LOS ANGELES, CA – April 4, 2000 — New Line Cinema will offer its first behind-the-scenes look at the highly anticipated production of The Lord of the Rings exclusively online beginning at 12:01 AM on Friday, April 7th at

The exclusive “First Look at Middle Earth” will feature on-set interviews with the cast, showcase the technology used to re-create J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastic settings and creatures, and will give fans a glimpse into the WETA workshop where much of the technical wizardry is being orchestrated. Director Peter Jackson narrates the segment as he gives the first virtual tour of the technology and talent that will bring the legendary tale to the big screen.

Apple Computer has partnered with New Line Cinema to bring this preview to the Internet in the highest digital quality through their Quicktime streaming software. It is anticipated that New Line’s partnership with Apple will also bring millions of new fans to the official The Lord of the Rings website.

A countdown to the launch of the exclusive online preview is currently being promoted on, as well as a myriad of Tolkien fan sites spanning the World Wide Web.

One of the most celebrated novels of the 20th Century, The Lord of the Rings is a groundbreaking epic of good versus evil, extraordinary heroes, wondrous creatures and dark armies of terror. Generations of more than 50 million people around the globe, in 25 different languages have grown up with this epic history. The legend has inspired an entire genre of movies, fiction, and has influenced some of the greatest artists of our time. It has made dreamers out of children and adults, and has recently been named the number one most popular book of the century. But it has never been told in its entirety on the screen.

Using the power of contemporary cinema technology, New Line Cinema is transforming J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic into a history-making motion picture event. Beginning in the year 2001, New Line will present a grand trilogy of live-action feature films — The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King — that will take audiences inside Tolkien’s living, breathing mythology, the world that is Middle-earth. The three separately released installments will also mark the return of “Cliffhanger Cinema” for the first time since the serial adventures of decades past.

The Lord of the Rings will collectively re-tell the story of Frodo Baggins, who battles against the Dark Lord, Sauron to save Middle-earth from the grip of evil. In the films, Frodo and The Fellowship embarks on a desperate journey to rid the earth of the source of Sauron’s greatest strength, the One Ring, a ring of such power that it cannot be destroyed. His extraordinary adventures across the treacherous landscape of Middle-earth reveal how the power of friendship and courage can hold the forces of darkness at bay.

Tolkien’s mythic vision will come to life through cutting-edge cinema technology and artistry, forging unprecedented opportunities for marketing and licensing.

By shooting all three films consecutively during one massive production and post-production schedule, New Line Cinema is making history. Never before has such a monumental undertaking been contemplated or executed. The commitment of time, resources and manpower are unheard of and all three films are being produced concurrently with the same director and core cast. Helmer Peter Jackson, whose visionary style of filmmaking and emotional acuity won accolades for his Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners, brings his deep love for the source material to the project. The film features a strong international cast that includes (in alphabetical order) Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Brad Dourif, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davis, Liv Tyler, and Elijah Wood. But the real star of the film is the story itself – a classic hero’s quest in which the smallest of beings changes the course of the future with the vastness of his courage.

Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is the entertainment industry’s leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television as well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home video, television, acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units.