The LOTR Movie Site
February 28, 2001

Over Produced
Mark C.

What are peoples opinion on the standard of design as indicated by the pics presented so far ? My concern is that the art team may have got slightly carried away with over designing/lavishment of costumes, sets, and armour to the point that there is a mish-mash of different styles not necessarily true to JRR's vision. For example, some of the armour has not only a medieval style, but also appears to me to have elements of Samurai, and Greco-Roman.

Also, the orcs from what I can ascertain look less goblin like (long arms, swarthy, large fangs etc) and more like something out of a modern horror movie, with elaborate armour to boot. JRRT generally describe orcs as mainly carrying scimitars, shields, ringmail, and helms. In addition, JRRT developed his original ideas from Norse/Scandinavian/Tuetonic mythology. I think there is a danger that the lavish costumes apart from being less true to JRRT's visions will also in some way distract the viewer away from the actual story. Hollywood seem to be good at turning intelligent SF into a special effects extravaganza with the plot and characters playing second fiddle.

I am all for elaborate sets and costumes when they fit organically to the plot, but not at the expense of character development and plot. Do you think PJ and design team may be going overboard in some ways?