The Lord of the Rings is a series of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films feature an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis and Sean Bean.
Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the films follow the hobbit Frodo Baggins as he and the Fellowship embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring, to ensure the destruction of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron.
The three films were shot simultaneously and entirely in Jackson’s native New Zealand from 11 October 1999 until 22 December 2000. It was one of the biggest and most ambitious film projects ever undertaken, with a budget of $281 million. The first film in the series premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on 10 December 2001, the second on 5 December 2002, the third on 1 December 2003.
The Lord of the Rings is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential film series ever made. It was a major financial success and is among the highest-grossing film series of all time with $2.991 billion in worldwide receipts. Each film was critically acclaimed, with high praise for their innovative special effects, acting, set design, musical score and emotional depth, and heavily awarded, the series winning 17 out of its 30 Academy Award nominations.