Movie Article

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, ...
Image credit: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Pierre Vinet

''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'' is one of the 10 holiday movies we can't wait to see

WHY WE CAN'T WAIT Hey, we were ready for this a year ago, the moment the house lights went up at the end of ''The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.'' ''Rings''-master Peter Jackson believes he has been saving the best for last, according to Elijah ''Frodo'' Wood.

SOURCE MATERIAL The final volume of J.R.R. Tolkien's ''The Lord of the Rings'' trilogy

WHAT'S NEW The relationship between hobbits Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin, above left with Wood) and the treacherous Gollum (Andy Serkis) becomes even more twisted. Plus, there's the giant she-spider Shelob, a fanged monster who threatens to make a snack out of Sam (actually taken from Tolkien's ''The Two Towers,'' but inserted into ''King'' by Jackson to up the drama).

BURNING QUESTION Will Jackson finally grab his own brass ring, the Oscar that eluded the first two installments?

COME FOR The Sam-Shelob showdown

STAY FOR The Battle of the Pelennor Fields, for which the bloody fray in ''The Two Towers'' was only a warm-up

Originally posted Aug 19, 2003