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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Evenstar

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<< One of the Dúnedain

Peter (cont.): A Dúnedain Ranger is what he’s called, isn’t he?

Philippa: Mmm.

Peter: Because there’s a soccer team in New Zealand called Dunedin Rangers, and we always used to [Philippa laughs] laugh about that when we were cutting it. “He’s one of the… He must be a centre-forward for Dunedin Rangers!” (beat) [The Evenstar] That little transition into the flashback is a couple of shots that we stole from the scene that we’ve had earlier, where Gandalf and Aragorn are talking on the plains together, and that’s where we were originally going to position this flashback, having Aragorn wistfully smoking his pipe, staring at the long grass, remembering Arwen; except when we came to do the editing, we felt that that was too early [Philippa agrees] and we wanted to hold this back until later, so fortunately we still had them walking around long grass! The environment was the same, and so we were able to put those same shots into a completely different scene.

Fran: And this is the night before he leaves Rivendell with the Fellowship, isn’t it?

Philippa: Yep. I know some people got confused about that.

Fran: Did they?

Philippa: Mmm hmm. They didn’t know whether he’d psychically travelled back there, and she was psychically visiting him.

Peter: I know, I know; but the dialogue’s all [Philippa: Too bad.] pointing to the fact that he’s just made his decision: he’s just volunteered to join the Fellowship that we saw at the Council of Elrond [Philippa: Mmm.] and now this is the, sort of, evening before he’s due to leave. I know, it’s… it’s tricky, because our big problem, obviously, with Aragorn and Arwen is… well, one, she doesn’t appear in the book of ‘The Two Towers’ at all; but even keeping her in the story – how do you have the two of them together? Because there’s no way that you can actually have them physically together, so [Philippa: That’s right.] the only way we could do it was to have flashbacks to an earlier time period. (beat) There is actually footage that we shot during the shoot that has a young Aragorn and Arwen frolicking together in the woods, but no-one’s ever seen it [Philippa: Mmm.], and I don’t think it’s going to make it into any movie – any DVD. Viggo shaved his stubble off, and he’s clean-shaven, and he’s supposed to be young, and the two of them were bounding round the trees together…

Philippa: Well actually, it’s shooting the moment he first saw her.

Peter: Yeah, which was something we were going to put it –.

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] That’s what we wanted to do.

Philippa: What were we –? We were going to put it in ‘The Fellowship’, weren’t we?

Philippa: That was in Lothlórien. [Peter: Yeah, yeah.] We were –. It was always going to go into Lothlórien, before we did the moment with him and Boromir [Peter: Yeah.], and we sacrificed the remembrance of himself and Arwen together for the Boromir scene.

Peter: That’s right. Well…

Philippa: Because we needed to earn that death scene.

Peter: … it’s unlikely to find a place, actually, because there’s nowhere to put it now, really, even in ‘The Return of the King’, so… maybe in the 50th anniversary box-set we can put it in somewhere.

Fran: Wouldn’t it be fun to do an edit of all three films in chronological order? [laughs]

Peter: Like ‘The Godfather’ box-set? Yeah…

Fran: Oh, is that what happens there?

Peter: Yeah.

Philippa: Did they? Oh, cool!

Peter: Yeah.

Fran: You could put that scene, you know, right after [Peter: Yeah.] the Council meeting.

Peter: Well, you could, that’s right. I mean –. Well, people can do that with their – I shouldn’t suggest this, but – people could do this with the sort of editing software available on home computers these days…

Philippa: [quietly] No!

Peter: … it’s something that any fan could do. As long as you don’t tell New Line I said that!

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] Maybe they could do it for us, and then we wouldn’t have to do it ourselves! (beat) [Elrond talks to Aragorn at Gilraen’s memorial] This is, of course, following on from a scene which is in the extended cut of ‘Fellowship of the Ring’, which is by the graveside of Gilraen, Aragorn’s mother, in Rivendell.

Peter: [screen cap] Now that’s the Fellowship all ready to leave; I regret that I didn’t get a better shot of them, because [Fran agrees] it would have really cemented the scene in a time and place that everybody would have understood: you just see them in the background – there’s Boromir and Gandalf, and there all waiting by Bill the Pony ready to leave – and I never shot a decent shot of them, kind of, to open the scene on.

Philippa: [Arwen and Aragorn talk] This scene, of course, explains why the look in the extended cut DVD of ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ – [Peter: Yes.] why that look… [?]

Peter: [at same time as Philippa] Oh, it’s a complicated cobweb of –

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] It’s very layered!

Peter: – connections and inter-connections and – [Fran agrees]

Philippa: Lots of layers!

Peter: – layers and… people will be writing books [Philippa sighs] about it, I’m sure. It’s actually –. It is –. A really fun part of this project is these extended cuts, because one extended cut can talk to another extended cut independently of the theatrical version; because you’re now seeing a scene which sets up a moment in the extended cut of the previous film, yet theatrically, you know, none of this exists! [laughs] That’s kind of like the people who just go to the movies and watch it; so it’s kind of neat: I think it’s… it’s kind of a fun way to tell such a complicated, sprawling epic, because, really, there’s no definitive ‘Lord of the Rings’.

Philippa: No.

Peter: You can actually have the shorter version, you can have a longer version [Philippa: Mmm.]; we could shoot for another year and shoot more stuff and have an even longer version still –

Philippa: [laughing, horrified] Oh, God!

Peter: – because Tolkien certainly wrote it all. [laughs]

Philippa: Stop him! Now! Fran, stop him!

Peter: [giggling] Now there’s an idea! [Fran: Can we –?

Philippa: Oh, Jesus!] Maybe if we can’t make sequels… That’s actually a great idea!

Philippa: [horrified] No, God. Oh!

Peter: Because we can’t make sequels any more, we can only make three [Philippa laughs], maybe we could make three more where we embellish [Philippa: The extended…] what we already have…

Philippa: The extended cut.

Peter: … and we just, sort of, fatten them all out, you know, [Philippa: Jesus!] and that’s the way that New Line could, sort of, make more money, as you just, kind of, fatten these films out without technically going beyond ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as the licensed property.

The Wolves of Isengard >>

The Lord of the Rings and its content does not belong to me, it is property of the Tolkien Estate;  the commentaries transcribed here, as well as the images used, are the property of New Line Cinema.