Sci Fi Wire
February 6, 2001

Jackson Wants 'Rings' Reality
Staff Reporter

Peter Jackson, director of the upcoming Lord of the Rings film trilogy, told E! Online that he faces a year's worth of post-production now that principal photography has wrapped. The challenge is to keep things real and faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien's original books, he said. "The one thing I've always been consistently going for in the style of the shooting and the performances and the design is to make Middle-earth feel real and lived-in," Jackson told the site. "And whether it's an elf or a dwarf or a hobbit or a human, I think it's important for us to convey that the character is real and exists at a particular moment in time."

Conveying the reality of the films means pushing the envelope in terms of violence, Jackson said. "It's going to be PG-13. Again, it's part of making it real. The material we've shot would easily give us an R-rated movie if we chose to cut it that way. We haven't shot anything that is disturbing or horrific or nasty. We're just trying to depict battles realistically. But we'll be very circumspect with how we edit the material. We're aiming for the tougher end of a PG-13--we'll try and push the envelope a little bit."

Jackson added, "Real life is quite complex--nothing is ever black and white. And even though we are dealing with good and evil in a very clear-cut way, as Tolkien wrote, we're trying to capture some of the story's complexity. For example, the character of Boromir. He is a fundamentally good person--good at heart--but he does things villains would do. He tries to take the Ring forcibly from Frodo. It's fun to film good people doing bad things, and it makes for a movie that has a little more interest and psychological content."

The other challenge is to keep focus through all three films. "The difficulty is you have to imagine the momentum of the films as a whole," Jackson said. "I always find it's very easy to lock yourself into making a shot feel nice, but lose the big picture. You forget that the camera should move faster, because when you cut it, you want this to be a part of a fast scene. Momentum is a very hard thing to maintain." The first Rings film, The Fellowship of the Ring, opens Dec. 19.