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Archive for the ‘LotR Movies’ Category

Dominic Monaghan: David Bowie auditioned for The Lord of the Rings

David-Bowie-LabyrinthIn a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Dominic Monaghan told of a chance encounter in the Hubbard’s casting agency reception area with none other than David Bowie.

“I was at the Hubbard’s, which is a pretty notorious casting agency office in London, doing an audition for ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and when it ended I went over and talked to John Hubbard, who was running the audition, and he said, ‘Hey, it went really well. You should wait around for 5 or 10 mins. We’ll give you some feedback,” He continued, “I thought, ‘Oh, OK, cool, and I sat in the reception office. As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. And I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for. He may have read for something else, but I’m a huge David Bowie fan, and I was lucky enough to know his son now so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.”


Posted in Casting Calls, Director news, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson steps down as WETA Workshop director

Image from Startraks/Rex Shutterstock

From Peter Jackson along with fellow Oscar winner Jamie Selkirk stepped down from Sir Richard Taylor’s Miramar workshop on December 31, Companies Office documents show. The change comes ahead of new legislation which would make directors personally liable for health and safety, which the Institute of Directors said demonstrated that directors needed to be across all aspects of the business. Jackson and Selkirk both still own about one third of Weta Workshop.

Weta Workshop senior communications manager Erik Hay confirmed the law change was behind the move for Jackson and Selkirk. “The reason was centred around the law change, which will require them to be more involved on a daily basis. As a manufacturing business, it’s important they are. Peter felt he was not and decided to step out of the piece. They will still retain shares in the company.” Read more…

Posted in Director news, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, WETA Workshop

A Wellington Weta Adventure!

Autumn had finally arrived in northern California when I boarded a plane to head into spring on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. To say I wasn’t frightened would be a lie. I felt very much like Frodo heading out into the wide world, for I was about to be away from my family and my continent for longer than I ever had. The weather in Wellington had been pleasant until I arrived, or so I’m told, and as more and more cold rainstorms blew into the bay off the Pacific, my co-workers at Weta Workshop teased that I had brought winter with me to their beautiful island nation.


The flight from Auckland to Wellington, NZ

Like most fans of the The Lord of the Rings films, I had long dreamed of visiting New Zealand and seeing as much of its Middle-earth landscape as I could. However, also like most fans, the cost of such an adventure always held me back. As such, if someone had told me that I would have gone to Aotearoa twice in 2015, I would’ve thought they were as full of tall tales as old mad Baggins! But step out my front door I did, each time with a little nudge.


Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Movie, John Callen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop

Those Lord of the Rings women

eowyn1We all love to love the male characters of the Lord of the Rings movies. Who’s heart doesn’t go out to Frodo and Sam? Who doesn’t cheer at Gandalf and Aragorn’s strength or cringe at the sheer evilness of Saruman and the Witch King? These and other male characters are front and center in terms of movie screen-time, and rightly so, but it also makes the appearance of the women of the movies that much more special.

Over at Bustle, the women of The Lord of the Rings movies get the limelight in this article that ranks nine of The Lord of the Rings women in terms of character development. Rosie Cotton, Galadriel and even Shelob get a mention! Read more

Posted in Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Miranda Otto, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers

Washington D.C. NFL pros embrace Tolkien

Lord of the Rings CoverTORn’s staff and our readers know from experience that Tolkien fans can sometimes be found in surprising places. So, imagine our delight when we learned through this Washington Post story that there aren’t just Tolkien fans on the Washington D.C NFL team, quotes from The Lord of the Rings are regularly heard in the locker room and even on the playing field!

The board was set, the pieces were moving, and victory was in hand, but Kirk Cousins needed a little help with his lines.

“Is it the third day or the fifth day you’ve got to look to the East?” Cousins asked teammate Tom Compton on the FedEx Field sidelines, as the clock counted down Washington’s triumph over the Bills.

Compton grimaced at the memory, still aghast that his quarterback would need to ask.

“I was like, ‘It’s the fifth day, bro,” Compton recalled. “Like, c’mon.”

Information secured, Cousins delivered the lines that welcomed the world into his team’s growing “Lord of the Rings” fascination.

