'Lord of the Rings' Star Sean Astin Reflects on Being "Nervous" About the Trilogy

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy may be one of the highest-grossing film trilogies of all time, but back when the first film in the series hit theaters back in 2001 there was no way anyone could have predicted the success of not just The Fellowship of the Ring but of the two films following. Now, nearly 17 years later star Sean Astin is looking back at his career and admits he didn't know if the movies would be a success.

"I think when you took a look at the costumes and the sets and the swords and you saw the scope of it, I don't think that there was ever any doubt that what we're making was spectacular and really special and important," Astin told io9. "What you didn't know was whether or not it would be a box office success. And, in a very important way, the success of the first film allowed them to go and make huge adjustments to the second and third film like that. So, if the first film had come out and not performed, the second and third films would have been totally different movies."

It's hard to imagine The Two Towers and The Return of the King being any different than they ultimately ended up being, but the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy has also had a much larger influence. The success of the trilogy elevated filmmaker Peter Jackson's status in Hollywood and led to second trilogy of films based off of works by J.R.R. Tolkien, this time following The Hobbit and serving as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings.

Even outside of Jackson's films interest in Middle Earth continues with Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings television series which is planning on starting production in the next few years to air on Amazon's platform in 2021. That series is said to focus on the adventures of a young Aragorn and while Jackson has denied any involvement with the series, Amazon exec Jennifer Salke hasn't entirely abandoned hope.


"We're in conversations with him that I think are very amicable about how much involvement he wants and what kind." Salke revealed. "We haven't figured out exactly what that is yet. He may say he is involved or he's not involved. We're still very much in conversation with him about what kind of involvement he would propose."