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The nuts and bolts info on the new Middle-earth 6-film collection release

There is a lot more to come on the new Middle-earth film collection from us here at TheOneRing.net. To be honest, the greatest discussions of Tolkien happen behind the scenes with the staff via email from staffers with recognizable names and ones that get less attention but who are still wicked smart. It is all pretty interesting. There is lots of great commentary and info to come from that staff.

Staffer Deej (soon to be part of the TORn team appearing at Dragon Con) posted our original story.

But, lets get to the nuts and bolts of what is being released on Nov. 1. while sticking to the facts — with minor background info as notes.

There are three products hitting store shelves, all listed here with suggested retail prices in American dollars.

MIDDLE-EARTH 6-FILM COLLECTION
Theatrical versions DVD: $35.99
Theatrical versions Blu-ray: $68.99
Limited collector’s edition: $799.99

So see, that $800 price tag rumor was bogus; it is one Abraham Lincoln penny less than originally thought. Lets have a look at the promotional material.

First, the cover art for the theatrical sets.
Middle Earth Theatrical 6-disc Collection

This art says “Blu-ray” on it and we didn’t get images of the version that says “DVD” so cover images may be the same or different. (Editorial note: Just one man’s opinion, but if you aren’t watching Blu-ray, do yourself a favor.) Again, you can get the six films in one place for SRP of $35.99 and $68.99 and with the holiday season on the heels of the release, perhaps you can find a screaming deal somewhere too.

Next we have poster-like art for the 30-disc DVD & Blu-ray collector’s edition.
Middle-earth 6-film collector's edition

Now, lets get to the detail of what is included and then more photos.

* You get all six Middle-earth films — three Hobbit movies and three Lord of the Rings films — in their extended versions in six faux leather books with a collectible shelf patterned after structures in The Shire.

* Included is all previously released bonus content from theatrical and extended edition releases of the six films.

* It contains what Warner Bros. calls “premium collectibles.” That includes a 100-page sketch-style book with replica “The Red Book of Westmarch.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: That sounds like a recreation of the film-used book, meant to look like it was created by Bilbo Baggins. Of course we haven’t seen it or held it or smelled it to see if it smells like a new book or cooking from Bilbo’s house or Middle-earth herbs. We are eager to do so and if we get a chance, we will detail that here at TheOneRing.)

* The collectibles also includes two original reproductions of watercolor paintings by Alan Lee and John Howe. These guys were notable Tolkien artists before there were any films and they conceptualized the six films for Peter Jackson. The size and content of those reproductions can be seen in some of the art below, but that sure looks like Minas Tirith.

It isn’t clear from that image if the book might have some removable pages.

There are some more specifics about those discs and the extra content, but first, another image, that shows some Smaug on the side of the box.

Middle-earth LCE Box

Some facts about that content:

* All six films will be on Blu-ray as extended editions as mentioned above.

* Bonus content from The Hobbit films, theatrical and extended, will be on Blu-ray discs.

* Bonus content from the LOTR films, theatrical and extended, will be on DVD discs. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Since the extras weren’t in HD for their original release, and they have never been re-scanned from their original source in HD, putting them on a Blu-ray disc isn’t helpful. They have DVD resolution, so they are on DVDs. Scanning them in HD may be a whole different article to write, and I want to write it, but we are going fact-based here about the set. ADDED NOTE: I was told Blu-rays are scratch resistant but I have never had a scratched DVD so not something I was aware of.)

* Reminder: The LOTR films have more than two hours of extra content in the films and the Hobbit films contain almost one extra hour of in-film content. The third Hobbit film is rated R while the rest of the films are PG-13.

* Reminder: Extras for the three LOTR films clocked in at more than 33 hours (theatrical and extended) while extras for the Hobbit films (theatrical and extended) total more than 34 hours of content.

* As is standard, digital copies of all the films, in theatrical and extended forms, will be included for Digital HD download.

