All six of “The Lord of the Rings” films, including the original trilogy and “The Hobbit” trilogy, are now all available in a remastered 4K Ultra HD re-release. And in revisiting the films, director Peter Jackson says he’s updated them so that they all look “like they were shot at the same time.”
Jackson says he noticed “visual inconsistencies” between the six films, namely because “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” were all shot on 35mm film, while “The Hobbit” movies were shot with digital cameras and even some ahead-of-their-time, experimental frame rates, as well as with different color timing techniques between the first film and the second two.
“I realized how inconsistent they were,” Jackson said in a behind the scenes video about the process that was posted Tuesday. “It’s great to have all the films looking like they were shot at the same time.”
“They now feel like they’re one big long movie telling the same story looking and sounding the same,” he continued.
To hear a director fiddling with their beloved classic and modernizing special effects might raise a red flag for “Star Wars” fans who have groaned at George Lucas’ tweaks and additions to the original trilogy of “Star Wars” films.
And while we haven’t seen the new look of the “Lord of the Rings” films, Jackson said nothing has been made to look different, but that shots that didn’t hold up to the 4K remaster have now been touched up. He explains that the point of 4K isn’t just to make everything look as sharp as possible but to still preserve the cinematic quality of the film.
“The imperfections of the visual effects started to show. Visual effects technology has advanced a lot over the years, and when they become ultra crisp in the 4K process, some of the clips weren’t holding up so well. So we got the opportunity to go back and remove and paint out any imperfections,” Jackson said. “I should make it clear we didn’t upgrade or enhance any of the effects shots. They’re exactly the same as you’re used to seeing them, but they do look as if they were done today rather than 20 years ago.”
Check out the full video from Jackson discussing “The Lord of the Rings” here and above.