Josh Gad has taken to hosting cast reunions of cult classic movies on his youtube series Reunited Apart. The most recent episode featured a regrouping of the cast and crew behind Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings adaptations. The movie is still considered the gold standard for fantasy filmmaking, and despite taking inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary novels, it was revealed that many of the movie's most popular lines were created for the script by the movie's writer Phillipa Boyens, who also joined the reunion.
Phillipa Boyens: I'm a good mimic. But you know what, you know what I have to say, Fran and I sometimes, you know, I know you do some writing, Josh, you know, exposition, it's just a killer, and you know all of these brilliant actors had to leverage lines off the page, and every now and then we'd get this really tricky exposition and Fran and I would just look at each other and go, 'It's fine, Ian'll get it off the page.
Ian McKellan: Uh, Gandalf doesn't say, 'You shall not pass' in the book. He says, 'you can not pass.'
Boyen: "He says, 'You will not pass.' but you know what, one of the first things I ever wrote for Fran and Pete, and I think it's why they offered me the job, was, 'A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to."
Peter Jackson: So that's a Phillipa line, not a Tolkien line.
While the character of Gandalf the Grey has a dominant presence throughout the movies, no other scene better captures his power and indomitable spirit than when he stood alone on the bridge under the mines of Moria, holding off the fire demon Balrog single-handedly to allow the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring the chance to escape.
It was at that moment that Gandalf uttered his most famous line, 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS!', and the revelation by the cast and crew that the line was created for the film instead of being adapted from the novel is a testimony to the level of passion and talent that went into making the live-action Lord of the Rings trilogy, and why it remains unmatched in the fantasy genre to this day, even by Jakcons's own followup with the Hobbit trilogy.
The rest of the Reunited Apart episode further showcased the close bond between the people involved in making the films as they reminisced about the various challenges they faced, including a limited budget and various on-set complications. Like that fact that Sean Bean received the script for his long speech at the Council of Elrond on the day of the shoot, necessitating him having a printout of the script taped to his knee for reference the entire time he was filming the speech.
Now that Amazon is adapting Tolkien's work for an upcoming series, fans can expect to make a return trip to Middle Earth sooner rather than later, although since the show is set before the events of the forming of the Fellowship of the Ring, the trip will be with a new set of characters.