Did You Know...? - JOHN LENNON AS GOLLUM???

This week's did-you-know takes us back to the era of the one and only Beatles!

Everybody knows that the "Fab Four" starred in a number of movies during the height of their popularity.  Titles like "Help! (1965)," "A Hard Day's Night (1964)," and "Magical Mystery Tour (1967)."  Heck, I'd put "Yellow Submarine (1967)" as one of my favorite movies of all time!  But for as many movies  as have been made, there have been several which never made it to the silver screen. One such movie is a Beatles version of the Lord of the Rings.

No.  I am not kidding.





According to this article from earcandymag.com:

 As strange as it sounds, John Lennon was once pushing for a Beatles version of “Lord of the Rings." McCartney said, “John wanted us to buy the film rights to Lord of the Rings. It was very much his idea.” It seems that Lennon had the intent of casting himself in the most attention-getting role. The Beatles version would have had John Lennon playing the grasping, thieving creature Gollum, Paul McCartney as the hero Frodo, George Harrison as the wise wizard Gandalf and Ringo Starr playing Frodo’s devoted sidekick Sam. The Beatles plan fell flat when the author J.R.R. Tolkein, who still had the film rights, rejected the idea of the Beatles doing it. Also the possibility of Lennon getting the staring role might not have set well with the other Beatles. “The strength of the other films which we made is that we’re all equal”, was Paul’s thoughts on the matter. Although the soundtrack would have certainly been interesting, can you imagine the Beatles doing this film with 1960’s the special effects? This was a few years before “2001: A Space Odyssey”, considered as the first of the “modern” special effects films. 

 So, yes.  Tolkein himself stopped the whole thing from happening.  What's more, the man behind the now ridiculously famous series, Peter Jackson, had something to say about it as well, according to People Magazine in 2002:

It got four Oscars on Sunday, but "The Lord of the Rings" almost once had four Beatles. The film's director, New Zealander Peter Jackson, has told Wellington's Evening Post newspaper that John Lennon wanted to play the role of the avaricious creature Gollum and Paul McCartney was to play Frodo Baggins in a proposed '60s Beatles movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy that never reached fruition. In fact, says Jackson, it was the author himself who nixed the plan. "It was something John was driving and J.R.R. Tolkien still had the film rights at that stage, but he didn't like the idea of the Beatles doing it. So he killed it," Jackson told the newspaper. 

 In any case, how do YOU think a Beatles-produced-and-starred Lord of the Rings film would have turned out?  Honestly, I really have no idea.  The idea of adapting that classic really only made sense to me in either animation or the heavily CGI-realized versions that we got.

BUT... would I have wanted to see it?

ABSOLUTELY.

In fact, with "The Hobbit" recently making it's way to the screen, I wonder if THAT would have been considered as well?



Chris

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