The Lord of the Rings: Elijah Wood Doubts Films Would Be Made Today

The Lord of the Rings trilogy star Elijah Wood has a unique perspective about how creative autonomy has changed in the 20 years since the original Peter Jackson films. Speaking with the New York Times (via Indiewire) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the third film Return of the King, the Frodo actor broke down what Jackson was afforded when filming in New Zealand.

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Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Image courtesy of New Line Cinema

From Page to Screen: Lord of the Rings

"There was a great sense of a lack of oversight," Wood said. "Peter and the larger team were allowed to make the movies the way that they wanted to make them without much outside perspective." Jackson initially pitched it to Miramax in 1995 before creative differences with Harvey Weinstein took his project to New Line Cinema. "That doesn't mean the studio wasn't afraid or invested. They knew the risk of making these films back to back," Wood continued. "I don't know if he would be able to make them in the same way now."

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Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, and John Rhys-Davies in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Image courtesy of New Line Cinema

The actor elaborated on the culture change. "Look, the internet's different too," Wood said. "There was less scrutiny on the films. There was less known about them. We were able to make the movies in a bubble. We had quaint problems like there would be some photographers up on a hill, but it was pretty minor. [Laughs.] I don't know if that would be possible now. Now the world is online, and there's a great deal of access afforded to pretty much anybody about anything." With the success of the LOTR trilogy, Jackson decided to adapt its J. R. R. Tolkien predecessor in The Hobbit, a much shorter work, to a film trilogy as well. Its legacy continues on in the upcoming Amazon TV series Lord of the Rings that serves as a prequel to the films.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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