The Lord of the Rings: a prologue that drove Peter Jackson crazy

Clement Cuyer

Journalist

Clément Cuyer appreciates all genres, from good hard-hitting horror films to schoolboy comedy. He is an “old man” of AlloCiné, journalist in the editorial staff for more than two passionate decades. “Too old for this bullshit”? Oh never!

In the making of “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, the prologue stage was particularly difficult for Peter Jackson and his team to manage.

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Did you know that the prologue to Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring was imposed by New Line Studios? This is what Peter Jackson and his team reveal in the audio commentary for the long version of the film.

“During the sketches of the script, we wrote the prologue which was so stuffed with information, so heavy and so dense that we ended up finding it unnecessary”, explains Fran Walsh, screenwriter and producer of the cult saga. “We therefore abandoned it, thinking that anything that was not explained could be explained by Gandalf and Frodo. We then wrote several versions of the scene in Cul-de-Sac, aimed at clarifying the events of the pass.”

So as we were heading towards an overture to Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring without a prologue, the decision was made to pick it up and reintroduce it, as the team left for London to record. the music of the film. The reason for this about-face? A lot of pressure from the studios!

“When New Line saw the movie, they really insisted that we absolutely had to have a prologue.”, reveals Fran Walsh. “For us that meant ‘Come on, let’s go back!” It had become hellish. We ended up in England recording the audio on an Avid machine that was crowding one of the rooms. Chief editor, John Gilbert, brought us rushes from which we had to build the prologue. All at the same time as we were recording the music! We were put to the test. “

“The beginning of the film was undoubtedly the major difficulty, during the writing and the conception, but also during the editing. Besides, even the end was simpler “, sums up Peter Jackson, no doubt relieved that everything related to this prologue was filmed during the original filming.

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