A look at the various Lord of the Rings and Hobbit DVD sets currently on store shelves.

'Ultimate Collector's Edition' set - the box, enclosed art work, and 31 discs (in a variety of colours) are shown, together with a description of the contents of the set: '31 Discs Include Theatrical and Extended Versions of all 6 Films on 4K, Newly Remastered Blu-ray and an Exclusive Special Features Blu-ray. Digital Code for All Films, 64-Page Booklet, 7 Travel Poster Art Cards'.

LATEST EDITION: The 2021 Remastered 31-disc 4K box set. $250

  • 3 Hobbit Theatricals 4K
  • 3 Hobbit Extended 4K
  • 3 LOTR Theatricals 4K
  • 6 LOTR Extended 4K
  • 3 Hobbit Theatricals 1080p
  • 3 Hobbit Extended 1080p w/ commentary
  • 3 LOTR Theatrical 1080p
  • 6 LOTR Extended 1080p w/ 4 commentaries
  • 1 Bonus Feature (NEW) – 3 cast reunions + Cannes 2001 preview

Head on over to The Digital Bits where they have a long, deep review of this new set worth reading. Remember, the new 4K looks stunning but requires a new 4K disc player + 4K TV.

Can an equivalent set be assembled piece by piece? Let’s shop:

LOTR 4K (2020) $75
Includes Theatrical & Extended in 4K
– 9 Discs

LOTR Extended Edition BluRay 1080p Remastered (2020) $45
Includes Extended in Remastered 1080p
– Commentaries
– Appendices
– Costa Bottes Documentary
– 15 discs

Hobbit 4K (2020) $70
Includes Theatrical & Extended in 4K
– 6 Discs

Hobbit Extended Edition Bluray 3D (2016) $60
Includes Extended Edition in 3D
– Extended in 1080p 2D
– Commentaries
– Appendices
– 15 discs

For $250 you can get the new 31-disc box set with some pretty postcards + Cannes reel + 30 minute reunions…

Or for the same price you can get all 45-discs INCLUDING all the Appendices + Remastered 4K editions + 3D Hobbits!

Is it worth buying a whole new set just for the Cannes footage? Watch our reunion of that momentous occasion as we assemble Producers, Press, and Fan Blogs to remember what Lord of the Rings at Cannes 2001 was like.

For all the completionists out there, fill out your Middle-earth collection with the other versions of Peter Jackson’s movies.

LOTR Theatrical BluRay 1080p Remasters 3-Disc Set (2020) $20

LOTR Bluray + Appendices + Costa Bottes Documentary GREEN TINT edition (2012) $65

6-film Hobbit & LOTR Bluray THEATRICAL Editions (2016) $40

6-film Hobbit & LOTR DVD Theatrical Editions (2016) $20

A final reminder that Peter Jackson has said on occasion that he wants to do a 25th anniversary “Unicorn Edition” with all the extra stuff that we haven’t seen yet – Frodo turning into Gollum, Faramir & Eowyn’s wedding, and a warts-n-all BTS documentary that goes even deeper into the drama of making these films. No announcements have been made that this is even in the works, but PJ is a billionaire now, so anything is possible!

The folks over on The Digital Bits have unearthed a breakdown of Warner Bros. forthcoming “Middle-earth 31-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition”. If you’re a collector, you’ll want to have a read of this before committing your hard-earned.

The Digital Bits says that Warner Bros. are close to an official announcement. They also report the set will include “the Theatrical and Extended versions of all six Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films on both 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray (including the remastered Lord of the Rings films on Blu-ray).”

But, here’s the kicker.

They says that the new content is expected to be one Blu-ray bonus disc containing the 26-minute presentation reel shown at Cannes in 2001, and the Alamo Drafthouse cast reunion.

Further, The Appendices will not be included in this new set.

All that will set you back a total of 196 quid. Release is slated for October 26.

Staff reactions to the report are a bit mixed. Personally, I’m much more stoked for the Evangelion box sets that TDB mentions in the same article, while Staffer Earl suggests that:

So after waiting 20 years, the “ultimate” edition ends up having just the Cannes reel and some newly filmed reunion footage hosted by Colbert (hope it’s not some late night show format with his jokes and display of Tolkien knowledge)? 

Uh oh!  I sincerely hope that ain’t all. 

To be honest, I’m inclined to think if this is it, then why bother with the 20th anniversary at all. But maybe this is great for truly hardcore fans who can afford to splurge on yet another version and can’t wait another 5 years.

Middle-earth 31-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition
Middle-earth 31-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition.

If you are keen, though, check out the full, detailed breakdown over on The Digital Bits.

New Line Cinema and Warner Bros animation announce a new animation project LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM from the director of Ghost in the Shell, with film Philippa Boyens attached to consult on the project.

