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Exclusive teaser video from ‘Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Extended Edition

We know many of our readers consider the Extended Edition of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies the definitive editions, but what many of our staff really love are the extras on the home editions. Filmmaker Michael Pellerin is the architect and creative force behind the features that give us insight into the movie-making team and experience. In fact his team’s work is absolutely essential viewing.

So, TheOneRing.net is pleased to share with viewers, courtesy of Warner Bros., an exclusive teaser from the edition. This short clip (and please watch it in full screen in HD) is from The Appendices Part IX, from a featurette called “Barrels Out of Bond: The Elven Sluice”. (more…)

Posted in Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Crew News, Dean O'Gorman, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Hadlow, Martin Freeman, Production, Richard Armitage, Simon Bright, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Warner Bros., William Kircher

Middle-earth filmmakers set their sights on stop motion ‘Birds’

BirdsCatching up with some of our friends from New Zealand, we learned about a project that involves the efforts of a lot of Kiwis, including Sylvester McCoy of Hobbit fame and Lord of the Rings’ Alex Funke. For good measure New Zealand’s Grammy winner Kimbra (Somebody That I Used To Know) is supporting the project with her voice.

In the age of computer generated effects, the film “Birds” is a throwback. A friend to TORn, Horst Sarubin, who worked on visual effects for the three Hobbit films, is behind the project that uses puppets, shot one frame at a time with incremental movements between frames to create a motion picture. The film, about the struggles of George the bird in the primordial forests of Zealandia (pre-historic New Zealand) to carry on.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEYMcCoy is well known for his bird whistles and humor, which Hobbit director Peter Jackson definitely brought through the former Dr. Who’s Radagast into cinematic Middle-earth. In the film’s kickstarter campaign McCoy presents those whistles and gets a little bird treat in return. In the same video Funke, who is best know for helping make the LOTR bigatures look amazing on screen, explains his role is to make the cinematography great.

The stop-motion technique is being employed to give the filmmakers a hands-on experience and a final project they claim will be alive and organic. Tying closely with the passions of Peter Jackson, these are the same techniques used by Ray Harryhausen and Willis H. O’Brien. The original King Kong movie was made in this fashion, inspiring a generation of filmmakers.

With a team of grass-roots talent with a Middle-earth cinematic legacy efforting the film and a universal appealing story, but set in the ancient human-free land that would eventually become New Zealand, TORn readers may want to know further information is available at georgethebird.com. The grass-roots effort is seeking fan support via the kickstarter campaign above.

Posted in Alex Funke, Crew News, Lord of the Rings, Models, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Dain Ironfoot: Hints, clues & looks at one of the final ‘Hobbit’ mysteries

dain2One of the big visual secrets of the final Middle-earth movie from Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” is Dain Ironfoot. Played by Billy Connoly, Dain is a character that is essential to the story but isn’t incredibly fleshed out in J.R.R. Tolkien source material that was originally intended for children.

Our own Demosthenes has this excellent analysis of Connolly as Dain complete with quotes and descriptions of the character. It has long been reported that Dain will arrive on the scene riding a war boar but clearly Jackson’s team has been careful not to reveal this in any teaser trailers so far, and, lets hope it stays that way.

But, visuals of the character have started to seep into the public eye. With giant franchise films like The Hobbit, it’s impossible to put a lid on too much because merchandise and toys need to start selling before the film hits theaters (and before it is finished!) and that means that at the very least, clues are out in the wild.

The image at the top of this story, for example, clearly displays Lego Dain and it jives with the descriptions that are out there including this one from Connolly via Yahoo Australia:

“They’re basically broadening me, making me wider. But let me say, this guy will terrify the life out of you. I have a Mohawk and tattoos on my head. You’ve got to see it.”

The Lego character appears to be a ginger and is wearing a red chest piece as part of his armor, giving him a distinct look that will visually set him apart in cinemas so viewers will know instantly that he isn’t like the dwarves we have spent so much time with so far. He is a new element with a distinct mount, armor and will be immediately recognizable and unique.

DainThe Lego Dain even evokes a little bit of Connolly to me visually, although it could be a previous bias.

The concept art here seems to really compliment the Lego image as something close to Dain’s final design. The helms certainly seem similar in shape and color and the beards seem the same in shape and color. There are differences however in the color of the breastplate, although details on a Lego toy are only meant to be a representation and not a literal translation. In fact the looking and speculation from still images of a toy and a concept art is fun because of how different the motion picture experience is from a still image. In the day of CGI, what is filmed may or may not even resemble what ends up on screen.

UPDATE EDIT: Readers have correctly pointed out the below image is of Dwalin. The writer has been sacked.


Dain Mohawk

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Make Up, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Update: New Bilbo image from final ‘Hobbit’ movie – now available full size

TORn Display 730W


A new image this morning from Warner Bros., this time first on TORn and featuring the character we sometimes remember the whole story is named after, Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit!

