To celebrate the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Australia on May 1st, Popcorn Taxi had a special showing of the film with a Q&A session with Richard Armitage. RingerSpy and long time message board member, Deleece Cook aka Elven, was lucky enough to attend and sent us the following report on the night.Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Cast Q&A, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Director news, DVD/Blu-Ray, Elijah Wood, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, John Howe, Martin Freeman, Mikael Persbrandt, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Archive for the ‘Press Conferences’ Category
Yesterday afternoon Richard Armitage was interviewed by 2DayFM on the Dan and Maz show. They discuss how big a Hobbit fan Dan is, The Hobbit movie and then play a game of “Ikea Furniture or Lord of the Rings Character”. The podcast is in two parts and can be listened to here or you can download the podcast here.
Posted in Cast Q&A, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
TORn staffer Saystine found us another great interview video from Yahoo! Movies UK in which Hobbit cast members Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, and Andy Serkis discuss how the second film in the trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, will differ from An Unexpected Journey.
“It will get more dangerous and dark as Bilbo gets further away from home and in more jeopardy,” says Andy Serkis, who, in addition to playing Gollum in the films, is Second Unit Director on the trilogy.
Will we enjoy the departure from the more lighthearted nature of Unexpected Journey? Well Richard Armitage will, at least. He says, “Obviously I favor the dark.”Posted in Andy Serkis, Cast Q&A, Character Q&A, Crew News, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie FAQ, Hobbit Movie Rumors, James Nesbitt, Lord of the Rings, Press Conferences, Production, Production Q&A, Richard Armitage, Rumours Spy News, The Hobbit
Welcome to the latest “Getting to know…” questions that need answering. It’s based on the old Getting to know you threads that I occasionally post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
This month we’re asking questions of our one and only greendragon.
Thanks so much Kirsten for agreeing to take part this month
Posted in Brad Dourif, ComicCon, Conventions, DragonCon, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Meet Ups, Oscar Parties, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, The Hobbit, The One Expected Party, TheOneRing.net Community
Attention NZ fans! You can now get a chance of watching the 30 minute live webcast sneak peek at ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,’ hosted by Peter Jackson, if you pre-order The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from these stores The Warehouse or The Mighty Ape.
There are a limited number of access passes from both websites, with The Warehouse ending this offer at 12pm on 22/03/13. There are a limited number of 500, so pre-order soon.
The webcast will be held on Monday, March 25th at 8am! NZTime.
Posted in Contests, Director Rumors, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Media Reviews, Other Events, Press Conferences, The Hobbit
We’re not wishing to rub salt in the wounds of those who are not yet able to get their hands on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – but for many folks, Middle-earth is coming home today! If you’re a proud owner of a Hobbit DVD or Blu-ray, and a social media user, show us your pics of you and your preciousss by using the tag #TORNDVD
Meanwhile, to distract those who are still waiting, we’ve been sharing some interviews with various cast members. You can see our chats with Richard Armitage here and with Andy Serkis here, while a conversation with Bilbo himself, Martin Freeman, can be found here.
Our final interview is with the man who brought Bofur to life, James Nesbitt. This charming fellow chatted with staffer greendragon about the delights of being made into an action figure, what he hopes to see in the Extended Edition, and why three movies just aren’t enough. He even has a word to say about TORn’s own Oscar celebrations – and how he might party with us in future!Posted in Andy Serkis, Blu-Ray, DVDs, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, James Nesbitt, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit
The wait is over and the day has finally arrived as the official release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is here! Special guest, Mr. Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman, answers several questions by Ringeer Peter Genovese, including whether or not he ever read “The Hobbit” before he was cast for the movie, his experience when he found out that he landed the role of Bilbo, mental preparations for playing a Hobbit, and his most memorable experiences on set.
Peter: Did you ever read the Hobbit before you auditioned for this movie?
Martin: No, I didn’t, no actually, especially to you, is the wrong answer! <laugh> I didn’t grow up a Tolkien fan. Obviously I knew of him. You certainly can’t be English and not know that name. No, it wasn’t part of my upbringing particularly but I obviously read it before I started the movie. <laugh> I came into it as an adult.
Peter: Do you recall the moment when you found out that you landed the role of Bilbo Baggins and what was your experience with that?
