Lord Of The Rings Trilogy Coming To Theatres In 4K IMAX For The First Time Ever

Peter Jackson's film series is returning to theatres as part of a special 4K IMAX screening in the US.


Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings series is returning to US theatres this week for a special engagement that will bring the movies to IMAX screens for the first time in 4K. Whether or not you want to or feel comfortable going to a cinema, however, is a decision you'll have to make for yourself.

The screenings begin on February 5 in select markets--you can see if your local cinema has the movies on this website. Right now, it appears this event is only for The Lord of the Rings and not The Hobbit.

These will be the new, remastered 4K versions of the trilogy, presented in 4K and with all of the other improvements like color grading that makes each film now look more cohesive.

Jackson has said the Lord of the Rings films (and his Hobbit movies, for that matter) lacked consistency in their coloring and other elements, due to the evolving way in which the movies were shot. Updating them for 4K gave the team an opportunity to go back and address this.

"It was interesting going back and revisiting these films because I realised how inconsistent they were," he said. "And that's really due to the way in which the Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot first, about 20 years ago. The lord of the rings was shot on 35mm. The color timing was done on an old-fashioned mechanical way for the first Lord of the Rings movie. Then we switched to digital color timing for the 35mm negative for the next two," he said.

Jackson also said that the process was not solely about increasing the crispness of the picture--the director said it was important to preserve the "cinematic look" of the films, while also boosting the overall fidelity.

"Great to be able to have all the films looking like they were shot at the same time, finally," Jackson said.

When updating the Lord of the Rings for 4K, the team noticed that imperfections in the visual effects were more pronounced. Some of the shots did not hold up, Jackson admitted. So with the re-release, the team went back and removed or painted out some of these oddities and imperfections.

To be clear, however, the VFX are not upgraded or enhanced. But Jackson said of them, "They look like they were done today, not 20 years ago" as was the case for the first Lord of the Rings movie.

If you can't or don't want to visit a cinema to watch the movies in 4K, you can now do so at home thanks to the remastered versions. Another set is coming this year that will bundle The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as some new bonus features.

In other Lord of the Rings news, HarperCollins is releasing a new Middle-earth book that will, among other things, explain who can grow beards.

Amazon is currently filming a very expensive TV show based on the fantasy series in New Zealand, while there are multiple Lord of the Rings video games in the works, including an MMO and a title featuring Gollum.

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