The anime feature film will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Ultraman, Ghost in the Shell) and set in Rohan telling the story of Helm Hammerhand. The film is confirmed to be in the same universe as Peter Jackson’s film series.

“This will be yet another epic portrayal of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world that has never been told before. We’re honored to partner with much of the incredible talent behind both film trilogies, along with new creative luminaries to tell this story. And so it begins.”

Sam Register, Warner Bros Animation

Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) are writing THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM which is currently planned for theatrical release.

Hobbits are now owned by Amazon, joining all-encompassing TV rights to The Lord of the Rings book and appendices rights.

MGM's famous roaring lion trade mark is seen in front of Bilbo and Gandalf.
The Hobbit films were produced by Warner Bros from rights owned by MGM. img: YouTube

It’s official: Amazon has acquired MGM Studios, including the longtime film and TV rights to The Hobbit and characters related. Within hours, CEO Jeff Bezos announced he is stepping down in July and moving to Hollywood to play with his major studio, of which the crown jewel is The Lord of the Rings.

What this means is that @LOTRonPrime can put Hobbits in their Second Age show, since rights to that class of characters were held by MGM. ‘But timelines,’ you say! Time is just a construct. Amazon needs an Everyman entry point for casual viewers: Hobbits are that. There have been rumors that Harfoots are in the show, a book-sourced compromise from the troublesome Hobbit rights. Amazon can now change all the dialogue in reshoots to call them Hobbits; casual fans will want that familiarity.

Remember the crushing drama of rights issues with MGM on The Hobbit, which caused Guillermo del Toro perhaps the greatest professional loss of his career? Amazon has just resolved all that for the future.

Amazon has full TV rights to The Lord of the Rings full stop – anything mentioned in the books and appendices. Now they have all the rights MGM previously held, from its 45 year old Saul Zaentz deal. Amazon chose not to remake The Lord of the Rings, instead exploring many different options, before settling on Numenor and the Second Age.

Owning MGM means, of course, that Amazon COULD remake The Hobbit into a limited series or a cartoon; many things are possible. All kinds of round doors are now open…

The cartoon Bilbo Baggins in front of Bag End - from the Rankin Bass Hobbit movie.

It has long been rumored…and now we can finally confirm! For the first time, Warner Bros. will be releasing ‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy on 4K UHD on December 1st, 2020. To celebrate, we have a special TheOneRing.net exclusive message to fans from Samwise Gamgee himself, Sean Astin:

But wait…There is more! Directly from our friends at Warner Bros.:

Warner Bros. is also announcing that in the summer of 2021 it will be releasing a 4K ULTIMATE COLLECTORS’ EDITION with theatrical and extended versions of ALL SIX of the remastered films and new bonus content.  Additionally, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first The Lord of the Rings film, a newly remastered Blu-ray trilogy of The Lord of the Rings films will be available in the Fall of 2021, also including the theatrical and extended versions.  

If you are like me, and you may not fully grasp the significance of this news – don’t worry, hopefully I can shed some light on the topic. Bottom line – Peter Jackson and the team remastered the entirety of both trilogies (and extended editions), including the special effects, to make these masterpieces of cinema look as amazing and breathtaking on your modern devices as the day we saw them in the theater. And most likely a lot better!.

In the coming days we’ll sort through all the various options and places to purchase these editions and provide you with a one stop guide. In the meantime, know that 2020 will be ending on a positive note as we get to enjoy our favorite films all over again!

Here’s a high res preview of the box art!

Click to watch on YouTube

On April 7, 2020 the senior members of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings production team came together with fans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first teaser trailer of LOTR, an online-only digital video that broke all online download records.

This digital trailer, released on Apple Trailers, was responsible for 30% of all internet traffic upon release according to Akamai. It surpassed the Star Wars Episode 1 trailer, arguable the most hyped film in history, in downloads the first day and first week.

Prior to this trailer, fandom was seen as “Star Wars.” This validated fandom and a different way of marketing and appreciating what fandom can bring. It created a different perception of the power of fans.

Gordon Paddison, VP Marketing LOTR

Michael Pellerin describes watching the LOTR trailer with Chairman Roy Disney at Walt Disney Studios, the parent company of Miramax that actually let LOTR walk away to New Line Cinema. “He just went huh, wow, good on them. Disney would have made it a company film. This is more of a visionary thing.”

Richard Taylor tells a heartfelt story of offering a job to a professional make-up artist early on, which was respectfully declined. “We were turned down by almost everyone… but when the trailer came out, a number of people we had pursued actually wrote back to me!”

An early Cinefex advertisement soliciting resumes for Weta Digital c. 1999-2000

“What Michael did under Peter’s leadership was to unpack everything about everything, the whole process. In that trailer the world got to see the first thing that Weta Digital was doing. There was unbelievable groundbreaking stuff being done. It was all so beautifully unfolded for the world.”

