July 5, 2001
Films to Renew Interest in
The Lord of the Rings, a fictional world of magic and goblins, inspired partly by the author's childhood memories of living in Birmingham has taken a year to film, cost 200 million pounds to make and boasts stars like Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett and Sean Bean.
Middle Earth, the fictional land of J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is in fact an area in Birmingham. As a child, Tolkien loved to play in the area around Sarehole Mill, now known as Moseley. The old mill is now preparing for hundreds of extra visitors as the film leads to a new generation of fans.
Christina Williamson, curator of Sarehole Mill said "He used to play around here with his brother Hilary. They were totally in awe of the area, just completely fascinated with the whole environment."
There are three films currently in post production as part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, introduces the forming of the fellowship, the decision of what to do with the powerful ring, which has been passed from Bilbo Baggins to his nephew Frodo. In the second, The Two Towers, death takes two members away, scattering the fellowship. The third, The Return of the Ring involves battle and honour.
J.R.R. Tolkien's two great nephews, Tim and Steve Tolkien who run a sculpting workshop in the Midlands feel that once the film is released, it will expose elements that J.R.R.Tolkien would have quite liked to remain in one's imagination. J.R.R. Tolkien felt his Lord of the Rings should be real only in the imagination of each reader.
Tim Tolkien said, "I know that when my great-uncle was alive, he was very much against a visual representation of his books going out. As an artist myself, I can see that you want to kind of hold on to your artistic vision and once it's out, it is very difficult to do that."
Steve Tolkien agrees. He said, "The film itself, although it will be The Lord of The Rings will be based on a screen play as opposed to word for word of the book written by my great-uncle, so it'll be it's own entity."
The trilogy which will be released over a three year period. The Fellowship of the Ring is due to be released Christmas 2001, followed by The Two Towers 2002 and The Return of the Ring, due for release in 2003.