Adaptations of The Lord of the Rings

Many adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, a heroic romance by the English author J. R. R. Tolkien, have been made in the media of film, television, theatre, video games, recorded readings, and audio dramatisations.

FilmEdit

Three film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made. The first was The Lord of the Rings in 1978, by American animator Ralph Bakshi, the first part of what was originally intended to be a two-part adaptation of the story. The second, The Return of the King in 1980, was a television special by Rankin-Bass. The third was The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in the early 2000s by New Zealand director Peter Jackson, released in three installments as The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy featuring some of the same characters, was released on 12 December 2012, directed by Jackson. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was released on 13 December 2013 and the final installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, was released on 11 December 2014. A previous animated adaptation of The Hobbit (1977) exists, and was directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Previous attempts to adapt the works were made by Walt Disney, William Snyder, Forrest J. Ackerman, Denis O'Dell (who considered Richard Lester to direct, but approached star directors David Lean, Stanley Kubrick and Michaelangelo Antonioni to helm instead), Peter Shaffer, John Boorman and George Lucas. These attempts resulted in some unproduced concept art and scripts, original fantasy films like Excalibur and Willow, as well as an animated short of The Hobbit.

TelevisionEdit

A Swedish live action television film, Sagan om ringen, inspired by the music album Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings by Bo Hansson was broadcast in 1971.[1] A Finnish live action television miniseries, Hobitit, was broadcast in 1993 based on the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.[2][3] A live-action TV special of The Hobbit was produced in the USSR in 1985, a pilot for an animated Hobbit series in 1991, and a live-action adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring, since lost.

As of 2020, Amazon Studios is in production on The Lord of the Rings, a multi-season television series set before the events of the films.[4]

StageEdit

 
An actor as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings comedy musical in Cincinnati

Several musical theatre adaptations have been made based on The Lord of the Rings.

Full-length productions of each of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003) were staged in Cincinnati, Ohio.[5][6]

Lifeline Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, produced individual plays of each of the three books over various years in the 1990s.

In 2006, a large-scale three-and-a-half-hour The Lord of the Rings musical was produced in Toronto. The expensive production lost money and closed six months later and, after some cutting and rewriting, began performances in London on 9 May 2007 and was a success with audiences, closing on 19 July 2008.

A musical parody of The Fellowship of the Ring, titled Fellowship! ran in LA for a stint at two separate occasions, coming back 3 years after its debut for a number of shows in the summer of 2009.

Video gamesEdit

ReadingsEdit

Library of CongressEdit

Generally, Library of Congress recordings are only available to the blind and physically handicapped. The Library of Congress recorded an unabridged version of The Lord of the Rings in 1967, narrated by Livingston Gilbert, on vinyl media. This version was taken out of circulation at the time of the recording of the 1978 version and is no longer offered for checkout to Library of Congress patrons. Reference numbers were TB 03367 (The Fellowship of the Ring), TB 03369 (The Two Towers), and TB 03368 (The Return of the King). The Library of Congress recorded a second unabridged version of The Lord of the Rings in 1978, narrated by Norman Barrs, on 4-track tape media. This version was taken out of circulation at the time of the recording of the 1999 version and is no longer offered for checkout to Library of Congress patrons. Reference numbers were RC 10975 (The Fellowship of the Ring), RC 10976 (The Two Towers), and RC 10977 (The Return of the King). The Library of Congress recorded a third unabridged version of The Lord of the Rings, A trip to Mordor in 1999, narrated by David Palmer, on 4-track tape media. This version is also available on the new digital players provided for Library of Congress patrons. Reference numbers are RC 47486 / DB 47486 (The Fellowship of the Ring), RC 47487 / DB 47487 (The Two Towers), and RC 47488 / DB 47488 (The Return of the King).

