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Star Elijah Wood Calls “Return” The Most Intense Film In “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy

December 5th, 2003/New York, New York – For its December 13th issue (on newsstands December 8th) TV Guide celebrates the upcoming release of “The Return of the King,” the third and final installment in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings” saga, with four collector’s hologram covers, each featuring a different signature character. The four covers include Eliljah Wood’s hobbit Frodo Baggins; Ian McKellen’s wizard Gandalf; Viggo Mortensen’s warrior Aragorn; and the slippery deceiver Gollum.

Following the immense success of 2001’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” and 2002’s “The Two Towers,” the pressure and expectations surrounding this film are huge. But as far as Wood is concerned, this is one grand finale that will not disappoint. “We always knew this one had something more special than the other two,” he tells TV Guide. “It’s just so intense, so emotional and so relentless. What the characters are going through is at its most extreme and its darkest.” For the cast and crew, who spent years working together on these films and whose commitment to detail often bordered on obsessive-compulsive, the end of this journey is bittersweet. “It’s been a huge gift being part of these movies,” says actor Orlando Bloom, who plays Elf warrior Legolas. “It was definitely an emotional ending.”

McKellen remembers director Jackson telling him on the first film that he was hoping for three “cry moments.” “In this one,” he says, “I think there are going to be many more than that.” While this looks like the end, diehard fans can still hold out hope: there is always the possibility of adapting the Tolkien novel that preceded the trilogy, “The Hobbit,” which introduced readers to the world of Middle-earth. Jackson says there are legal complications involving the rights to “The Hobbit,” but he’d “certainly be keen [to direct it]. I’d feel pretty weird if someone else was doing it,” he says.