaws, yes, but overall worthy of its source material.

I, too, have been amazed and gratified to find so many other people who love the books as deeply as I do.




Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Jan 1 2013, 11:53pm

Post #4 of 17 (457 views)
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Interesting recollections, Escapist! [In reply to] Can't Post

Just one point, though. There was no real competition with the Narnia series. The first Narnia film didn't start shooting until June of 2004, after the third LOTR part had been released. There was certainly some question as to whether the Narnia films could match LOTR's box-office success, but that was soon answered with a firm NO!


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 2 2013, 12:54am

Post #5 of 17 (451 views)
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During filming [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's fair to say there was a bit of anxiety on the discussion boards about how this was going to work out. LOTR was dearly loved and just what was this filmmaker going to do with the story? Would it turn out faintly ridiculous? Would critics ridicule it for being a fantasy with Elves and Dwarves? How could Tolkien's large trilogy ever be translated well to screen?

Then cast photos were released, and at least I was reassured. There was Legolas, looking not like a fantasy Elf but like a fighter. Gimli looked like someone not be messed with. And Gandalf! The fatherly-looking wizard!

I think the anxiety really turned a corner and ramped up to 'this is going to be so awesome!' when the 20 minutes of FOTR was screened at Cannes and the reviewers' reaction was out of this world. Those last few months were an incredible buzz of hyperactive anticipation.

Alongside all of this was the industry chatter. For the longest time we heard loud voices saying that the LOTR trilogy was New Line's greatest folly: No one watches fantasy, the films would be a flop and New Line would go under. (To be sure if FOTR had been a box office failure, New Line wouldn't have survived financially.) This talk started to be buried after Cannes (although from memory, one or two industry insiders still spoke loudly against LOTR's eventual success), and then just died after FOTR opened to near universal praise. :)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Jan 2 2013, 12:55am)


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 2 2013, 1:10am

Post #6 of 17 (434 views)
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It seems like a lifetime ago [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't have internet access back then. I knew about TORn, but missed all the online hype (which is probably a good thing, as I never would have left the computer once I got interested...) So I didn't see a lot of spoilers, or hear anything much about what people were anticipating or worrying about. There were a few images and stories that were leaked which I saw via mainstream media, but that's about all.
I wasn't particularly interested in the story as such, as I had been burned by a compulsory high school trip to see the animated version at the movies. Since I was talking with the cool boys, I had to move up the front to sit beside our very uncool and not very nice smelling teacher. The shame of it!

I went to see FOTR because I was a fan of Peter Jackson's work, and of course since I am a Kiwi there was a big curiosity factor.
Wow - I was totally blown away by what I saw, and so began a geeky love affair. Heart


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Jan 2 2013, 4:08am

Post #7 of 17 (454 views)
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Wasn't a Tolkien fan until just before the films [In reply to] Can't Post

I read the books in anticipation of the films. I knew about the books because my sister had read them when she was a teen, but her descriptions didn't do anything for me. I thought it was just a story about little badger people who find a magic ring that makes you evil if you wear it...there was a weird little guy who kept hissing "my precious", yadda, yadda, yadda...It wasn't until I saw the first preview in the Spring? of 2001 that I took LOTR seriously. While reading it, I realized that much of it would have to be changed to work as a film, but I fell in love with them and was, though realistic, a bit protective. I wasn't online much then; the only thing I heard beforehand that I didn't like was Liv Tyler as Arwen. I had never liked her, she usually played Lolita type characters, so I wasn't hopeful. But I have to say she changed my mind. I think she made an excellent Arwen; I can't imagine anyone else in that role. So, my one fear was very much allayed. Smile

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime

(This post was edited by zarabia on Jan 2 2013, 4:09am)


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 2 2013, 1:09pm

Post #8 of 17 (406 views)
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It was a lot quieter.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


acheron
Gondor


Jan 2 2013, 8:18pm

Post #9 of 17 (365 views)
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oh, casting choices [In reply to] Can't Post

Remember when Sean Connery was going to be Gandalf? And Uma Thurman was going to be Eowyn?

