Elijah Wood in the new Lord of the Rings movies

The actor is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Warner Bros. movies — but wants them to avoid the pitfalls that have plagued other franchises.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - March 22: Elijah Wood attends the World Premiere of Showtime's second season "Yellow jackets" at the TCL Chinese Theater on March 22, 2023 in Hollywood, CA.  (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent announcement that more “Lord of the Rings” movies are in development has been met with a mix of excitement and concern. While Amazon’s “The Rings of Power” proved there’s still a big market for stories set in Middle-earth, many fans were skeptical that anything the studio would release could live up to Peter Jackson’s original films.

Elijah Wood also has his doubts, but errs on the side of optimism. In a new interview with him GQ, the Frodo actor said that the economics of Hollywood seem obvious in hindsight that there will always be more “Lord of the Rings” movies. He expressed cautious hope for the upcoming films, while advising the studio on recapturing the magic of Tolkien and Jackson’s work.

“I’m impressed and excited,” he said of the new films. “I hope it’s good. I’m surprised – I don’t know why I’m surprised because of course there would be more movies. Obviously, the essence of this is the desire to make a lot of money. It’s not a case of a bunch of executives thinking, “Let’s make really awesome art.” And again, not begging anyone, because of course this is trade. But great art can come from commerce. So these two things are not mutually exclusive.”

The actor explained that he sees Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movies as an example of a less cynical Hollywood franchise. He said he believes those original films succeeded because they were driven by passion for Tolkien’s material, not just profit – and he hopes the new films will be made in a similar way.

“But ‘Lord of the Rings’ didn’t come out of there,” he said. “It came from a passion for books and a desire to make them happen. And I hope that’s ultimately what drives everything forward for the next movies. I can only hope that this is the same motivating factor at the heart of hiring a screenwriter and director – to research Tolkien’s material with reverence and enthusiasm.

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