What lessons can Amazon learn from the team that’s been there & back again? Let’s find out! Join TORn Tuesday hosts Cliff Broadway and Justin Sewell for an epic All-Star LOTR panel tomorrow! Joining us will be Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer), Sean Astin (Actor – Sam Gamgee), Rick Porras (Co-producer), Jim Rygiel (Visual Effects Supervisor), Michael Pellerin (Producer, multiple LOTR & Hobbit documentaries), Keith Stern (Ian McKellen’s Digital Manager), and Sala Baker (Actor – Sauron), as we all relive memories of filming LORD OF THE RINGS. What were those early days on set like? Did producers follow the fan discussion online? What made this effort so special? Get your deep knowledge questions ready for this multi-Oscar winning team and join the Live chat tomorrow 5pm PT. There are three options to watch the live stream, each of which let you comment and ask questions of your own:Posted in Jim Rygiel, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, Sala Baker, Sean Astin
Collider announced earlier today that 23 year-old British actor Maxim Baldry “has landed a significant role” in the upcoming Amazon Middle-earth TV series. Baldry is perhaps best known so far for his role in the 2019 BBC/HBO joint production series Years and Years. According to Collider: “Character details are being kept under wraps along with plot details.” While that doesn’t give us a lot to go on, ok almost nothing to go on, we do know that the new series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, which narrows down, if only slightly, what “significant role” might imply.(more…) Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized
Talent, locations, infrastructure and a warm Kiwi welcome. According to Pam Ford from the Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development agency in this piece from Radio NZ, those were the determining factors in Amazon Studios’ decision, confirmed on Tuesday, to film the upcoming Middle-earth-based TV series in New Zealand.
Quoted in stuff.co.nz, showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay described New Zeland as indeed offering all of the criteria they were looking for: “As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle Earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff”.
“And we’re happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings. The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”
No doubt the prospect of a 20% to 25% rebate for every dollar spent also contributed to the ‘welcome’ factor. The good news for New Zealand is that Amazon will be spending approximately $1.0 billion of those dollars ($1.3 NZD) and will likely provide jobs that will spill over from the film industry to affect the rest of the economy for up to a decade.
Read more about the Auckland studios where filming will take place in our article from June, and be sure to listen to the full radio story linked above as it features our own staffer Garfeimao (Cathy Udovch)!
Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, Uncategorized
And so it begins! The first news of who will be cast in the Amazon series set in Middle-earth was announced yesterday. According to Variety.com, actress Markella Kavenagh is in talks to join the cast. Kavenagh is best known for her parts in several Australian TV series, including Picnic at Hanging Rock, and in 2018, won the Best New Talent award from the AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts).
The name of the character Kavenagh’s is set to play is rumored to be Tyra. This has some fans around the internet fretting due to 1) similar to Tauriel of Hobbit fame, the name Tyra isn’t found anywhere in Tolkien’s published literature, and 2) it sounds too much like Arya. However, as our sources tell us, it’s not uncommon to use code names for characters during the auditioning process. Still, even if the character’s name really is Tyra, character names outside of Tolkien’s legendarium are probably inevitable (Lurtz, anyone?), and don’t necessarily reflect badly on the entire endeavor.Posted in Uncategorized
If you’re one of the lucky fans attending San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, don’t forget to swing by our presentation tomorrow night, July 20, from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. in room 6DE. The room is already filling up, so be sure to get there early! For all of you Hobbits, Elves and Orcs who attend in costume, directly after the panel there will be a group photo taken on the steps behind the convention center, facing the Bay and the Coronado Bridge. In true Hobbity fashion, after the Cosplay photo, we’ll also be having in ice cream social at Ghirardelli, 643 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101. Show up between 8:15pm through about 9pm or so and there may be a few little mathoms handed out as well.
More details about the panel below, and don’t forget to RSVP on the SDCC SCHED page for the panel linked below.
TheOneRing.net (TORn) staffers Josh “Elessar” Long (host of Collecting the Precious), Jon “Tookish” Ben-Asher (former associate editor for TORn), Hannah “Took” Greenwood (co-host of TORn Tuesday, associate staff at WETA Workshop), and Josh “Sarumann” Rubinstein (former host of TORn Bookclub) celebrate 20 years of talking Tolkien and all things Middle-earth. They will be discussing all the current known news and maybe a rumor or two, reminiscing about some of their biggest stories and events in the past, and laying out a schedule of some of their 20th anniversary events. The Tolkien movie has already hit theaters, but the Amazon Lord of the Rings (LOTR) series is full-steam ahead in preproduction and this panel’s got some tantalizing news on that front. Bring your favorite stories about a TORn event or story they posted to discuss-they really want to focus on the community that TheOneRing.net has created these past 20 years. Costumes are welcome and encouraged. Cathy “Garfeimao” Udovch (special events coordinator) moderates.
