– You’ve probably heard it in passing, like a glimmer of hope beyond reach. You may have craved for it, but were left empty-handed.
Just going through some of the ‘making of’ documentaries on The Lord of the Rings DVDs, you’ll regularly come across glimpses of unseen images and footage. These rare shots had also made their way in several official trailers prior to each of the films’ releases.
Digging deeper, one is able to uncover a wealth of information regarding scenes throughout the Trilogy, which had been shot for inclusion in the final films, but due to time constraints and/or storytelling efficiency, were removed.
As mouth-watering as these tantalizing glimpses may have been, no word ever came out of their existence within The Lord of the Rings cinematic experience.
Such was their unhappy lot, that they didn’t even make it amongst the ranks of added scenes in the Extended Editions; removed to a dark corner that would never witness the light of day.
Year after year we lost all trace of these rumours, although Peter Jackson mentioned in passing about a possible “The Lord of the Rings Ultimate Edition” as a 25th Anniversary release.
In an interview, he also stated that such an edition would include the much-missed outtakes (or bloopers) and that the deleted scenes in question would not be re-inserted within the films – but would rather be presented in separate clips as a special feature (link).
In 2010, another online article contained an interview with Michael Pellerin (the brilliant filmmaker who produced all the behind the scenes footage of the Trilogy), explaining that:
“there’s also another approximately 20 hours of materials and ideas that we specifically saved for future use.”
“the future of when these treasures will see the light of day is unknown“
I’m in a daze just re-reading that now: “… 20 hours of materials … treasures …”
But again, years passed and the 25-year mark seemed too far away … and a remote possibility.
Now, with the release (and soon-to-conclude) The Hobbit Trilogy, it seems pretty certain that – after an Extended Edition release of the third film in late 2015 – the studios will undoubtedly be releasing a massive box set containing the two Trilogies.
Could this be the right time and moment when we’ll get that blessed Ultimate Edition all in one package?
(At this year’s Comic Con, Peter Jackson apparently addressed the issue by showing some of these deleted scenes.)
It’s difficult to say at this stage, but while we wait with bated breath, here’s a selection of images referring to deleted or unused scenes from The Lord of the Rings.
Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did … (let us know below!) 😀
Just looking this collage, my heart beats a bit faster, and the amount of scenes we could potentially experience when they eventually make their way onto our screens is simply mind-boggling.
It’s fascinating how us fans – who’ve literally burnt the disc surfaces of our DVD copies through sheer overuse and know every scene, shot and frame of this Trilogy – instantly pick up any images that look unfamiliar and don’t fit within the whole aesthetic of the three films we’re so accustomed too by now.
The same thing happens to me whenever I re-watchthe trailers for An Unexpected Journey.
There are many shots that still didn’t make the final cut in the Extended Edition; and whilst some are nothing more than different takes of a used shot, it’s interesting to see how they would fit in the whole film.
– Pondering the box-set’s title …
Ultimate Edition or not, it’s almost set in stone that we’ll be seeing two Trilogies packaged in one hefty box-set.
Peter Jackson, has already stated we might see the use of the long-lost “There and Back Again” title for this Trilogy; but what about the entire box-set itself?
I’m tempted by the title: The War of the Ring – and whilst The Hobbit doesn’t relate to that event, it still dwells rather strongly on the discovery and the story of the Ring.
Empire Magazine, in their August 2013 issue had – most probably, jokingly – considered the name: The Meddlings of Gandalf. To be honest, it does have a nice ring to it (no pun intended).
Let us know what you would love to see displayed on your shelf as you extend both hands to grab the massive box containing the two Extended Edition Trilogies …
**Oh, and if you want to read more about this unseen footage, Emily over at TolkienBlog has written a fantastic posted about it: There Are Still Scenes We Haven’t Seen
Till next time! 😉
Copyright of images belongs to Warner Bros, New Line Cinema & MGM Studios