The Real Battle For Middle Earth
Peter Jackson with Ian McKellen (Gandalf) during the shooting of Lord of The Rings.
Over fifteen years ago, in 1998, pre-production began on a project that made movie history. Peter Jackson embarked on the making of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy with the ambitious goal of filming all three movies simultaneously over 274 days of principle photography; a feat that had been rarely, if ever done in the movie industry.
The previous year, Jackson had been shopping his idea around of adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to two movies and Miramax signed up, allowing a budget of $75 million for the two. However, after seeing how expensive a shoot the two movies would be Miramax insisted that Jackson whittle the story down so that it could be made into one two hour movie. Jackson, who luckily had a clause allowing him to switch production companies, balked at the idea and once again began looking for a new company. New Line Cinema and executive Robert Shaye had the vision to see that as the book was in three volumes so should any theatrical production, and gave Jackson a budget of over $250 million to make all three movies.
The trilogy has gone on to become some of the most financially successful movies ever, with all three being in the top twenty all time grossing movies, and having a total worldwide box office take of approximately $3 billion (yes THREE BILLION USD).
Oh, to think what is going through the minds of the folks at Miramax!!