Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is known for his legendary work in Hollywood and has given great films like A Space Odyssey and The Shining. However, there have always been some of the projects that were suggested to be made by the director, but never really happened. One such movie also includes J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings adaptations, which were later developed by Peter Jackson.
The Beatles Wanted to Star in Stanley Kubrick’s The Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson started working on The Lord of the Rings in the late 90s, and the first film in the trilogy hit the theatres in 2001. However, decades before Jackson started working on the movie, the English rock band The Beatles tried to get The Lord of the Rings adaptation off the ground.
After playing themselves in the musical comedies A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, the members of the rock band John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison wanted to pursue an acting career and were looking for something that would give them such an opportunity.
Band member John Lennon is claimed to have been interested in The Lord of the Rings and suggested himself as Gollum, Paul McCartney as Frodo, George Harrison as Gandalf, and Ringo Starr as Samwise. And they wanted the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick to take the director’s seat for their potential adaptation.
The rock band wanted to give their music to the film, allegedly hoping to make it as a musical. However, it did not go any further as not only did The Shining director decline the proposal, calling the movie “unfilmable,” but the author of the book series also turned them down.
Stanley Kubrick Denied Adapting J. R. R. Tolkien’s Novels
The Beatles reportedly approached Stanley Kubrick to adapt the The Lord of the Rings books. Reports claim that the music band would have wanted to make it as a musical, as their earlier two films were also musicals.
According to Ian Nathan’s book Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson and the Making of Middle-Earth (via Collider), the rock band visited the filmmaker in the middle of the night to pitch their idea. While he did listen to what they had in mind, he ultimately turned down the concept.
The late director reportedly called the novels “unfilmable.” After Kubrick, they also approached Richard Lester, David Lean, and Michelangelo Antonioni. However, the author of the novel series, J. R. R. Tolkien, himself took the authority and put a stop to The Beatles’ plans. He was reportedly skeptical of the books’ adaptation and didn’t want a pop group to work on its adaptation.
Years later, Peter Jackson did what The Beatles dreamt of, and the franchise has since been growing constantly. Followed by the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy, the studio released The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and has recently revealed that they are planning to further expand the universe.
The Lord of the Rings franchise is available on Max.