Peter Jackson Sends Message to Terminally-ill Fan of Lord of the Rings

Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr

When a marathon session of The Lord of the Rings was introduced by director Peter Jackson, a terminally-ill man had finally realised his dreams.

Chris Bentacourt, who is from California, USA, was preparing to watch all three of the films of the fantasy saga as part of a bucket list fundraiser when the face of Peter Jackson, the filmmaker from New Zealand, appeared on the screen.

Bentacourt is 20 years old. He was given a year to live after being diagnosed with leukaemia last September. He is currently looking for a bone marrow donor.

Among a series of fundraising activities that he is undertaking with Dillon Hill, his friend, number 26 on his bucket list, was watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy back-to-back.

Bentacourt was attempting the 12 hour-long viewing session at the offices of Rooster Teeth, a production company in the United States, who had got Jackson to record the surprise message which they played prior to the showing of the first film, the Fellowship of the Ring, started.

“Hello Chris, this is Peter Jackson, sending you some well-wishes from New Zealand,” said the filmmaker before admitting that he had never watched all three of his films in one go before.

“I gotta say, you are doing something I’ve never done,” Belancourt was informed by Jackson who posted the video on Friday (26 January), saying: “I’ve never had the courage to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies in a single moment.”

Talking about the surprise, an emotional Belancourt stated: “Lord of the Rings has been a really big thing in my childhood. Both Dillon and I are really big nerds … to see that, that was great, that was really great.

”It’s an amazing experience, especially if you’re in the right theatre … it is one of the most amazing experiences. It was absolutely phenomenal. For some people it’s daunting, 12, 13 hours. I enjoyed every second of it.“

The response of Belancourt was filmed by Rooster Teeth which they promised to send back to Jackson.

In 2009, Belancourt was diagnosed with leukaemia. He later recovered with the disease going into remission. However, the disease returned last year.

He is currently working on his bucket list in an attempt to fundraise so he can achieve his ultimate dream of backpacking across Europe.