OtherEdit

In 1990, Australian actor Rob Inglis read and performed an unabridged version for Recorded Books in their New York studio.[7] While not strictly a dramatisation, Inglis created voices for all of the characters, and along with project producer Claudia Howard, he created music for all of the songs, which he performed. The project took six weeks to record, plus preparation time. A year later he recorded an audio version of The Hobbit.[7]

DramatisationsEdit

In 1955 and 1956, the BBC broadcast The Lord of the Rings, a 12-part radio adaptation of the story. Tolkien disparaged this dramatisation, referring to the portrayal of Tom Bombadil as "dreadful" and complaining bitterly about several other aspects.[8]

In the early 1960s radio station WBAI-FM, New York, broadcast a short adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, with music. This version, not authorized by Tolkien, was later suppressed by his legal representatives.[citation needed]

A 1979 dramatization of The Lord of the Rings was broadcast in the United States. The series was produced by The Mind's Eye, a small theater company that specialized in audio adaptations of popular works, and which also produced a six-hour adaptation of The Hobbit.[citation needed]

In 1981 the BBC broadcast The Lord of the Rings, an ambitious dramatisation in 26 half-hour instalments. It starred Ian Holm as Frodo Baggins, Bill Nighy as Sam Gamgee, and Michael Hordern as Gandalf.[9]

In 1992 the German radio stations SDR and WDR broadcast Der Herr der Ringe, a 30-episode adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

In 1999-2000 the Danish radio station Danmarks Radio broadcast Eventyret om Ringen, a Danish language retelling of The Lord of the Rings by Rune T. Kidde. The music was by The Tolkien Ensemble, Hedningarna, Sorten Muld and Kim Skovbye.[10]

In 2001, 2002 and 2003, the three volumes of the Lord of the Rings were adapted into three annual series of fully cast radio plays. Each series consisted of six episodes. The character of Bilbo Baggins served as the narrator. The eighteen episodes were produced and broadcast as a co-production between the public broadcaster Slovak Radio (now Radio and Television Slovakia) and the private broadcaster Rádio Twist (later known as Rádio Viva).[11][12][13][14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ K-Special, "I trollkarlens hatt Archived 2015-10-27 at the Wayback Machine" (at 24m30s), Sveriges television, 23 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Yle teettää oman sovituksen Taru sormusten herrasta-sadusta" [Yle to produce its own version of the tale of The Lord of the Rings]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 18 June 1991.
  3. ^ Kajava, Jukka (29 March 1993). "Tolkienin taruista on tehty tv-sarja: Hobitien ilme syntyi jo Ryhmäteatterin Suomenlinnan tulkinnassa" [Tolkien's tales have been turned into a TV series: The Hobbits have been brought to live in the Ryhmäteatteri theatre]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). (subscription required)
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 13, 2017). "Amazon Sets 'The Lord of the Rings' TV Series In Mega Deal With Multi-Season Commitment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2006-08-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ http://www.playbill.com/news/article/lord-of-the-rings-musical-will-embark-on-2015-world-tour-211617
  7. ^ a b Joseph P. Menta (December 2001 – January 2002). "Talking With Rob Inglis". AudioFile. Archived from the original on 2014-01-08. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  8. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, no. 175, ISBN 0-395-31555-7
  9. ^ "Riel Radio Theatre — The Lord of the Rings, Episode 2". Radioriel. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  10. ^ http://www.imladris.dk/?id=11&show=95
  11. ^ "The Lord of the Rings - Worldwide radio premiere". sk.radiotv.cz. RadioTV.sk. 10 November 2001. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Marián Labuda as the hobbit Bilbo". www.radioservis-as.cz. Týdenník Rozhlas (online archives). Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  13. ^ "The Lord of the Rings: Behind the scenes". devin.rtvs.sk. Rádio Devín, Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska (online archives). 25 November 2016. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  14. ^ "J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (Radio play)". devin.rtvs.sk. Rádio Devín, Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska (online archives). 24 November 2016. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.

External linksEdit

Official sites
News and fan sites
  • The One Ring.net - Fan and news site relating to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and books.
  • The One Ring.com - Fan and news site relating to Tolkien's works, the New Line films and related matters; not to be confused with the above.
  • Tolkien Gateway - An encyclopedia for anything related to Tolkien and his works.
  • Tolkien News - News relating to The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's other works.
  • Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza - online Tolkien fan community with role-playing games, lore discussions, debates, and much more
  • Ringbearer.org - Tolkien fan community with all the latest Tolkien related news, book and movie discussions, and an active fan community.
  • Council of Elrond - a fan site for the Jackson movies and books featuring news and scholarship
Informational