Of note with this new image, old Bilbo is a changed man from promotional material of movies past. He is battle tested and trusty Sting is positively dripping with oil fluid orc blood. He is gritty and grim and ready to stab the viewer, giving us a glimpse of what death-by-Hobbit looks like. It also flashes back a bit to Frodo from “The Lord of the Rings,” when he is threatening Gollum with the same weapon.

If you aren’t watching the calendar, we are now just over two months from the release of the final Middle-earth movie of the Peter Jackson era with Extended Editions, red carpet premieres and hoped-for trailers also on the horizon. It’s a good time to be a Tolkienite!

UPDATE: You can get a full size version by clicking the super big one below! Bilbo full size

Posted in Characters, Hobbit Movie, Martin Freeman, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

A complete history of Tolkien and video games

jrr-tolkiens-the-lord-of-the-rings-vol-ii-the-two-towers_3.0In 1982, Beam Software and publisher Melbourne House brought Tolkien’s world to computers with a text adventure based on The Hobbit. (An emulator of the ZX Spectrum version is available to play online.)

Back then, the original licensor — in this case the Tolkien Estate itself, or Tolkien Enterprises (now Middle-earth Enterprises) — would allow licensees to sometimes resell the license. It appears that at this time the animated films shared a license with the first round of video games.

Enthusiasm for Tolkien adaptations ramped up in the wake of the 1980 animated film The Return of the King, based on the final book in Tolkien’s trilogy. Following Beam’s text adventure, developer Interplay Productions turned over an in-production fantasy role-playing game, changing the theme to a Lord of the Rings adaptation. Writer Jennell Jaquays, now the owner of Dragongirl Studios, said she was hired by Interplay to write background and some “adventuring” for the RPG.

All of this is according to author Alexa Ray Corriea for Polygon.com. You can read the entire article right here. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Collectibles, Gaming, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Other Merchandise, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Jed Brophy takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with DragonCon’s Tolkien Track & TheOneRing.net

ATLANTA — Prompted by Hobbit actor John Bell, Jed Brophy took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge while a guest at this year’s DragonCon in Atlanta. Jed was there as part of the “Tolkien’s Middle-earth” programming track and along with Craig Parker, Adam Brown, Manu Bennett and Billy Boyd, served as celebrity guest for the show.

As part of his efforts, he visited the swimming area at the Marriott Marquis and took the icy plunge to raise money and awareness for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He also challenged Parker and Brown to accept the challenge.

Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Characters, Conventions, Craig Parker, DragonCon, Events, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Jed Brophy, John Bell, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Manu Bennett, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Contest to win a trip to view the final ‘Hobbit’ film with Peter Jackson in New Zealand is open

HobbitTORn

As contests go, this is one for the ages. And it should be, since it heralds the beginning of the end of the final installment of Middle-earth movies at the hands of Peter Jackson and his movie-making team. It’s also the final cinematic trumpet blast from the director’s home country of New Zealand that has stood in as a real-world wonder for the fictional world of author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Fans from around the world will have a chance to win a trip to see New Zealand in all its glory if they win the trip that will take them eventually to Wellington to watch the first screening of “The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies,” with its director. Along the way they will stop at iconic locations the length of the island nation that helped create the cinematic Middle-earth. No doubt that will include a stop to the Hobbiton Movie Set on the farm where more than a decade ago, the literary village and home of Frodo Baggins left the imagination and books to became tangible as it was constructed for Jackson’s LOTR trilogy.

Many websites will help host the contest and TheOneRing.net will sponsor the portion of the contest that is for “the rest of the world.” Read on for details!

HOW TO ENTER

Entering the contest is a multi-step process (and this is not a replacement for the rules) but each entrant will need a Twitter or Facebook account to get things started. Then four challenges will be presented by each contest sponsor website but the primary judging is to be based on a video participants are asked to submit (two minutes or less). If you want to participate, we urge you to read the rules completely and to comply.

WHO CAN ENTER

Through TheOneRing.net, you can enter if you aren’t from one of the following nations: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom (including Channel Islands & Isle of Man), United States and any country to or on which the United States has embargoed goods or imposed targeted sanctions, such as Cuba.

So readers in Austria, Greece, Romania and the like (just picking off the top of the writer’s head), welcome to the show. For the readers from the nations listed above, your portal to the contest will be elsewhere. For example, those in the United States can go right here.

If you do enter from a nation that isn’t yours, you aren’t eligible so we recommend not trying it. Those wishing to enter TORn’s portal and are from the correct nation need only click RIGHT HERE!

Since it was first announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego on 27 July 2014, upwards of 25,000 people have already registered their interest to participate. We at TORn expect that number to be obliterated quickly.

ABOUT THE PRIZE

Contest winners will land in Auckland, New Zealand, before embarking on a specially designed itinerary to iconic filming locations–the highlight being a special visit to Hobbiton, the famous home of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Fans will enjoy a private tour through the 12-acre site, with a close-up look at the 44 Hobbit homes. (We have been and maybe its time to trot out those photos and video!)

