‘Lord of the Rings’ Hits Blu-ray April 614 Dec, 2009 By: John Latchem
Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy finally makes its way to Blu-ray Disc April 6, 2010, from Warner Home Video. Order date is March 2.
The nine-disc set, listed at $99.98, includes the theatrical versions of the trilogy, plus digital copies of each, as well as three discs of bonus material, one for each film.
The trilogy has previously been released three times on DVD: once for the theatrical versions, once for Jackson’s extended director’s cuts and a hybrid version containing both. The extended versions of the films will be released on Blu-ray at a later date, according to Warner.
Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved fantasy novels, the films relate the story of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and his journey to destroy a sacred ring that could shift the balance of power in the ancient lands of Middle Earth. The cast includes Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
The films will be BD Live enabled, and each of the BD discs containing one of the movies also will include that film’s theatrical trailers (in HD), as well as a preview of the video game The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest. The game is slated for a spring 2010 launch for Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation Portable. The game will include a $10-off coupon for the Blu-ray trilogy, while the trilogy set will include a $5 discount coupon for the game.
The materials on the bonus discs are presented in standard-definition on regular DVDs. Each bonus disc will include behind-the-scenes featurettes, TV specials and commercials, music videos, cast interviews and previews of the extended editions.
The trilogy also will be available day-and-date on-demand from cable and satellite providers, and will be offered for electronic download from online retailers such as iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, Zune Marketplace and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace.
In addition, Warner April 6 releases Ralph Bakshi’s animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings as a Blu-ray deluxe edition. Warner also has teamed with several licensees for branded “Lord of the Rings” merchandise, such as toys and games.