John Boorman's The Lord of the Rings
In the mid-1970s, director John Boorman planned a film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, collaborating with his colleague Rospo Pallenberg and the current film rights holder and producer Saul Zaentz. Produced by United Artists, it would have been one long movie with an intermission.
In the script, written by Boorman and Pallenberg, many things were changed and/or added. The first half is largely based on The Fellowship of the Ring. Following the intermission, the writers "dropped things out" and "invented as they went along".
Among other things, Frodo and Galadriel have sex, the Witch-king rides a horse whose "live, raw, bleeding flesh is exposed" in lieu of a flying fell beast, and Aragorn uses both shards of Narsil with the hilt-less half having a makeshift leather handle (before they are reattached).
The project ultimately proved too expensive to finance at that time. Boorman ended up making the Arthurian epic Excalibur instead, also with Pallenberg's help - where in a draft for that movie’s script they use similar concepts.
A copy of the script currently resides in Marquette University's Tolkien collection.
- OUTRE: The World Of Ultramedia, #26
- Discussion at the Barrow-downs, with a summary of the important differences in the script.
- Boorman's The Lord of the Rings, from forums.theonering.com, which contains some of the above material plus a extensive list of changes
- Boorman's Excalibur script - draft