Martin: Well it was slightly staggered because I had found out that I had gotten the part early on. From the moment that I went on tape for Guillermo, when Guillermo was still director, all the way through for months and months there was no other traffic on the road, you know, it was me and I was being told by the artistic team “we want this to be you, there is nobody else we want it to be” but then it came to the point where I couldn’t do it due to my commitments to Sherlock which was a show I was doing in the UK and so I had to walk away, I had to turn it down, I had to not do The Hobbit anymore which was gutting and a very tedious statement of affairs. But, the real sort of changing call was that I was rehearsing a play in London at the time and my London agent Michael had called me and said that “Peter has rearranged the whole schedule around your availability on Sherlock and that you could do both” so I was delighted of course and very excited and very surprised, yeah.
Peter: With respect to mentally getting into character, did you do anything to make yourself feel smaller with respect to the size of a Hobbit, to get into a smaller frame of mind for the character?
Martin: No, because he (Bilbo) doesn’t think he’s small, of course. He is normal sized. You feel smaller when your house is inundated with Dwarves and bigger people and more imposing warrior figures so that makes you feel small but Bilbo is a very reactive character. Part of the pleasure of Bilbo and part of the comedy of it is in the reaction. I do what I do which probably doesn’t really bare a lot of talking about because it would be very boring but one does what you need to do to kind of feel that you’re something else. A lot of that is physical and a lot of that is just the doing of it. There wasn’t particularly a psychological thing, I just felt a way, I knew the way I wanted him to move and I knew that I wanted him to be slightly tentative and slightly cautious and if you walk around tentative and cautious, after a while, you mentally feel tentative and cautious so that was my way.
Peter: Many years from now when you think back on the experiences of making the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the upcoming two movies, was there anything that really stuck out with the whole experience that you’ll cherish, whether it be the wonderful cast that you worked with or even just the locations/scenery that you got to experience working at?
Martin: All of the above, really. I saw some beautiful geography in New Zealand, met some delightful people who I hope will stay friends with and got to work with one of the main directors of my time on one of the main books of our time. I’m kind of spoiled, really. And then there’s the films that are coming out, you know, that whole experience of going around the world and opening the films and doing the premieres was on a scale that few people get to see with the sort of madness of that, enjoyable madness, but it is still a kind of madness. All of that is so memorable and I’ll never forget any of that. I’m a very lucky man.
Make sure to get your copy of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey “ available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 2-disc DVD Special Edition on TODAY! [Official Site] [Full Listing of Available Versions]
Also, don’t forget to submit your questions to Peter Jackson by today. Here’s more info:
Q&A with Peter Jackson
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson will host a live first look at “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second film in “The Hobbit” Trilogy, on Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern/12pm Pacific at www.hobbit.com/sneak. Just added: The live event will now include a Q&A with Jackson and fans! Video questions can be submitted beginning March 12 through March 19 on “The Hobbit” Facebook page, or through the Vine mobile app using the hashtag #askPeterJackson. Fans can also Tweet links to video questions using the hashtag #askPeterJackson. The live event will be limited to holders of an UltraViolet™ code, available by purchasing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 2-disc DVD Special Edition on March 19. Visit thehobbit.com/sneak for more information.Posted in Andy Serkis, Blu-Ray, DVDs, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, James Nesbitt, Merchandise, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit
Still eagerly awaiting the precioussss, aka a copy of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey of your very own? Although the release date in the USA is tomorrow, fans in other parts of the world have to wait a little longer. To help ease the wait, earlier today we shared a video of Thorin himself having a chat with a staffer from TORn. Here’s a second video from that press junket: Andy Serkis talks about what he is keen to see in the Extended Edition, what he’s working on next, and with whom he’d rather be locked in a room – Gollum or Smeagol??
James Nesbitt video coming tomorrow!Posted in Andy Serkis, Blu-Ray, DVDs, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, James Nesbitt, Merchandise, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit
Exciting times for Hobbit fans! Last week the Digital Download of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey became available, and tomorrow (March 19th) is the date when American fans can take home copies of the movie on DVD and Blu-ray; plus of course we’re all eagerly awaiting Peter Jackson’s live first look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Sunday 24th March! To help pass the time till then, TORn has some videos to share!
