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New Zealander of the Year finalists announced

The finalists have been announced for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards 2012. Now into its third year, the awards recognise individuals, organisations and community groups for their outstanding contributions to the nation.

The shortlist for the main award, New Zealander of the Year, includes Dame Suzie Moncrieff, Sir Richard Taylor and Dr Sharad Paul.

Nominations were whittled down by panels of judges made up of such figures as Jim Bolger, Sir Ray Avery, Michael Basset, Teresa Gattung and Peri Drysdale. More..

Posted in New Zealand, Richard Taylor

Sie leben in Deutschland? Check this out!

Chris from Germany writes: I found this following press release. It may be important for german-speaking ringers from europe: It’s about the appereance of the german Hobbit teaser-trailer on 19th January 2012 in german-language cinemas. More..

Posted in Events, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

Actor Viggo Mortensen

From We talk with Viggo Mortensen – Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings – about his new role as Sigmund Freud. Actor Viggo Mortensen makes a singular impression on screen. As sword-wielding Strider –Aragorn – in Lord of the Rings. As bewitching lover in A Walk on the Moon. As Russian gangster in Eastern Promises. As horseman in Hidalgo. As Sigmund Freud in the new A Dangerous Method.

He’s tough but tender. Dangerous, and something indefinable. Maybe it’s the Danish daddy. The school years in Argentina. The sidelines in poetry and painting. The outsider sensibility. The politics of Kucinich and Cindy Sheehan. More..

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Viggo Mortensen

Secrecy bid over Hobbit studio mishap

Hobbit workers tried to gag Labour Department inspectors looking into a fire that engulfed a crew member’s head. The department has given a copy of its report into the fire at Miramar’s Stone Street Studios to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act.

The fire, which left two crew members with minor burns, started when flammable fumes ignited inside a hollow statue prop, the report revealed. A veil of secrecy descended after the May fire. An investigator who attended it reported: “I’ve been asked to fill out a confidentiality agreement. I advised I will take this away for advice.” More..

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, New Zealand, The Hobbit

MTV Posts Hobbit Merch Pic, Then Removes It – UPDATE

Image Removed at the request of Gentle Giant Ltd.

Yesterday MTV’s Movie Blog posted a sketch for a mini-bust of Thorin from The Hobbit films, then mysteriously removed it, well we have it here for you. Take a look before it also disappears!

MTV wrote: This past weekend, a file made its way to our inbox that got us excited… but also can’t be authenticated. It appears to be a sketch for a mini-bust of Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the dwarven warriors in the upcoming The Hobbit film, and has Gentle Giant Ltd. literally written all over it! After contacting the folks at G.G., and receiving what amounted to “no comment”, we decided it would be a disservice not to post it for you all regardless. The Hobbit’s action figure license has been granted to a company that isn’t known for such things, so this offers collectors and fans a tinge of hope that some cool merchandise will still be released from the upcoming films. Gentle Giant is no stranger to either the world of J.R.R. Tolkien or movie-based mini-busts thanks to their pioneering of Real Scan technology, so if this isn’t real– it should be!

While we can’t truly say that this is official, our source has yet to bring us any b.s. info. Read on for a look at the full art in question and decide for yourselves. (more…)

Posted in Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Rumors Spy News, The Hobbit

Bruce Hopkins Radio Updates

Our buddy Bruce Hopkins writes: I have a couple of audio clips on my RadioLIVE page that may be of interest to some of the Torn-ers. I chat with Nicole Roberts who lives in LA and won a costume competition judged by Richard Taylor and Daniel Falconer. Her prize is a trip to NZ. We also talk about the birthday celebrations for JRR Tolkien. I also have a chat which I had with Professor Alexander Gaeta who was one of the inventors of the ‘time cloak’, based on a study carried out at Cornell University. Alexander is a Tolkien fan, and so I asked him if the Elven cloaks could have been created using their amazing discovery. More..

Posted in Contests, Events, New Zealand

Watch the very first film adaptation of The Hobbit (that was never released)

In 1966, animator Gene Deitch collaborated with Czech illustrator Adolf Born to create the very first film version of The Hobbit. This version — which took some sizable creative liberties with J.R.R. Tolkien’s original story — never saw the light of day. What the heck happened?

As Deitch tells it, the story began his producer, William Snyder, briefly acquired the rights to The Hobbit in 1964. Deitch wished to film The Hobbit using cel-animated characters and 3D-modeled backgrounds, an ambitious procedure for the time. More..

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

Shinan: For homegrown film composer Howard Shore, it’s all about harmony

Shinan Govani writes: Is there any way Howard Shore is not going to the Oscars? The made-in-Toronto composer, having already score-scored with The Lord of the Rings — three golden statuettes for his work with the trilogy — is once again on the tips of awards-watchers’ tongues. The source of all this sweet clamour? His lift-off for Hugo, a collab with Martin Scorsese — his sixth! — that lushly wish-fulfills “a Paris train station into a 12-year-old’s Neverland of sparkling strings, accordions and the pure bliss of movie creation,” as one observer raved in print.

One might say that the Shore-Scorsese kinship is a simmering bromance! Although — hey! — our own David Cronenberg had him first; Howard’s additional composition this season for A Dangerous Method is the 10th time — 10th! — he’s worked with the Canadian auteur. More..

Posted in Howard Shore

Fantasy Flight’s LOTR Card Game Expansion

Ostadan writes: The first ‘major’ expansion for FF’s LotR card game, starting a new cycle of ‘chapter packs’, is now available. More..

Posted in Gaming

Dog Eat Doug Goes Geek

Last week Brian Anderson’s “Dog Eat Doug” comic goofed on LOTR, take a look! More..

Posted in Uncategorized

Benedict Cumberbatch Reveals Hobbit Tidbit?

From EmpireOnline: The following is both complete conjecture and a possible spoiler for The Hobbit: There And Back Again, so please think carefully before continuing. But when we spoke to Benedict Cumberbatch on set of Sherlock a little while back, we asked him about his roles in Peter Jackson’s new epic, and he said something that may very well be a spoiler, so let’s discuss that just a bit.

Cumberbatch said of his role,

“I’m playing Smaug through motion-capture and voicing the Necromancer, which is a character in the !!SPOILERS!! Highlight to Read Five Legions War or something which I’m meant to understand. He’s not actually in the original Hobbit. It’s something [Peter Jackson]’s taken from Lord Of The Rings that he wants to put in there.”


Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit

New Book: The Traitor’s Heir

Author Anna Thayer sent along this press release about her new book ‘The Traitor’s Heir: Volume One of The Knight of Eldaran’ (ISBN: 9781849630894). Take a look!

In an epic tale, the young Eamon Goodman goes on a journey of discovery. A journey which sees him taking a pivotal role in the battle between the rival forces of the king and the master, and from being a young soldier in his home of Edesfield to being a fast-rising hero in the city of Dunthruik.

Add this item to your wishlist here! (more…)

Posted in Books Publications, Merchandise