It still feels astounding to me that a studio would green-light a 3 film fantasy series to be shot back to back, especially with a then relatively unproven producer-director in Peter Jackson.

Of course the film landscape was very different twenty years ago, the books were (and continue to be) a fantasy staple and the budget for the whole thing wasn't really that much when seen by today's standards ($281 million, according to Wikipedia).

But still, surely, there must have been worries.
Was there anything that helped put the studio at ease that this was going to turn out alright?
Or some manner of extenuating circumstance particular to this project?

(I vaguely recall some of this being alluded to in the bonus features of the three films, but that was years ago and there's so much of it)

  • 3
    I wouldn't dismiss this as Primarily Opinion-Based just yet. If I remember right Jackson did have a bumpy start with Miramax, King King, book rights, and original production costs. There might be some evidence to show/suggest it was a gamble from the start or evidence to show why New Line Cinema execs chose to invest in at least the first film out there, somewhere... Nov 4, 2019 at 19:15
  • @DarthLocke I recall the story goes that PJ went to New Line asking them to finance two films and they were given a three film deal instead. All three films were filmed simultaneously so there was never an option to only invest in the first film.
    – Darren
    Nov 4, 2019 at 19:56
  • That's probably right, as I said, "invest in at least", because I might not member all of the details accurately. I'm just saying there might be info out there, one way or another, to help factually answer the Q. Nov 4, 2019 at 20:33


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