Staffer greendragon was fortunate enough to meet recently with Thorin, Bofur and Gollum – also known as those charming gents Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Andy Serkis. They discussed topics such as how it feels to be part of a billion dollar grossing movie, what they hope to see in the Extended Editions, and what went into creating the roles they play. In the first of three videos, here’s what Richard Armitage had to say.Posted in Andy Serkis, Blu-Ray, DVDs, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, James Nesbitt, Merchandise, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit
Last week the filmmakers and cast of The Hobbit took over the Waldorf Astoria in New York to talk about the much-expected film. For your enjoyment, here is a selection of questions and answers from the conversation with Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri.[Portuguese Translation]
On casting Martin Freeman:
Peter Jackson: Martin was the only person we ever wanted for that role. And that was before we ever really met Martin – we knew him from “The Office” and “Hitchhikers Guide” and we just felt he had qualities that would be perfect for Bilbo. That essential kind of fussy, English, slightly repressed quality. He’s a dramatic actor, he’s not a comedian, but he’s a dramatic actor who has a very rare comedic skill.
… With the delays that happened, we couldn’t offer the role to anybody contractually. And by the time we were able to offer Martin the role, he had committed to the “Sherlock” TV series. And he shot the first season, but the second season of “Sherlock” was going to fall right into the middle of our shoot so he said “Listen, I can’t do it.” So we were in trouble. I was really panicking, we all were. … We literally couldn’t think of anyone else we thought would be as good as Martin.
I was having sleepless nights. We were probably about six weeks away from the beginning of the shoot and still hadn’t settled on anyone else. I was tormenting myself by watching “Sherlock” on an iPad at 4 o’clock in the morning. The second episode of the first season had just come out in iTunes and I downloaded it – because I love the show – and I was sitting there looking at Martin and thinking “there is nobody better, this is insane.” When I got up that morning I called Martin’s agent in London and I asked if we could find a way to accommodate Martin’s schedule would Martin be prepared to still come down to New Zealand to do Bilbo? And fortunately the answer was yes, he’d love that.
On the reasoning behind three movies:
Philippa: If we hadn’t made the “Lord of the Rings first, if this wasn’t set against that, this probably would have been a very different story. But we had. The Gandalf turning up in these films was the Gandalf portrayed in “Lord of the Rings,” but if we wanted to tell that part of Gandalf’s story, we got to bring in people as Saruman and the brilliant Cate Blanchett coming back as Galadriel.
So, as soon as we knew we would tell that part of the tale, what happens when Gandalf disappears – because we know what happens when Gandalf disappears because Professor Tolkien kept writing the Hobbit – and we made that decision to tell that part of the tale, you start to draw in that bigger mythology that this is set against.
Also, when we began to go in there… it’s so easy to forget the depth that is in the story telling and how dark this children’s book turns at the end. It doesn’t end with Smaug, when it should end, when any normal children’s story ends, and kids love it. I know I loved it when I read it, because it was unusual, it took you further.
There were strong elements of tragedy in there, revolving around a particular character, Thorin. They’re extraordinary and when you go into the appendices you realize how extraordinary and what has been placed on him.
It wasn’t hard to see what’s in there. One of the things that’s in there is greed. So as soon as you start taking on the notion of “how much wealth is too much wealth?” and “how much gold is too much gold? “ Something that is literally a sickness of the mind, a sickness of too much wealth.
The other thing is, you start to work with great actors, and great actors come to you because of the material. If you give them slight material you’re just not going to get them and we wanted to write for some of these incredible actors that we had.
On the lack of female characters in “The Hobbit”:
Philippa: You do feel the weight of it, the lack of feminine energy. And it’s interesting because Professor Tolkien actually wrote brilliantly for women. He had a real respect for women. The most powerful being in Middle Earth at this time as he wrote was Galadriel. And so, we have her story as it develops, as he wrote it. It informs “The Hobbit” – it’s actually quite powerful and it’s going to get good for the girls, I think.
On the addition of Galadriel and material from the appendices:
Peter: It goes back to the appendices. We can adapt “The Hobbit” and we can take these appendices, which appear in “Return of the King,” which has material I think he was developing as an expanded version of “The Hobbit.”
He wrote “The Hobbit” in 1937 and then the “Lord of the Rings” came out in the 1950s – which was supposedly supposed to be a sequel to “The Hobbit” but obviously developed and expanded into something much much more apocalyptic and the tone was different.
So I think he was intending to go back and revise “The Hobbit” or write a companion novel that was going to sort of tie it all together. He never did publish that book or even finish it, but a lot of the material his son published in the back of “Return of the King.”
So they talk about the White Council and the Necromancer, and she’s part of the White Council and they refer to the attack on Dol Guldur, and it’s that type of plot that we’re developing. So, it’s still part of the Tolkien myth.
