HBO Max is gaining a reputation as the exclusive streaming home of butt-numbingly epic movies. Two weeks from today, Zack Snyder’s four-hour cut of Justice League arrives on the platform to instantly become the single lengthiest comic book adaptation ever made, but now it’s been confirmed that an even longer film is on Warner Bros.’ streaming service.
As you can see from the Tweet below, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Extended Edition is being offered on HBO Max, and it’s the freshly remastered version for good measure. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring releasing into theaters, Peter Jackson recently oversaw the legendary trilogy’s conversion into 4K, and all three were re-released into IMAX cinemas last month.
The Return of the King is the only one that’s on HBO Max so far, but it’s not as if the studio are going to offer the final installment on its own, especially when you can guarantee that there are going to be an awful lot of fans potentially binging all three in the space of a day.
It’s official, @HBOMax is the FIRST streaming service ever to offer LOTR Extended Edition!
RETURN OF THE KING is the new remastered edition in 1080p. No word yet on the other films or the commentary tracks. pic.twitter.com/Nz15a3MUe8
— TheOneRing.net (@theoneringnet) March 3, 2021
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The Lord of the Rings is becoming big business again, two decades after Jackson’s all-conquering fantasy blockbusters seized the public’s imagination and experienced massive critical and commercial success. The Hobbit has also been remastered in 4K, Amazon’s prequel series is currently in production and expected to premiere before the end of the year, and there’ve even been rumblings of another feature-length Tolkien adaptation being discussed behind the scenes.
Everyone accepts the Extended Editions of The Lord of the Rings movies as both the superior and definitive versions, too, and with all that’s going on with the property lately, it might be time to revisit the original films.