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Is Amazon Studios scouting LOTR filming locations outside of New Zealand?

A report has appeared in Scotland’s Daily Record stating that representatives of Amazon Studios were scouting filming locations for their Lord of the Rings TV project in Scotland over the summer. This story is light on details, so we at TORn are treating this information as rumors, for now. These location scouts purportedly traveled as tourists, checking out various locales around Scotland, which offered the opportunity for a meaningful connection with the local communities.  (more…)

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema, Television, TheOneRing.net Announcements, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family

Save the Date: May 10, 2019 for “Tolkien”, the Biopic about J.R.R. Tolkien will finally hit theaters

Principle photography was completed on this film a little over a year ago and the first test audience screenings began in June, so we’ve been waiting quite a while for this release date to be announced. This film will open on May 10, 2019 in a limited release, as is usual for indie films. This is good news if you live in big cities that typically get art films, but others may have to make a little more effort to get out and see it. Once we get word on just how many theaters it will open in and whether it will go into a wider release, we will share that news here. Also, there are those among us who have seen the film, and once permission has been given you can expect a review or two. But first, just what is this film about and when is it set?  (more…)

Posted in Events, Film Friday, Film Screenings, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, Studios, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Tolkien Remembrance

The big debate over the filming of the Amazon LOTR series in New Zealand

This past week, the New Zealand Government and executives from Amazon TV held a meeting in an effort to address concerns about a lack of studio capacity in Auckland. This planned 5 season LOTR series is a big production that will require quite a lot of studio space for filming, post production facilities and local crews, so of course they want to make sure the resources exist that they need. It appears that a decision or deal may be made within the next month, so we don’t have long to wait. You can see the source of this story at Stuff.Co.NZ.

You may be wondering why Auckland and not Wellington, but that is easily explained by the fact that the Avatar trilogy of films currently in pre-production will soon be moving into full production. While the Amazon LOTR production will be big, Avatar is going to be much bigger, and there may or may not be enough room for both as far as studio and post-production facilities go.

This leads to a much bigger debate on whether or not this new series should look and feel much like the existing Middle-earth films or whether it should blaze its own path for design and locations. The appeal to any production of not having to look for too many new locations can’t be understated. Film and TV productions are always having to research and locate interesting places that fit what the production needs, so the fact that so many locations in New Zealand have already been established as feeling like Middle-earth is a boon. But then, there are hundreds of beautiful places around the world, and with chunks of filming now happening in studios, does it really matter where those studios are? Is it possible that Amazon can do location filming in New Zealand and Studio work in London, Hollywood or Vancouver? Or why not film in British Columbia, or Northern Ireland or Slovenia for that matter?

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Production, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, Television, Tolkien

LOTR co-investor Samuel Hadida dies at 64

You may not know his name, but outside of being a co-investor in the LOTR films, Samuel Hadida through his Davis-Films production company and his Metropolitan FilmExport distribution company in France helped make or distribute numerous films you would have heard of, including the Resident Evil franchise, True Romance, and the Silent Hill films and this year’s Hunter Killer. This reporter first encountered Samuel Hadida at San Diego Comic con when he brought Solomon Kane to Hall H in 2009. He was a champion of indie and genre films, and without his output deal with New Line Cinema, Lionsgate and Dreamworks, we might not have ever gotten the LOTR or the Hunger Games films.

Mark Ordesky, Executive Producer on the Lord of the Rings films said of him;

“Shocked and saddened. Sammy was so dear and brimming with life. One of many memories is indelible: His company was a co-investor in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and needless to say the stakes were high. After we premiered the first public footage in Cannes 2001, Sammy lifted me off the ground and kissed me in his excitement. He lived and bet his passions and I’ll miss him terribly. We should all aspire to love our lives and jobs as much as he did. My deepest sympathy to his brother, Victor, and all who loved him.”

We at TORn also send out a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for his courage in being a financial partner on the LOTR film, and send our condolences to his family and friends on his passing at such a young age. You can read more on his work at Passing of French Distributor Samuel Hadida

 

Solomon Kane panel at SDCC 2009 with Samuel Hadida second from left, Director Michael J Bassett and actor James Purefoy on the right. AICN’s Quint was the moderator on the far left.

 

Posted in Cannes 2001, ComicCon, Conventions, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, Old Cannes News, Original TORn, Production, Studios

TORn going to Los Angeles Comic Con next week

The last big comic con of 2018 takes place in Los Angeles next weekend and TheOneRing.net will be there with not one, but two panels. Both panels take place on Sunday, October 28 in Room 306. The first will take place at 11am and is called “I am no Man: The Women of Middle-earth”, and you guessed it, the panel will focus on some of the amazing, heroic women who inhabit the deeper legendarium created by Professor Tolkien. The second panel will be at 2pm and is entitled “Dispatches from Middle-earth: New Tolkien projects on the Horizon” and will be a comprehensive update of both the Tolkien Biopic and the new Amazon Studios Lord of the Rings production.

