11 May 2001
Cannes Festival gets first, brief glimpse
of £190m 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy
By David Lister
One of the most expensive film projects ever made, the £190m trilogy of JR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was seen, or rather glimpsed, in Cannes last night.
As the first photographs from the film became available, the American production company Newline, in charge of the movie, brought a 20-minute trailer to show to invited guests.
The producers are also flying in the cast for interviews and are holding an exclusive party in a chateau on Sunday. The promotion of the movie in Cannes alone is said to be costing around £2m as Newline begins the process of trying to sell it across the world.
The first film in the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, is expected to be released in Britain at Christmas, going head-to-head with the Harry Potter film. The film, starring Cate Blanchett, Sean Bean, Liv Tyler, Ian Holm and Ian McKellen has been shot in New Zealand by the New Zealand-born director Peter Jackson.
To bring Tolkien's fantasy to the screen the main cast was joined by thousands of extras, mediaeval experts, stone sculptors, blacksmiths and many design and special effects experts.
Tolkien's book, hailed as "book of the century'' in a number of polls, celebrates the struggle between good and evil in a fantasy world of magic and lore with Middle Earth inhabited by man, hobbits, elves, dwarfs, wizards, trolls and Orcs. Peter Jackson has shot all three films at once, something which has never been done in film-making history.
He said: "I felt that in order to do the tale's epic nature justice we had to shoot it as one big story, because that is what it is.''
As part of the massive costume-making operation on set, a special foam latexing oven was running 24 hours a day, seven days a week to churn out hobbit ears and feet, among other prosthetics.
the Independent website
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