Over the course of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, fans had to say goodbye to a number of compelling characters, though star Dominic Monaghan recently pointed out how the studio attempted to pressure Jackson into killing off one of the main Hobbits in the final film. Frodo might have ultimately left Middle-earth behind, but the implication from the star is that the characters would have met their demise in a much more tragic and unexpected way, despite how all four survived the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the original novel.
"It's a good job that didn't happen, because it would have been me," Monaghan explained to IGN. "It definitely would have. There's no way they are killing Frodo and Sam, and the only ones that would be left would be Merry and Pippin. They wouldn't kill Pippin because Pippin has a really strong story with Gandalf. It would have definitely been me. I think Pete quite rightly was like, 'This is a luminary piece of written work, and we need to stick close to the text.' So, he stuck by his guns. Yeah, I'm thankful that didn't happen."
As if the overall trilogy being one of the most beloved series of fantasy films in history wasn't enough evidence of Jackson making the right decision, Return of the King would go on to earn 11 Oscars, tying it with Titanic and Ben-Hur for most Academy Awards earned by a film.
Despite the trilogy's countless accomplishments, it was a major gamble during production, with Jackson recalling earlier this year an encounter he had on set in which he "snapped" at the studio's requests.
"It was a period of time when New Line were at their most angry with us in terms of the budget," Jackson recalled to Deadline about a specific experience he had filming The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. "I am on the parapet, probably with Viggo [Mortensen], and I see [producer] Barrie [Osborne]. It took him about 30 minutes to huff and puff his way to get on the top, and so I kept on shooting. Barrie arrives and says, 'I have the studio, I've got to connect you with Michael Lynne of New Line.' I ask why. He says, 'Oh, he's going to threaten to sue you and sell the house from under you to cover the cost overruns.'"
Jackson continued, "Barrie was just the messenger, but it was one of the only points where I really snapped. I said, 'Just tell Michael Lynne that I'm shooting this f-cking film and I'm doing the best job I can, and I'm not going to interrupt my day with a phone call like that.' Barrie picked up the cellphone and made his way back down to the car and drove off."
Amazon Studios is currently developing a TV series inspired by The Lord of the Rings.