Robert Frost really had it right with that road not taken business. Back in the Sixties when the Beatles were at the height of their fame and pop power, the Fab Four wanted to do a Lord of the Rings movie. The British boys even had their roles picked out. (Non-spoiling spoiler: John Lennon took Gollum, Paul McCartney Frodo Baggins. This factoid teases with the idea of Elijah Wood, who ultimately played Frodo, someday playing McCartney in a GIANT Beatles movie, but anyway.)
Peter Jackson has said that he spoke with Paul McCartney, who confirmed the rumor. People magazine wrote it up back in 2002 when Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings was nabbing Oscars. The famous, reclusive director Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) was the Beatles’ choice to helm the project. The LOTR film would have followed Help! But apparently Tolkien didn’t like the idea of his magical world being hijacked by some rhythmic Liverpudlians on a roll. He had the rights and he killed the project before it got off the ground–or rather got down to Middle Earth. Jackson’s Rings films, including The Hobbit installments, have grossed nearly $5 billion.