Little-known sci-fi facts: Tolkien killed a Beatles LOTR movie

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

Once upon a time, the Fab Four—having slain the pop charts—decided to set their sights on the Dark Lord Sauron by making a Lord of the Rings feature, starring themselves. One man dared stand in their way: J.R.R. Tolkien.

According to Peter Jackson, who knows a little something about making Lord of the Rings movies, John Lennon was the Beatle most keen on LOTR back in the '60s—and he wanted to play Gollum, while Paul McCartney would play Frodo, Ringo Starr would take on Sam and George Harrison would beard it up for Gandalf. And he approached a pre-2001 Stanley Kubrick to direct.

"It was something John was driving, and J.R.R. Tolkien still had the film rights at that stage, but he didn't like the idea of the Beatles doing it. So he killed it," Jackson said. McCartney felt that its demise was probably a good thing, as it would've put the spotlight on Lennon, who wanted the showiest role, and potentially irked the other Beatles: "The strength of the other films which we made is that we're all equal."

And, while the idea of a pre-CG live-action Lord of the Rings doesn't sound particularly enticing, the fact that the Beatles were behind it doesn't necessarily mean it'd have been bad. Lest we forget, George Harrison was actually a pretty decent film producer; his HandMade Films company was behind Monty Python's The Life of Brian, Time Bandits, Mona Lisa and Withnail and I. Of course, Ringo made Cavemen and Paul wrote and starred in Give My Regards to Broad Street, which probably wipe the slate clean.

(via People)

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