Archive for the ‘Television’ Category
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
Spring is about to roll in, bringing with it longer days, milder temperatures, trees in blossom and flowers bursting out in a riot of color, and the ensuing allergies. Spring also brings Tolkien Reading Day on March 25th, and in Anaheim, California it brings Wondercon, the little sister to San Diego International Comic-con.
This year, we have our panel scheduled on Sunday, March 25th, coinciding with Tolkien Reading day, so do expect some reading of the Professor’s text during the presentation. This will be a round up of all things Middle-earth, as you can tell from the title: “Dispatches from Middle-earth: What’s new with all things Tolkien” Here are the complete details:
Dispatches from Middle-earth: What’s new with all things Tolkien
Sunday March 25, 2018 – – 10:30am-11:30am, North 200B
TORn’s Wondercon schedule
TheOneRing.net staffers discuss new Tolkien projects coming this year and beyond. They will start off with a discussion about the Tolkien Biopic that recently wrapped filming and then head straight into fact, fiction, and rumors surrounding the new Middle-earth stories coming from Amazon Studios. As in previous years, WonderCon coincides with Tolkien Reading Day, so they will be reading snippets of the Professor’s words to further their discussions. Also celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the release of Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
North in the room listing refers to the new North building, which is near the Arena, do make sure to have a map or have looked at one to find the new rooms being used this year. While it is expanding, this convention is still so much smaller, more intimate and easier to navigate than SDCC. Our panel is one of the first on Sunday morning, but parking will still be a bit challenging, so give yourself plenty of time to arrive, find parking and get through security and find us in the new building.
We are still researching and finalizing all the little tidbits that will appear in our presentation. But you can expect a little talk about the 15th anniversary of the release of ROTK, info on the Tolkien biopic that has now wrapped principal photography, and the latest info from Amazon Studios regarding the expansion of the Middle-earth universe. 2018 is shaping up to be a marvelous year for fans of Tolkien, with plenty more to come in the years after.
Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Conventions, Events, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Meet Ups, New Line Cinema, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, Tolkien, WonderCon
The recent, completely Unexpected news of new Middle-earth stories coming from Amazon Studios has left Tolkien fandom in a bit of a Party mood. There haven’t been many details about which stories will be told, what the format will be, and who will actually be designing and managing this whole process. Do these Middle-earth stories need a Showrunner, or has Amazon Studios just not announced that they already have someone on the team?
Amazon is purported to have paid between $200 to $250 million just for the rights to the story before any costs for development, talent and production are taken into account. This is considered somewhat risky since there is no concept and no creative leader at the helm, and no characters or story to build upon. The only news to come out since the announcement is that Sir Ian McKellen has said he would be happy to don the Grey, pointy hat again.
We humbly submit our Top Ten list, in alphabetical order, of genre writers and Showrunners for consideration by Amazon Studios, and you, the fans. Do you agree or disagree? Did we miss anyone? Sound off in the discussion section below. (more…)
Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Characters, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien
Our friend, TheHutt, from the TORn discussion forums recently shared some interesting information from German site IGN.com: Amazon has revealed to them that shooting on the new Middle-earth series will begin in 2019, with the goal to begin airing the first episodes in 2020. The 2020 goal is designed to fill the void Game of Thrones will leave after the final season airs, likely now to be in 2019.
Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Warner Bros.
In a fascinating article, TORn staffer and author Kristin Thompson gives us some invaluable insight into some of the legal wranglings which may have led to this new The Lord of the Rings television series deal:
The announcement that Amazon will be producing a multi-season television series based on The Lord of the Rings has caused much speculation and not a little confusion. One common assumption seems to be that the television rights to the two hobbit novels were sold to United Artists in 1969, when it obtained the production and distribution rights to make film adaptations. (more…)
Posted in Amazon TV series, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, New Line Cinema, Return of the King, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.
Amazon announced today that they’ve acquired the global TV rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. From the Hollywood Reporter comes further details (note: italics are mine to highlight key words/statements that should give us plenty to discuss in the months and years ahead!):
Posted in Lord of the Rings, Television
It’s Official: ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Gets Multiple-Season Commitment at Amazon
by Lesley Goldberg
It’s official: Amazon Studios is going to make a Lord of the Rings TV series.
The retail giant and streaming outlet announced Monday that it has acquired global television rights to the Lord of the Rings franchise, based on the best-selling novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. Amazon has handed out a multiple-season commitment. The Amazon LOTR series will be produced in-house at Amazon Studios alongside the Tolkien Estate and Trust, publisher HarperCollins and Warner Bros. Entertainment’s New Line Cinema. A writer has not yet been attached.
Amazon’s LOTR series will be set in Middle-earth and explore new storylines preceding Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The deal includes a potential additional spinoff series.
“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Amazon’s new head of scripted. “We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”
The news comes 10 days after word leaked that Amazon Studios was exploring a potential TV series based on the fantasy novels and subsequent feature film franchise, which was produced by New Line. The LOTR trilogy was named Amazon customers’ favorite book of the millennium in 1999.
The news comes four months after Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate settled an $80 million lawsuit after a five-year battle. That happened after Warners offshoot New Line Cinema and the Tolkien estate waged a courtroom battle over profit participation from the film franchise that consisted of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003), as well as 2013 prequel The Hobbit. The property is a multibillion-dollar worldwide franchise.
“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multiseason television series for The Lord of the Rings,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”
As is to be expected, the internet, our discussion forums, and comments to our story from yesterday are abuzz with the news broken by Variety magazine yesterday of talks between Warner Brothers and Amazon to make a series adaptation based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since there are many outstanding questions, we thought we’d go back over some of the background related to the movie and television rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as relate some additional information also published yesterday at Deadline Hollywood.
