The Beatles Lord of the Rings movie that could have been

Photo: New Line Cinema / HBO Max

When you think of the four boys from Liverpool, what are the associations you think of? Hamburg strip clubs? Of course. Sitar music? Yes, definitely. Hobbits? Apparently. While pushing for his Disney + Beatles documentary series Come back, LOTR impresario Peter Jackson explained to the BBC that the Beatles really wanted to make one Lord of the Rings film, but was prevented by the series’ author JRR Tolkien. “I scraped small pieces of information together. I interrogated Paul about it. Ringo does not remember much,” he said. According to Jackson, the Beatles were introduced to the Middle Earth by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who provided copies of Lord of the Rings to all members of the band (except Ringo, for some reason). 3/4 of the Beatles read the book while studying meditation in India, and then applied for the film rights through Apple filmmaker Denis O’Dell.

Had the Beatles been given the rights, the rumored casting would have been completely inappropriate. Paul would have been Frodo, Ringo would have played potato-loving Samwise Gamgee, and the ubermystic George would have been a natural fit for Gandalf. And John … John would have played Gollum. Okay, but who would have played Saruman? Pete Best? Would Pattie Boyd have been cast as Galadriel, only to be poached by Eric Clapton’s attempt to film Dune? “In the end, they could not get the rights from Tolkien because he did not like the idea of ​​a pop group to make his story,” Jackson said. “So it was fooled by him.”

(PS: Ringo ended up playing a wizard later in life, starring as Merlin in the Harry Nilsson car Son of Dracula.)

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