Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King: Ian McKellen has yet again spilled the beans on many elements of the 3rd Lord Of The Rings film at his Official Website! During the recent reshoots and pick-ups at The Stone Street Studios, McKellen spoke about getting back into the role of 'Gandalf. Take a look at some of the juicy bits revealed:

In this way I revisited the Gates of Mordor today , where The Mouth of Sauron once more threw down Frodo's mithral vest. And Gandalf meets despair. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Pippin were nothing but eyelines marked by a chalk cross behind or alongside the camera, or a yellow tennis ball or a red apple spiked on top of a lighting stand. I wonder if today's tennis ball was a veteran from the Balrog battle where again an eyeline was need for a non-existent foe.

Before shooting a pick-up, there is a chance to review a roughly-cut version of the scene into which the pick-up will be seamlessly dropped. This is done via the Jackson hand-sized video machine. After shooting, our efforts can be checked on the larger video playback, which I don't do much anymore. Sometimes it's useful to check a detail or judge the acting but in this movie nothing is left to chance and I am happy to trust Peter's eagle eyes. He is still averaging ten takes of each set up. He reminds us after each take what he wants of the characters and generally what he wants is information. There is a lot of plot in this third film, many threads to be gathered together. If the plot is not told through the characters, their actions and their words, an audience will not be moved. Return of the King will be part-weepy. Although everything is likely to be dubbed, Peter is only happy when he believes what he sees and understands what he hears. And then he will take one extra take. I wonder how often that is the take he uses in the finished film. The working rhythm is steady and unvaried, never hurried. There is always a sense that we will wait until everyone in every department of cast and crew is working harmoniously and at their peak. He is generous with his praise when he's happy. Achievement energises him. He is tired to look at, yet evidently indefatigable and as caring as ever for the task in hand - to deliver the best film of the three, the one that will guarantee a classic status for the trilogy. Much of this final activity has been observed by journalists - the actors were expected to talk to a dozen of them from print media around the world plus a camera crew from Primetime Live who are making a documentary to be broadcast in USA about the time the final film emerges. Being interviewed takes time and care if it is to be worthwhile. But risking too big a distraction from the more important matter of acting we all were interviewed, at greatest length for New Line's electronic press kit, which will be distributed piecemeal to the hungry television and radio programmes wanting words direct from Middle-earth as it were. That took a couple of hours on my free day.

Working a minimum 14 hours a day, six days a week

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.