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.
On the upcoming episode of DC Legends of Tomorrow, airing this Tuesday, March 21 at 9:00 p.m. EST on The CW channel, the team goes back to France during WWI and enlists the help of, yes, J.R.R. Tolkien. The episode is titled “Fellowship of the Spear.” From IMDB: “The Legends land in France during World War I and enlist the aid of J.R.R. Tolkien to retrieve the last pieces of the Spear of Destiny from the Legion of Doom.”
Tolkien is being played by actor Jack Turner known, among other things, for his role as Liam in the Stitchers series and the movie The 10-Year Plan. Here is the link to the trailer for the episode (although they don’t mention Tolkien in trailer). Definitely one to put on your watch list! If you’re unable to watch or DVR it, you can stream it online after it airs at the same link.
Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Events, Television, Tolkien
While Tolkien was a British writer, his readership and influence extend far beyond the English language. Middle-earth transcends both time and culture as we have seen again and again when having the pleasure to meet fellow fans from around the globe through both TheOneRing and Happy Hobbit. That said, sometimes it takes a little longer for Tolkien events and/or specials in other languages and countries to reach our ears. Fortunately for you, dear reader, famed Tolkien artist and scholar John Howe sent a message our way via thrush to let us know about a delightful Franco-English documentary he narrated in 2015 about the source material for Tolkien’s The Hobbit titled A la Recherche du Hobbit (Looking for the Hobbit).
You can watch the first episode of five in English below:
Looking for the Hobbit ep1 from CERIGO Films on Vimeo.
If you’re confident enough to navigate the French website (all you have to do is click on the shopping cart icon!) you can purchase a region-free English version here, and the series is available in French on DVD and streaming here (along with a preview). You can also peruse several delightful behind the scenes photos on their Facebook page.
John Howe at Hobbiton in Matamata, NZ.
What’s more, John Howe has taken the time to provide us with his thoughts on why, even after all this time, he was excited to contribute to yet another exploration of Tolkien.
Posted in Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Howe, Television, The Hobbit, Uncategorized
With the sixth season of The HBO series Game of Thrones just around the corner, are comparisons between it and The Lord of the Rings inevitable? The Irish Times seems to think so. In this provocative article, author Ed Power explores the irresistible urge of some fans to rank them against each other.
“Central to the whispering campaign against Tolkien is the idea that he peddled a reductive world view. While George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire sequence is regarded as mature, complex and reflective of real human life, Lord of The Rings is felt to be fusty, puritanical and cheesily moralistic. Nobody in Game of Thrones is truly good or bad”
The Lord of the Rings is cheesy and puritanical? Oh dear. Of course, devoted fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would never describe it that way, but devoted fans of George R.R. Martin (who haven’t read LOTR?) might – and some apparently do. Can Jaime Lannister hold a candle to Aragorn, or vice versa? Are Gollum, Eowyn or John Snow one-dimensional?
As a devoted fan of both (yes, it’s quite possible), I personally think that the difference between the two is a good thing. Both approaches can be enormously entertaining, cringe-worthy at times, yet pierce the heart with both beauty and tragedy. What about you? Do you have a preference or do you enjoy both? Read the full article, and let us know!
Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Television, Tolkien
Staffer Justin spots the Hobbit connections in yesterday’s Golden Globes awards ceremony:
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was not nominated in any categories at the 2015 Golden Globes, but it was still very present at the ceremony. From the outset of the first award, Benedict Cumberbatch raised his hand to present on stage with Jennifer Aniston. Smaug the prankster was just getting warmed up.
A few minutes later during a photo-op gag featuring Meryl Streep and Margaret Cho, Benedict repeated his famous #Cumberbomb in what was probably one of the most DVR-rewind moments of the night. (Click the image for the animated GIF!)
Eddie Redmayne took home best dramatic actor for The Theory of Elvenking errr Every Ring errr Everything, but few knew about his Hobbit connection! Mr Redmayne originally auditioned for Bilbo way back when, and the audition did not go very well. Watch the video below to see him telling Graham Norton about it.
Fans on Twitter also spotted BOFUR himself James Nesbitt in the audience!
Several awards including Screenplay and Comedy Actor went to BIRDMAN. We are talking about the same bird man right?
Martin Freeman and the team in FARGO won for Best Miniseries. That makes Martin one of the most gilded TV actors between Sherlock and Fargo.
Even without any nods to The Hobbit, the fact that Middle-earth has touched the careers of so many wonderful actors makes for a fun awards watching experience. Awards season is just getting started – will you help us bring it to an eagle-soaring completion at #OneLastParty?
One Last Party fundraiser!
Our One Last Party fundraiser on Indiegogo is 80% funded and we’re pretty stoked!
If you’d like to join us as a Party of Special Magnificence in Hollywood in February — a toast to all SIX Middle-earth movies, then now is the time to throw in your support! Even if you can’t make it to Hollywood (or if you’ve already contributed), you can help out by retweeting or sharing our fundraiser across social media to get the word out.
Visit our campaign page to see how you can help — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!
Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, James Nesbitt, Martin Freeman, Oscar Parties, Other Events, Television, The Hobbit, The One Last Party, The One Last Party
In a rare move, Stephen Colbert was granted an interview (er…audience) with none other than Smaug himself on his American television show “The Colbert Report”. As many of you know, Stephen is a great Tolkien fan, and Smaug seemingly left his last press interview of the day just for him.
The two share some of their common political interests, and Smaug discusses some of the difficulties of working on the Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – as well as his distaste for several “pretender” Hollywood dragons. (more…)
Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Television, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, WETA Digital