| Since the announcement of The Lord of the Rings:
The Return of the King’s May 25 DVD release date, fans
have been speculating about details of the content, the packaging
and when the Special Extended Edition will hit shelves. Matt
Lasorsa, New Line Home Entertainment’s senior vice president
of marketing, offers some insight into the much anticipated
home video release in an informative Q&A.
Q: Why May?
A: There is no reason to wait this year. The DVD release dates
of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers were dependent
on completing the 10-minute look at the next film, which made
it impossible to release before August. Without another film
to preview, we can release it much earlier.
Q: We’ve heard rumors of a slipcase that will
hold all 3 DVDs. How can we get it?
A: We have created a “3-pack” with the theatrical
version DVDs of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers
and The Return of the King – packaged in a slipcase
– but the slipcase itself is not sold separately. The
“3-pack” does not have any new or exclusive content
and will be available at retail stores nationwide.
Q: What extras are on the DVD?
A: Like the last two The Lord of the Rings DVDs, The Return
of the King film will be presented on one disc with the highest
picture and sound quality possible. In addition to the movie
disc, a second disc will include many behind-the-scenes specials,
featurettes from lordoftherings.net, TV spots and trailers
that debuted during the theatrical release of the film. Also,
there will be a preview of the next Electronic Arts video
Q: Why isn’t there a preview for the Special
A: There simply wasn’t enough time to complete it for
the May release, and we didn’t believe it would be beneficial
to postpone the release date.
Q: When is the Special Extended Edition coming out?
A: It is scheduled to release just before Christmas 2004.
Q: Why isn’t the Special Extended Edition hitting
stores earlier, since the theatrical DVD is releasing sooner?
A: Logically, it would seem that it could be done sooner,
especially without another Lord of the Rings film to finish;
however, that hasn’t been the case. Peter Jackson was
quite busy with many commitments during the awards season.
Since he was away from New Zealand, he could not cut an extended
version of the film. Traditionally, after he cuts the film,
there are months and months of work to do to complete the
cut – including Howard Shore’s additional score
and Weta Digital’s new special effects.
For the special features, many of the interviews with the
cast and crew were completed during pickups for the next film,
as everyone was in the same place (New Zealand). Now that
all filming is complete, everyone is scattered across the
world – making it more difficult to get the interviews
to create bonus materials.
It would have been ideal to release it sooner, but we didn’t
want to compromise the quality of the DVD to get the product
in stores earlier.
Q: How long is the Extended version of The Return
of the King?
A: It looks like the running time will be over four hours
Q: What additional scenes were added?
A: Like The Two Towers extended version, the story of Faramir
is shown in greater detail. There are returning characters
and new characters, such as Saruman after the flooding of
Isengard and the Mouth of Sauron at the Black Gate. Much of
the new footage contains extra dialogue and action to further
elaborate on each character’s personal journey.
Q: Will there be a Gift Set this year, and what will
A: Yes, a gift set is in the works, and the content of it
is still taking shape. We do believe that the fans will be
pleased with the Sideshow Weta sculpture – the artists
at Weta have really outdone themselves. Look for us to reveal
it in July.
Q: Will there be a money-back offer – similar
to years past – if you buy both DVDs?
A: Yes. We will be extending the same mail-in rebate offer
as we have for The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers
– fans who choose to buy both the Theatrical DVD in
May and the Extended DVD later this year can receive $5 back
by mail (or $10 if they buy the Gift Set). We aren’t
requiring cash register receipts for the theatrical DVD, but
proofs-of-purchase and receipts for the Special Extended Edition
will be required.
Q: Finally, there are many rumors about a mega-special
edition “Trilogy Box.” Is there any truth to the
A: It is certainly something that we talk about creating in
the future, but right now we are just concentrating on releasing
The Return of the King Theatrical DVD and Extended DVD versions
this year. If we do release a “Trilogy Box,” it
is at least 2 years away – 2006 or beyond. We would
want to have Peter Jackson’s participation, and he will
be busy with other projects for at least a year or more. We
also would want to make it really special, with never-before-seen
content, and, until The Return of the King extended DVD is
finished, we won’t be in a position to evaluate what
materials are still available.
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