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The Lord of the Rings is one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. It shaped the adventure fantasy genre and continues to influence its successors. However, The Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood doesn’t think that the same magic could be captured in the modern age of cinema for a specific reason resulting from the Internet.

‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a phenomenon

'The Lord of the Rings' star Elijah Wood in a jacket in front of a step and repeat
Elijah Wood | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is based on J. R. R. Tolkien‘s original works. The big-budget fantasy story originally suffered issues at Miramax, but ultimately moved over to New Line Cinema. Jackson understood that The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a big-budget risk for any studio to tackle, but he also saw the potential in it.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy earned over $2.9 billion at the global box office on a $281 million budget. These numbers don’t include all of the merchandise and ancillary sales that drove the fantasy trilogy into one of the biggest franchise successes of all time. The critical and public response is largely positive with many calling it one of the best trilogies ever made.

Elijah Wood doesn’t think that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ would be the same in modern times

The New York Times interviewed Wood to talk about The Lord of the Rings legacy after a couple of decades. He played the iconic hobbit known as Frodo Baggins. Audiences around the world attach his likeness to the fantasy trilogy, but he doesn’t regret it. However, he did explain why its success is also a sign of its time.

“There was a great sense of a lack of oversight,” Wood said. “Peter and the larger team were allowed to make the movies the way that they wanted to make them without much outside perspective. That doesn’t mean the studio wasn’t afraid or invested. They knew the risk of making these films back to back. I don’t know if he would be able to make them in the same way now.”

Wood continued: “Look, the internet’s different too. There was less scrutiny on the films. There was less known about them. We were able to make the movies in a bubble. We had quaint problems, like there would be some photographers up on a hill, but it was pretty minor. [Laughs.]”

“I don’t know if that would be possible now,” Wood said. “Now the world is online and there’s a great deal of access afforded to pretty much anybody about anything.”

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Wood’s perspective certainly isn’t unwarranted. The biggest movie franchises in the world are constantly on everybody’s lips on the Internet. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an excellent example of leaks. As a result, audiences already know what to expect before sitting in an auditorium seat.

A member of the press leaked the post-credits scene for Eternals and various leaks spoiled the biggest surprises found in Spider-Man: No Way Home. However, The Lord of the Rings didn’t exist in such a social media connected world. Audiences could experience the trilogy’s surprises by simply seeing the movies.