(more…)

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Conventions, Events, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Meet Ups, Studios, Television, Tolkien

LAMoot is coming on October 27, and TORn will be there

Signum University and the Mythgard Institute are proud to announce LAMoot, the first annual Southern California symposium dedicated to the exploration of speculative fiction, mythology, and medieval literature and languages.
This one-day event will investigate the challenges of adapting literature to other media, including art, film, television, video games, and music. LAMoot will feature a keynote address by Signum President Corey Olsen (The Tolkien Professor), a panel of invited guests, discussion panels, and time for fellowship with like-minded professionals, academics, and enthusiasts.

LAMoot is an inclusive creative space uniting scholarship with creativity. We invite you to participate and are seeking proposals for presentations involving the adaptation of everything from science fiction to fairy tales to Norse mythology. Please visit our website for the call for proposals.
LAMoot will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Westwood Gateway at Santa Monica and 405 in the Elite Conference Room located in Suite 150 at 11100 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Visit our Website for more information
 TheOneRing.net will be on hand to discuss recent past Adaptations and what we anticipate for the new Amazon series.
Posted in Amazon TV series, Christopher Tolkien, Conventions, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Ralph Bakshi, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

TORn’s annual Baggins Birthday Bash in Los Angeles this Saturday

It’s that time of year again, when SoCal Shire Folk gather together to celebrate the joint Bilbo and Frodo Baggins birthday on September 22. All gentlefolk are requested to gather at the Mineral Wells location within Griffith Park this Saturday beginning at Noon, and running until about 5-6pm.

As usual, there will be good food, a Middle-earth themed cake contest, lots of good fellowship and cheer, and costumes are always welcomed and encouraged. This event is a potluck, so please check our Facebook event page  for details on what is being brought and what is still needed. That page will be updated all week long, so keep checking to see if there is something needing to be brought. Also, down at the bottom of the event page are directions and a link to map in case you are a first time attendee.

Last but not least, we will have some guests from a combat league that use padded weaponry to simulate medieval combat, and they will be available to train anyone, young or old, in some sword play.

You may RSVP on the Facebook event page, saying how many people are coming and what food or supply items you intend to bring, or you can email me at Garfeimao@theonering.net

Posted in Baggins Birthday Bash, Contests, Costuming, Events, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Meet Ups, Other Events, Tolkien

Enjoy the LOTR EE Trilogy in theaters this weekend in the US

If you are still looking for something to do this Labor Day weekend, you might check out Regal Cinemas’ screenings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films in their extended editions on RPX screens, in select theaters. The screenings run from Friday, August 31 through Thursday, September 6, and each day they change the order of the films. This will allow people with limited time off to find a time that works best for them in order to get to see each of the films, if they are not able to do a 12 hour marathon. And the best part? Each film is only $5 in most cinemas, but the screenings are on the RPX screen, which is one of the large format theaters, meaning you get a huge discount over the current blockbusters sharing time in the theaters this weekend.

For more details on which theaters will be showing the trilogy and to buy tickets, please go to the

Regal Entertainment website

Posted in Fans, Film Screenings, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Tolkien

There is a cornucopia of Tolkien stories coming this year

J.R.R. Tolkien and Edith Bratt, soon to be Tolkien

Tolkien fandom finds itself with an embarrassment of riches in 2018. The Tolkien Biopic has wrapped principal photography and is currently in post-production. There will be a new book out featuring Gondolin, edited by Christopher Tolkien. The most recent update about the Amazon Studios’ TV series is now confirmed to be a 5 season commitment. And then word starts to filter through that there are current negotiations for an actual Middle-earth Theme Park.  (more…)

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Christopher Tolkien, Fans, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Line Cinema, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Rumours Spy News, Silmarillion, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family, Warner Bros.

April Fool’s posts unveiled

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that on Sunday morning, April 1st you woke up to a bunch of internet websites doing their best to fool you into thinking their words were true, and TORn is no different. We did post two separate stories that were lacking in the veracity department. One post claimed we were moving to a paid subscription business model, which on it’s own is intriguing, but because some message board members were involved, there were links to supporting messages. In fact, the bulk of the story sounded quite reasonable, until you got to the highest subscription level, ‘Mithril’ and one perk is the ability rent a Nazgul, for no more than 2 hours a year, and the reminder to book early for the Halloween timeframe and that TORn is not responsible for terror or destruction. OK, that last bit had me cackling, anyone else? No? Just me then.

