A flood of trailers, interviews and TV spots have raised all sorts of questions over exactly how events will pan out across The Desolation of Smaug. Here, Captain Salt takes a long hard look at the implications for character development among our beardy friends who are so keen to reclaim their heritage, and the lost treasures of Erebor.
Needless to say, lots of speculation and lots of potential movie spoilers. If you’re avoiding these, look away now! (more…)
Itching for a little bit more of The Desolation of Smaug ahead of its December release? These new stills from the film have been up for a couple of days at EW – but in case you missed them, here they are for your viewing pleasure.
There are several new images of our beloved main characters, as well as many new ones joining the cast for the first time – including Bard (with his son Bain in tow), Thranduil, Tauriel, and some very fearsome looking Gundaband Orcs. (more…)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Those outside of the movie making business often don’t understand what The Producer does on a film. The quickest answer is: They get the movie made. They get things done.
In the case of Zane Weiner on “The Hobbit,” it meant getting in touch with someone nobody was meant to get in touch with.
Living in Hawaii, she was a month removed from the birth of her child, email turned off, not taking calls about work and still confined to bed rest.
“So I was still in bed with the baby,” she told TheOneRing.net in full Tauriel outfit and gear during a lunch break on a full day of filming on “The Hobbit.”
This lunch tent, while perhaps not glamorous, is an essential part of Stone Street Studios and making Peter Jackson movies, designed to feed and shelter quite an enormous crowd. Breakfast was served there for anybody wanting to start the day off right. Coffee and tea were available on any sound stage but also in the tent — a first stop for many on a shoot. (more…)
You’ve seen the dwarven cast members of The Hobbit without make-up. And you’ve seen them all kitted out as well. But have you seen each side-by-side: actor versus character, before versus after?
I hadn’t, not all at once, which was why I thought I’d share these images that I stumbled on, out there in the wild reaches of the internet (okay, Imgur, to be precise). Looking at them as a group, it struck me quite forcefully how they crew had chosen to work with the facial structure of each actor, rather than create something entirely new. Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow are probably the most striking examples. Anyway, enjoy! (more…)
I can’t recall if this has been previously revealed, but this official synopsis — more complete than the short version currently on The Hobbit website — actually has some really interesting implications if you have a read through and examine who’s listed and (more importantly), who’s not.
As folks observed after the debut of the second Desolation of Smaug trailer, Guillermo del Toro is back in the credits for his work on the screenplay. There’s a co-producer nod for the late Eileen Moran as well. Highlight the space below to read the key omissions, and some fairly hefty spoiler analysis of what those omissions could mean for the movie.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. (more…)
As you are aware, many Hobbit cast members have their own twitter accounts. After Evangeline Lilly participated in a live Twitter Q&A the other day, we thought it would be a great time to remind you of the official accounts. As far as we know each actor manages their twitter personally, offering a great way to keep up with them. (more…)
For those attending Comic-Con, Peter Jackson announced that he will not be sending actors or a sizzle reel to the giant popular culture show this year. However, TheOneRing.net does have a panel to talk about “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” on Thursday, July 18 at 5:30 to 6:30 in room 6A with a seating capacity of around 1,000. We will present our unofficial look at the film and we hope to spring a surprise guest or two at the affair as well. Be warned, there is always a line and never enough seats for TORn’s annual panel so plan ahead with many getting turned away every year. (We will also be selling shirts to keep our website alive financially at the Badali Jewelry booth and the Weta Workshop booth, come see us at both!)
For the rest of the world that doesn’t get to attend the San Diego even anyway, the team behind the scenes on the production presents a brand new production diary complete with what will surely be a new fitness fashion Dwarvercise! It also has some really good looks at the seldom seen storage facilities with the Art Department’s Ra Vincent, a glimpse of Evangeline Lily and Orlando Bloom riding a green creature and plenty of the crew getting the production back into the swing of pick up shooting, currently happening as you read.
We may be too late for his birthday in New Zealand, but it’s still his day in some parts of the world! Amidst all the hard work going on in New Zealand just now, the Hobbit gang found time to celebrate Ori’s birthday – and co-star Stephen Hunter tweeted this great photo of some of the cast gathered for birthday fun! (After TORn retweeted Stephen’s pic, James Nesbitt and John Callen retweeted us! We’re all connected on one great big web; just like the dwarves in Mirkwood…)
Happy birthday to the dwarf who makes braids and chunky knits look good!
(Photo shows, left to right: Stephen Hunter (Bombur), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Adam Brown (Ori) and Aidan Turner (Kili).)
Note:A photo gallery follows the text and videos, click for larger versions.
