When it comes to hugely successful movie franchises, there are not many that have been more successful than the Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has gone on to spawn a new prequel trilogy with The Hobbit movies. The Lord of the Rings trilogy went on to gross almost $3bn worldwide but it seems that the trilogy was almost an epic flop.
Hollywood actor Viggo Mortensen played the role of Aragon in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and he has been talking about how the project almost failed in a very big way. Viggo says that Peter Jackson had spent a lot of money on the three movies without even seeing whether the first film would be a success.
During an interview with The Telegraph, Mortensen explained, "Anybody who says they knew it [Lord of the Rings] was going to be the success it was, I don't think it's really true. They didn't have an inkling until they showed 20 minutes in Cannes, in May of 2001. They were in a lot of trouble, and Peter had spent a lot."
Viggo then went on to talk about how poor the second and third installments of The Lord of the Rings trilogy were, claiming that they had to keep going back to do a lot of reshoots for the movies. The actor even claims that the second and third instalments would have gone straight to video was it not for the success of the first film.
Mortensen added, "Officially, he could say that he was finished in December 2000 - he'd shot all three films in the trilogy - but really the second and third ones were a mess. It was very sloppy - it just wasn't done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year. But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn't been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video."
Since becoming a global superstar with the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen was regularly offered a huge amount of money to appear in very poor films but, more often than not, he turned down the offers. Viggo will next be seen in the movie The Two Faces of January, which will feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 17.