Lost Soviet TV Adaptation of Lord of the Rings Surfaces Online

Peter Jackson's three film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings changed Hollywood after their release in the early 2000s while also delivering the definitive version of the fantasy story. Attempts had been made before those three movies to bring J.R.R. Tolkein's epic to life, including a failed attempt by The Beatles of all people, but now one of the few versions that actually got made has surfaced online and it has fans talking. As pointed out by The Guardian, a two-part TV movie adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring produced by the Leningrad Television Studio in 1991 has surfaced online, and it is WILD.

Titled "Khraniteli" the two parts are streaming now on YouTube after Russian TV channel 5TV uploaded both parts of the adaptation online, with the first part bringing in over 600k views since its debut nine days ago. Reactions to the adaptation have been hilarious especially considering the level of....quality present in the film. "i can't believe that Peter Jackson won all those Oscars for what we now know is a shot-for-shot remake," one user wrote. Another user pointed out something even more mind blowing, writing "It's almost impossible to belive this is only 10 years older than the Hollywood version."

One thing that's worth noting is that even though this two-part adaptation is much shorter than Peter Jackson's own adaptation of Fellowship of the Ring, it does somehow include the character Tom Bombadil, famously cut out of Jackson's movie to the chagrin of fans.

This wasn't the only TV adaptation of a part of Tolkein's story for Russian audiences as a "low-budget adaptation of The Hobbit featuring ballet dancers" was released in 1985 according to The Guardian. An animated adaptation of The Hobbit was apparently also in the works around the time that Khraniteli was released but it was never complete and only six minutes of it has ever surfaced online.

Since Jackson's three movies were released The Lord of the Rings franchise has continued to be held in high regard even when they went back to the well and chopped up The Hobbit into three movies, which combined for almost three billion at the global box office. Even now there's a new video game project in the works (a stealth-action game where players take on the role of Gollum) with Amazon Prime Video developing a TV series set thousands of years before the main trilogy.