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The Lord of the Rings (film series)

"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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The name The Lord of the Rings refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Lord of the Rings (disambiguation).
The Lord of the Rings
DirectorPeter Jackson
WriterPeter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Stephen Sinclair
ProducerPeter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Barrie M. Osborne
Philippa Boyens
Tim Sanders
StarringElijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen
See cast section below for more
CinematographyAndrew Lesnie
MusicHoward Shore
StudioThe Saul Zaentz Company
WingNut Films
DistributorNew Line Cinema[note 1]
ReleasedThe Fellowship of the Ring: 19 December, 2001
The Two Towers: 18 December, 2002
The Return of the King: 17 December, 2003
Runtime557 minutes (Theatrical Edition)
681 minutes (Extended Edition)
CountryNew Zealand
United Kingdom
United States
WebsiteOfficial Website

The Lord of the Rings is a movie series consisting of three films. The Fellowship of the Ring , The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. they are three live-action films which were directed by Peter Jackson and based upon the books by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Principal photography for all three films took place in New Zealand over a continuous eighteen-month period — the first time that three films had ever been shot together in this way, although some pairs of films had. There were several later "pick-up" shoots over the following months and years as the films were edited, special effects were added and the script was honed and revised.


[edit] Differences from the book

The films for the most part follow the storyline of the book (see J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings); however there are some major deviations as detailed within the entry for each film.

[edit] Cast

Principal actors and actresses include:

Role Actor
Frodo Baggins Elijah Wood
Gandalf Ian McKellen
Aragorn Viggo Mortensen
Arwen Liv Tyler
Samwise Gamgee Sean Astin
Saruman Christopher Lee
Legolas Orlando Bloom
Gimli, voice of Treebeard John Rhys-Davies
Elrond Hugo Weaving
Galadriel Cate Blanchett
Meriadoc Brandybuck Dominic Monaghan
Peregrin Took Billy Boyd
Éowyn Miranda Otto
Éomer Karl Urban
Théoden Bernard Hill
Gríma Wormtongue Brad Dourif
Boromir Sean Bean
Faramir David Wenham
Denethor II John Noble
Gollum/Sméagol Andy Serkis

[edit] Facts and figures

  • Amount of film shot during production: Over 6 million feet (over 1,800 kilometers)
  • Swords, axes, shields and makeup prosthetics created: 48,000
  • Background actors cast: 20,602
  • Costumes produced by the wardrobe department: 19,000
  • New Zealand cricket fans enlisted to create the Orc army's grunts: 10,000
  • Behind-the-scenes crew members: 2,400 at the height of production
  • Pairs of prosthetic Hobbit feet created: 1,600
  • Most real horses in one scene: 250
  • Computer special-effects artists employed: 180
  • Total speaking roles: 114
  • Locations in New Zealand used as backdrops: 100
  • Tailors, cobblers, designers, et al. in the wardrobe department: 50
  • Actors trained to speak fictional dialects and languages: 30
  • Total years of development for all three films: 7
  • Combined running time of the series (extended DVD editions): 680 minutes (11 hours and 20 minutes)
  • Combined worldwide box-office gross: US$2,916,544,743 (source)
  • International all-time box office rankings: 2 (Return of the King), 5 (Two Towers), 7 (Fellowship of the Ring)[1]

[edit] Academy Awards

If all three films are counted as one, the trilogy was nominated for 30 Academy Awards, of which it won 17.[2]

The Awards were as follows (A Win is marked by a "W"):

  • Art Direction [Fellowship, Two Towers, King (W)]
  • Cinematography [Fellowship (W)]
  • Costume Design [Fellowship, King (W)]
  • Directing [Fellowship, King (W)]
  • Film Editing [Fellowship, Two Towers, King (W)]
  • Makeup [Fellowship (W), King (W)]
  • Music (Original Score) [Fellowship (W), King (W)]
  • Music (Original Song) [Fellowship: "May It Be", King: "Into the West" (W)]
  • Best Picture [Fellowship, Two Towers, King (W)]
  • Sound [Fellowship, Two Towers]
  • Sound Editing [Two Towers]
  • Sound Mixing [King (W)]
  • Supporting Actor [Fellowship: Ian McKellen ("Gandalf")]
  • Visual Effects [Fellowship (W), Two Towers (W), King (W)]
  • Writing (Previously Produced or Published) [Fellowship, King (W)]


  1. The films' distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008.


[edit] External links

Licensed film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's works
The Hobbit (1966) · The Hobbit (1977) · The Lord of the Rings (1978) · The Return of the King (1980) · The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) · The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) · The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) · The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (forthcoming)