The Evening Post
December 28, 2001

Jackson Takes Stand on Two Towers
Staff Reporter

The Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson is uneasy about the title of the second film in the trilogy but won't change it.

The Two Towers will be released in December next year and the third film, Return Of The King, at Christmas 2003.

Jackson, of Miramar, has promised that one of the films will have its world premiere in the Capital.

Given the events of September 11 in which the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York were destroyed by hijacked jet planes, Jackson has admitted to the Chicago Sun-Times his qualms about the second film's title - the same as used for J R R Tolkien's novel. "It's true that I've thought about what that title means now," he said. "I just pray that by the time the second movie comes out, it won't cause any controversy."

Jackson said the book was 50 years old and he couldn't change the title - "Tolkien fans would kill us."

Meanwhile, the first Rings film, The Fellowship Of The Ring, which had its Australasian premiere at Wellington's Embassy Theatre on December 19, is closing in on worldwide box office returns equivalent to $500 million after only a week at cinemas.

In the United States and Canada it has pulled in $US95.3 million ($NZ232 million) and was expected to have taken the equivalent of $200 million in Europe. Australians are also flocking to the film. It is expected to take more than $A40 million ($NZ49.3 million) over three weeks and could even break the Australian record held by Titanic of $A50 million (NZ$62 million).

In New Zealand the film has earned close to $3 million.

Other information about Two Towers:

-- The pivotal action scene will be the battle for Helm's Deep, which was filmed at Dry Creek Quarry, Manor Park. Jackson said it would be very bloody.

-- There will be more of Gollum. Jackson said: ". . . don't expect him to be another Jar Jar Binks (computer-generated character from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)."

-- The love story of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Arwen (Liv Tyler) will be developed. Tyler said: "It's like a Romeo and Juliet thing."

-- Gandalf will be back - according to the man who plays him, Sir Ian McKellen - younger, stronger and dressed in white samurai clothes.