New Line Cinema Begins One Year Countdown To Release of ‘The Lord of the Rings’
– First Theatrical Trailer to Debut on January 12, 2001; Studio Announces Relaunch of Web Site –

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ — With 365 days to go until December 19th, 2001, New Line Cinema has begun its official one-year countdown to the launch of its epic adventure trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”

The sets have been closed to visitors and a virtual lid of secrecy has surrounded the production, which has been underway in New Zealand for the past 14 months. But as principal photography on the highly-anticipated films wraps later this week, details about the studio’s plans for the films are beginning to emerge.

New Line Cinema will unveil the first theatrical teaser trailer for the trilogy on January 12, 2001. The trailer will be attached exclusively to prints of New Line’s thriller, “Thirteen Days.”

In addition, New Line will also formally re-launch its “The Lord of the Rings” website at on January 12. With worldwide appeal for the project at a fevered pitch, the newly re-launched site will be available internationally and translated into no less than 10 languages, including German, French, Italian, Flemmish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese, Spanish, and Finnish. Also in the coming weeks, New Line will post “The Lord of the Rings” theatrical poster online and distribute the one-sheet via e-mail to millions of users along with an audio file announcing the release of the new theatrical trailer.

Visitors to the website will find an interactive experience second to none. The site features a customized web browser, as well as screen savers and photos, extensive information about the production, cast and filmmaker biographies, character synopsis, profiles of the production team, Real Audio interviews with the cast, filmmakers and production members, text interviews, maps of Middle-earth, and a regularly updated news section featuring official information about the release of the film.

The site will be updated on a monthly basis, and as December 19, 2001 draws near, the site will be replenished with original information weekly. In the final weeks before the launch, the site will be updated daily. Online, fans can post messages, trade images and have the opportunity to interact with their peers.

“‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a franchise unlike any other,” said Joe Nimziki, President of Theatrical Marketing for New Line Cinema. “No studio has ever embarked on a project as ambitious or wildly imaginative, and we are tremendously excited about what Peter Jackson and the cast and crew are creating.”

Generations of more than 50 million people around the globe have grown up with this epic novel. The legend has been translated into dozens of different languages and inspired an entire genre of movies and fiction, and has influenced some of the greatest artists of our time. Just last year, THE LORD OF THE RINGS was 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 proud to transform J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS into a history-making motion picture event.

Beginning on December 19, 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.” 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. Never before has such a monumental undertaking been contemplated or executed. The commitment of time, resources and manpower are unheard of as all three films and more than 1,000 effects shots 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. Produced by Barrie M. Osborne, the films feature 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, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, and Elijah Wood. But the real star of the films 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.