Lord of the Rings: Creating the Scripts

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What has always been considered impossible to put into film?

A question the director Peter Jackson asked himself after seeing his company WETA Workshop create special effects for a movie, and realizing that practically anything was possible now.

The answer was “The Lord of the Rings”. After first reading it as an 18-year-old Peter Jackson had hoped to once see the book created on the movie screen.

How it came to three movies

After an agreement with the Miramax Films Corp. he began to write two scripts with Fran Walsh. After finishing these two scripts Miramax decided that they would only fund the project, if it was done in one movie. Jackson would not accept this, since he felt it would not give credit to the story, and such an immense story of more than a thousand pages would lack to much back-story, if it were to be dramatized in only one movie.

He therefore went to Hollywood to try and convince another film studio to let him make two films. After being turned down almost everywhere he went, he finally came to New Line Studios. Here he presented his idea to the founder Bob Shaye and his Co-Chairman Michael Lynn. After having presented his idea through storyboards and interviews with cast. Bob Shaye said “Aren’t there three books? You should make three movies.”

Making two to three

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh had to rewrite the entire script, so they got Philippa Boyens on the team to help them. Suddenly to create three scripts was a huge challenge, and throughout the filming of the movies the scripts were revised almost every day to keep it exactly in the spirit of Tolkien.

Thus the scripts for one of the greatest movie epics would come to be. And if you have watched the movies, you might very well send a thanks to Bob Shaye for proposing and later accepting the making of all three films.

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