This just in from Newstalkzb.co.nz: according to an unidentified senior member of the Auckland film industry, a ‘huge’ part of Amazon’s new series will be filmed in NZ. According to the article, Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios are mentioned specifically to be involved. The insider told the Herald that an announcement could be expected soon, as the leases are due to take effect in July. Apparently, the two studios mentioned have been working on pre-production for more than a year. However, everyone was required to sign confidentiality agreements. The insider source did mention that an official announcement should be coming soon, as the leases related to starting production are due to take effect in July.
According to their websites, both Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland film studios offer sound stages, workshops production offices and, at Kumeu studios, 12 hectares (30 acres) of forest and large water tanks (which could come in handy should the series include the destruction of Numenor at the end of the 2nds age). Of course, location shooting will also be an option in order to take advantage of the same natural beauty and diversity of the various landscapes that made The Lord of the Rings films so memorable.
How does this new rumor fit in with previous rumors that filming was going to be done in Scotland? Given the ease of communicating globally these days, there’s no reason both countries (or more) can’t be involved. The film industry insider’s comment that a ‘huge’ part of the series will be filmed in New Zealand also implies that at least part of it will not. In any case, it sounds like we’ll be getting more updates in the near future! Stay tuned to TheOneRing.net as we keep you posted!Posted in Uncategorized
In a TORn exclusive, we’ve learned Amazon Prime intends to not just break new ground in its new Middle-earth TV show, but blow fantasy apart with a bold move in the offing.Viewers will be able to interact with the show and decide what choices key characters will make. The choose-your-own-adventure approach could provide up to five hours of viewing per episode in the 10-episode first season.Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fool, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Old Glaurung News, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien
Today we’re happy to bring you yet another Exclusive from our friends at FOX Searchlight Pictures: a brand new movie poster for the upcoming “Tolkien” movie. For the next two hours, from 7:00 a.m. PST to 9:00 a.m. PST, you’ll only be able to see the poster here on TORn!Posted in "Tolkien" Movie, "Tolkien" Movie Cast News, FOX Searchlight Pictures, Lily Collins, Nicholas Hoult
Earlier today, Amazon Prime revealed yet another map of Middle-earth, along with text completing the Ring Verse, then the words: Welcome to the Second Age. True to those words, the new map reveals Numenor, which sunk beneath the ocean near the end of the Second Age. This confirms one thing at least, that Amazon’s film right extend beyond what’s between the covers of ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ as the only map of Numenor in Tolkien’s works appears in ‘Unfinished Tales.’ Other than that, the possibilities for the direction(s) the story will take us are almost endless both with respect to Numenor, and what was happening in Middle-earth at the time. Take a good look at the map and read on!Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien
Less than a month after the debut of 56 second long ‘teaser’ trailer to “Tolkien,” Fox Searchlight Pictures released another, longer trailer today for the much anticipated movie. The new trailer starts with an introduction by Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins. It runs 2 minutes, 23 seconds. In it, we see more details of the relationships in Tolkien’s early life with his future wife Edith Bratt, and the”fellowship” of friends who formed the Tea Club and Barrovian Society.Posted in "Tolkien" Movie, "Tolkien" Movie Cast News, Anthony Boyle, Colm Meaney, FOX Searchlight Pictures, Genevieve O'Reilly, Lily Collins, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Gibson, Tom Glynn-Carney
Late last week, Amazon Prime began taking us on an intriguing journey though a version of Middle-earth where, presumably, their upcoming TV series will take place. Providing clues in the form of names of regions familiar to fans of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” books and movies, along with quotes from Tolkien’s Ring Verse, they’ve sparked internet-wide speculation about what the clues mean. Following is a recap of the hints so far, along with the top theories and takeaways from each.
The journey begins – Wednesday, February 13
On Wednesday, February 13, when Amazon posted a quote on various ‘lotronprime’ internet sites from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letter 144: “I wisely started with a map.” The full quote is: “I wisely started with a map and made the story fit. ” In that spirit, Amazon began feeding us a series of hints about how their story will fit into the map of Middle-earth. What regions, towns and cities will be involved? What people, animals and other creatures? We believe we’ll get the answers to many of these questions soon. Until then, Amazon seems to be taking another quote to heart from the same letter: “As a story, I think it is good that there should be a lot of things unexplained (especially if an explanation actually exists)!”
Top theories and takeaways:
• One rumor is that this is part of a 10-day marketing reveal. If that’s true, it would be wrapping up this weekend, or sometime next week, depending on when you start counting. Regardless of the exact timetable, it’s clear that Amazon will be posting more hints over time.
