LOTR's DVD's: What's Coming
Yep, that's not a typo I do mean DVD's. In a massive gala party the other night in California, Warner Bros announced their plans for the DVD's for the biggest movie hit of 2001. There will be 2 different versions, and a total of 4 differnt ways for to buy it. Sadly one of those ways is an inferior panned and scanned version. Atleast Lucas knows better then to support that on his Star Wars DVDs. But I digress, here are the stats right from one of the sites that attented the party, Thedigitalbits.com . Sounds cool to me. Here is the info for the Theatrical Edition of the film:
As expected, there will be multiple versions of the film available on DVD. The first is a 2-disc Theatrical Edition on August 6th, which will arrive in dual full frame and 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen versions (SRP for each is $29.95). Disc One of this release will feature the film itself (in the aspect ratio of your choice, depending on the version you purchase), along with Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and Dolby Surround audio, English subtitles and closed captioning. Disc Two will feature over two hours of bonus content, including an exclusive, 10-minute preview of The Two Towers hosted by director Peter Jackson, the Welcome to Middle-Earth Houghton Mifflin in-store special, The Quest for the Ring (the FOX Network special) and A Passage to Middle-Earth (the Sci-Fi Channel special), some 15 additional featurettes created for lordoftherings.net, theatrical trailers and TV spots, Enya's May it Be music video, a preview of the Electronic Arts The Two Towers video game, a preview of the special extended DVD version, exclusive online content via DVD-ROM and more. The cover artwork for these two versions can be seen above. This release will be the PG-13 cut of the film that was seen in theaters.
And then, a Special Extended DVD only cut will show up on Novemeber 12th. Here is the specs and info for that set, and what the extra footage will include. Rumors are suggesting this version of the film will carry a 39.99 retail pricetag.
Then, on November 12th, New Line will release the Special Extended Edition of the film, as a 4-disc set (in anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and Dolby Surround). The packaging for this set is still in the mock-up stage, but I can tell you that it looks like an ancient, leather-bound hardcover book. This will feature director Peter Jackson's much talked about extended cut, with some 30 minutes of scenes restored to the film (more on that in a minute). The film will be split over the first two discs of the set, with the second two containing more than SIX HOURS of in-depth behind-the-scenes material. Much of this content is still in production, so the final disc specs are still TBA. But you can look for feature-length director's audio commentary, art and photo galleries, documentaries and more (note that the SRP has not yet been set). Back to the longer cut of the film - WETA Digital is creating many new visual effects shots for the new footage and composer Howard Shore is currently recording new music cues for these scenes, which are being personally supervised by Jackson. Here's a rundown of the new scenes you can look for (and to you ring-bearers, please forgive me if I get a few of the names or details wrong):
A new addition to the opening sequence in which Bilbo provides background on Hobbits and their history in voice-over as he writes his memoirs.
A new introduction to Samwise Gamgee, seen in his capacity as a gardener.
A scene taking place at the Green Dragon Inn, which introduces us to the camaraderie of the Hobbits (we see them singing together) and sets up the geopolitics of the story.
The Hobbits witnessing the departure of the Elves from Middle Earth on the way to Bree.
Aragorn watching over the sleeping Hobbits, singing the ballad of Beren and Luthien to himself in the night.
Aragorn at his mother's grave, in which we learn that he was raised by Elves and that Sauron has long hunted him.
Two new moments during the departure from Rivendale, one in which we see Arwen's emotional reaction to Aragorn's leaving, and another in which Elrond sees the Fellowship off.
A scene with the Fellowship in the mines of Moria, in which we learn how the Dwarves themselves unleashed the fire-demon that eventually destroyed them.
A scene at Lothlorien, where Galadriel bestows upon each of the Fellowship a gift which will play an important role later in the Trilogy.
And finally, more footage of the battle at Amon Hen. This is not particularly bloody footage, but its addition will likely result in this cut of the film receiving an R-rating.
And then one DVD set to rule them all. A special 5 Disc set that will delve even further into the movie. It's similar to the deluxe collector's editon that was released for Pearl Harbor. I have the 5th disc from this set already, and it is great. Definatly a cool set. Here is the information about it. No price on this yet, but I hope it's not to outragous.
So that's the extended version. This same 4-disc DVD edition will also be available in a Collector's Gift Set, which will include the National Geographic: Beyond the Movie - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD (containing 2 previously unreleased featurettes and a photo gallery), a set of exclusive Decipher game cards and a pair of bookends sculpted by WETA artists to look like the Argonath, all in packaging designed by production artist Alan Lee.
All of the information above was revealed during an elaborate multi-media presentation, followed by a number of speeches by New Line executives. On hand were several members of the cast and crew, including John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Orlando Bloom (Legolas Greenleaf), Billy Boyd (Pippin), Dominic Monaghan (Merry), hair designer Peter Owen, costume designer Ngila Dickson and Oscar-winning visual effects/make-up supervisor Richard Taylor (with his new golden statue in hand - and yes, it IS heavier than you'd think). The event was bookended by an elaborate reception and buffet dinner. But the highlight of the evening was a special video greeting from director Peter Jackson (absent due to his tight post-production schedule on both the DVDs and the next film), who talked about his work on the discs and introduced a special treat - the public premiere of the preview for The Two Towers, which you can see in theaters attached to the end of Fellowship starting this Friday. And I can tell you, this alone was worth my hour-long drive up to the studio. The next film looks simply amazing.
I will definatly have to pick up a copy of the widescreen theatrical cut, and probably the Special Collector's Gift Set. Either way, Just like E2's release in May, August can't come soon enough for me.
MTFBWY and HH!!
Jar Jar Binks