11:00 am EST, December 15, 2013

‘LOTR,’ ‘Hobbit’ producer talks about Middle Earth’s ‘huge’ female audience

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit producer Philippa Boyens says she’s living proof of Hobbiton’s female audience.

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Boyens is director Peter Jackson’s long-time collaborator who got her start when she helped draft the screenplay for The Lord of the Rings series. She went on to produce and screenwrite Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, King Kong, and Hobbit films.

“Women are huge fans of these films,” she says. “It’s wonderful. Right from The Lord of the Rings there was this immediate engagement from women. There’s this notion that it’s a genre for boys. Dungeons, dragons, etc. But I’m living proof that that’s not true.”

Boyens spoke about what The Lord of the Rings has done for female theatergoers over the past decade at a press event attended by Hypable. “When you meet these young women [at the premieres], you do the red carpet and everything, they talk to you. You understand their passion for the storytelling. It’s going to create a new generation of young, female writers. I think we’re starting to see that now coming through in the way that fantasy has been used.”

“One of the things that I think women especially enjoy or relate to is that Professor Tolkien attempted to make these stories real. That they feel real like a history, they read like a history. This existed, this was true. Pete is a genius in making these films feel real even though you have a giant, fire breathing dragon.”

“I’ve always loved these stories. I think they spoke to me. The characters of the hobbits especially speak to me. Frodo and Bilbo,” she says.

The topic of Middle Earth’s female appeal has moved to the front of the fandom in recent months with the introduction of a new character named Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly. In a report we brought to you earlier this week, the actress spoke about why it was so important to create the elf.

The Desolation of Smaug is now in theaters.

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