The Lord of The Rings is one of the most popular book trilogies of all time. In the early 2000s, Peter Jackson brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination of Middle Earth to the big screen. In the first film, Peter Jackson depicted the rolling hills and lush green pastures in New Zealand to feature a hole in the ground where Hobbits lived. He was able to transform a 1,250-acre sheep farm into The Shire, the place that protagonist Frodo calls home.
Jackson’s depiction of Middle Earth stood out to Viggo Mortensen, who praised the first film for its unique quality. The actors worked on a landscape that wasn’t computerized. In New Zealand, the creativity of costume designers and the film crew brought the realism of Middle Earth to life.
However, Mortensen began to think that it wasn’t as flawless as he once thought. By the time The Two Towers came around, the fandom of Lord of The Rings continued to prosper. In 2014, Mortensen stated to Telegraph that “the second movie [Two Towers] already started ballooning for my taste, and then by the third one [Return of the King], there were a lot of special effects. It was grandiose and all that, but whatever was subtle in the first movie gradually got lost in the second and third. Now with The Hobbit, one and two, it’s like that to the power of 10.”
Jackson loved what CGI could create that a movie set crew or a costume designer couldn’t create. Mortensen felt that Jackson’s overuse of CGI took away from what the first film created.
Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King won in all ten categories of the 2004 Oscars.