The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, and Jackson, based on 1954's The Two Towers, the second volume of the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The sequel to 2001's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the film is the second instalment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It features an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, and Andy Serkis.
Continuing the plot of the previous film, it intercuts three storylines. Frodo and Sam continue their journey towards Mordor to destroy the One Ring, meeting and joined by Gollum, the ring's former keeper. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli come to the war-torn nation of Rohan and are reunited with the resurrected Gandalf, before fighting against the legions of the treacherous wizard Saruman at the Battle of Helm's Deep. Merry and Pippin escape capture, meet Treebeard the Ent, and help to plan an attack on Isengard, fortress of Saruman.
The Two Towers was financed and distributed by American studio New Line Cinema, but filmed and edited entirely in Jackson's native New Zealand, concurrently with the other two parts of the trilogy. It premiered on 5 December 2002 at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City and was theatrically released on 18 December 2002 in the United States, and on 19 December 2002 in New Zealand. The film was acclaimed by both critics and audiences, who considered it to be a landmark in filmmaking and an achievement in the fantasy film genre. It received praise for its direction, action sequences, performances, musical score, and CGI, particularly for Gollum. It grossed $936 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2002 and the third highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release, behind Titanic and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Following subsequent reissues, it has, as of 2021, grossed over $947 million.
Like the other films in the trilogy, The Two Towers is widely recognized as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. The film received numerous accolades; at the 75th Academy Awards, it was nominated for six awards, including Best Picture, winning for Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.
The film was followed in 2003 by The Return of the King.