The other story, believe it or not, actually fooled our own, beloved Webmaster Calisuri. He can be forgiven, it was clear a lot of people wanted the story about Guillermo Del Toro working on the Amazon Middle-earth stories to be true, which is what made this story so much more believable. There was nothing outlandish in the story, it was about a current subject that TORn had just covered the week before at Wondercon, and it fed into the deep fan desire to see the Middle-earth that could have been. And while we want to come clean with you, the readers of our little website, we especially want to reach out to Guillermo Del Toro to assure him there was no malice intended with this April Fools joke. We knew fans would fall for it, or want to fall for it, because GDT is so beloved as a storyteller and creator of amazingly detailed creative worlds, and in the end, the reach of this story just says how much GDT is appreciated in this fandom. This guy wasn’t fooled.

 

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, April Fools Day, Creations, Fans, Fool, Fool of a Took, Guillermo Del Toro, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien

Is Guillermo Del Toro finally going to bring his Middle-earth to the fans?

When Amazon Studios first announced their big production deal last November for a Lord of the Rings television series, there was just one thing missing, a big name attached to the project. There was no Producer, Showrunner or even a Writer or team of Writers to indicate the direction these stories might take and give confidence to fans that Middle-earth would be in good hands. 

It has been confirmed that the Guillermo Del Toro has signed on with Amazon Studios, in conjunction with his Tequila Gang production company, to Executive Produce and write this iteration of Middle-earth. He brings with him his co-writer, Chuck Hogan from The Strain. Del Toro’s long time manager, Gary Ungar says that they have already begun identifying and sifting through possible stories that exist within the Appendices, separating out those that are more fleshed out in other Tolkien properties. Because the deal with the Tolkien Estate and Trust is still in flux, they are currently only looking at storylines they know won’t be a legal issue so they can get down to writing.  

During that time waiting for The Hobbit project to finally get going, Guillermo Del Toro spent nearly two years breaking down The Hobbit and working with pre-production designs for the story he was helping to craft. His visual style and ability to create wild and very unique looks was one of the reasons fans came to really anticipate Del Toro’s take on Middle-earth. We wanted to see what he would do with the Elves and Dwarves and even Men, and we especially wanted to see what he would have come up with for all the monsters. When he finally had to leave the project because it was dragging on too long waiting for a green light, fans felt a sense of loss and mourned The Hobbit that could have been. 

This is why Del Toro is perfect for this project. He already has a deep knowledge of the source material, including what can and can not be included legally, and he’s got designs that never got the see the light of day. Because Peter Jackson and WETA are not going to be involved in the Amazon Studios production, there is little reason to maintain strict adherence to the design motifs put in place for the various races. The only design features required are within Tolkien’s books, and beyond that, Del Toro will get to finally let loose with his own, distinct look and feel with very little constraint. What will his Numenor look like? Will we see a Northern Kingdom or meet a young Aragorn, as Thorongil, as he journey’s about Middle-earth learning the skills he will later need to become King?  

Amazon has already announced that it will be developing a Lord of the Rings series set before the events of the original films. The company reportedly spent $250 million to acquire the rights alone and, according to that same report, marketing and productions costs for two seasons could raise the investment to $500 million. It is still unclear if these stories will be told in a series of anthology like episodes or story arcs, or if there will be a much wider, more epic scope to the narrative. 

Amazon Studios will produce the series in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, book publishers HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Creations, Director news, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Fool of a Took, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie Rumors, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema, Return of the King, Rumors Spy News, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family

Middle-earth March Madness, round 1 play by play

We are now about halfway through the first Round of our Middle-earth March Madness, and some of the match ups are really close, while others have one contestant running away with the race. Because this year’s bracket has the newly added twist of featuring characters portrayed by the actors who brought our most beloved Middle-earth characters to life, this rundown will include a little about those non-Middle-earth characters.

 

You can VOTE here!

 

DIVISION I

The traditional match ups first: Boromir is facing off with Gimli in a close race, make sure you vote before the evening of March 22, this one is close enough that your vote will definitely matter. The contest between Samwise and Merry has the acclaimed gardener running away with nearly all the points on this one. Surprisingly, the other match up of Hobbits is unexpectedly close, with Frodo holding a slim lead over Pippin. To cap off the Fellowship match ups, Aragorn is soundly beating Legolas.

