The Sun Newspaper
February 18, 2001

New 140m Movie is Hobbit of All Right
Mark Bowness

THESE are the latest astonishing pictures from The Lord Of The Rings - which is shaping up to be one of cinema's all-time top films.

In America, fans queued outside cinemas for 12 hours just to see the two-minute trailer from which these pictures are taken. 

The mythical tale of good versus evil has cost 140million so far in the two years it has been in production - and it is still not complete.

There are more than 1,200 special effects and animation sequences to be finished.

Picture of elf ... Cate Blanchett as
Galadriel, left, and Sean Bean as Boromir

The movie will be released in Britain at Christmas. Even then it is only the beginning - it will take two more films to bring the entire JRR Tolkien book to the screen.

Industry insiders say the trilogy could be as big as the first three Star Wars movies in the Seventies and Eighties.

Orc-ward moment ... 15,000 Orcs on the
rampage, left, and spectacular scenery

The first film, subtitled The Fellowship Of The Ring, was shot in New Zealand and its stars include Christopher Lee, Sean Bean and Sir Ian McKellen - plus 15,000 extras.

All find themselves in a fantasy world of hobbits, elves and dwarves as they fight the fearsome Orcs - evil goblin soldiers - for possession of the magic gold ring which allows its wearers to become invisible.

Into battle ... warrior Aragorn wields
his sword and launches an attack

Last year, when the film's promotional trailer was released over the internet, 1.7million fans downloaded it on the first day - double the number who did the same for the much-hyped Star Wars trailer for Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

One Tolkien website received more than 2,000 comments from fans just about the film's casting.

Included in the cast are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Liv Tyler as Arwen Undomiel and Elijah Wood as ring guardian Frodo Baggins.

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