Peter Jackson has remastered both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy in 4K. According to the director, all six movies were lacking visual consistency, so he revisited both the theatrical and extended versions to give them the 4K Ultra HD visuals and surround-sound Dolby audio they deserve in 2020.
Do these movies really need some touching up barely two decades later? It’s hard to believe so considering they repeatedly swept the Academy Awards for cinematography, visual effects, makeup, and more. And yet, considering his Lord of the Rings adaptations have maintained their lore over the years and technology makes visual adjustments like these rather easy, Jackson’s decision to do so also makes complete sense.
In a behind-the-feature included on the box sets, Jackson revealed that he and a team of experts meticulously “tweaked” the colors of all six movies to make the landscape palettes appear more similar. That’s a tricky feat to pull off, especially considering The Hobbit movies were filmed 10 years later on “digital cameras at 4k.” After putting in some serious time and effort, though, they pulled it off.
“It was interesting going back and revisiting these films because I realized how inconsistent they were, and that’s really due to the way in which The Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot first about 20 years ago,” Jackson said in one clip. “The Lord of the Rings was shot on 35mm. The color timing was done in an old-fashioned, photo mechanical way for the first Lord of the Rings movie. Then we switched to digital color timing for the 35mm for the next two. Being able to tweak individual colors is the sort of thing we just couldn’t do 20 years ago, so it’s fun to have all of the toys now.”
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the cast of The Lord of the Rings reunited for a special livestream event and Gollum himself did a nonstop reading of The Hobbit in its entirety. For a year marked by isolation and untimely deaths, those virtual events felt like much-needed joyful hangouts with friends — and piqued our interest in the upcoming spinoff TV series as well.
The legend comes to life in 4K!
Return to Middle Earth and relive the adventure! Own The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies in 4K Ultra HD today.https://t.co/eKyQFkDfIo pic.twitter.com/sYNZt5AKKx
— The Hobbit (@TheHobbitMovie) December 1, 2020