I had been wanting movies for a decade at that point, since I read the books the first time (and now it's been more than a decade since FOTR came out, so more of my Tolkien life has been post movie!), and I was super excited ever since the first "Internet preview". (At the bottom of this page... notice the logo and font is not quite finalized.) And the FOTR movie blew me away when it finally came out.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams


Escapist
Gondor


Jan 2 2013, 8:19pm

Post #10 of 17 (350 views)
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right ... that .. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Eruonen
Tol Eressea


Jan 2 2013, 10:49pm

Post #11 of 17 (354 views)
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I would say similar to The Hobbit build up....excitement and [In reply to] Can't Post

"dream come true" expectations. Those of us who experienced previous efforts were left so disappointed with the result and may have lost hope they would ever be filmed. I recall the day I came across the blurb that The LOTR was being filmed - I cannot remember where exactly - but it led me here. I don't remember (gee, isnt age wonderful! ;)....if I had joined TORN before the movie news or not. After seeing the casting news, and preliminary photos, with the understanding that PJ was intent on being faithful to the look, feel and story (obviously with exceptions) I was sooo looking forward to their release. I also recall sitting and watching the opening of the film and just thinking "I can't believe this has been accomplished and feeling overjoyed." It was not "that long ago"....time flies as you will soon experience. Take a look at the Old TORn Site for a feel. I distinctly recall the angst over the spiked water wheel contraption and what that was going to be used for....plus flooding news...and quarry filming etc.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jan 2 2013, 10:52pm)


brucewayne
Bree

Jan 3 2013, 12:47am

Post #12 of 17 (329 views)
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I'm interested [In reply to] Can't Post

But how can I access the old site?


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 3 2013, 1:38am

Post #13 of 17 (341 views)
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In the menu section of the left side of this webpage, [In reply to] Can't Post

go to the very bottom link under TORn Nave - that will take you to OldTORN.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Eruonen
Tol Eressea


Jan 3 2013, 3:00am

Post #14 of 17 (383 views)
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Unfortunately, it looks like the discussions are no longer [In reply to] Can't Post

available. Go to the Archives to see the headllines starting in April 1999 onward and the scrapbook for images and stories. The "Discussion" page comes to current content.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jan 3 2013, 3:02am)


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Jan 5 2013, 8:04pm

Post #15 of 17 (304 views)
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my wholelife invested in the release of these films lol [In reply to] Can't Post

i can remember being in school about 1996 reading that the films were getting made. id read the books a couple of years before. being a 15 year old i was very excited. it wasnt untill i was in my 2nd year of university that it was released.

i can clearly remember waiting for like an hour for the first trailer to download. epic.

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


weaver
Half-elven


Jan 6 2013, 2:56am

Post #16 of 17 (266 views)
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I missed the FOTR hype, but was here for the lead up to TTT and ROTK... [In reply to] Can't Post

The difference with the later films was that by then the look of Middle Earth and the approach to the story and characters by Jackson was known to us...so those who liked what they did were more excited about what they might see than worried. For those who did not like FOTR, there was a sort of negative expectation though, about what Jackson would mess up next and that got expressed a lot, especially early on. But the positive, excited folks far outweighed those who were upset as time went along...

That continued to be the case when they were doing the pre-promotion of the EE's...the EE clip showing Gandalf facing down the Witch particularly had a lot of folks very excited, but not all were happy when they actually saw the whole thing play out!

What I enjoyed a lot was the hype leading up the Oscars the year ROTK was nominated in so many categories..and that includes reading all of the reports on the site from folks who were at TORn's Oscar events, and who were able to celebrate together as each award was announced and with the film folks afterwards. It was really great to be in my little living room but feeling connected, thanks to TORn, to Tolkien fans around the world who were rooting for the films to win, and celebrating vicariously with everyone afterwards!

Weaver



sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Mar 12 2013, 10:26am

Post #17 of 17 (130 views)
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I was a fan of the books [In reply to] Can't Post

going back to the 80s, though i hadn't read them in many years. I was aware that they were being made, but i wasn't paying too much attention, and i didn't have much hope of them being much good. It caught my eye when i learned that Peter Jackson was directing them, and that he had done Beautiful Creatures, a film that i liked quite a lot. And then, as casting announcements started rolling in, i remember being very impressed, as they weren't "hollywood" choices, but actorly choices. And i saw at some point the "hero" clip of all the actors walking by the camera (the shot from Fellowship) and thought that looked fantastic, especially the "scale" work. But i still wouldn't let my hopes get too high. Even when i finally saw it, i was still taking a wait and see attitude towards the whole thing. All that went away as soon as the music rose up, Cate Blanchett's voice uttered those first words, and those incredible images flashed across the screen.

 
 

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