“Today, the gray became the white,” Cousins announced, as they closed in on a division championship. “We look to the East.”  Read more…

Note: out of respect for our Native American readers (and non-readers) a word that is viewed by many as a racial slur has been removed from the headline and body of this article. We overlooked that in our attempt to reword the headline of the source article. We’d like to apologize to any of our readers who might have been offended, and encourage everyone to focus on the true intent of linking to the story which was to highlight how Tolkien fandom helps us all transcend labels and brings us together as a community, sometimes in the most unlooked for ways.



Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers

EW interviews Peter Jackson about Christopher Lee

SarumanCheck out this wonderful Entertainment Weekly interview with Peter Jackson about his experiences with, and memories of, the actor who brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s wizard Saruman to life for millions of loving fans. You’ll chuckle at PJ recalling some comical moments, but have a box of tissues ready because you just might shed a tear too.  Read more…

Posted in Christopher Lee, Director news, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit

Wellington City Council hears proposal for movie museum with Jackson, Taylor collection

Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor on Brain Dead.

Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor on Brain Dead.

UPDATE: Media outlets in New Zealand reported the Wellington City Council approved the proposal unanimously

The long-rumored movie museum for Wellington took a step toward realization after the team behind the dream presented its vision to the Wellington City Council.

Fans of the cinematic versions of Middle-earth will rejoice that the team behind the proposal is led by none other than Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor. The company, The Movie Museum Limited, or TMML, hopes to bring together material from the duo’s many film projects as well as their own “world-renowned movie collections,” according to a release after the meeting this week.

“There is a vast collection of incredible material from the world-famous movies that have been worked on by the companies in Miramar,” said project director George Hickton. “What is less well-known is that Peter and Fran (Walsh), Richard and Tania (Rodger) also have their own personal collections of film and television memorabilia which is one of the best in the world.”

Richard Taylor and Peter with team on King Kong.

Richard Taylor and Peter with team on King Kong.

It is expected that the museum will offer both permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, a cafe, offices and a retail shop.

The presentation, according to the release, was part of considering a new site proposed for the museum that will also include a space for gatherings, such as conventions.

Hickton said Wellington has been known for world-class film making for two decades.

“For much of that time, the driving force behind Wellington’s success has been Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor and their partners Fran Walsh and Tania Rodger as well as the Weta Group of companies they established on the Miramar Peninsula.

“From small beginnings, Wellington is today a thriving centre of film-making creativity and excellence, creating thousands of jobs for New Zealanders and attracting major film and television productions and some of the best directors, producers, actors, artists and technicians from around the world.”

Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor and their team on Heavenly Creatures

Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor and their team on Heavenly Creatures

The concept means the Wellington City Council will provide TMML with a long-term lease of a building built with a museum in mind, constructed and owned by the council. The movie museum organization, if the proposal is accepted, would be responsible for setting up the museum, day-to-day operation and maintenance of the facility.

The hope would be to give Wellington a tourism draw, both to New Zealand and internationally. Readers of of TORn can probably imagine the appeal.

A three-story building is expected, with top floor dedicated to a meeting space for 1100 with the bottom two floors to house the museum with 10,000 square meters of space. The museum is near Te Papa, Wellington’s world-class museum and sit between Wakefield and Cable Streets.

More details, the release said, would be released once the council decides on the proposal and planning and construction begins.

TORn will update this story with more details as they are available. Click on any of the photos for a larger version. (Cinema fans, this is highly recommended.)

Posted in Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit

LOTR/Hobbit Extended Edition Movie Marathon hosted by Welly-moot

WellyMootEndOfAllThingsCalling all Ringers in New Zealand and those planning on heading to New Zealand in March 2016.  The team over at Welly-moot are arranging an event of special magnificence, assisted by the lovely crew at Roxy Theatre Wellington.


Posted in Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien

Black Friday Savings at!

HobbitShop Black Friday 2015Black Friday comes to Middle-earth today at, the official online shop of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies! The shop is offering savings of up to 60% on officially licensed  jewelry, phone cases, chess sets, collectibles, and more, plus Buy One, Get One 50% Off all shirts! Check it out at !