The mill at Hobbiton Movie Set
NEW ZEALAND — During the world premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” New Zealand wisely took the opportunity to show journalists from around the world (and Australia) a lot of the amazing things its island nation has to offer. TheOneRing.net was part of one of the tours and rather than regurgitate all the footage, photos and writing we gathered at once, exactly when all the other journalism outlets of the world did, we thought it would be great to disperse it and share it over the course of 2013 in the lead up to “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
After all, Tourism New Zealand’s motto is “New Zealand is Middle-earth” and this is true in so many ways and for much longer than just the weeks after the debut of the film. For example, above is the video made for TORn by fellow filmmaker Dan McBride who shot and edited the video tour you probably have already watched. We, and a gaggle of other media, toured the Hobbiton Movie Set and witnessed Prime Minister John Key open the new Green Dragon building accompanied by a bunch of actors who reminded us a whole lot of a company of Dwarves. (Incidentally, we had just talked to him the day before so when he showed up again, we wondered why we were being followed and what we had done wrong.)
The video speaks for itself but this remarkable property is, as far as I know, unique in all the world for its ability to transport visitors inside a book, or a movie for that matter. Being there doesn’t feel like walking on a set, rather it feels like immersion. It looks, smells, sounds and feels like one imagines Hobbiton would if you could take a magic wardrobe to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The Hobbit holes scattered about are, more or less, as they were for filming of “The Hobbit,” movies. It seems safe to assume we will see more of The Shire in subsequent movies and in the Extended Edition on home video before the end of the year.
At the Green Dragon
Meanwhile, not far from Auckland, sits this unique and amazing tourism experience. The still functioning sheep and cattle farm where the now-permanent movie set is placed, is owned by the Alexander family, as it was when discovered for “The Lord of the Rings,” films. Their television rugby match interrupted by strangers led to parts of the family farm being among the most beloved locations in fantasy film and literature. Now visitors take tours daily, either by booking directly through the farm or through travel agents, tours or cruise ships. There are several options available, including overnight farm stays, private tours and lunch options. Matamata, as authentic a small New Zealand town as you will find, serves as a gateway to the farm, offering transportation daily and had just opened a visitor’s center when we visited.
Hamilton is also near with more accommodations and an airport. Not far from Auckland, 160 kilometers in fact, visitors can easily manage the two hour car ride. It goes without saying that driving through the countryside is spectacular as well. My dream would be to meet with TheOneRing.net staff and friends in The Green Dragon, which can be reserved for private functions. They serve food and drink and I just bet you can guess what size the ale comes in. Weddings have and will happen here. The atmosphere and the finish on the place are just as good as you hope they are. In truth, for movies fans and Tolkien fans, the entire movie set experience is simply magic.
Waitomo Caves Black Water Rafting
Some tourists will hop off the cruise ship or land in Auckland and make the farm their only stop in the region and in my opinion if you made it all the way to New Zealand and don’t see more of the region you are doing it all wrong. The tour also provided us the opportunity to visit the world famous Waitomo caves. They contain the exceptionally cool glow worms and there are different ways to experience it all, including the black water rafting experience that I couldn’t resist. Hamilton serves as a good gateway to both spots and neither is to be missed. In the gallery below I will drop in a few Waitomo photos but it is an entirely different story to be told and if there is any need to explain the importance of caves to Middle-earth, you might be at the wrong website.
The region is full of food and drink, excellent accommodations and plenty more worth-while excursions. We will tackle them all in a future story. But add the farm visit and Waitomo Caves to your bucket lists. They really are wold-class destinations not to be missed but especially not by Tolkienites.
While you are here, please enjoy other videos from the premiere. First, actors talking about rings:
And Red Carpet highlights.
A map of the New Zealand region with Auckland and Matamata.
A detailed map of where The Hobbit Move Set is located near Matamata.
The door of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
Seems like a good place for a party
An average human male (Dan McBride) stands in front of a small Hobbit door.
The mill at Hobbiton Movie Set
Water at Hobbiton Movie set
They may not like boats but Hobbits have docks.
The visitor’s center in Matamata, New Zealand.
Flower at Hobbiton Movie Set
Actors look on at the opening ceremony of the Green Dragon
Still water, a view of Hobbiton Movie Set
For scale, an average sized adult (MrCere) at a Hobbit door.
A Hobbit window at Hobbiton Movie Set
Flowers and door at Hobbiton Movie Set
The interior of the Green Dragon
At the Green Dragon
By the lake and the mill sits the Green Dragon
The exterior of the Green Dragon
The bar at The Green Dragon
Detail of the carved green dragon in the Green Dragon
Floor plan on the wall of the Green Dragon of the Green Dragon.
Inside the Green Dragon
Door and menu at the Green Dragon
At the Green Dragon
Interior of the Green Dragon
Waitomo Caves black water rafting with glow worms.
Want to relive what you saw this afternoon? Reflecting on some of the moments, and trying to remember what was what? Well, don’t forget that, if you missed the Peter Jackson hosted first look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, or just want to watch it over again, a modified version will be archived on the Trilogy’s official website www.thehobbit.com/sneak To access the footage, use your UltraViolet code on your copy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack or 2-Disc Special Edition DVD.
Meanwhile, staffer Rasputin the Evil Balrog shares with us some commentary on the footage:
Welcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week. If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch the highlights. Or if you’re new to TORn and want to enjoy some great conversations, just follow the links to some of our most popular discussions. Watch this space as every weekend we will spotlight the most popular buzz on TORn’s Message Boards. Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join in the fun!
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