The First Lord Of The Rings Movie Trailer Debuted 20 Years Ago Today, Re-Watch It Here

20 years ago, the world got its first glimpse at Peter Jackson's trilogy that would go on to win more than a dozen Oscars.


April 7 is a special day in The Lord of the Rings cinema history. On this day in the year 2000, New Line Cinema released the first trailer for the series, giving people a first look at what Peter Jackson's epic fantasy trilogy would look like. Lord of the Rings fansite recirculated the trailer for the anniversary, and it's a sight to behold twenty years later.

The first-look video was released six months into the production of the films, and it showcases Jackson speaking about the enormous undertaking of bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's work to the big screen and revealed an early look (at the time) of the visual effects, costumes, and settings of the series.

The trailer was released before the streaming era, when people had to download videos. According to the site, it racked up the most downloads ever for a movie trailer, surpassing 1999's Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Also presumably to celebrate the milestone, Weta Digital recently released the visual effects reels for The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King--you can watch them here.

The Lord of the Rings movies were box office juggernauts and they each won multiple Oscars. The Return of the King did especially well, winning 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Jackson went on to direct The Hobbit trilogy, which earned 7 Oscar nominations across the three movies, but it didn't win any. The franchise was a box office juggernaut, bringing in nearly $3 billion at the global box office.

The Lord of the Rings series continues with a new TV show from Amazon that was filming in New Zealand until concerns around COVID-19 shut down the production. A new Lord of the Rings MMO from Amazon is also in development, alongside a game focused on Gollum.

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