Monday, December 19, 2011

One ring to rule them all...

Ten years ago today, America got its first glimpse of Middle Earth as Peter Jackson visualized from J.R.R Tolkien's epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings. The first film, Fellowship of the Rings, was a box office and critical hit making $47 million in its opening weekend for a total of $313 million overall and winning 4 out of its 13 Academy Award nominations. Even with the bar set high with the first film, the series kept bettering itself. Each subsequent film made more than the one before it with the final film, Return of the King, cracking $1 billion worldwide becoming, at the time, the only film to do so since Titanic. The final film also tied Titanic and Ben Hur for most Oscars won with 11 trophies.

What Peter Jackson achieved, along with the superbly talented cast and crew he assembled, was nothing short of amazing. Saying he brought Tolkien's world--The Shire, Mordor, Rivendell, and Helm's Deep--to life would be an understatement. As grand as the visuals and story were, the cast and characters were my favorite parts. Seeing the hobbits shuffling alongside Gandalf or Legolas riding a giant elephant or Eowyn killing the Nazgul or Smeagol channeling his inner Gollum... pure cinematic wonderfulness. It also made household names of Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom*, Andy Serkis, Dominic Monaghan, and many more.

*As an aside, kudos to this film series for introducing me and the world for the first time to brown-haired brown-eyed Orlando Bloom who of course played the blonde-haired blue-eyed Legolas. The level of fanboyism I devoted to him rivaled that of my first fandom love Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And it's not over! Jackson is currently hard at work in New Zealand reunited with a lot of the same people he worked with for the prequel entitled The Hobbit, which will be divided into two films. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a lightning in a bottle, so who's to say these next two films will live up to that? No one can really, but boy am I excited to revisit Middle Earth again.

Watch the very first teaser trailer for the series after the jump...

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