With the non-ME characters, there is just as much variety in vote percentages. Sean Bean’s portrayal of Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones has a narrow lead over Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner, from Pirates of the Caribbean. The next race is just as close, between Viggo’s portrayal of real life long distance, endurance horse racer Frank Hopkins with a slim lead over John Rhys Davies’ Sallah from Raiders of the Lost Ark. There is a neck and neck contest going on between Dom’s Charlie Pace, the recovering addict rock star from Lost has a very narrow lead over Billy Boyd’s Barrett Bonden, the coxswain on the HMS Surprise in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Not close is the fact that Sean Astin’s earnest performance of Rudy is decidedly running away with the race, leaving Elijah Wood’s Ryan Newman from Wilfred.

“You All Everybody” should get out and vote before 10pm et on March 22.

 

DIVISION II

In this division, the ME match ups are as follows: Galadriel has firm control of the contest with Eomer, the Lady of Light is not easily taken out of events. Faramir has a small lead over Old Bilbo, so you may still be able to give a helping hand to the Hobbit that found the One Ring in the first place. Eowyn and Gollum are nearly neck and neck, can the Shieldmaiden of Rohan defeat the sneakiness of Smeagol? Her uncle Theoden, however, is wiping the floor with Denethor, who became tainted by his contact with the Palantir.

The non-ME roles are proving interesting as well: Cate Blanchett’s Hela, the Goddess of Death from Thor: Ragnarok has a decent lead over Andy Serkis’ Caesar, the ape leader from Planet of the Apes. At the same time, Karl Urban’s Dr. ‘Bones’ McCoy is soundly beating Sir Ian Holm’s Ash, the rather inhuman android from the original Alien movie, who admired the xenomorph just a little more than he valued human life. There are two battles that are very close and would benefit from a last fit of voting on your part. Those are between David Wenham’s Carl from Van Helsing just edging out Bernard Hill’s Captain Smith from Titanic, who did his duty and went down with the ship. The other close battle is between Miranda Otto’s Mary Ann from War of the World with a slim margin over John Noble’s brilliant, but crazy Walter Bishop from Fringe.

 

DIVISION III

On the other side of the bracket, let’s see who is doing well for the traditional match ups: Believe it or not, Gandalf is stomping all over Young Bilbo, guess that is punishment for not telling the truth about finding the One Ring. Dwalin has a sizable lead over Radagast, but then, he does have a massive War Hammer, this is not surprising. Amongst the Dwarves from The Hobbit, Kili is slaying pick pocket Nori, while Thorin is not really faring well against Saruman. Feel free to give a boost to those you wish to support and share with your friends, it’s all in good fun.

The non-ME side of things has: Sir Ian McKellen’s Magneto soundly thrashing Richard Armitage’s John Thornton from North and South, the clever mutant is probably dismantling all of Thorton’s looms as this is written. Graham MacTavish’s Dougal from Outlander is all but finished at the hands of Martin Freeman’s Dr. Watson, it’s those modern Doctors he can’t handle, clearly. As expected, Christopher Lee’s Count Dooku from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is trouncing Jed Brophy’s Dagda More from the Shannara, this writer would love to see this battle realized on screen. A little less expected, but even cooler for that is that Sylvestor McCoy’s Doctor has the upper hand on Aiden Turner’s Ross Poldark, Time Lords really do know how to come out on top when needed.

 

DIVISION IV

Last division match ups, for the traditional segment: Elrond has a decent lead over Smaug, which is fascinating to see. The Master of Laketown is no match for Tauriel, she saw his selfishness and is leaving him to his own ruin. There is a relatively close match between Thranduil and Bard, with the Elven King of Mirkwood edging out the Bowman of Laketown. Bard’s son Bain is faring even worse in his match up with Azog. This calls for some voter help, Bain came to his father’s aid while the town was burning under the wrath of an angry dragon, the least we can do is vote for them and see how things play out.

Over on the final division of non-ME characters: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is so soundly beating Stephen Fry’s Oscar Wilde, it’s almost as if something very large has been dropped on him. This writer’s favorite match up in this round is Luke Evan’s Gaston from Beauty and the Beast against Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith from the Matrix. A battle of the bragalicious Gaston up against the master manipulator within the Matrix is just something that should be onscreen. Right now, Agent Smith is defeating Gaston. A match that is all but over is that of Lee Pace’s Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy wiping the floor with John Bell’s Young Iain from Outland, poor lad never stood a chance. And the very last match up to get coverage tonight see’s a near tie between Evangeline Lilly’s Kate Austen from Lost squaring off with Manu Bennet’s Deathstroke from Arrow, another match up I would love to see on screen.

 

Last chance to vote in Round 1 is 10pm et on Thursday, March 22. Round 2 will begin on Friday, March 23.

Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen