AN EXCLUSIVE LOOK ON THE SET AND BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
PRIMETIME THURSDAY AIRS DECEMBER 4 AT 10PM E.T.
Its perhaps the most-anticipated film of the year, and its producers hope it will be among the most honored on Academy Awards night. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the final installment in the epic trilogy that has defied Hollywood naysayers by enthralling fans and critics alike — and setting box office records in the process. In a Primetime Thursday exclusive, correspondent Jay Schadler goes on the set and behind the scenes for an unprecedented look at how director Peter Jackson has made his incredible vision a reality. Jackson and the stars of the film discuss how the arduous process of making this big-budget movie is the culmination of a true labor of love. PRIMETIME THURSDAY airs THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4 (10:00-11:00pm ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Most saw it as a huge gamble — trusting a little-known director with an enormous budget and a series of favorite books that have a very loyal following. And he was asked to film all three movies at the same time to keep costs down. It could have been the most spectacular failure in film history. Instead, the Lord of the Rings films have been among the highest-grossing of all time.
“Primetime Thursday” and Schadler were given unprecedented, exclusive access to the New Zealand film sets where Jackson was shooting some of the final scenes of “The Return of the King,” as well as the workshops where master artisans created costumes, intricate models and the mysterious creatures that give the film its richness. Schadler sees first-hand the obsessive attention to detail that begins with Jackson and pervades the entire production.
“Primetime” also captures many candid moments with the film’s stars, from practical jokes to shared beers at a local pub. The personal bonds between the actors have become so intense, several have even gotten identical secret tattoos. Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood and others discuss how this experience has changed their careers and their lives. They also explain why they believe this epic tale of good versus evil continues to resonate with so many people.
ABCNEWS.com will provide companion programming and carry reports from “Primetime Thursday” on ABC News Live, the 24/7 streaming video news network available on the Internet to subscribers. Go to ABCNEWS.com for more information.
Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson are the co-anchors of Primetime Thursday. David Doss is the executive producer.