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.
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."
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.