3 Business Lessons from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Movie Adaptations

The Lord of the Rings fantasy-adventure trilogy, by English author J.R.R. Tolkien, was adapted, co-produced, and directed by Peter Jackson into three epic films namely: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003).  These films have reached cult or blockbuster statuses.

Why are they so popular? And what business lessons can we learn from them? What can we learn from Peter Jackson?

J.R.R. Tokiens’s characters have their own intrinsic flaws and strengths which allows us to connect to any of them on a personal level. And who doesn’t love an underdog story?

Most people would argue that the book is better than the movies; unfortunately, not everyone is an avid book reader. Peter Jackson’s LOTR adaptations compelled us to relate to them and be a part of their world. We’re pulled into the story as though we are a part of it.

Here are three business lessons from Peter Jackson’s LOTR movie adaptations:

  • Obtain the right resources and tools.

Peter Jackson is a brilliant entrepreneur. Choosing J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy shows his foresight into what people would love to watch. Book lovers are already familiar with the books and would be curious about the movie adaptations; while non-book readers would be introduced to LOTR’s Middle Earth and its people. Jackson’s interpretation of Middle Earth was astounding! Movie watchers are drawn into this fantasy world and are left wanting more of it.

  • Assemble a strong team.

Jackson chose a team of actors and crew that work well together. When he felt that an actor wasn’t suited for a certain role, he had no qualms to replace him. According to IMDb, Stuart Townsend was originally cast as Aragorn but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen after four days of shooting because Peter Jackson realized that an older actor was needed.

In business, looking only at someone’s resume and on how their interview went shouldn’t be the determining factor in hiring them. They should see how that individual fits within the existing team. Often, businesses hire someone who looks great on paper but can’t get along with the rest of the team.

  • Be prepared.

Making a movie is serious business. Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh wrote their first draft of LOTR’s screenplay in two to three months then presented their draft and were given a total budget of $75 million for two films. Later on, when it didn’t work out with their initial motion picture studio, became a $281 million budget for the three films.

In business, we have to be prepared so we train our employees. According to Todd Dewett, a management professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, many training dollars are wasted each year because businesses don’t bring in the right person to train their employees. Businesses need to find the right training coach to make sure their employees have the skills for their line of work.