airearan writes: I spotted the Realms of Fantasy December 2003 issue yesterday, it has Viggo on the cover. There’s no full article though, except for one on fall season movies. Towards the end are some comments by Elijah Wood. It’s a tad spoilerish, especially for non-book readers (well, really very spoilerish for them). But even for us who have read the book and can’t wait for the movie.

Here’s the entire columnful of information from the mag, it shows us the direction Peter Jackson is taking regarding the ending (i.e., the Mt. Doom-related one).

Excerpt from Movies: The fall season is packed with fantasy films to enchant all moviegoers
By Resa Nelson

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (New Line Cinema) opens December 17. It’s been two years since J.R.R. Tolkien fans expressed their outrage over the casting of Elijah Wood as Frodo, and everyone was on tenterhooks, wondering if the gamble made by New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson and company would be one of the greatest failures in movie history.

In this final chapter of Tolkien’s trilogy, Aragorn battles the enemy as he struggles to rise to his rightful place on the throne. At the same time, Frodo battles himself as he tries to finish his quest and fulfill his destiny as the Ringbearer. One of the greatest themes in Tolkien’s masterpiece is the concept that good and evil aren’t always outside forces in the world, but are forces that each of us must face within ourselves.

Which brings us full circle to the choice of casting Elijah Wood as Frodo. Anyone familiar with Wood’s work is well aware of his wide emotional range.

“Frodo in the third movie ceases to be Frodo,” Wood says. “He reaches a kind of evil center that you don’t think is possible. It is quite a wide range of emotions. I think part of what attracted me to Frodo is that I got a chance as an actor to take a character from a very innocent place to the complete opposite. He’s sort of innocent and naive at the beginning, and at the end he’s lost his innocence. He has these moments of pure evil and hatred.

“Once the ring is destroyed, he’s still Frodo, but his innocence is gone, and he can never get that kind of purity of soul back. So there’s a real sadness to Frodo at the end.”

Although one of the greatest–and possibly the greatest–fantasies ever created, Tolkien’s work is also grounded in reality.

“That’s also what strikes me about the books–they don’t end on a positive note,” Wood says. “Ultimately, Middle-Earth is saved and peace is restored, but these characters will never be able to go back to the way that they once were. Some are better for that. It could be argued that Frodo may be better for that. It’s still sad when you appreciate them so much for what they are and what they stand for, and then see them stripped of the things that define them and then suddenly they can’t regain that feeling anymore. It’s a sad end to an amazing story. And even though there are uplifting things, it’s sort of bittersweet. I love it.”