On reality and fantasy films:
Peter: The levels of detail in the movie are similar to “Lord of the Rings.” With the high definition cameras you see more, so you may have the sense of more detail but fortunately the team that we have in New Zealand, WETA Workshop, who design a lot of the makeup and effects, and our wardrobe department, our art department – we’ve always wanted to put a lot of detail, and a lot of details that never get seen by the cameras.
To me, fantasy should be as real as possible. I don’t subscribe to the notion that because it’s fantastical it should be unrealistic. I think you have to have a sense of belief in the world that you’re going into, and the levels of detail are very important.
On why he originally chose not to direct, but then stepping back into role:
Peter: I guess I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it is the truth, because I thought I would be competing against myself to some degree ,and that it would be interesting to have another director. …. Guillermo Del Toro was involved for a while, for over a year probably, but after he left because of the delays, it was still another six months or so before we had a green light and during that length of time I just thought, well I am actually enjoying this a lot more.
I came to realize there’s a lot of charm and humor in “The Hobbit” that the “Lord of the Rings” didn’t have. And I thought that returning to Middle Earth with a entirely different story and a different tone – I thought “this is not the Lord of the Rings” and I’m not going to try to make another film that’s exactly like that. This gives me an opportunity to do something a little different. … and the first day of shooting I was incredibly happy I was there. It was a great deal of fun to shoot.
On added or expanded scenes:
Peter: Well, one expanded, the stone giants – that’s like a paragraph in the book when they’re going through the Misty Mountains and Tolkien refers to a thunderstorm created by this fight between giants. He doesn’t really dwell on it particularly, so those sorts of things were fun, a visual scene out of the book that we could develop and expand on. So, we did sort of expand it … the Goblin tunnels?
Philippa: I love Azog, Azog the Defiler. Because we just loved that name and he is a character that we just loved that back story and thought we can’t have him be dead, we’re going to keep him alive. So we enjoyed that… bringing him back. And I think we do that quite powerfully, he’s got a good journey to go on.
On making connections between “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”
Peter: This is what made the film enjoyable for me, being able to connect little pieces from “Lord of the Rings” to “The Hobbit.” There was a scene in the “Fellowship of the Ring” when they’re stuck in the crossroads in Moria, and there’s a quiet moment between Gandalf and Frodo… and he’s talking about the events in “The Hobbit,” that the pity of Bilbo rules the fate of us all. Meaning that Bilbo had a chance to kill Gollum but he didn’t. And the fact that he didn’t is now directing the story, it’s now created the story of the “Lord of the Rings” – for good or for bad. So it was really interesting to twelve years after we shot that scene originally to come back and actually show the moment where Bilbo stays his hand.
And also, the reason why he doesn’t kill Gollum at that stage when he’s got the opportunity, when he’s invisible and standing over Gollum … and Gandalf had said to him that true courage is deciding when not to kill rather than to kill.
So, completing those little loops and circles was one of the really interesting things whilst you’re dealing with a different story, a different tone. And if we had shot the films in a different order, we might not have been able to do that as effectively. Because really, once these movies are done and have had their theatrical life, we’re really looking at a six movie set – which is the way it will exist from that point on. And so I’m very conscious and wanting to make it feel like an organic story with synergy.
It wouldn’t have been that easy if we’d shot “The Hobbit” first, because it is such a different tone of a book. We might have just leapt into that much more fairy-tale tone, which would have made the “Lord of the Rings” a much more difficult adaptation in a way, because it would have been hard for the two to talk to each other.
On the shift in Thorin’s character from bombastic to warrior, and the casting of Richard Armitage:
Philippa: That’s really simple actually. When we were writing it we understood – writing backwards – how much the audience needs to care about this character. In a way it’s almost his story – a lot of it is his story. When we were tackling this character – because he’s much older in the book – it becomes very hard to invest in a character that you want to reclaim a homeland and rebuild a city when he’s in his eighties.
So when we were looking, when we began the casting process, we were looking between 45, 55. Someone who had life left in him, who could be that heroic character, who could be a great fighter. Again, harder to do with a character who, as Professor Tolkien wrote him, was an old warrior.
So we made that decision that we were going to go younger, and then from that point in terms of Richard Armitage, he was the youngest actor to audition for that role. It had nothing to do with the fact that he is gorgeous (laughs), it had to do with the fact that he did a phenomenal audition and the notion that you had this dark conflicted character, but was also quite grunty, Northern, English – like a dwarf. Strangely enough, he’s six foot four, but he’s still a dwarf. He had that whole thing of being miner, of that grittiness, gruntiness, but who probably plays a good game of rugby, which felt as Professor Tolkien described the dwarves.
