Disney has demonstrated (with The Lion King) that there is indeed a profit to be made in post-converting older blockbuster titles to 3D and re-releasing them in theaters. Upcoming 3D theatrical re-releases like Beauty and the Beast, Titanic, and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace aren't expected to buck that lucrative trend.
It should come as little surprise then that one of the most popular (critically and financially) effects-heavy fantasy series of all time - Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tokien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy - may also end up being re-released in theaters in the stereoscopic (re: 3D) format.
Jackson has casually broached the topic of converting the Rings trilogy to 3D a handful of times in the past (see: this 2010 interview) and always said the same thing: if it does happen, it will be done properly. In a recent interview, Rings star Elijah Wood basically echoed that sentiment and also "confirmed" that the idea is being given serious consideration.
Here, to quote, is what Wood has to say on re-releasing the Rings trilogy in 3D (via Den of Geek):
“I think it would be cool to see. There’s talk of releasing a dimensionalised ['Lord of the Rings'] trilogy eventually. I’m okay with doing post-process 3D, as long as someone takes the time. What I’m upset about is when a movie doesn’t have the budget and the time to devote to it and they’re not fine-tuning the detail of that, because it can look really bad and cheap. But I know that they wouldn’t dimensionalise it unless it was a super meticulous process..."
Wood will (briefly) reprise his Rings role as Frodo Baggins in Jackson's in-production adaptation of Tolkien's The Hobbit, which is actually being shot with the latest in 3D technology (see: this Hobbit production diary video for additional information). However, seeing that Jackson is going to be preoccupied with that two-movie project for the next few years, it's bound to be a while before the filmmaker can even turn his attention to converting the Rings trilogy into 3D.
3D has become somewhat of a dirty word over the past two years, following the onslaught of (poorly) post-converted 3D flicks that sought to cash in on the goodwill the format earned, thanks to Avatar. Respected filmmakers like Jackson, Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Steven Spielberg (The Adventures of Tintin), and Ridley Scott (Prometheus) are now releasing new projects that use the extra dimension to truly enhance the viewing experience, rather than just as a gimmick. That should help to win over the anti-3D crowd, who feel that releasing any movie in the format is a bad idea.
However, the act of effectively converting older titles to 3D is a different matter. A truly engaging 3D viewing experience is the product of several aesthetic factors, including creative camera angles, proper lighting, and steadily-paced editing. It's not enough to merely shoot a movie using 3D cameras and assume that the final product will look like something special, without taking those other factors into account (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, looking at you...). Hence why previously-released films that were never intended to be watched in 3D are all the more dicey a proposition.
That said: Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies are similar to James Cameron's Titanic, in the sense that they feature the sort of large-scale visuals and cinematography that offers somewhat of an immersive experience, even when viewed in just 2D. So, while a 3D post-conversion is (of course) not necessary, it could work quite well, in this case.
Would you be interested in seeing The Lord of the Rings on the big screen in 3D? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.
Source: Den of Geek