The Lord of the Rings is heading to 4K Blu-ray this side of Christmas.

The Lord of the Rings is heading to 4K Blu-ray this side of Christmas.

Update on 18th September 2020

Reports have started floating that the The Lord of the Rings trilogy is actually heading to 4K Blu-ray this side of Christmas while The Hobbit will follow in 2021. We're trying to confirm the plans with our sources but it would appear that the decision has been taken to release the trilogies individually to get at least one of them out onto the market in 2020. Where this leave the anniversary collection is now in question.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is possibly set for release in mid-December and the collection will feature both the theatrical and extended versions of the film as we've previously reported.

Our money is still on a full collection release in 2021, possibly later in the year but we're expecting that to be less of an event than originally planned. We're also hoping that fans don't find themselves with two releases of the films less than a year apart each with different extra features. Our hope is that all extras planned for the larger set make their way to the individual trilogy releases of the films.

Update on 5th August 2020

We've had further confirmation that the Middle Earth 20th Anniversary Collection is on target for release next year with an update from our original source explaining that the remastering process for the Lord of the Rings films has ramped up in recent weeks. The Hobbit trilogy requires no remastering and will be presented close to the original 5K theatrical digital master as possible.

We believe that earlier reports posted elsewhere of a release in 2020 were incorrect and that a release this year was never on the cards - it is our understanding that this has always been planned as a 20th Anniversary celebration of the series.

There was however a delay to the remastering due to the Covid shutdown but Warner are keen to ensure that the films remain on their planned schedule and are now throwing extra resources at the project. Peter Jackson is directly involved and will sign off the final masters and the set will include BOTH editions of the all of the films as previously reported.

Previously posted on 24th June 2020

We've been following a lead on this for a while and are now confident enough to share that to mark the 20th Anniversary of the release of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings all six films in the Middle Earth saga are coming to 4K Blu-ray in 2021.

Our understanding right now is that the new release will feature both the theatrical AND extended versions of each of the six films in a new set that could span over 40 discs in total. There could be also be a separate Blu-ray re-release of the existing 30 disc Middle Earth collection featuring remastered copies of all of the films but we're still trying to confirm this.

4K masters of all of the Lord of the Rings films already exist and our source suggests that a release of them planned for this Summer was dropped in response to both the Covid-19 outbreak and the imminent major anniversary of the first film in Peter Jackson's adaptation of Tolkien's stories. The Hobbit was filmed in high frame rate 5K - so this release will be the closest we've had to the shooting resolution, although 4K UHD Blu-ray doesn't support the higher 48fps rate that the films were shot in. The 4K releases will also not be in 3D as originally shot.

Given we've already had some pretty definitive releases of the films on Blu-ray we don't expect anything huge in terms of additional material to be released in this set other than the improved picture quality and sound that the 4K UHD format offers.

We'll be digging more into all of this and will hopefully be able to share more information soon.

For a full list of all upcoming releases for you to buy to own you can check out our 4K Blu-ray release schedule and DVD and Blu-ray release schedule.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Dir: Peter Jackson | Cast: Alan Howard, Noel Appleby, Sala Baker, Sean Astin | Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Dir: Peter Jackson | Cast: Bruce Allpress, John Bach, Sala Baker, Sean Astin | Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), Stephen Sinclair (screenplay)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Dir: Peter Jackson | Cast: Ali Astin, David Aston, Noel Appleby, Sean Astin | Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Dir: Peter Jackson | Cast: Ali Astin, David Aston, Ian McKellen, Ken Stott, Martin Freeman, Noel Appleby, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin | Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Dir: Peter Jackson | Cast: Ian McKellen, Ken Stott, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage | Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Dir: Peter Jackson | Cast: Ian McKellen, Ken Stott, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage | Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay)

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