And the picture of what that all looks like out of the box, in a sort of glamour shot, is below:

MEC_LCE_GLAMjpg

The press release said:

Re-live Peter Jackson’s epic adventure with the Middle-earth 6-film collection on Blu-ray and DVD.

A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, the collection will be released as a limited collector’s edition box set and a theatrical collection from Warner Bros. home entertainment.

It also lists a description of each film and I am going to copy and paste it all below. While intended largely for media use, I just bet some readers will enjoy it as well.

I suggest keeping your eyes on TORn in the next few days (and always) for more super interesting stuff on these new products.

From here to the end, it is all copy and paste.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated trilogy adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, as well as a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the Goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him; he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” in “The Hobbit” Trilogy are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as Old Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The international ensemble cast also includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Sylvester McCoy, Barry Humphries, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Manu Bennett and Conan Stevens.

The screenplay for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), Present a WingNut Films Production, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. All three films in The Hobbit Trilogy, also including The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures handled worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution handled by MGM.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all–a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself–The Dragon Smaug.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker, Peter Jackson1, the screenplay for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, The
Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-
Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures handled worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. The Dwarves of Erebor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now must face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon, Smaug, upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honor in search for the legendary Arkenstone. Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead. An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies go to war.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Stephen Fry and Ryan Cage. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, John Bell, Manu Bennett and John Tui.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson1 comes “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” from a screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

The creative behind-the-scenes team is led by director of photography, the late Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, editor Jabez Olssen and composer Howard Shore. The costumes are designed by Richard Taylor, Bob Buck and Ann Maskrey. Taylor is also overseeing the design and production of armour, weapons, creatures and special makeup, which are once again being made by the award-winning Weta Workshop. Oscar-winning visual effects studio Weta Digital2 is again handling the visual effects for the film, led by senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri. The hair and makeup designer is Peter Swords King. The conceptual designers are John Howe and Alan Lee. Eric Saindon is the visual effects supervisor, with David Clayton serving as animation supervisor.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

In this first part of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the young hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits a ring; but this ring is no mere trinket. It is the One Ring, an instrument of absolute power that could allow Sauron, the dark Lord of Mordor, to rule Middle-earth and enslave its peoples. Frodo, together with a Fellowship that includes his loyal hobbit friends, humans, a wizard, a dwarf and an elf, must take the One Ring across Middle-earth to Mount Doom, where it first was forged, and destroy it forever. Such a journey means venturing deep into territory manned by Sauron, where he is amassing his army of Orcs. And it is not only external evils that the Fellowship must combat, but also internal dissension and the corrupting influence of the One Ring itself. The course of future history is entwined with the fate of the Fellowship. The film won four Oscars® in 2001 for Best Visual Effects, Cinematography, Makeup and Original Score.

The film stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, featuring Sean Bean and Ian Holm, with Andy Serkis as Gollum. The film also stars Marton Csokas, Craig Parker and Lawrence Makaoare.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS

In their parallel journeys, the Fellowship will stand against the powerful forces spreading from the Two Towers — Orthanc Tower in Isengard, where Saruman has bred a lethal army of 10,000 strong; and Sauron’s fortress at Barad-dûr, deep within the dark lands of Mordor. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers culminates in the astonishing battle for the refuge, Helm’s Deep, the Kingdom of Rohan’s ancient large stone fortress, besieged by Uruk-hai warriors. The film won two Oscars in 2002: Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.

The film stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, featuring Sean Bean and Ian Holm, with Andy Serkis as Gollum. The film also stars Marton Csokas, Craig Parker and Lawrence Makaoare.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING

The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin), led by the mysterious Gollum (Andy Serkis), continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest. The film, which won Academy Awards® in all 11 categories for which it was nominated in 2003, took wins for Best Picture, Director, Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Makeup, Adapted Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Original Song and Original Score.

The film stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, featuring Sean Bean and Ian Holm, with Andy Serkis as Gollum. The film also stars Marton Csokas, Craig Parker and Lawrence Makaoare.



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