“We were able to make movies in a bubble,” Wood said, adding that that wouldn’t be the case today because “the Internet is different, too.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring celebrates its 20th anniversary this season, and the milestone brought a bevy of mouth-watering narratives and a look back with key cast members and filmmakers. What is clear is that a trilogy of this magnitude — filming in New Zealand with a combined production budget of $281 million across the three films — cannot be made the same way in 2021, when nothing cinematic is sacred on the Internet.
In a recent stand-off with The New York Times, “Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood echoed those sentiments as she pondered the time she played Frodo in Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-winning film series.
There was a great sense of lack of oversight. It allowed Peter and the larger team to make the movies the way they wanted to make them without too much outside perspective,” Wood said.
Jackson showed the film to Miramax as early as 1995, but when studio and studio head Harvey Weinstein demanded two-hour cuts and sweeping story changes, Jackson found an audience on New Line, allowing more creative freedom.
“That doesn’t mean the studio wasn’t afraid or invested. They knew the risks of making these movies backwards,” Wood continued. “I don’t know if he’d be able to make them the same way now.”
He added that ubiquitous fan rumors and leaks and infatuation would likely prevent the film from being produced as it is today, in a relatively tight “bubble”.
“Look, the internet is different too. There was less scrutiny of the movies. There was very little knowledge about them. We were able to make the movies in a bubble. We had weird problems, like there were some photographers on the hill, but it was very simple.” [Laughs.] I don’t know if that is possible now. “The world is now online and there is a huge amount of access available to just about anyone about anything,” Wood said.
However, the legacy of The Lord of the Rings has lived on far from the original films. Jackson has finally released his follow-up trilogy of “The Hobbit” films, Amazon has a huge TV series expected to be released late next year, and The Fellowship of the Episode was recently added to the National Film Registry.