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MCKELLAN 'LORD OF RINGS' REPORT

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    MCKELLAN LORD OF RINGS REPORT Ian McKellen has updated the Grey Book section of his website, this time focusing on those stories of additional shooting on
    Message 1 of 2 , May 23, 2001
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      MCKELLAN 'LORD OF RINGS' REPORT

      Ian McKellen has updated the Grey Book section of his website, this time
      focusing on those stories of additional shooting on the Lord of the
      Rings
      project as well as giving his impression of what he's seen of the films
      to
      come.

      Regarding the new shoots, McKellen first touches upon the ADR work that
      had
      been done, saying, "Almost all of the dialogue has had to be replaced.
      Two
      of the co-screenplay-writers Fran Walsh (Mrs. Jackson) and Philippa
      Boyens
      have been in charge of the ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording). Already,
      in
      an underground sound studio off Wardour Street in London, Sean Bean
      (Boromir), Ian Holm (Bilbo) and Christopher Lee (Saruman) have added a
      fresh
      soundtrack to their scenes. Why was I being brought back to Wellington?"

      McKellen answers his own question saying, "Not just to do the ADR. The
      very
      opening of the film due this December was to be changed. Its original
      prologue has been abandoned and the backstories of Isildur and of
      Smeagol
      who both found and lost the Ring are now to be told once Bilbo, the
      adventurer from Tolkien's The Hobbit has been introduced. In Bag End, we
      will see Bilbo starting to write his memoirs. Gandalf's arrival in
      Hobbiton
      for Bilbo's 111th birthday party of magnificence now opens the movie
      just as
      it opens the first book but it has been expanded to help with the
      exposition. Hence the need for extra filming. A prologue, with its stash
      of
      names and facts, can unnerve audiences and I am relieved that ours has
      gone.
      I was happy to be back filming, even if only for a few days amongst my
      main
      task of giving Gandalf his voice."

      McKellen then touches upon the film footage that he's seen, saying...
      well,
      in part, what he says could be considered a spoiler for those of you who
      will be going to the films not having read the books. If that means you,
      then you might want to move on to another story by using one of the
      links at
      the right. Otherwise, read on.

      McKellen talks of what he's seen, saying, "I had half-hoped to be shown
      the
      current version of The Fellowship of the Ring but there still isn't
      anything
      complete enough to be called a film -- rather an over-long string of
      scenes,
      without music, special effects or polished editing. But it's been
      greatly
      reassuring, before each ADR session, to be able to view the Gandalf
      scenes
      and to see how excitingly the story is being told and how movingly the
      characters relate to each other as their adventures proceed from
      Hobbiton to
      Mordor. At the end of this first film Frodo and Sam are separated from
      the
      rest and row across the river, destination Mount Doom -- on even a
      scratchy
      video, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin are heart-breaking and couldn't be
      better -- I thought."

      However, McKellen did get a better impression of what the final films
      will
      be like. The actor reveals that he saw the part of the film with Howard
      Shore's theme music in place. McKellen reports, "I sat behind Peter
      Jackson
      huddled over a monitor showing the footage of Sam and Frodo in their
      rowboat. As the majestic Fellowship theme soared over the pictures and a
      plaintive flute and drums enchanted the ear, I heard and saw the first
      moment of completed film. Trust me: it is magnificent."
    • Michael Martinez
      ... The audience would have loved the prologue, and I am personally disappointed to learn that Peter has changed his mind on something I was told would happen
      Message 2 of 2 , May 24, 2001
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        --- In mythsoc@y..., Joan Marie Verba <verba001@t...> wrote:
        > McKellen answers his own question saying, "Not just to do the ADR.
        > The very opening of the film due this December was to be changed.
        > Its original prologue has been abandoned and the backstories of
        > Isildur and of Smeagol who both found and lost the Ring are now to
        > be told once Bilbo, the adventurer from Tolkien's The Hobbit has
        > been introduced. In Bag End, we will see Bilbo starting to write
        > his memoirs. Gandalf's arrival in Hobbiton for Bilbo's 111th
        > birthday party of magnificence now opens the movie just as
        > it opens the first book but it has been expanded to help with the
        > exposition. Hence the need for extra filming. A prologue, with its
        > stash of names and facts, can unnerve audiences and I am relieved
        > that ours has gone.

        The audience would have loved the prologue, and I am personally
        disappointed to learn that Peter has changed his mind on something I
        was told would happen two years ago. I knew there was always a
        chance that the prologue would be dropped. It wasn't in the original
        two-film screenplay, from what I understand.

        I suspect this decision will one day be greeted with the sadness that
        many of us felt when we learned that someone had convinced Tolkien
        not to include the Epilogue.

        Of course, I have a selfish interest in seeing the Prologue. It was
        the only part of the movies where I felt I could convince myself I
        had some influence. Even if the footage remains, it won't be the
        same as what I was led to expect/hope for.

        Such are the whimsies of the film industry.
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