The Surprising Person Who Blocked The Beatles From Making A The Lord Of The Rings Movie
The one person who could prevent the popular music group from making and starring in the film allegedly put his foot down and stopped the project
When thinking about what ranks most highly in contemporary pop culture, the 1960s rock group The Beatles and the literary collection of The Lord of The Rings books written by J.R.R. Tolkien has to each be near the top of any list. Interestingly, an intersection of the two almost occurred years ago when the musicians wanted to make and star in a movie version of the wildly popular fantasy tale. However, not wanting his life’s work’s transition to film being handled by young pop stars, he blocked them from obtaining the necessary rights and ended their visionary project.
Four young English lads named John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison started The Beatles in Liverpool in 1960. Over the next decade, they found impossible fame and success, becoming among the most famous people in the world. Before disbanding in 1970, they released a total of 13 albums and 63 singles. Over the years that has translated into 21 number one records and billions in sales around the globe.
Meanwhile, born in South Africa to British parents, J.R.R. Tolkien ultimately moved to his ancestral homeland. A long-time college professor of English and literature, he was also a successful author. However, nothing approached the success of two of his books, The Hobbit (1937)and The Lord of The Rings (1954–55), which proved so popular, they earned him the unofficial title of “the father of modern fantasy literature.”
The books about the battle for good versus evil in the fantastical world of the hobbits were accidental successes, as Tolkien originally wrote The Hobbit for the enjoyment of his children. It was only after an acquaintance at a publishing house encouraged him to submit his manuscript that it got published and went on to make him enormously famous and successful. To put that into perspective, publisher Harper Collins reported in 2021 that the author’s (who died in 1973) books had passed more than 600 million units sold.