The One Scene from Lord of The Rings that Almost Destroyed Peter Jackson’s Movies

The One Scene from Lord of The Rings that Almost Destroyed Peter Jackson's Movies

The Lord of the Rings is enjoying a comeback as The Rings of Power does well on Amazon. The conflicted response to The Hobbit Trilogy has largely subsided, and viewers are eager to see Middle-earth once more.

While J.R.R. Tolkien’s original works must be the first and best source for the passion generated by the new series, there is no disputing that The Rings of Power would not enjoy its current degree of prominence if it weren’t for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The films adapted a well-liked but infamously unfilmable series of novels, full of exotic fantasy races, lost languages, huge battles, and an omnipotent singing hippie, into family-friendly adventures.

But at a critical juncture, it almost crumbled. When the studio first approved three sizable movies to be shot concurrently, it showed an astonishing amount of faith in Jackson’s abilities. The fact that they trusted Jackson at all is even more remarkable considering that he previously worked on gross-out horror films like Bad Taste and Braindead (also known as Dead Alive) and the sex romp Meet the Feebles.

Jackson achieved success with the drama Heavenly Creatures. Bob Shaye, the head of New Line, was won over by Jackson’s proposal for a massive trilogy, but the studio lost trust during a crucial stage of development.

And it might have destroyed Peter Jackson’s plan for one of the most epic fight scenes ever filmed. Simply put, the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy would not have been the same.

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Jackson intended for the Battle of Helm’s Deep to serve as the film’s finale in The Two Towers, which he co-wrote with co-writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) are among the characters in the scene defending a stronghold against Saruman’s ravaging hordes of Uruk-hai.

The battle was envisioned by Jackson and his co-writers as a 40-minute sequence that would serve as the trilogy’s middle chapter’s breathtaking conclusion. At the moment, nothing like it had ever been captured on film. Moreover, it was going to be exceedingly pricey, which briefly strained a few set connections.

Since then, Mortensen has acknowledged that while he was unhappy during the filming of the actual moments, he was nonetheless proud of the finished film. They were months of “continuous suffering,” according to Mortensen, who recently spoke to The Telegraph. I will always remember it, whether I liked it or not. Sala Baker, a stuntwoman, agreed and told the newspaper that “it was the making and breaking of some people.”

Jackson himself was among the wealthy and (almost) bankrupt, as he was filming the scene “when New Line was at their most upset with us in terms of the money,” according to the director. The Telegraph claims that New Line executive Barrie Osbourne was required to remain on location to supervise Jackson’s filming.

At one point, Barrie scaled the top of a shooting location to hand Jackson a letter from Michael Lynne, the head of the company. The director said, “Oh, he’s going to threaten to sue you and sell the house out from under you to cover the cost overruns.”

Related: Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 Is Not Releasing 

Jackson yelled back, “Just tell Michael Lynne that I’m shooting this fucking film and I’m doing the best job I can, and I’m not going to disrupt my day with a phone call like that,” to which Lynne replied, “I’m doing the best job I can.”

The fight was undoubtedly won by Jackson, and his portrayal of the siege—in particular, the suspenseful entrance of Gandalf with reinforcements—remains a high point of the acclaimed trilogy and of movie history. Jackson’s project was likely a wise choice for New Line, and Amazon is glad the filmmaker didn’t back down. But no one is happier than the fans, who can now watch The Rings of Power.

The Lord of the Rings Scene That Almost Ruined the Peter Jackson Films was first published on Den of Geek.

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