In one of those very odd stories that emerges occasionally that is really old news, but maybe had a little less significance back then; in 2002 CNN had learned that The Beatles planned a Lord of the Rings film. Peter Jackson, breaking the story then to the Wellington Evening Post, said that his information had come from Paul McCartney at the Academy Awards in Hollywood.
So, who would have played whom?
John Lennon, whose idea it was might have played Gollum. George Harrison would have taken the role of Gandalf and Ringo Starr was to play Frodo’s sidekick, Sam. A ‘pre-2001′ Stanley Kubrick was approached to direct it, (that would have been something). Peter Jackson told the Post,
“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,”
There is a history to this arbitrary looking decision by Tolkien that has been researched by First Things, which is published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an inter-religious, nonpartisan research and education institute.
In 1953, Tolkien purchased a house on Oxford’s Sandfield Road, a cul-de-sac at the time of his move that later was opened to through traffic. In a 1964 letter to Christopher Bretherton, Tolkien complained about “radio, ‘tele’, dogs, scooters, buzz-bikes, and cars of all sizes but the smallest” making noise “from early morn to about 2 a.m.” Tolkien wrote,
“In addition, in a house three doors away dwells a member of a group of young men who are evidently aiming to turn themselves into a Beatle Group. On days when it falls to his turn to have a practice session the noise is indescribable.”
Only Tolkien could effortlessly make a complaint look like an excerpt from his great work!