On 3D and the approach to visual effects and directing
Peter: It didn’t change my style of directing, I didn’t want it to. And that was the beauty. I didn’t want to convert it, we wanted to shoot it in 3D. I think that is much more realistic. Fortunately we had great support from the companies who worked with us (on the cameras and rigs) and they made the equipment as light and as small as they possibly could. The rigs were originally made in steel, yet they made them for us out of carbon fiber so that we could put them on steady cams and use hand held cameras. Because I really wanted to be the same filmmaker going back into Middle Earth. I didn’t want to, because it was 3D, to shoot it in a different style.
I don’t believe in the concept that 3D should be shot differently. Every director has his own style, sure, but I don’t think that any of that is an issue with 3D. For me it was important to not even worry about 3D and I didn’t, I didn’t even think about it half the time. I was just directing as I would normally do and the cameras could do what they normally do. For me it was a comfortable experience.
Joe: There’s one case where it did matter, though. Back with the “Lord of the Rings,” we could do force-perspective tricks – bring Gandalf closer to the camera and put Frodo farther away, and one could look bigger and one could look smaller. When you put the glasses on you realize how far apart they are, that trick no longer works.
So we came up with this idea – especially because we wanted to keep the cameras moving – to actually synchronize two cameras together on two separate stages. So Gandalf was on one stage, the dwarves on another stage and Peter can see them both in his monitor together and direct both of them. But they both had to keep in their heads where the other virtual person was going to be that was wandering through Bag End.
You’ll see in the film, if you haven’t seen already, that there’s a minute-long shot of them walking through each other and handing things off – that was all done by the actors for the large part, just having to keep in their heads where each other was in this very cool space.
On converting “Lord of the Rings” to 3D
Peter: It’s not really a question for me because it’s a studio issue because they would have to pay for it and it’s expensive. So, I’d be happy to do it if they decide, but that’s really a marketplace thing. I think the whole idea of dimensioning older films is something that the studios are still unsure of. I know that Jim did it on “Titanic’ and it was very successful, and then George Lucas did it with “Star Wars” and it was not so successful financially.
So, I think the studios are not quite sure at the moment where that market is going to finally land. I guess as time goes on and 3D establishes itself more in people’s homes and the cost of conversion comes down, I think things have to move on but at the moment it’s not being discussed.Posted in Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Press Conferences, The Hobbit
Hobbit Week: Video greetings from stars to fans at World Premiere of ‘Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’
With the public screenings now on in New Zealand and England and a day away in the U.S. and Canada, it seems a good time to continue to celebrate Hobbit Week and share some of the footage we gathered on the red carpet in Wellington, New Zealand. And this time instead of speaking to the media in general, they are speaking directly to you, the community that makes up TheOneRing.net. We have saved this footage for just the right time but here in the states it feels like ‘Hobbit Eve’ and there hasn’t been a lull in the media for weeks so it is now or never! Hope you enjoy some short visits and appearances by Adam Brown, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, James Cameron, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Martin Freeman, Peter Hambleton, Richard Armitage, Stephen Hunter and William Kircher. Enjoy!Posted in Adam Brown, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Martin Freeman, Peter Hambleton, Premieres, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, Wellington, William Kircher
Only hours before the stars walked the red carpet in front of 100,000 fans on the street of Wellington, nearly the entire cast gathered at Te Papa Museum for a pair of press conferences.
Peter Jackson and stars Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman attended both press events while most of the rest of the principal cast and screenwriter Philippa Boyens attended one event or the other.
Media was invited by Warner Bros., the studio that was handling press from around the world during the week. TheOneRing.net was included in the press invite, not the only online fan site to get the call, as our friends from herr-der-ringe were also there. MGM and New Line were also announced as presenting the press conferences.
Te Papa, a world-class museum, arranged a long table for the events and switched name cards in front of native Maori art. Called a Marae, translated as “big house” but serving as the symbolic center of Maori tradition, the event started with singing and then a forehead-to-forehead welcome to the participants. With the unique and beautiful colors behind, each of the question and answer sessions lasted about 40 minutes and was moderated.
Flash photography was not allowed, although clearly TheOneRing took quite a few stills. In the back of the room rows of cameras shot video, including for TORn. We audio recorded the event as well and hope to present a transcript of it in a day or two. Meanwhile enjoy some of the best handful of photos. The participants included: Cate Blanchette, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Stephen Hunter, Peter Hambleton William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, Andy Serkis and Elijah Wood.