• Another rumor stems from a coincidence that after the first verse quoted, “Three rings for the Elven kings,” the next clue appeared three days later. Using that logic, the next quote, ‘Seven for the Dwarf Lords,” means the next clue will appear this Monday, February 25.
• Many fans are encouraged by the fact that Amazon is using quotes directly from J.R.R. Tolkien and his works out-of-the-gate, so-to-speak.
• Using the maps and Ring Verse to do their reveal is clever and imaginative, and great fun for fans!
Map 1 and the first line of the Ring Verse (Friday, February 15)
Two days after the first post appeared, a map of Middle-earth appeared along with the first line of Tolkien’s Ring Verse poem: Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky,”. The map itself was blank, but that didn’t stop speculation from one end of the internet to the other.
Top theories and takeaways:
• The mountains on the far east of the map are not on any maps drawn by either J.R.R. Tolkien or his son Christopher, but do appear on a version of a map from The Hobbit movies, and on a map included in Karen Wynn Fonstad’s “The Atlas of Middle-earth.” In the Atlas, they are labeled, “Orocarni (Mountains of the East).” From various sources, we know that “Orocarni” translates to “Red Mountains,” and that Tokien’s references to these mountains appear in “The History of Middle-earth” compiled by Christopher. We don’t know much about them except they were close to the location the Elves awoke.
• The map is definitely from either the 2nd or 3rd Age, as the lands from “The Silmarillion” that existed in the 1st Age are not on the map. This makes sense, because while we don’t know exactly what film rights Amazon prime has, it is believed they don’t have rights to material from “The Silmarillion.” Further, many fans believe the map has to be from the 3rd Age because it seems to reflect the severe deforestation that occurred in the 2nd Age when the Numenoreans harvested trees from Middle-earth to build their ships.
• The compass rose was taken from Fonstad’s “The Atlas of Middle-earth.” The compass points contain some inadvertent errors noticed by keen-eyed Tolkien geeks, explained in-depth on the Tolkien Guide website. However, the takeaway is that Amazon again is making an effort to reference Tolkien and Tolkien-related scholarship. Bravo!
• The ring verse line about the three rings contained a comma at the end, indicating more clues were on the way, and sure enough, they were.
Map 2 and the second line of the Ring Verse (Monday, February 18)
Three days after the appearance of Map 1, a new version of the map appeared with the second line of the Ring Verse (again with a comma at the end): “Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,”. This time, a number of regions names appeared on the map. All of the regions align with Tolkien’s stories and maps, but some names, such as Gondor and Eregion, are missing. Will they appear on future maps? Will the names of cities such as Rivendell and Minas Tirith appear? We don’t know, but it’s a safe bet that the answer is yes.
Top theories and takeaways:
• Many fans immediately noticed that the region widely known as Rohan is designated as Calenardhon. That name was used before Eorl the Young came to the aid of Gondor in the year 2510 of the 3rd Age. For his help, Eorl was awarded most of the area by Cirion, Steward of Gondor, and the Rohirrim renamed it Mark of the Riders, or Rohan. This could indicate that the TV series will take place prior to the region being renamed, not that it narrows things down much, as just short of 6,000 years of history occurred between the start of the 2nd Age and the year 2510 of the 3rd Age.
• If the above theory is correct, it could dash previous rumors that the series will follow a young Aragorn, as Aragorn wasn’t born until the year 2929 T.A., over 400 years after the region was renamed.
• Despite the appearance of the forests on the map looking like they’re from the 3rd Age, the continued use of the Ring Verse in the clues could indicate the story-line will center on the making of the Rings of Power themselves. The Rings of Power were forged by the Elves of Eregion starting around 1500 S.A., culminating with Sauron making the One Ring in the year 1600 S.A.. This theory could be solidified (or not) if Eregion appears on future versions of Amazon’s map.
There you have it! All of the major takeaways, theories and rumors from the clues we have from Amazon so far. Have you heard any other rumors? Let us know!
We recommend staying tuned here and on our facebook page for more up-to-the-minute news and analysis. We also highly recommend tuning in to TORn Tuesdays, where Cliff ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway and sidekick Justin gave an in-depth analysis of the map this past Tuesday, and will continue to bring everyone updates in the future.
Links to the various Amazon TV series sites:Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien
Did we just get another tantalizing clue to the content of the upcoming Amazon Prime series on Middle-earth? Earlier today, Amazon tweeted a map of Middle-earth from their The Lord of the Rings on Prime site. The map itself has geographical features, but no text: no names of regions, mountain ranges, etc.Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Lord of the Rings