The LOTR Movie Site
November 5, 1999

The Saul Zaentz Connection
David Uskovich

Saul Zaentz owns the rights to LOTR, and was the producer of the Bakshi version (which I think takes more heat than it deserves, but then, my expectations are low). As you know, he's now producing PJ's version. He also produced The English Patient, which sort of foregrounded the horny affair between the Patient (Ralph Fiennes) and the British Aristocrat babe (Kristin Scott Thomas), unlike the book.

Ok, ok,  I haven't read the book, but I have friends who adore it, and they, and the reviews I've read, don't indicate that it was a classic Hollywood romance, which, IMHO, is how the production team interpreted it when they made the movie. Perhaps an LOTR fan who's read The English Patient could refute or corroborate?

My point is this: LOTR will be a Hollywood film, and Hollywood can't put out a flick unless it features a male/female love interest, be it drama, action, sci-fi, whatever. And if such a relationship is just a kernel in the source material, you can bet that Tinsel Town will develop it til it blooms and becomes a central focus.

Remember how extraneous Bridget Fonda's character was in City Hall? She and Cusack never even got it on, but you gotta  have the love interest. What about the passion between Deckard and Rachel in Blade Runner? I don't think it was quite the same in  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (or was it? been years since I read that one). I love that movie, but the romance is very Golden Age Hollywood (think Casablanca).

I'm speculating that what Zaentz did with English Poo Poo (or was it the director? the exec. producer? the PA? the DA? who knows with these enormo creative bureacracies?) may indicate what'll happen to LOTR, as far as the Arwen/Aragorn relationship goes.  And it doesn't bode well.

In the end, I'll be bummed, but not suprised, if Arwen replaces Eowyn and/or becomes what it looks like she might become.