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Benedict Cumberbatch behind-the-scenes footage: conversations with Smaug

benedict_smaug New behind-the-scenes footage from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug reveals more about how Benedict Cumberbatch created the voice and personality of the dragon.

Dressed for motion-capture, Cumberbatch lies on a raised, carpeted platform and snarls at an unseen Biblo.

In the video, director Peter Jackson explains: “We wanted someone who would do something original, unexpected — something that was a surprise to us.”

Featurette – Conversations with Smaug for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on TrailerAddict.

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Hobbits films’ production costs head north of US $745 million

warner_bros Hollywood movie studio accounts are famously opaque, but in New Zealand Warner Bros. is obliged to file detailed accounts of production spending on Peter Jackson’s films of The Hobbit.

Associated Press reports the latest filings reveal that, as of March this year, total production costs had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars — the equivalent of US $745 million. AP reports it is unclear whether the documents factor in worldwide marketing and distribution costs into this figure.

(more…)

Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.

Hall of Fire this weekend: your favourite Middle-earth hero

Barliman's Chat In Tolkien’s Middle-earth, heroism appears in all shapes and sizes. But who is your favourite? And why?

Those are the questions we’ll be asking today at 6pm ET in The Hall of Fire.

‘But if you take it freely, I will say that your choice is right; and though all the mighty elf-friends of old, Hador, and Húrin, and Túrin, and Beren himself were assembled together your seat should be among them.’
Elrond half-elven to Frodo Baggins.

(more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Hall of Fire this Saturday: Many Partings

Barliman's Chat This Saturday at 6pm ET, Hall of Fire rejoins our four heroic Hobbits as they begin the long journey home to the Shire.

‘I know what you have come to say, Frodo: you wish to return to your own home. Well, dearest friend, the tree grows best in the land of its sires; but for you in all the lands of the West there will ever be a welcome. And though your people have had little fame in the legends of the great, they will now have more renown than any wide realms that are no more.’ (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

High-resolution Bilbo poster for The Battle of the Five Armies

I’ve been a bit out of the Hobbit movies loop since the arrival of the teaser trailer back in July. However, it seems that Warner Bros. has just decided to drag itself out of hibernation (and me with it) and has begun releasing a series of gritty, close-up character posters. I suspect that sort of look will be the continuing theme of this series — and probably is a good hint of the tenor of the last film.

The main one-sheet this time round is a determined-looking Bilbo pointing Sting at someone or something. A high-resolution version has just dropped into my lap, and since folks tend to enjoy seeing these things in the big pixels, here’s a clean version of the poster below. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

Listen to legendary British actor Nicol Williamson’s 1974 abridgement of The Hobbit

ARGOTheHobbit500 In 1974, Argo Records released a dramatised four-record LP audio abridgement of The Hobbit.

In an interesting quirk of history, the narrator and performer of this abridgement was the legendary Scottish-born actor Nicol Williamson — who would later go on to play the role of Merlin the wizard in John Boorman’s remarkable 1981 film Excalibur.

The circular part, of course, is that in the late 70s, Boorman was involved in a collaborative attempt with United Artists to produce a film of The Lord of the Rings. The script, notorious within fan circles for the liberties it intended to take with Tolkien’s work (which you can read about here) was never produced. However, Boorman re-purposed much of his imagery and concepts in Excalibur. (more…)

Posted in Green Books, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate

Hall of Fire this Saturday: the nature of Hobbit resistance to the Rings of Power

Barliman's Chat Throughout its history, the One Ring comes to different people of many races. It tempts them all, preying on their individual weaknesses and ambitions. Some fall to its lure, some fear even to touch it. Yet two small Hobbits carry the Ring all the way to the heart of Mordor.

Thus, an interesting question arises: were Hobbits in general more resistant to the One Ring? And, if so, why?

More, does this extend to all the rings of power that the Noldor of Eregion forged in the Second Age? (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Tolkien’s 100-year-old poem that marked the beginning of Middle-earth

JRR Tolkien It’s the centenary of Middle-earth.

In a piece in The Guardian, Tolkien scholar John Garth analyses Tolkien’s 1914 creative breakthrough — and the poem The Voyage of Éarendel the Evening Star from 24 September 1914 — that ultimately leads to Middle-earth as we know it today. (more…)

Posted in Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Tolkien

Beyond birthdays: examining Tolkien’s Letter #214

Letters of JRR Tolkien Another September 22 — the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo — has just passed. In our latest Library piece, TORn feature writer Tedoras reflects on Letter #214 from The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien and examines Tolkien’s thoughts on birthday customs in hobbit society and culture.


Beyond birthdays: examining Tolkien’s Letter #214

by Tedoras

The epistolary nature of Tolkien’s literary existence is more than prodigious. If any book so illuminates the man, his deepest thoughts and truest character, it is The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.
(more…)

Posted in Green Books, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Tolkien

Hall of Fire this Saturday: The Steward and the King

Arwen and Elessar This Saturday at 6pm ET, Hall of Fire returns to Minas Tirith as the entire city waits anxiously for news of Aragorn and the army that has marched on the Black Lands.

And no news came. After the host left Morgul Vale and took the northward road beneath the shadow of the mountains no messenger had returned nor any rumour of what was passing in the brooding East. (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Come help celebrate TORn Barlichat turning 15 today!

Barliman's Chat Today, September 18, the TORn Barlichat turns 15!

As best we can tell, September 18 way back in 1999 is the day our server admin Corvar first fired up our chat software and Barlichat was born.

So we’re gonna have a little get-together today in the chat to celebrate. If you have ever chatted on our server, feel free to drop by and say hello today! Chatters old and new are most welcome. (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Staffer Quickbeam talks Bakshi on Story 2 Screen this Saturday!

Our own Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway will be appearing the Story 2 Screen Movie Review Podcast this Saturday to discuss the 1978 animated Lord of the Rings film by Ralph Bakshi.

You’ll be able to grab the podcast (free) via itunes here. (more…)

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community