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Record Leicester Square turnout for Return of the King

Story by: Jack Foley

LORD of the Rings mania hit London on Thursday night (December 11), as the stars of Peter Jackson's epic trilogy attended the UK premiere of the final film in the series, The Return of the King.

Thousands of fans greeted the cast at the glittering occasion, with many queuing for hours in the cold and rain just to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.

The popularity of the films is such that the star-studded occasion reportedly attracted a record fan turnout for Leicester Square, despite unfavourable weather conditions.

The Return of the King is the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and is an awe-inspiring epic which completes the saga in suitably rousing, and emotional, fashion.

Journalists were able to see the film in the morning and, without doubt, the reaction was positive, with several rounds of applause reserved for some of the film's show-stopping moments, and another ovation once it had finished.


Stars who attended the event included Sir Ian McKellen (who plays Gandalf), Liv Tyler, Sean Astin and Viggo Mortensen, who drew the biggest cheers.

Director, Jackson,said he was relieved and proud to have directed the trilogy, as well as a tinge of regret that his journey was now over.

He also described the London reception as amazing, particularly after hearing that some had been queuing since 5am to catch a glimpse of their heroes.

The director spent over 20 minutes signing autographs for fans, as a result, and was delighted to find several dressed as characters from the movies.

With exactly one week to go before Return of the King opens in UK cinemas (on December 17), the Odeon cinema chain has reported its biggest advance ticket sales of the year, with more than £1m already sold a week ahead of its UK release.

It is little wonder to find that film critics are already calling for The Return of the King and director, Jackson, to be honoured at next year's Oscars - particularly as the first two films in the series have been snubbed in all the major categories, thus far.

The Return of the King clocks in at three hours and 20 minutes, making it the longest of the three. But every scene feels worth it.

IndieLondon will deliver its verdict in due course...

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