Gordon Paddison was New Line Cinema’s VP of Digital Marketing who took a risk engaging with fan sites early on. “Nobody is doing anything bad, its just that they care! That’s how you develop a relationship that lasts 20 years. It comes down to passion. Fans are passionate and I was a champion of the fans, as was everyone on this chat and Peter. A strategy of love is the best you can have.”

“Star Trek had been taking legal action and shutting down fan sites for years. This was the beginning of embracing fandom and we developed a great relationship working with you guys [at TheOneRing.net]. This video changed the velocity & tone of the fan response.”

“Peter was so good at saying very early to the fans that this is not the definitive version of Lord of the Rings, this is my personal impression of what the films should be. It did a lot to right-set the filmmaker vision and set us on a journey that was really humble. “

I have a very in-depth trust in Peter. When he came to us that he wanted to do this trailer, there was no question that it was the right thing to do. I hadn’t seen a trailer like this, so I was surprised that there would be this level of reveal.”

Richard Taylor

Co-Producer Rick Porras describes the unique vision of this first teaser trailer, “What made it special was intercutting the old footage and seeing the filmmaker talk about it. Including Peter [in the video] really started something special.”

A big reveal is that the this teaser trailer actually includes footage of the original pitch package for studios to even make LOTR. Everything with Peter Jackson in a white shirt was part of the pitch package delivered to Miramax, New Line, and all other potential studios. New Line Cinema of course saw the vision and financed the films.

Sasha is a Weta artist who designed the Lord of the Rings logo and typefaces – who also pulled double duty as an orc on stilts.
Jed Brophy is the first actor ever shown officially from LOTR, on Nazgul horseback

“The fans were so engaged. Normally you can hide under a rock for a while. The fans were getting materials and putting them out. From my experience you don’t want to get into a fight with your core market. We had to feed them!” Gordon Paddison acknowledging the fourth estate of filmmaking – the fan community.

Gandalf’s shadow, sent secretly by Ian Mckellen, generated one of the first legal notices the studio sent to TheOneRing.net

Jed Brophy, in addition to playing many orc characters, was a horse rangler on the film and is actually in the teaser trailer as one of the nazgul nine. “It is a pretty incredible thing to see something you’ve done, which is just another day at work.”

Executive Producer Mark Ordesky was fully supportive of Peter & Gordon’s efforts releasing this teaser. “The best way is tell your own story before someone else tells it. What was genius about the trailer is Peter basically showed how he’s going to do things that you can’t possible imagine.”

“Think with hope, not with fear. I have come with answers.”

One of the fun tidbits revealed was that the ringer verse voice over was performed by Nick Tate, who has done everything from Jurassic Park to Spongebob. The Tolkienist was the first to reshare the discovery with fans!

Michael Pellerin expands on the Roy Disney story, confirming that LORD OF THE RINGS was indeed a Disney film at its inception because of the Miramax deal. Miramax was a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, and to this day Harvey Weinstein is credited as Executive Producer on LOTR.

“In April of 2000, I was in NYC in an audio recording session with Roy Disney, for a project I was finishing up with him. I had been counting down the days until the first LOTR online preview was to be released and it just happened to occur while we were in the studio. I tried to be as surreptitious as I could, waiting for the preview to drop on my laptop. But Roy could see I was obviously up to something — probably not having to do with our show. So he asked me what I was doing, and I fessed up to him that the first LOTR preview was about to appear online, and I couldn’t miss it. Instead of reprimanding me, Roy said we should all take a break from the session and watch it together — which we did. 

When it was over, Roy turned to me and was duly impressed. He said he thought Peter and New Line were really going to pull off what many felt was impossible — a motion picture of The Lord of the Rings – and that the project had found the right home, after all, with a director who was clearly a visionary. This was an amazing comment by a man whose progenitors founded the Walt Disney Company, and who himself was one of its chairmen. Especially in light of the fact that  Disney that was the parent company of Miramax, the studio that was originally producing Peter Jackson’s film version of LOTR, before it went into turnaround and ended up as a trilogy of films for New Line Cinema. Technically speaking, Peter Jackson’s LOTR was originally a Disney film, in its inception. So hearing Roy Disney express the same hope and feeling of excitement we all had watching that preview, felt like a sense of closure to a long journey that began in 1997, and was soon to make cinematic history.”

TheOneRing.net wants to thank all the participants for engaging with the fans from those early days to now, 20 years later, in such a respectful and candid nature. THANK YOU Gordon Paddison, Richard Taylor, Jed Brophy, Mark Ordesky, Michael Pellerin, & Rick Porras for making the time to celebrate this record setting trailer release.

Watch the entire conversation as it streamed live here: