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Fellowship of Fans > Movies  > The War of the Rohirrim Delayed to December 2024!

The War of the Rohirrim Delayed to December 2024!

Today, we have recieved the news we’ve long dreaded: The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim had been delayed from its April 2024 release date, to 13 December 2024. Confirming this news, first broken by Deadline, producer Jason DeMarco added that “LOTR fans know is a lucky tradition! I know the extra wait sucks, but we are excited to have more time to make the film everything we want it to be! See you next year.” Just as a reminder, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is an anime adaptation of the story of Helm Hammerhand, directed by Kenji Kamiyama, and a prequel to Sir Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings.

As much as I was looking forward to a summer release, Demarco has a point. All six Peter Jackson films (in whose line this Warner Brothers’ film obviously treads) were released in December. Even the last extended edition, that of The Battle of the Five Armies, was released thereabouts: in October 2015, meaning that by the time The War of the Rohirrim airs, it will have been little over nine years since the last feature-film Middle Earth presentation (the February 2021 IMAX re-release notwithstanding). Further back, Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings was also a Christmas release.

Having said that, I was looking forward to a summer release. The Battle of the Five Armies (then stil titled “There And Back Again”) was originally slated for a summer release, but got delayed. It would have been  a nice change that would have further helped delineate The War of the Rohirrim from the main “cycle” of movies. It would have been poetic, perhaps, to have a”heavy” Tolkien film released in the season that we typically associate with breezier blockbusters, but which is ultimately the same season as the Athenean Dionysia or the Bayreuth festival or, for that matter, one of Brian Cox’ previous films, Braveheart.

Previously, I have been led to hope for the lack of a delay. In recent news, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit music editor Mark Wilsher had been added to the film’s credits on IMDb as music editor and mixer. This led me to believe the recording sessions for Stephen Gallagher’s score (the Howard Shore music audiences reported hearing at Annecy was in all likelihood a temporary track) had at the very least been scheduled, which would sugget post-production was chugging along. Alas, it was not to be. One assumes Warners want to have the actors handy to start promoting the film a good while ahead of its release, and with star Brian Cox famously giving a speech at an actor’s strike rally, there was little hope of that as negotiations in Hollywood seem stalled.

Wilsher, by the way, joins a crew of film veterans, including John Howe, Alan Lee, Sir Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop designing, Roisin Carty as the dialect coach, Philippa Boyens and Carrolyn Blackwood executive producing, Gallagher (who composed the “Blunt the Knives” ditti) composing and Miranda Otto’s Eowyn narrating. Even writer Phoebe Gittins (Philippa’s daughter) had cameos in the films, and Andy Serkis’ wife Lorraine Ashbourne is playing a role.

An added complication is that, expecting another September release for Season Two of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it seems The War of the Rohirrim will no longer beat the show to the punch on the release date. Without devolving into pitting the two projects against each other (they seem so different, they may well occupy parallel universes with no point of contact), how that might affect the film is anyone’s guess: would it be ever more the tonic to the show, what with their diverging aesthetics and narratives? Or will people be all LOTR-d-out by the time it hits theatres? At any rate, where a trailer was first believed to be en route circa October 2023 (cf. Digital Fix), now we will surely have to wait a little longer.

However, ultimately I have to take comfort in Demarco’s suggestion that they would get to polish the film further. Kamiyama had suggested the film is the most ambitious of his oeuvre, and Philippa Boyens jested about the amount of work facing the animators going forward. It seems even the edit was possibly still in flux, since Miranda Otto said in early May that she has a bit of rerecording to do for her part (as the narrator) in the subsequent six to twelve months. We must not forget, too, that The War of the Rohirrim‘s scribes, Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou, were late additions, rewriting the original script by Will Matthews and Jeffrey Addiss, so perhaps there’s room to further polish the storytelling in the editing suite? Even the production company Warners Brothers Discovery, is still going through the pains of a restructuring. The extended time-frame will surely allow them to hone-in all these elements. All the more important, since by now The War of the Rohirrim is no longer just an innocous intermezzo to the live-action films, but is the stallion leading the charge for a series of future films, tentativelly announced by Warners Bros.



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Historian and perpetual Wagnerian, I had discovered the Lord of the Rings along with Tolkien’s other, multifarious writings after the release of The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. As an avid filmgoer and writer, I take a particular interest in adaptations of Tolkien’s works – past, present and future, realized or otherwise – and participate with Fellowship’s podcasts in that capacity, researching and discussing the Amazon show.

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