Media Junkies

February 23, 2000

The Peter Jackson Files
Sean Molloy

New Zealand-born director Peter Jackson has taken upon himself a heavy burden. He has decided to film J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series as a trilogy of feature films. Legions of fans believe these books to be the Alpha and the Omega of all fantasy. Mr. Peter’s decision is a burden perhaps as heavy as the One Ring itself, because if he fails in his self-appointed task, he’ll have all the hordes of Mordor flooding his e-mail inbox and crying his wretched name in ALL CAPS to the darkening ASCII skies. So many people have such high and varied expectations for this project that the end result, no matter how miraculous, is undoubtedly going to leave a lot of people unsatisfied. Everyone who’s ever read and loved these books has their own vision of how things should be, from whoever drew those god-awful paperback covers to the bizarre and mesmerizing sepia-toned poster that adorns more than its fair share of dorm room walls... my own included. My Balrog is not your Balrog. And no matter how cool Peter Jackson’s Balrog is, it’s not going to be either of our Balrogs. Even the simplest of casting decisions has been fodder for heated debate on discussion  boards across the internet… Rivendell Dweller # 15 looks more like a Dark Elf if you ask me, he’s supposed to be a Wood Elf… and Gandalf would never wear such pansy-looking sandals...

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