Posted in Calendars, Clothing, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Jewelry, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Other Events, Other Merchandise, The Hobbit

Peter Jackson’s comments provoke a ‘Gathering Storm’ in a teacup…

BotFA Photoshop Collage 2-D BlurayThere’s been a storm raging today over comments director Peter Jackson made about the process of filming The Hobbit trilogy. Staffer greendragon reflects on the debate which has been unleashed…

With the release this week of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition on Blu-ray and DVD, folks have been sitting down to watch the many hours of extras provided in the included ‘Appendices’ footage. Starting with an article on The Guardian newspaper’s website, one particular part of Peter Jackson’s comments (in ‘The Appendices Part 11: The Gathering Storm’) on the making of The Hobbit trilogy has gone viral online, unleashing much debate among fans who love or hate the movies.


Posted in Blu-Ray, Director news, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Guillermo Del Toro, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, Production, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition available TODAY

BotFA Photoshop Collage 2-D BlurayFor fans who have been waiting to get their hands on actual disks before watching The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition, today is the day when releases begin! The Blu-ray and DVD sets are available today in America, Nov 18th in New Zealand (so almost today already in NZ!), and across Europe and the rest of the world in the coming days. (Read our International Shopping Guide for further details.)

This is the Home Entertainment release which completes the set for all fans of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies. Many have written how the extra footage in the extended cut makes this the version of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies that they wanted to see. (You can read some staffers’ thoughts here.) Others have commented that they had hoped for the full extra 30 minutes Peter Jackson had said would be in this cut, not just the 20 minutes we got. There are certainly more scenes I had hoped to see – but that is where the Appendices come in…

At last we have parts Eleven and Twelve of The Appendices; parts One and Two came out with the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, so this has been a long time coming! It’s great – if sad – to see the end of this journey. The tales from the set, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and memories from cast and crew are wonderful, and give us some insight into moments we perhaps wish had made it into a cut of the movie. Have tissues ready for the filmmakers’ ’emotional farewell to Middle-earth’!

There are over NINE hours of bonus features included in this Home Entertainment release, so it really is an essential part of your The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie collection. In the 2D version, the disc with the film also includes Part 3 of ‘New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth’; Disc 2 contains The Appendices Part 11: The Gathering Storm, The Chronicles of The Hobbit – Part 3; and Disc 3 is The Appendices Part 12: Here at Journey’s End.  There is also audio commentary on the film, with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens; I haven’t had a chance to watch with the commentary yet, but I’m sure it’s fascinating. I’d still like, at some point, to have some commentary from the cast – maybe that will come with the ‘super mega all-six-films’ box set….?  (For the completists amongst us, you can already purchase the Extended Edition Box Set, also available today.)

Whether you prefer the Theatrical or Extended cuts of these films (and I think most of us come down on the side of the Extended Editions), it is really the bonus features which make this Home Entertainment release a ‘must have’. If you are patient enough to wait, maybe it’s one for your Holiday Gift wish list? (Look out for TORn’s Holiday Gift Guide, coming soon!)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to watching those nine hours of extras….

Click here to purchase The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (BD) [Blu-ray]






Posted in Blu-Ray, Crew News, Director news, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien Gift Guide, Warner Bros., Weta Collectibles

Sheep Farming in Hobbiton

HobbitonFor those of you who have been lucky enough to visit the Hobbiton set (like me!), you know how magical it is to wander among the well-tended gardens and Hobbit-home facades, to rest in the shade of the magnificent party tree, and to enjoy a pint at the Green Dragon Inn. However, as most of us are aware, the Hobbiton set is surrounded by a 560 hectare (approximately 1,400 acre) working sheep and cattle farm owned and operated by the Alexander family. recently recounted a bit of the history of the Hobbiton and how Hobbit holes and sheep continue to coexist nicely in a quiet corner of the New Zealand countryside:

“Right alongside the tourism business is their sheep and beef operation, on probably the country’s most-visited farm. While not many of the tourists see the whole farm, the stock is still very much in the public eye, meaning Craig [Alexander] has to be strategic in where he farms stock because of the occasional gate left open by an unsuspecting tourist. Hobbiton is also ring-fenced with paddocks for stock on either side. “If we’re driving a mob of 1500-2000 ewes down the main track and there is a [tourist] bus going through that can be pretty frustrating.”

While the farm is family-owned and operated, Hobbiton is a 50/50 partnership between the family and Peter Jackson. “Today, the tourism venture has about 70 permanent staff and twice that number over the busy summer season. It’s given the Matamata district a huge boost in earnings and the region is now thriving.”

Read the full article here.

Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Tours