Cast & Crew
For Immediate Release
July 7, 1999
ELIJAH WOOD IS
FIRST TO JOIN CAST OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S "THE LORD OF THE RINGS" FOR NEW LINE
CINEMA AND DIRECTOR PETER JACKSON
(Los Angeles, July 7, 1999) - Elijah Wood has been cast in
the lead role of New Line Cinema's live action, special effects-packed trilogy of films
based on J.R.R. Tolkien's internationally renowned fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, it
was jointly announced today by director Peter Jackson, Michael De Luca, President and
Chief Operating Officer of New Line Productions, and Mark Ordesky, President of Fine Line
In joining the cast, Wood has committed to a project of
unparalleled size and scope. Production on the highly anticipated serial is expected to
begin by early October and principal photography will last more than a year, according to
Jackson, who also serves as co-writer and co-producer of the fabled franchise.
The three Lord of the Rings films, beginning with The
Fellowship of the Rings, will be produced consecutively and shot on location in New
Zealand. Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Stephen Sinclair have completed their
script for Part One: The Fellowship of the Rings and additional casting is currently
"In casting this critical role, we knew we had to find
an actor of great depth of range to take an audience on a journey through three
movies," Jackson said. "While we looked at many good actors, it was clear from
the moment that we met Elijah that we had found Frodo Baggins. He has an enormous natural
ability to draw an audience into a story and the dramatic depth to hold them there."
Set in a mythic pre-history, The Lord of the Rings tells the
saga of a desperate battle against encroaching evil - a perilous quest to save humanity
which falls upon the shoulders of young Frodo Baggins (Woods), who has inherited a
seemingly innocent magic ring from his elderly cousin Bilbo.
Frodo soon learns that the ring's original maker, the Dark
Lord Sauron, is desperately seeking it - for it is a ring of great evil which will enable
Sauron to enslave the people of this land known as Middle Earth. A hurriedly assembled
fellowship of wizard, elf, dwarf and men accompany Frodo and his friends on a harrowing
mission across Middle Earth in an attempt to destroy the ring by casting it into the
volcanic fires in the Crack of Doom. Against them rages the monstrous power of Sauron,
whose sinister emissaries ruthlessly pursue Frodo and his companions, while the omnipotent
power of the ring attempts to corrupt the fellowship from within.
Currently at work on Pontus Lowenhielm and Patrik Von
Krusenstjerna's Shiny New Enemies, with Salma Hayek and Jeff Goldblum, Wood will next be
seen in James Toback's Black and White, a largely improvised look at the underground hip
hop culture through the eyes of a film documentary crew. He also lends his voice as 'Tom
Thumb' in the upcoming animated feature The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina.
Wood has been seen recently in The Faculty, Deep Impact, and
The Ice Storm. His film credits also include Flipper, The War, North, The Good Son, Huck
Finn, Forever Young, Paradise, Radio Flyer, Avalon, and Internal Affairs.
On television, Wood was most recently seen on ABC in Tony
Bill's "Oliver Twist" as the 'Artful Dodger.' Other television credits include
the NBC telefilm "Dayo," and the CBS movie "Child in the Night." Wood
was named 1994's Young Star of the Year by NATO/ShowEast following his performance in The
New Line picked-up the rights to Lord of the Rings from
Miramax Films last August. Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein serve as executive
producers of the films along with Saul Zaentz. New Line's Senior Vice President of
Business Affairs Suzanne Rosencrans negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio.
Representing Wood is the William Morris Agency and lawyer Craig Emanuel of Loeb &
Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is the entertainment
industry's leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New
Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television as
well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.,
operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home
video, television, acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units.