The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit 4K Defined by Peter Jackson

Jackson stresses that nothing was changed as much as it was made to look like the movies were made today.


It’s wild to think that next year The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring will turn 20, and that even The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is nearing its 10-year anniversary. Peter Jackson created a definitive depiction of Middle-earth by adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, and while we haven’t seen the last of this world (an Amazon series is currently in production), their most potent rendering came from Jackson.

Now the films have arrived on 4K, and Jackson has taken the time to do a brief video explaining what these new 4K transfers mean for the trilogy. For starters, you can rest easy that nothing was changed or re-edited. These are still the films you love. In the video, Jackson explains that he was using the 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) process to provide a uniformity to the look of these movies. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was shot on 35mm while The Hobbitwas shot on digital, and of the original trilogy, only The Two Towers and Return of the King had the benefit of digital color timing. This new 4K master allows all the movies to be treated the same.

And the results are a success. I watched the 4K of the theatrical versions of The Lord of the Rings over the weekend and the results are stunning, but at no point did I feel like they departed from the movies I loved. For his part, Adam Chitwood watched The Hobbit Trilogy, and he says that the remasters have been a vast improvement for the look of the movies.

Check out Jackson’s comments about the remasters below; click here for my review of The Lord of the Rings 4K and click here for Adam’s review of The Hobbit 4K.



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About The Author

Matt Goldberg
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Matt Goldberg has been an editor with Collider since 2007. As the site’s Chief Film Critic, he has authored hundreds of reviews and covered major film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and their dog Jack.

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