As you know, last week a select group of fans in London were treated to a screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition. Some pretty special guests were in attendance – we hope many of you were able to watch via the live stream!
The organisers behind the event have sent us along this report:
“On Saturday, 7th November 2015, a number of the world’s biggest and most passionate fans of TheHobbitfilm trilogy assembled in London for a very special screening event, where they were joined by a host of special guests, to celebrate the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital release, and to commemorate the one-year anniversary of last year’s incredible The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest competition. The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release is the final film in the globally popular The Hobbit Trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
Kyle Pedley of (A)musings Media, who was among the UK-based winners of the global fan competition, organised and hosted the event along with fellow members of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship, with help from Warner Bros. Pictures UK and Tourism New Zealand. International winners flew in from all over the globe – from as far afield as the United States, Mexico and Eastern Europe – to take part in an evening full of surprises and special appearances.
Guests were not only treated to an exclusive UK screening of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit Trilogy’s epic conclusion at Warner Bros. Pictures’ own private screening theatre ahead of its home entertainment release, but were also treated to surprises including a video message from director Sir Peter Jackson all the way from New Zealand, and a Q&A session with a panel of distinguished guests.
These included Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of author J.R.R. Tolkien and long-time advocate and supporter of the film adaptations (who made a cameo appearance in 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), and writer / broadcaster Brian Sibley, who has long been involved in the community celebrating the author’s legacy, having been jointly responsible for the acclaimed 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and penning a number of official behind-the-scenes books and guides for both of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Finally, to the excitement and disbelief of fans – met with an uproarious standing ovation – came the surprise appearance of film, theatre and television icon Sir Ian McKellen, known and beloved around the world for his defining portrayal of the Wizard Gandalf in Jackson’s Middle-earth and the only principle cast member to appear in all six films across both celebrated film trilogies.
Other special guests in attendance included a contingent of Middle-earth ‘cosplayers’ – The Galactic Knights, who showcased some of their terrific Hobbit- and Rings-inspired costumes and replicas; Chairman of The Tolkien Society, Shaun Gunner; and Rachel Sprackett of Tourism New Zealand.
Kyle Pedley, The Hobbit Fan Fellowship member and host of the event, said:
“This was an incredible, unprecedented celebration of the impact both these films and also last year’s incredible competition have had on people from all corners of the globe. To have such a dedicated group of fans, who last year formed their own genuine fellowship over the course of a magical week in New Zealand, reunite for this special occasion was just an absolute joy to behold and be part of. To be joined by the likes of Royd Tolkien, Brian Sibley and Sir Ian McKellen, and have such a fantastic personal video message from Sir Peter Jackson over in New Zealand, was an absolute thrill and honour. The guests were not aware or expecting any of it, and their reactions to not only the surprises, but also getting to see one another again, were a moving reminder of how indelible and genuine the bonds of fellowship formed in New Zealand really were.”
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest was an international search conducted in 2014 by Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Warner Bros. to find 75 of the world’s biggest Hobbit fans. Over 140,000 people registered for the competition, and over a two month period were required to complete a series of tasks and challenges, including testing their knowledge of New Zealand as the cinematic Middle-earth, designing a postcard for Peter Jackson, and also producing their own two-minute videos detailing their favourite memories of Middle-earth and demonstrating why they were the biggest fans of the franchise.
The winners and their +1s were then flown to New Zealand for an incredible, all-expenses paid trip which spanned both Islands and included visits to the actual filming locations from the movies, a special tour of the Hobbiton Set itself in Matamata, a special Maori Cultural welcome ceremony and Hangi Banquet, a visit to Weta Workshop where all of the creatures, costumes, weapons and special effects of the Middle Earth films were made, and finally a private screening of the final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in the company of Peter Jackson himself, over a month before its theatrical release.”
Those of you lucky enough to live in the L.A. area can catch an appearance by Sir Ian McKellen at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Tuesday, November 17th at 7:30 p.m. He will be appearing before a special showing of Mr Holmes, in which he portrays an aging Sherlock Holmes struggling to put closure on his last case from thirty years earlier. As we all know, our favorite wizard from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies is always entertaining and gracious to his fans, and may even discuss or take questions on his role as Gandalf, so get thee to the Aero on November 17th if you can! Tickets can be purchased here.
The day has finally come and gone when many of you were lucky enough to view The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies in theaters. TORn’s facebook page, the discussion boards and Barli’s chat are all buzzing with excited observations! Many of our staffers saw it too and, as it TORn tradition, we’ll be featuring their comments and insights here, as well as a spoilery picture or two. Speaking of spoilers, they abound in the rest of this article, so read no further if you haven’t seen the EE yet and don’t want to be spoiled until you do!
