If you were to sit down and watch all three extended Lord of the Rings movies, it would take the best part of 11 hours. And really, who's watching the theatrical versions anymore? If you want to experience this story in all its cinematic glory, there's only one extended way to do it.
This combined runtime was the result of an extensive and prolonged film shoot. Principle photography started in 1999 and lasted for a total 438 days. But Peter Jackson added an additional 6 weeks of pick up shoots both in 2002 and 2003. Hundreds of hours of footage was captured in that time, consisting of untold amounts of takes and re-takes.
Although working on a film franchise such as this must have been a once in the life time experience, there was bound to be a few rough days.
Considering all the taxing action sequences, tricky special effects and massive crew, tempers were bound to fray. Wearing full armour in sweltering heat, or having prosthetics applied to your face at 4 in the morning probably wears thin fast...
But, one does not simply adapt the Lord of the Rings with ease...
10. Sean Astin Got Pissed Off With Andy Serkis' Method
Before Peter Jackson developed a means to record motion capture on set, Andy Serkis spent his days acting as the physical representation of Gollum, for Sean Astin and Elijah Wood to play off. Serkis would then have to replicate all the physical exertion he put into those shoots on a motion capture stage - effectively doing his job twice. He must have been knackered.
Although Serkis' original performances were cut out and replaced with a digital character, the impact of his actions were not unnoticed. The shots of Frodo and Sam wrestling with a digital creature only felt authentic because Serkis threw himself into the role with such passion.
Serkis' method was so full on that it resulted in a bit of a tense incident with his fellow cast member Sean Astin, however. During a scene in the Two Towers, the Hobbits are about to make a break for the Black Gate, only for Gollum to pull them back.
In one take, Serkis pulled with such force that he yanked Sean Astin's wig off, along with a big clump of hair. Astin stormed off the set, leaving a frosty atmosphere between the two for the rest of the day.