The 1978 animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, created by acclaimed filmmaker Ralph Bakshi, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, and the director took time to speak at length with The Hollywood Reporter about the journey to get the film made, beginning with his love of Tolkien and how the novels influenced one of his earlier projects.

“As far as realistic adult fantasy, Tolkien certainly was the best I’d ever read,” says Bakshi, who regularly consumed sci-fi and fantasy like Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian pulp novels in the ‘50s. “There was a very big fantasy kick going on in the underground and in popular culture [in the ‘60s and ‘70s]. That kick eventually had me make the picture Wizards.”

The $1.3 million budgeted, politically acute Wizards incorporated a number of Tolkienesque characters in its post-apocalyptic setting, from fairies and elves and dwarves to the title characters themselves.

Continue reading “Ralph Bakshi looks back at “The Lord of the Rings” for its 40th Anniversary”

Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences' 2009 Governors Awards Gala - ArrivalsFilm Producer Saul Zaentz has passed away at the age of 92. Many Tolkien fans will know him as the man who held the film rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – but he was so much more: a true Hollywood legend, with countless film projects to his name. He won many Oscars, including Best Picture wins for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The English Patient, and my very favorite film of all time (perhaps with the exception of The Lord of the Rings trilogy) – Amadeus. Continue reading “Academy Award winning Producer Saul Zaentz dies at age 92”