13 May 2001
Lord Of The Rings - 'Brilliant'
Media reaction to an exclusive preview of the first Lord Of The Rings movie ranged from impressed to ecstatic.
Twenty-five minutes from The Fellowship Of The Rings was screened at the Chateau de Catelleras in Mougins, outside Cannes.
The excerpt opened with the arrival of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and featured a 15-minute scene in the mines of Moria with James Horner's score. New Line Cinema is spending $1.5m just on promoting the Lord Of The Rings trilogy at Cannes.
The company admitted that the aggregate budget is $270m. To this can be added a marketing budget of at least another $50m.
Most impressive film excerpt featured the digitally created gang of Orcs and a giant demon chasing Frodo and the fellowship of the ring. JRR Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings books are estimated to have a world fan base of at least 100m people.
The LOTR website has drawn nearly 400m hits since it was relaunched in January of this year.
The LOTR trilogy was shot as one long 9-hour film with The Fellowship Of The Rings released in December. The third film is released December 2003. The Cannes junket for Lord Of The Rings involved 150 international journalists bussed to Mougins for the
Director Peter Jackson revealed that roads had to be specially built in New Zealand for the production.
And for conservation reasons these roads then had to be removed - hence the need for one continuous shoot of the trilogy. LOTR stars at Mougin included Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Woods, Sean Bean, Christopher Lee, Viggo Mortensen and Liv Tyler.
SFX wizard Richard Taylor revealed the first LOTR movie alone involved 550 exhausting CGI shots.
The buzz is that the LOTR trilogy could end up making at least $6bn worldwide between 2001 and 2003 - bigger than Star Wars.
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