Italy's Ciak Magazine Talks ROTK - Cover

A HUGE thank you to Eleonora for doing a rough translation for us!

In the article, Jackson talks about ROTK and states he knows from now on his career will always be divided into “before” and “after” LOTR.

He explains he preferred to release a ROTK trailer after the summer because “summer was filled with big SFX films, X-men 2, Matrix 2, Terminator 3, Hulk, and it would have been a bit confusing. Plus, ROTK is so spectacular, it has so many special effects that many of the main sequences could not be used in a trailer yet.”

He also speaks of how making the LOTR was both a blessing and a curse: “At first the obsessive love of the fans made them more suspicious than cooperative, we had to earn their trust. Had we made a good film, we would have had their forgiveness and those changes we had to do would have been considered betrayals of no big consequence. Had we sat at a table to write an original fantasy story, we would have never have come close to the majesty of LOTR.”

Of course, the article says, there are two big changes that were made in this last part of the trilogy: the final part of the book concerning the return to the shire was drastically cut, thus Saruman makes the same end, by the same hand, but in different circumstances.

The article explains what we have to expect in the third movie: Merry and Pippin become warriors of Rohan and Gondor, Aragorn has to give evidence of his heritage by defeating the Army of the Dead and the Pirates, Faramir tries to gain the trust of his father Denethor, steward of Gondor, who has no will to leave his throne to a “ranger”. At a certain point, the whole story becomes a chess game, meaning to distract Sauron from Frodo and the Ring. But there seem to be a few rogue pawns: Gollum, of course, but also Denethor. Betrayals, ambushes, and unexpected heroism, suicides, funerals, resurrections… Three of the main characters get married, and four die.

There’s Shelob, a giant spider, which was made as realistic as possible. Jackson says, “It had to scare me first.”

The reshoots were 5 weeks long (just like for the other two movies), but with a conceptual difference: “since story and characters are now familiar, I used them to give more drama and pathos to the story.” For the first time, Jackson dedicated two weeks to horses: 250 in battle are real, but many more were digitally created with motion capture. Every week one of the actors leaves with souvenirs from the set, usually a sword and a tape with his bloopers, chosen and edited by Jackson himself.

What remains unknown is the length of the film: “For the first two, New Line gave me a maximum length of 2 hours and a half, that I pretended to forget, and I reached three hours. This time, they asked me three, so…”

There’s also a page, entitled “From a King to a Kong”, which explains how Jackson wanted to make a film about King Kong since he was 12, how he used to dress as a gorilla to scare the villagers when he was 21, and how, while making the movie, he wants to completely forget the remake of 1976. There’s a nice picture of the model of Kong that Taylor made in 1996, when Jackson wanted to film this movie, but could not do it because of the recent disasters of ‘Mighty Joe Young’ and ‘Godzilla’.