The original The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) DVDs came with TV specials, music videos, and web featurettes. The extended editions came with extensive documentaries on the making of each film, each one lasting six hours, give or take. The limited editions that came out earlier this year included brand-new documentaries by Costa Botes. And now comes word that there may be a fourth set of extras, for the inevitable HD release.
From IGN.com’s interview with Michael Pellerin, producer of the various Lord of the Rings DVDs:
“One of the things that Peter has always planned, since the beginning of Rings — this is nothing new — he always planned to someday sit down and do a feature documentary on the making of The Lord of the Rings from his point of view,” says Pellerin. “A director’s journey, made by Peter Jackson, ‘Hey, here’s my story. Here’s what I did. Here’s what happened.’ Really the kind of tell-all, sort of blood and guts story going through the entire thing, from how the project got initiated straight through production, but all from Peter’s point of view, which I think would be fascinating. I’ve done tons of making-of work and Costa [Botes] did his fly on the wall documentaries, but to have something directly from Peter… I’ve heard some of his stories that have never seen the light of day, and some of them are just [amazing]. I know that he’ll want to do that.”
For naysayers who see such a release as yet another double-dip, Pellerin says that the makers of the original DVD sets couldn’t have fit more material on those releases even if they had tried. There was, he says, quite simply not enough room on those sets, and it would have taken something like a six-disc package per movie to fit the bulk of the worthy extras onto just one release. So Pellerin and Jackson both share one mantra when it comes to multiple releases of the same movie: Don’t repeat anything.
“When people here about another Lord of the Rings set, they go, ‘Oh God, haven’t they done it all?'” says the DVD producer. “And then when you start to do the math, you go, ‘Did you ever see one deleted scene? Or one gag reel, or anything funny or interesting that’s kind of off the beaten path like that? You haven’t.’ And the reason is we’re saving it all. You’ve never seen the deleted scenes, which are legion. You’ve never seen the gag reels, which are huge.”
Yeah, well, whatever. We shall see. Of course, given the current spat between Jackson and New Line Cinema over money and The Hobbit, etc., it’s anyone’s guess when this might happen.