Peter Jackson Records Personal Message for Dying 'Lord of the Rings' Fan

The 20-year-old fan received a heartfelt message from the director after watching the whole trilogy in one sitting.

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Upon learning that he is terminally ill with cancer, 20-year-old North Carolina resident Chris Betancourt decided to put together a bucket list of things to do before he passes. Given a year to live, he doesn't have a lot of time to get through his 127-item long list, which is why his 19-year-old best friend Dillon Hill quit college to help him fulfill his dreams. 

The pair have been filming their adventures as they go ticking things off their list, and one of the items on their list caught the attention of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit director Peter Jackson. Determined to watch all three of the Lord of the Rings movies in one sitting, this particular entry on Betancourt's list impressed Jackson. So much so that the auteur was inspired to send Betancourt a heartfelt message. 

"I gotta say, you are doing something I've never done," Jackson said in the video he sent to Betancourt. "I've never had the courage to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies in a single moment." The trilogy clocks in at just over nine hours long, while the extended cuts of the three films bring that number up to 11 hours. 

Betancourt and Hill aren't close to reaching the end point of their list, but they have launched a Patreon campaign to help fund the rest of their adventures. Betancourt also hopes to break a world record as part of his "bucket list," and he says he hopes to do it by getting the most bone marrow donation signups in one day. As the Daily Dot notes, a successful bone marrow transplant could save Betancourt's life.

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