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Lord of the Rings & Hobbit Trilogies Releasing On 4K For The First Time

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Tolkien and Peter Jackson fans, rejoice: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies are both, finally, being released in 4K Ultra HD. The beloved high-fantasy films, especially the original trilogy, have been lauded for the groundbreaking special effects, epic scale, and gorgeous New Zealand vistas. Now, you’ll be able to see Middle-Earth in an even more magnificent fashion than before.

When they first premiered in theaters, and still to this day, The Lord of the Rings captivated viewers with the grandeur of its spectacle. The sweeping locales from Jackson’s New Zealand location shooting created a distinct and magical sense of place for his on-screen Middle-Earth, and that natural beauty was accentuated by some of the most stunning effects work of the day, much of which still holds up. While The Hobbit drew more criticisms for relying too much on CGI, the sequel/prequel trilogy still has moments of visual delight. The magic of Tolkien’s fantastic realm is once again captured spectacularly on screen.

And now, all the splendor of Middle-Earth will be visible in 4K. In a new press release, Warner Bros. announced the upcoming rerelease of both trilogies on December 1st. Each trilogy will retail at $89.99 and include both the respective films' theatrical and extended cuts. In addition to the improved video quality, the rereleases will also apparently have new audio options specifically designed for home theater setups. The release also announced a massive box set of all six films, including brand new bonus features content, which will be available for purchase in the summer of 2021. Peter Jackson reportedly oversaw the 4K remastering process.

For the die-hard, extended-addition-or-bust crowd, this announcement is sure to be a welcome surprise. Fans of the franchise are always looking for the best new way to watch the War of the ring. The latest release will almost assuredly be the definitive way to do so from now on. The only issue is what to do with all the other box sets they already own?

The rereleases are also an excellent way for Tolkien fans to prepare for Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series. The show will be set during Middle-Earth’s Second Age, which ends with Sauron's defeat as depicted at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring and primarily concerns the Atlantis-inspired island kingdom of Númenor. While that series remains a bit far out, the 4K remasters of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will be available for purchase on December 1.

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