In 1995, when Peter Jackson began to be interested in The Lord of the RingsThe first, Ralph Bakshi, made an animated film, released in 1978, but it only covered part of the book. The first, Ralph Bakshi, made an animated film, released in 1978, but it only covered part of the book. The sequel was never initiated because of the commercial failure of the first part. In 1980, a cartoon was released on television by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. In this case, only The Return of the King is adapted. Peter Jackson, however, has the means to achieve his ambitions. Endowed with a comfortable budget and a contract allowing him to deliver not one but three feature films, the filmmaker previously known for his outrageous gore, invests his country, New Zealand, to recreate the Shire, Mordor and all the other territories that make up Middle-earth. The nerve center of the shooting takes place in the north of the country, near Matamata.
Work on Hobbiton, the hobbit village, began at Alexander Farm in March 1999. With the collaboration of the New Zealand army, the director’s teams carry out the first earthworks. Thirty-seven hobbit holes are dug on the green hill. As the weeks go by, an incredible decor is created. For Peter Jackson, Hobbiton must seem real. It is for this reason that he let the set “rest” for many months before starting the shooting: “By letting the weeds grow through the cracks and establishing hedges and small gardens a year before the shoot, we ended up with an incredibly real place,” he would later recount. In charge of the project, Alan Lee, an enthusiast of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings, responsible for the illustrations of the reissues of The Lord of the Rings and Bilbo the Hobbit, pays particular attention to the smallest details.
The hobbit village that tourists can now visit on New Zealand’s North Island is actually the one in The Hobbit, not The Lord of the Rings. Indeed, at the end of the shooting of the latter, the vast majority of the houses were destroyed and the remaining houses emptied of their accessories. It was only later, when he was back in the Shire to film The Hobbit, that Peter Jackson commissioned the reconstruction of Hobbiton. The second version was designed to stand the test of time and become a tourist attraction. A unique place in the world, where once, a wizard named Gandalf gave the first impulse of a wonderful adventure that seduced millions of spectators around the world.
The first part of the ambitious trilogy adapted from the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring earned $871,530,324 at the box office. The Two Towers earned $926,047,111 and the final installment, The Return of the King, earned $1,119,929,521.
While the theatrical version of The Fellowship of the Ring is 178 minutes long, the178 minutes, the long version released on DVD reaches 228 minutes.
Unique in the world, Hobbiton is one of the largest movie sets. A place out of time over which hovers a very tangible magic.
It was during aerial scouting to the north of his island that Peter Jackson found Alexander’s Farm, which he describes as a slice of old England. Built by Alan Lee, the Hobbits’ village began to emerge in March 1999. Thirty-seven holes are dug, with gardens, hedges, a mill, trees, a double-arched bridge and pens. A sewage system was even developed. It has since become one of New Zealand’s top destinations. Visitors can enjoy the unique atmosphere and eat at The Shires Rest Café.
The Fantrippers Buying Board
The map of Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings
Don’t be like the naughty chubby Hobbits, be considerate. Gollum is not the most reliable guide, so make sure you have the Middle-earth map with you to get to Mount Doom. Fly, you fools!
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By Gilles Rolland
Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.