HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA –TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2004 — The “Ring” has now come full circle for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. The director, co-writer, producer, and the stellar leading cast of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy will appear in RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS, executive produced by Tom DeSanto (Apt Pupil, X-Men, Transformers), and directed by first-time writer/director Carlene Cordova. RINGERS is a feature-length documentary that explores how “The Lord of the Rings” has influenced Western popular culture for the past 50 years. The film reveals many layers of history and artistic inspiration behind Tolkien’s books, while reveling in the pop frenzy carried forward by the Hippie movement, the rockers, the fantasists, the activists, and legions of screaming fans.

Three-time Academy Award(R) winner Peter Jackson, now synonymous with the global phenomenon spurred by his “LOTR” trilogy, has granted an exclusive interview. Mr. Jackson is joined by his creative team and ensemble cast — including Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, John Rhys-Davies, and Academy Award(R) winners Barrie M. Osborne (Producer) and Philippa Boyens (Co-screenwriter) — all of whom provide remarkable insight into the enduring fandom that is the heart of RINGERS.
The four leading hobbits from the cinematic Fellowship appear in RINGERS: Elijah Wood (Frodo), Sean Astin (Sam), Dominic Monaghan (Merry), and Billy Boyd (Pippin) — offering their personal perspectives on how Tolkien’s masterpiece has stood the test of time, and in many ways changed their own lives. Veteran actor John Rhys-Davies (Gimli, the voice of Treebeard) is equal parts gregarious and wise — his interview shows the same affection for Tolkien as seen among his legions of fans. Philippa Boyens, a hardcore Ringer fan herself, explained the unique challenges she faced while adapting the epic novel for the silver screen — while Barrie Osborne (The Matrix) confessed the power of mythology is just under the surface of the Rings Trilogy’s exceptional popularity. Viggo Mortensen gave a most revealing interview, wherein the audience can see deep considerations of Tolkien’s complicated themes would become the bedrock of Mr. Mortensen’s interpretation of Aragorn.

Tom DeSanto has come aboard as Executive Producer. Lauded by genre fans for his energetic support and passion for comic book, fantasy, and sci-fi projects, Mr. DeSanto was a perfect fit for RINGERS. He co-wrote the story and executive produced X-Men, a movie he wanted to make since he was twelve. Mr. DeSanto’s love for genre projects continued into restarting Battlestar Galactica and returning to the mutants that he loved for X2: X-Men United. The X-Men franchise has grossed over $700 million worldwide. Currently Mr. DeSanto is producing a live-action version of Transformers for DreamWorks and Paramount, which Steven Spielberg is executive producing. RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS is repped by the William Morris Agency. The film has been submitted for several major film festivals; with an expected debut in the Winter of 2005.

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS serves as a remarkable dénouement to the past 50 years of the worldwide following of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”

About the documentary:

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS shows how, after 50 years, “The Lord of the Rings” continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions. RINGERS explores the real foundations of Middle-earth; a community of true fans who share a common bond. Moving beyond “cult classic” and over several different generations, the film unearths countless people gathered under the banner of ‘Ringer’ — academics, musicians, movie stars, authors, filmmakers, and a plethora of pop junkies. Celebrity interviewees include Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Clive Barker, and David Carradine.

RINGERS features a dynamic rock-driven score with musicians who were influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien. Several indie recording artists have provided new covers of songs from previous “Rings” adaptations. Produced in association with the popular fan-site TheOneRing.net, RINGERS stands as the most comprehensive film document of the ongoing fandom of “The Lord of the Rings.”

From the hippie counter-culture to the electronic age; from the Bakshi animated film to Jackson’s epic trilogy; this documentary brings together extensive footage collected over 21 months — across three continents. Our cameras have captured the most energetic “Lord of the Rings” events.

What began as the private amusement of a tweedy Oxford professor has now become a new mythology for the 21st century. RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS shows how an adventure story published in 1954 has had dynamic ripple-effects through Western pop-culture. RINGERS carefully pulls away the veil between Tolkien’s book and the creations of art, music, and community that have been inspired by it.

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS spent 21 months shooting on three continents. Produced in association with the popular Tolkien fan-site TheOneRing.net, Ringers stands as the most comprehensive film document of the ongoing fandom of “The Lord of the Rings.”

Current “Ringers” Interviewees include:

Actor – Dominic Monaghan, Writer/Director/Producer – Peter Jackson, Actor – Elijah Wood, Actor – Sir Ian McKellen, Actor – Viggo Mortensen, Actor – Sean Astin, Actor – Billy Boyd, Actor – Andy Serkis, Actor – John Rhys-Davies, Actor – John Noble, Screenwriter – Philippa Boyens, Producer – Barrie Osborne, Author/Interviewer – Cliff Broadway, Author/Filmmaker – Clive Barker, Writer/Director/Producer – Cameron Crowe, Actor – David Carradine, Author – Terry Pratchett, Author – Peter S. Beagle, Author – Terry Brooks, Musician – Lemmy Kilmister, Musician – Geddy Lee, Tolkien Scholar – Dr. Jane Chance, Chairperson of the Tolkien Society – Christine Crawshaw, Author – Colin Duriez, Filmmaker/Critic – Chris Gore, Writer/Publisher – Forrest J. Ackerman, Actor – Sala Baker, Actor – Bill Mumy, Author/Broadcaster – Brian Sibley, Illustrator/Author – Colleen Doran, Illustrator/Author – Jill Thompson, Film Critic – Elvis Mitchell, and hundreds of Tolkien fans!