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Elijah Wood Talks LOTR's 20th Anniversary And Reunion Plans - Exclusive

December 19, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," the first of three movies from director Peter Jackson that adapted J.R.R. Tolkien's landmark fantasy novels. The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was, to put it mildly, a gigantic risk for Jackson and the studio that backed him, New Line Cinema. Jackson filmed most of the following two movies — "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King" — at the same time as "Fellowship," with New Line investing a reported $270 million at the time. If "Fellowship" tanked at the box office, the maverick New Zealand filmmaker and the Hollywood studio would have had a disaster on their hands.

That wasn't the case, though, because "The Fellowship of the Ring" opened to more than $47 million at the North American box office in its first weekend, going on to earn $316 million domestically and $898 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). The success of "Fellowship" led to even bigger box office hauls for "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King," with the latter also sweeping up all 11 Oscars it was nominated for, including Best Picture. Along the way, all three films became a cinematic event beloved by generations and a singular telling of a story that many had thought unfilmable. Another reason for the trilogy's success was its near-perfect casting, as each actor in the vast ensemble definitively brought their fabled characters to life. Many of the cast have stayed close, as well.

With the 20th anniversary of "Fellowship" approaching, Elijah Wood told Looper in an exclusive interview, "I know we all want to celebrate together."

Wood reveals whether there are plans to commemorate the 20th anniversary

As of this moment, there are no official plans announced to mark the 20th anniversary of "The Fellowship of the Ring." New Line Cinema is not the same company it was 20 years ago (as recounted by The Independent), and parent corporation Warner Media has not indicated whether any kind of celebration or re-release is in the cards (the ongoing COVID pandemic could also factor into a theatrical reissue scenario).

Elijah Wood told Looper that the members of the cast have definitely spoken about a celebration, although COVID has thrown a wrench in that as well. "We've talked a bunch," he revealed. "There's a lot of talk about a 20th anniversary gathering, but I don't know if anything's quite come together. It's also difficult because of COVID. I don't know that we could even get to New Zealand. In fact, I'm almost sure we couldn't get to New Zealand unless there were some major permitting and some sort of way in there, which I suppose is possible, but that country's shut down."

Much as "The Fellowship of the Ring" was released at the end of a difficult year — just three months after the 9/11 attacks — the film's 20th anniversary also comes during an exceptionally challenging period for the world. "It's a tough time," Wood admits. "This particular year is a little hard for a variety of reasons, which is a shame, because we do, and we have, over the years, and certainly over this last year, talked about wanting to do something. I suppose the one benefit is that we do have at least two more 20th anniversaries to celebrate, so that's kind of nice. At least we have that."

A celebration will happen somehow, in some form

Elijah Wood and many members of the cast have gotten together over the years since working on the films, so he believes that one way or another, some kind of anniversary commemoration will happen. "I think there will absolutely be a gathering," he says. "I know we all want to celebrate together and I think we want to be able to find a space that works for everybody. There are a lot of people who would love to sit down at a giant table and raise a glass to our experience, collectively, share stories and just hang out."

Whether it ends up being a private gathering for the cast and filmmakers or something more elaborate and public — and with a new limited series on the way derived from Tolkien's other "Lords"-related writings, that's still a possibility — the 20th anniversary of "The Fellowship of the Rings" and "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy as a whole is something that probably shouldn't go unobserved. There's never a bad time to celebrate such a worthy achievement.