Until now Peter Jackson had the monopoly of being the only director capable, after many unsuccessful attempts, of bringing JRR Tolkien’s universe to the big screen in real action with his trilogy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and years later with the from ‘The Hobbit’. He captivated everyone with his film epic, especially the first three films, and showed that it was possible to adapt the complex and lengthy novels of the British writer, and even more difficult, to do them justice. But now, to the surprise of many of us, a long-lost, unknown adaptation has appeared on the Internet.
It is nothing less than a version that the Soviets carried out for television of what corresponds to the first book, ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’. According to The Guardian, this adaptation was carried out by the Leningrad Television Studio in 1991. It is titled ‘Khraniteli’ and is divided into two parts under the same title. The Russian channel 5TV brought this curious copy to light and uploaded it to YouTube, from where both parts can be seen; the first of them, in just over a week that it has been on the platform, has already had 600,000 visits. It stands to reason that Tolkien fans have flocked to appreciate a Soviet version of his universe.
‘Kranitheli’ is not the three hours long that ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ had, as well as the rest of the films that made up the original trilogy. It’s a shorter adaptation and of a much lower technical quality, which fans have echoed with hilarious comments. However, something that book lovers will have appreciated is the presence of Tom Bombadil’s character, whom Peter Jackson and company decided to omit..
And it is not the only Russian adaptation
Above, it is not the only adaptation carried out to the delight of Russian television viewers. According to the same medium, there is also “a low-budget adaptation of ‘The Hobbit’ with ballet dancers”, dating from 1985. Also, during the same ‘Khraniteli’ years, they tried an animated adaptation of the same ‘The Hobbit’ novels, but it failed to materialize. However, six minutes of this unsuccessful project circulate on the Internet.
Meanwhile, Tolkien’s universe continues to expand on the other side of the globe. Amazon Prime Video continues to develop the ambitious series of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ that it prepares and that will be set thousands of years before the events we saw in the original trilogy.