TV3 News
February 1, 2001

Jackson Keen to Get the Movie Out
Staff Reporter

As many J.R.R. Tolkien fans know, "The Lord Of The Rings" is a trilogy and Jackson has taken on the unenviable task of bringing each of the books to life, but has taken the unusual step of filming all three films at the same time. The first of the films "The Fellowship of the Ring" will hit cinemas on December 19th of this year and only then will audiences be able to see if Jackson has created an accurate translation of hobbits, orcs, elves, and dwarves.

"The Lord of the Rings" tells the mystical tale of a hobbit called Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who has inherited a magical ring from his cousin Bilbo Baggins (Sir Ian Holm) which makes its wearer invisible. However, when Bilbo realises that the ring makes the wearer not only invisible but also twists their soul, Frodo sets off with a group of companions to find out about the ring and ultimately to destroy it. He is accompanied by various strange companions; Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen), the bearded wizard; Legolas (Orlando Bloom), an elf with a penchant for arrows; Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), a brave dwarf with a dislike for elves, Strider/Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), a mysterious man who is key to the mission of the ring, Boromir (Sean Penn), an arrogant human warrior, and finally a group of fellow hobbits, Merry (Dominic Monaghan), Pippin (Billy Boyd), and finally the loyal hobbit servant, Sam (Sean Astin).

Together they travel across the mythical kingdom of Middle Earth meeting equally as wondrous allies and enemies on their journey, including Arwen Undomiel (Liv Tyler), Saruman (Christopher Lee), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving). The film is using state-of-the-art technology in order to create the illusion that the hobbit characters are knee-high to the human characters. The filmmakers have even created unique features for the hobbits and have taught the cast to speak with a unique hobbit accent.

However, according to an inside source, the effect that they are using for the character of Gollum, the mysterious ex-owner of the ring who pursues the party endlessly throughout the books, is something the filmmakers are most proud of. They are keeping his image a well-guarded secret until the film's release in December. Although the primary filming has finished in New Zealand, where Jackson felt the setting was most similar to Middle Earth, "The Fellowship of the Ring" has a great deal of post-production to be completed by its launch date in December.

"Must say that I'm really looking forward to finally getting the film out there for people to see it. It has been a very long build up. We've been developing it quietly for four or five years and obviously it's become slightly higher profile in the past 12 months or so. It will be a relief when the first movie at least finally hits the cinema screen. I'm actually looking forward to people looking at it. What we've done is a culmination of a huge amount of work involving thousands of people. It never really becomes real until that work can be shared and people can at last see the results of it and then it becomes tangible so I am looking forward to the day when everyone's hard work on these films can actually become something that can be shared with other people," says Jackson.

"Nobody's ever shot three huge movies in a row before and I think the most interesting thing I've discovered over the past 14 months is exactly why nobody's done it. Now I know and I know I n't be doing it again!" he says.

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