It’s almost time to gather in the Big Apple and enjoy all that New York ComicCon has to offer. As ever, TheOneRing.net will be there! Here are a few details for you:
We’ll be at Booth 3040, which – to make life simple! – is the same location as last year! We’ll have all the usual goodies for sale – plus this year we’ll have hoodies from our friends at LotH Hoodies! Of course we’ll have many fabulous things you could win! And we’ll be ready just to chat and geek out with our fellow fans.
Talking of which – if you want to chat in a quieter location than the convention floor, this year we’re leading a ‘Fan Forum’ discussion group! Basically it’s a chance to join us to reminisce about the past seventeen years – since TheOneRing.net was founded and since Peter Jackson began pre-production in earnest on his Lord of the Rings trilogy. What a journey it’s been! Come and share memories with us – and maybe hear a bit about what we may see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (which, as you know, screens in cinemas on October 13th!) Find the Forum in room 1E03, Friday 4pm. Click here for details!
And don’t forget about our PARTY! Thursday 8th October 8-11pm at The East Wing – a few tickets remain! Click here to buy. WETA will be co-hosting with us, and as usual your ticket includes the buffet, your first drink, a goody bag and two raffle tickets – all in a wonderful, private venue in Manhattan. Hope to see you there!
You’ll find our WETA friends at Booth 622. Middle-earth guests at the convention this year include Sean Bean, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies and Elijah Wood!
As ever, we have a host of folks supporting us to make it possible for us to be at New York ComicCon. Many thanks to them all:
ROW NYC – making sure hard-working TORn staffers have somewhere to sleep. A great place to stay in Manhattan!
It’s almost October already – and that means New York ComicConis almost upon us! As ever, TORn will be there.
You can find us at the convention at Booth 3040 – same spot as last year! We’ll have t-shirts, buttons, lanyards and more for sale, as well as the usual cool giveaways and fun stuff. We’re not giving a panel this year – instead, we’re hosting a ‘forum/discussion group’, on Friday 9th Oct 4-5pm. We’ll be chatting and reminiscing about the seventeen years which have flown by, since Peter Jackson got going on pre-production for his Lord of the Rings trilogy and TORn was founded. Come and share your memories of this unexpected journey! Venue TBA – we’ll let you know asap, and hope you can join us! (We very well may also include some gossip on just what might be in the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies…)
It’s already a week since DragonCon 2015 came to an end – and we’ve just about had time to draw breath and catch up on sleep! For any of you who haven’t had the chance to attend DragonCon, it’s one long party from Thursday night (although some would say that Wednesday is the new Thursday) to Monday evening. TORn staffers did their best to keep up with it all!
We had our usual ‘fan table’ spot in the Hyatt hotel, where we sold t-shirts, buttons, lanyards and hoodies (from our good friends at LoTH Hoodies) and enjoyed catching up with fellow fans. There are folks whom we see every year at DragonCon, and it’s always lovely to see familiar faces, as people stop by to say hello.
DragonCon is in full swing down here in Atlanta – and TheOneRing.net is in the thick of it! Staffers deej and greendragon are hard at work running our fan table – come by and say hello! We’re in the Hyatt opposite the entrance to the art show. We have new buttons for sale, with some fabulous artwork by our own staffer Mithril. We also have shirts, lanyards and hoodies for sale, and prizes to be won!
Staffer MrCere, meanwhile, is very busy running the convention’s Tolkien Track. Their track room can be found in the Marriott, rooms L401-403 – lots of great panels to be heard in there. TORn will be giving a panel today (Saturday) at 2.30pm, in Hilton Grand Ballroom East, looking forward to what we might see in the soon to be released Extended Edition, and to what else is in the works for Tolkien fans; then tomorrow at the same time, 2.30pm, in Marriott L401-403, we’ll be looking back over the amazing journey we’ve all been on, through Peter Jackson’s movies and the fanbase which has grown up around them.
Last night the track hosted the annual ‘Evening at Bree’, organized by greendragon. Our good friends Emerald Rose raised the roof and got everyone up and dancing. The lovely Stephen Hunter was a fabulous MC of the costume contest, which as ever was full of incredible entries – thanks to our judges, who had the very difficult task of picking winners! And cast members Dean O’Gorman, Peter Hambleton and Sylvester McCoy came by to say hello to the fans. At the start of the evening we took a moment to remember artist Jeff Murray and fellow fan Melissa Kern, who sailed into the West this year; it was wonderful to feel the love in the room and to know that this is a community which cares about and for one another.
And finally – tonight staffer deej is living up to her name and DJing the ‘Middle-earth goes 90s’ dance party, 10pm in Marriott A601-602. Can’t wait to see the amazing 90s costumes folks will have dreamed up – Ringers are such creative folks!
It’s all happening! Looking forward to seeing some of you over the weekend; and we’ll have pictures to share afterwards, for those of you who can’t be here.
The extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies DVDs are now available for pre-order in the U.S. from Amazon. Formats include DVD, Blu-ray, and 3-D/Blu-ray and range in price from $34.99 for the DVD to $54.98 for the 3-D/Blu-ray version. The extras appear to be the same with all three, described as “hours of fascinating, in-depth looks at the production,” including:
– Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter
– The Appendices – The Appendices Parts XI and XII showcase a chronological history of the filming of The Battle of the Five Armies, documenting the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects
– New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth – Part 3
Digital HD UltraViolet is also available which must be redeemed by November 17, 2018.
The cover art on Amazon’s site differs for each version. Following is a discussion of each, and links at which you can pre-order your copy.
The DVD version cover features Bilbo (Martin Freeman) with Sting drawn, overlooking the evil armies amassing, and the battle raging below him. The border, which is the same for all three formats, is a steel-gray color with a design reminiscent of dwarf-runes seemingly carved into it which adds a nice touch to these last extended editions of the series. One of the carved dwarven sentinels of Erebor watches over all on the right while the ramparts of Erebor and the burning remnants of Lake-town are visible in the background on the left.
The Blu-ray cover is more character-centric than the DVD cover. Our hero Bilbo is front and center, again with Sting drawn. A thoughtful, but stern, Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) is on Bilbo’s right, while a very stubborn, impatient and disturbed-looking Thorin (Richard Armitage) is on his left. The Elves are well-represented on this cover with three of the four smaller figures in front of Bilbo being comprised of Thranduil (Lee Pace), Tauriel (Evangeline Lily) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Last, but not least, stands Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) with the glow of the fire of Smaug and the burning Lake-town behind him.
The 3-D/Blu-ray cover is striking, with just the characters of Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) standing behind him protectively. As with the DVD cover, the sentinel of Dale is just off to the right, only this time with a great battle-troll below, and the ramparts of Erebor and vestiges of a burning Lake-town are off the the left, with the battle raging behind all. As if to emphasize that this is *the* battle, Bilbo again has Sting drawn and ready to do battle with the enemies. A nice touch with this cover is that Bilbo’s mithril shirt is clearly visible underneath his plainer clothes.
Definitely stay tuned, as we will bring you more BotFA analysis as details become available (e.g., releases in other countries, releases in other retail outlets, special incentives). Note that we did check Amazon’s sites for other countries but didn’t find the EE available yet. If you don’t live in the U.S., definitely let us know if and when it becomes available in your corner of the world and whether the amenities are the same, and we’ll add it to future updates.
Fathom Events has come out with a trailer for the special showings of all three Hobbit extended editions in early October. The trailer, which is 2 minutes, 19 seconds long, contains shots from all three EEs, including The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Needless to say… spoilers ahead!
The Fathom Events trailer shows only a few seconds of new material sandwiched in between familiar scenes from the theatrical release. However, a quick eye can catch some tantalizing hints about some of the new material. Some of what the sharp-eyed members of our Hobbit Movie discussion forum are buzzing about are listed below (spoiler warning!):
After weeks of rumors (and some nail biting), it’s official! The DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, will be available on Tuesday, November 17. Those who prefer a digital copy can own it four weeks earlier, on Tuesday, October 17. The official press release follows:
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
A PRODUCTION OF NEW LINE CINEMA AND
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES, THE FINAL FILM IN THE EPIC THE HOBBIT TRILOGY, ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY™, DVD AND DIGITAL HD FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
EXTENDED EDITION FEATURES A 20-MINUTE LONGER CUT AND
MORE THAN NINE HOURS OF NEW SPECIAL FEATURES
The Hobbit Trilogy Extended EditionAlso Available on
Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD
Burbank, CA, August 25, 2015 – The adventures of Bilbo Baggins come to an epic conclusion when “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” from Academy Award®-winning* filmmaker Peter Jackson, is released as an Extended Edition on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), the extended cut of the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy includes 20 minutes of extra footage and more than 9 hours of bonus features that will complete every Hobbit fan’s collection. The film, the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 17 and will be available early on Digital HD on October 20.
TheOneRing.net would like to wish a very happy birthday today to Richard Armitage! Some say it was the smoldering stares. Some say it was the way he spoke and carried himself like a king. Others just can’t stop looking a the hair. Suffice it to say that the entire package Richard brought to the cast of the Hobbit movies made the character of Thorin a most memorable one.
Of course, Richard had a very successful and versatile career before taking on the role of Thorn Oakenshield, distinguishing himself in theater, film, television and even audio recording. Who can forget the smoldering, conflicted character of John Thornton in the BBC mini-series, North and South? (I said ‘smoldering’ again, didn’t I)? It’s a rare actor who can find success in just one of those creative outlets, no less all of them. As you continue to add interesting and challenging roles to your resume, Richard, we look forward to following your successes – and, we’ll always have those Hobbit DVDs. Many happy returns!
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