- From the Digital Bits:
We're getting a lot of e-mails from readers asking if the special features
set to be included on the theatrical edition of The Fellowship of the Ring
(due on 8/6) will be repeated on the special extended version (following on
11/12). The answer is no. The documentaries and web featurettes are being
included on the theatrical edition because a lot of fans have requested them.
But since the special extended version includes an entirely new cut of the
film, everything that will be included on that later edition is being custom
created specifically for that release, for a more adult audience and to go
MUCH deeper into the making of the film trilogy than what was seen in any of
the TV specials. The idea is that most DVD consumers will be satisfied with
the theatrical edition, while more sophisticated fans will wait for the
extended edition. The most diehard fans will probably want both, as they
perfectly complement each other but do not overlap.
Also, just to clarify, each DVD version includes a SEPARATE edit of the film.
The 4-disc special extended set DOES NOT include the theatrical cut of the
film on a separate disc or via seamless branching. If you want the theatrical
cut, you have to buy the August 2-disc set. If you want the longer cut, you
buy the November 4-disc edition. If you want both, save your money
accordingly and buy both. Some people may feel that this is an effort to milk
consumers, but I don't think so at all. In order to include everything you'll
be getting on both editions, New Line would have to create a single 6-disc
release, which would be WAY too expensive for most consumers to even
consider. This way, they can have DVD purchase options for everyone. And by
not having any overlap between the two editions, fans who buy both are
absolutely getting the most for their money. Just think... over eight hours
of unique special edition material alone on these two releases, not including
the films themselves! If you're a fan, I say don't look a gift horse in the
(EARLY UPDATE - 3/27/02 - 12:01 AM PST)
Yes indeed, in a gala event at the Warner Bros. studio lot that attracted
hundreds of studio executives, retailers and members of the press, New Line
last night unveiled its plans for the release of The Lord of the Rings: The
Fellowship of the Ring on DVD and VHS.
As expected, there will be multiple versions of the film available on DVD.
The first is a 2-disc Theatrical Edition on August 6th, which will arrive in
dual full frame and 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen versions (SRP for each is
$29.95). Disc One of this release will feature the film itself (in the aspect
ratio of your choice, depending on the version you purchase), along with
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and Dolby Surround audio, English subtitles and closed
captioning. Disc Two will feature over two hours of bonus content, including
an exclusive, 10-minute preview of The Two Towers hosted by director Peter
Jackson, the Welcome to Middle-Earth Houghton Mifflin in-store special, The
Quest for the Ring (the FOX Network special) and A Passage to Middle-Earth
(the Sci-Fi Channel special), some 15 additional featurettes created for
lordoftherings.net, theatrical trailers and TV spots, Enya's May it Be music
video, a preview of the Electronic Arts The Two Towers video game, a preview
of the special extended DVD version, exclusive online content via DVD-ROM and
more.. This release will be the PG-13 cut of the film that was seen in
Then, on November 12th, New Line will release the Special Extended Edition of
the film, as a 4-disc set (in anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1
EX and Dolby Surround). The packaging for this set is still in the mock-up
stage, but I can tell you that it looks like an ancient, leather-bound
hardcover book. This will feature director Peter Jackson's much talked about
extended cut, with some 30 minutes of scenes restored to the film (more on
that in a minute). The film will be split over the first two discs of the
set, with the second two containing more than SIX HOURS of in-depth
behind-the-scenes material. Much of this content is still in production, so
the final disc specs are still TBA. But you can look for feature-length
director's audio commentary, art and photo galleries, documentaries and more
(note that the SRP has not yet been set). Back to the longer cut of the film
- WETA Digital is creating many new visual effects shots for the new footage
and composer Howard Shore is currently recording new music cues for these
scenes, which are being personally supervised by Jackson. Here's a rundown of
the new scenes you can look for (and to you ring-bearers, please forgive me
if I get a few of the names or details wrong):
A new addition to the opening sequence in which Bilbo provides background on
Hobbits and their history in voice-over as he writes his memoirs.
A new introduction to Samwise Gamgee, seen in his capacity as a gardener.
A scene taking place at the Green Dragon Inn, which introduces us to the
camaraderie of the Hobbits (we see them singing together) and sets up the
geopolitics of the story.
The Hobbits witnessing the departure of the Elves from Middle Earth on the
way to Bree.
Aragorn watching over the sleeping Hobbits, singing the ballad of Beren and
Luthien to himself in the night.
Aragorn at his mother's grave, in which we learn that he was raised by Elves
and that Sauron has long hunted him.
Two new moments during the departure from Rivendale, one in which we see
Arwen's emotional reaction to Aragorn's leaving, and another in which Elrond
sees the Fellowship off.
A scene with the Fellowship in the mines of Moria, in which we learn how the
Dwarves themselves unleashed the fire-demon that eventually destroyed them.
A scene at Lothlorien, where Galadriel bestows upon each of the Fellowship a
gift which will play an important role later in the Trilogy.
And finally, more footage of the battle at Amon Hen. This is not particularly
bloody footage, but its addition will likely result in this cut of the film
receiving an R-rating.
So that's the extended version. This same 4-disc DVD edition will also be
available in a Collector's Gift Set, which will include the National
Geographic: Beyond the Movie - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the
Ring DVD (containing 2 previously unreleased featurettes and a photo
gallery), a set of exclusive Decipher game cards and a pair of bookends
sculpted by WETA artists to look like the Argonath, all in packaging designed
by production artist Alan Lee.
All of the information above was revealed during an elaborate multi-media
presentation, followed by a number of speeches by New Line executives. On
hand were several members of the cast and crew, including John Rhys-Davies
(Gimli), Orlando Bloom (Legolas Greenleaf), Billy Boyd (Pippin), Dominic
Monaghan (Merry), hair designer Peter Owen, costume designer Ngila Dickson
and Oscar-winning visual effects/make-up supervisor Richard Taylor (with his
new golden statue in hand - and yes, it IS heavier than you'd think). The
event was bookended by an elaborate reception and buffet dinner. But the
highlight of the evening was a special video greeting from director Peter
Jackson (absent due to his tight post-production schedule on both the DVDs
and the next film), who talked about his work on the discs and introduced a
special treat - the public premiere of the preview for The Two Towers, which
you can see in theaters attached to the end of Fellowship starting this
Friday. And I can tell you, this alone was worth my hour-long drive up to the
studio. The next film looks simply amazing.