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General questions and answers regarding the upcoming film trilogy are posted here. If you have a question to contribute to the FAQ, please send it to me.

1. How many movies have been made?
2. Who made these movies?
3. When will the movies be released?
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4. What are the movies going to be rated?
5. Is there an official web site for the trilogy?
6. What about film versions of The Hobbit or The Silmarillion?
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7. What was the budget for these films?
8. Was Christopher Tolkien or the Tolkien Estate involved in these films?
9. What kind of Computer Generated Imaging will be used in the films?
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10. Where were the movies filmed?
11. Will the Hobbits be played by midgets?
12. Who has been cast in the movies?
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13. When will the movies be released in my country?
14. Have the writers changed the story for the movies?
15. Will there be different languages in the movies?
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16. What will the war scenes be like?
17. When will there be theatrical previews for the movies?
18. How long will the films be?
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19. Who composed the music for the films?
20. Who directed the 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings?
21. When will The Fellowship of the Ring be released on DVD or VHS?

1. How many movies have been made?
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A total of 3 films have been made, one for each book in J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy. The titles of the films will also coincide with the titles of the books. Filming wrapped in December of this year on all three movies, which were filmed concurrently... a first in cinema history!

2. Who made these movies?
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Peter Jackson, director of The Frighteners and Heavenly Creatures, directed and produced the trilogy, in cooperation with Barrie Osborn. Assistant directors included Carolynne Cunningham and Dave Norris. The studio was New Line Cinema and the production company was Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films.

3. When will the movies be released?
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The first part of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, is slated for release on December 19, 2001. The Two Towers will follow December 14, 2002 and The Return of the King is expected to be released on December 14, 2003.

4. What are the movies going to be rated?
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Peter Jackson is contractually obligated to deliver a PG-13 rated film. However, he has stated many times that he is shooting for a very "hard" PG-13 -- something that will push the envelope of the rating. He feels this will be the only what to translate the "realness" of Middle-earth into the films.

5. Is there an official web site for the trilogy?
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Yes, the official web site can be visited at: http://www.lordoftherings.net
There you can find teaser trailers and official pictures of the film.

6. If the trilogy is a success, will Jackson consider producing a film version of The Hobbit or The Silmarillion?
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Thus far Jackson has no plans to do this. You never know, though! New Line owns the film rights to BOTH of those Tolkien titles. Jackson has stated that New Line would almost definitely film The Hobbit if The Lord of the Rings is a success -- whether Jackson would be involved is yet to be seen!

7. What was the budget for these films?
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The total budget for all 3 films was $270 million.  The New Zealand exchange rate, as well as cheaper services within the small country, literally turned the $120 million into $810 million. So Jackson actually had $270 million per film!

8. Was Christopher Tolkien or the Tolkien Estate involved in the films?
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No. They didn't want to get involved because their association with the film might be seen as an endorsement, making the film "official" somehow. That was a situation that Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate did not want.

9. What kind of Computer Generated Imaging will be used in the films?
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Gollum will be entirely CG. Weta (Jackson's special effects company) has also developed some software called MASSIVE, which will allow the generation and execution of large-scale battles -- those whom have seen it have declared it "revolutionary." Hobbits and Dwarves will be shrunk using computer technology. It is also rumored that the features of the Elves will be digitally captured and altered in the computer to get a unique look, however this may have changed.

10. Where were the movies filmed?
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The movies were shot on-location in numerous areas around New Zealand. Set shooting was done at Camperdown Studios in Mirimar.

11. Will the Hobbits be played by Midgets?
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No, in order to reduce the height of Hobbits and Dwarves, they will be digitally shrunk by a computer in post production. Various other techniques will be employed as well to make sure that the Hobbits look 3 to 4 feet tall, including camera trickery such as "forced perspective" and even some film doubles.

12. Who has been cast in the movies?
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The cast varies from relatively unknown actors to Shakespearean players to Hollywood stars. Our complete list of cast members is available here.

13. When will the movies be released in my country?
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New Line has committed to releasing the Lord of the Rings films around the world at the same time. This means that fans from Argentina to Poland will all be able to see the films on the first day of their respective releases.

14. Have the writers changed the story for the movies?
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This question has led many Tolkien fans to be rather cynical. In short: Peter Jackson has edited the story. Some major changes that we are aware of include the omission of Tom Bombadil and the expansion of the role of Arwen. Most likely there are additional minor changes. While these changes perhaps are disheartening, it's important to remember that overall, Jackson is going to be very faithful to Tolkien's works -- he's a huge fan. Moreover, the cast by and large have read the books, and the crew refer to the books continually.

15. Will there be different languages in the movies?
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Yes! The extent to which they will be used is not known, however we do know that parts of the dialogue will be spoken in Elvish, with English subtitles. Peter Jackson has hired several Tolkien language experts to ensure that the actors get the pronunciation just right.

16. What will the war scenes be like?
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Magnificent, we hope! The battles will not have Braveheart-style violence, as New Line is aiming for a PG-13 rating. What we've seen and heard so far is encouraging, though. Extras (Orcs, Elves, Rohirrim, etc.) will be played in part by soldiers in the New Zealand army. Jackson has 200 full time horses, as well as many more temporary horses to use as steeds in the battles. The costumes and armor are being painstakingly designed, forged at Weta like the real stuff! All Orc masks are detailed individually and all of the chain mail is hand-made! The folks at Weta will also be using some software called Massive, which can populate battlefields with thousands of computer-generated soldiers.

17. When will there be theatrical previews for the movies?
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We don't know for sure. The first theatrical teaser was released in January of 2001 and can be downloaded at the official site. Rumors are flying, but we know that there will be a few more additional teasers (most likely in July and Sep. of 2001). The first theatrical trailer will probably come out around Oct. 2001.

18. How long will the films be?
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Jackson has indicated that the target length for all three films will be approximately 7 to 8 hours total running time. He has also indicated that The Fellowship of the Ring will probably be the longest of the trilogy.

19. Who composed the music for the films?
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Howard Shore composed the score for all three films. He relied heavily upon darker choral music as well as medieval instruments in his work.

20. Who directed the 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings?
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Ralph Bakshi directed the animated version of The Lord of the Rings that was released in 1978. The film was widely considered to be a disaster, although there are many who feel that it was a good film in its own right. The film was recently re-released on DVD and VHS and is available at Amazon.com.

21. When will The Fellowship of the Ring be released on DVD or VHS?
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The standard version of Fellowship is scheduled to be released on DVD and VHS in August of 2002. The expanded version, with bonus footage and commentary, will be released on DVD only in November of 2002. According to New Line, this "Special Edition" version will be rated R for battle scenes.



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