Middle-Earth just got a little bit brighter.

Warner Home Video has just announced an April 6 release date for the long-awaited Blu-ray Disc versions of the 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. The $99.98 'The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy' will come in a massive nine-disc set featuring all three of the films as well as more than seven hours of bonus features. Middle-Earth just got a little bit brighter.

Warner Home Video has just announced an April 6 release date for the long-awaited Blu-ray Disc versions of the 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. The $99.98 'The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy' will come in a massive nine-disc set featuring all three of the films as well as more than seven hours of bonus features.

According to Video Business, extras will include mostly special features that were on the various DVD versions of the movies, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews and trailers.

Unfortunately, these are the theatrical, not extended, editions of the films, meaning that diehard 'LOTR' fans will have to shell out more money down the road when Warner releases yet another version of the trilogy.

With most blockbuster series ('Harry Potter,' 'Star Wars,' 'Aliens,' 'Die Hard,' to name just a few) the studios package and repackage the films in a bewildering array of configurations (theatrical, director's cut, extended) and editions (5th, 10th, 20th anniversary). The 'LOTR' trilogy is no exception, with at least five different versions (theatrical, extended, theatrical and extended, platinum as well as collector's sets) floating around.

Newcomers to the trilogy will most likely buy this first Blu-ray set, while serious 'LOTR' fans will most likely buy this set and a future, extended edition Blu-ray set ... which will warm the cockles of the hearts of Warner's accountants.

And, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the new 'LOTR' cash registers won't stop ringing with just the Blu-ray releases. Warner Bros. Consumer Products will partner with Games Workshop, Tonner Doll Co., Sideshow Collectibles, WMS Gaming and others to create merchandise support for the release, including 'LOTR'-related apparel, collectibles, toys and games. And, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's 'The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest' videogame will hit stores shortly thereafter.

Ca-ching!
CATEGORIES DVDs, Movies