The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood

Kristin Thompson (Author)


Once in a lifetime. The phrase comes up over and over from the people who worked on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. The film's seventeen Oscars, record-setting earnings, huge fan base, and hundreds of ancillary products attest to its importance and to the fact that Rings is far more than a film. Its makers seized a crucial moment in Hollywood--the special effects digital revolution plus the rise of infotainment and the Internet--to satisfy the trilogy's fans while fostering a huge new international audience. The resulting franchise of franchises has earned billions of dollars to date with no end in sight. Kristin Thompson interviewed seventy-six people to examine the movie's scripting and design and the new technologies deployed to produce the films, video games, and DVDs. She demonstrates the impact Rings had on the companies that made it, on the fantasy genre, on New Zealand, and on independent cinema. In fast-paced, compulsively readable prose, she affirms Jackson's Rings as one the most important films ever made.

Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
August 27, 2007
5.78 X 0.95 X 8.73 inches | 1.41 pounds
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About the Author

Kristin Thompson is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her many books include Film Art: An Introduction and Film History: An Introduction (both with David Bordwell) and Storytelling in the New Hollywood.


"The Frodo Franchise is the best case study yet written about film as a commodity in the global marketplace."--Stephen Prince"Film Quarterly" (12/01/2008)
"For any person interested in the role of franchise film making on modern Hollywood, The Frodo Franchise should be considered required reading."--Terry Hobgood"Film International" (04/01/2009)
"It's always more satisfying to follow the art than the money, but in this comprehensive study you can do both."--Richard Von Busack"Metro Newspapers" (08/29/2007)
"A lively and quick read that should appeal to scholars and fans alike."--Tolkien Studies (07/01/2008)
"Whether you are a film scholar, a student, or a Tolkien enthusiast, you will benefit from her [Thompson's] efforts."--Journal Of Popular Culture (04/01/2008)