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship will also visit other key film sites throughout New Zealand’s Middle-earth chosen by Sir Peter Jackson and end in Wellington for the ultimate film fan’s dream – a private screening of the final film, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” with Sir Peter Jackson.

About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies features 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. Production took place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand. Post production took place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.

For more information and to enter The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest visit
TheHobbitFanContest.com

Posted in Contests, Director news, Events, Fan Fellowship Contest, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.

TORn ‘Hobbit’ panel highlights Tolkien at SDCC Day 1

Kz0snprSAN DIEGO — Warner Bros. definitely has something up its sleeve for Saturday at Comic-Con, but Thursday was left to the fans.

Staffers of TheOneRing.net were invited to to take the stage, in what has become a Comic-Con tradition, to talk Middle-earth movies from Peter Jasckon, and this year for the final Hobbit film. It was extra pleasing to follow the fantastic and ever-more-popular George R.R. Martin after his panel. Clifford Broadway made sure to sit in Martin’s chair.

Panelists were:

Chris Pirrotta — Co-founder of the site and a big part of TORn conventions for years, Calisuri was on hand to finish what he started.

John Tedeschi — A long-time staffer from New York, Thor moderated the panel keeping the rest of us in check.

Clifford Broadway — The site’s Quickbeam, Cliff adds a depth of knowledge or all the adaptations of Tolkien’s works, not just the latest from Jackson.

Kellie Rice — As a writer and unabashed fan known as part of the Happy Hobbit, Kellie added a feminine touch to the proceedings.

Larry D. Curtis — With several trips to New Zealand and five weeks on set during filming of the films, MrCere is a convention vet but was also silent during certain portions of the proceedings.

We hoped we were a fun and diverse group and we tried to strike a conversational balance on the panel. We also knew we had a little extra time because of the cancellation of the panel following ours. We focused on where we left off last and then went deep into spoiler territory with a lot of speculation but also content taken from clues from interviews, official photos and rumor.

The conversation also generated some laughs when members of the audience had not read the books and learned the most elementary of spoilers, such as about who lived and who died.

Our audience polls also highlighted the popular opinion of fans on many fronts. Forged by and for fans, TheOneRing staff was honored to be a part of the programming at San Diego Comic-Con. We were also honored to have LOTR guru Jim Rygel stop by to say hello to the audience!

Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Fans, Happy Hobbit

New ‘Hobbit’ poster signals SDCC explosion

SDCC Hobbit BOTFAPeter Jackson just dropped a fireball from his Facebook page. A movie poster for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” Like it? He included a single line of text: “Anyone else excited about San Diego Comic Con?”

That is of course Bard staring down the killing machine of Smaug on the shores of Laketown. Editorializing just slightly: THAT IS AMAZING!

TheOneRing.net staff is in San Diego in force this year and will bring as much of the fun and excitement as possible via TORn, Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy!

Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Director news, Events, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

Camera crew to visit TORn panel & Laketown Luau at SDCC

San Diego Comic-ConThose attending TheOneRing.net’s unauthorized preview of the final Hobbit film at San Diego Comic Con this Thursday (July 24, 2014 5:00pm – 6:00pm Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront) will have a chance to share thoughts and feelings with a camera crew. The crew will be on hand previous to the panel (following the living legend George R.R. Martin — appropriately) to capture fans’ thoughts and memories of Middle-earth. (more…)

Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Meet Ups, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

‘Hobbit’ actor Aidan Turner stops mugger at film festival

02 - Aidan Turner as KiliAccording to the UK’s Mirror, Aidan Turner was talking to a fan who had her handbag stolen during the conversation. And then he took action.

“He quickly managed to catch up with the thief, pulling him off his bike and grabbing the handbag.”

The article explains that Turner isn’t actually as short as his character (seriously) and after the event he said,

“It’s great to be a real hero for a change rather than just an on-screen one. I think the rescue though was more like something from Indiana Jones than the Hobbit.”

You can read the whole story right here.

Posted in Aidan Turner, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

Fantasy themed TV show ‘The Quest’ previewed

TheQuest Official Last year we heard a lot of buzz about a reality show that was designed to appeal to the geek audience and was on the hunt for those everyday folks who loved genre entertainment to compete in a show something like THE AMAZING RACE. Called THE QUEST, TORn helped announce some walk-up casting calls and, maybe, some TORn staffers were considered for parts on the show. Tonight we received this official word (a little a lot late) of what to expect when it gets a preview tonight.

Here is the info we received: “Tonight, as part of the 2-hour Once Upon A Time broadcast, ABC will present its first look at an epic reality competition like none other, The Quest. This mid summer series takes 12 everyday people and puts them in an extraordinary fantasy world to compete to save a kingdom. Please keep your eye out for the first look of this exciting new series from a producing team that includes the Executive Producer of the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Mark Ordesky), the executive producer of the Emmy winning The Amazing Race and the executive producing team behind the groundbreaking Queer Eye.”

Posted in Premieres, Television