A BIG thank you goes out to Jens for translating this portion of Germany’s Cinema Magazine. We posted the articles a little while ago, however the text was all in German. This small portion is Ian McKellen’s letter.
Even thought the principal shooting for the Lord of the Rings-trilogy wrapped in December 2000, the actors still return to Middle-Earth every year to film new scenes. This is the case now, too, in June 2003.
About 6 months before its World premiere in Wellington on the 1st of December, we find ourselves in the Stone Street Studios and film more material for the third and last part of the saga: The Return of the King.
With these new scenes Peter Jackson wants to raise the drama of the story even more, will make it even more obvious for the audience what is on stake the nearer the ring-bearer is coming Mount Doom. Will he make it? And will Frodo throw the Ring into the fire? What are Gollums plans? Will Minas Tirith and the troops of Gondor withstand Sauron’s Orc hordes? What will happen with Saruman, what with Aragorn? What will become of Merry and Pippin? Will Sam stay true as always? And Gandalf?
Arriving at the studio my first way leads me to my dressing room. My only hope is, that my size has changed only slightly since I ended my life-long affair with cigarettes last year. My costume has to be widened a bit and I am afraid that I wont escape a diet.
The atmosphere at the set is slightly tense. The end is near. Some of the actors had their last day of filming and are now returning home. Today its Bernard Hill. The Crew presented him videotape with his out-takes. Yesterday Miranda Otto left for home with her sword as a souvenir. The sense of farewell has even reached the technicians who will keep working until October.
Everywhere on the studio lot I stumble over remains of Middle-Earth. Here are parts of Minas Tirith, over there are the battlefields of Pelennor.
I film a scene in the Golden Hall of King Theoden, together with Aragorn, AKA Viggo Mortensen. Its his last day, too.
I have to say some sentences that will be fitted into old material that was filmed two years ago, which I didnt even remember that it exists. Peter Jackson is in the same situation but he has a portable VCR, which helps him to bring it back into his memory.
In the end he shows us actors the film in his own little cinema. Its only a first edit, without special effects, music and roughly cut. But even from this very first version I can assure you, this movie will be the best of the whole trilogy. Heart-breaking scenes are followed by epic battle-paintings. Elijah Wood and all the other hobbits deliver wonderful performances. I watch the movie with writer Philippa Boyens who explains to me, where my scenes will be add in and that I have 10 days of filming in front of me. After this they surely can make might trousers tighter again.