Winners of the Hobbit Fan Contest were treated to a surprise when they visited Wellington Airport Thursday, ahead of their special screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Sir Richard Taylor was on hand to unveil a massive sculpture of Smaug (specifically his head – measuring 4.25 metres from front to back) to the 200 lucky fans. (more…)Posted in Fan Fellowship Contest, Fans, Hobbit Fan Contest, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop
Archive for the ‘Peter Jackson’ Category
Amazon UK has put up some fantastic samples from the Special Edition Album of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (as well as supplied us with an updated track list).
Click on the soundtrack cover below to get your first listen to Howard Shore’s magnificent score, as well as Billy Boyd’s poignant “The Last Goodbye”. (more…)Posted in Billy Boyd, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Howard Shore, J.R.R. Tolkien, MGM, Miscellaneous, Music, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, soundtrack, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Warner Bros.
UPDATE: a little earlier we reported news from a previously reliable source about the length of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
The production tells us that our source is not correct in this instance. Sorry for getting your hopes up, folks. (more…)Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, Rumors Spy News, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
For readers who don’t know, the shooting set for exteriors of the Shire in Hobbit trilogy is preserved for visitors on the farm where it was originally used for the “Lord of the Rings,” films. It provides a fully immersive environment that fans worldwide agree is singularly special and it runs tours daily.
So besIt also didn’t hurt that actors Jed Brophy, John Callen, Mark Hadlow and Stephen Hunter surprised visitors at a feast inside the full-service eatery on site: The Green Dragon. Nor did the flowing drink, the plentiful food, the expertly guided tours, but what else can be done to delight 150 of the most die-hard fans in the world?
Have Peter Jackson, by way of recorded video, introduce the just-finished, and last, trailer for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It brought the house down.
In the very Hobbity party tent behind The Green Dragon all the gathered fans and media were clearly and repeatedly instructed to turn off our cameras so it was obvious something different was happening. Even the most honored guests, the actors were placed in the front but looking forward with the audience.
Matthew Dravitzki, an Associate Producer on the trilogy and a key figure behind Jackson’s team who usually escapes the spotlight, spoke to the fans and introduced the video. He also required that we viewers not share the details, especially the specifics, so you will not read them here. But I think its okay if I say, it’s serious as a heart attack, gloomy as a storm front and as epic as battle of five armies.
And wow, do my fingers itch to type more.
Afterwards the groups of fans, split up for logistical purposes and took the new (to me) night tour around the set. Under the party tree the groups gathered to finally end a pretty amazing day. In fact, it may be difficult to match during the rest of the trip. To say fans were ecstatic is no exaggeration. There were, at several points, tears of joy and disbelief.
The day started in the rain at the Skyline Rotorua. Fans and reporters were generously offered the opportunity to enjoy various activities that included wine tasting, a zip line, a luge and a skyswing. Then it was off to the movie set for a day that was absolutely packed.
TORn interviewed the four actors together in a group with hilarious results. We will post it at a later date, depending on how quickly we get the video and quickly I can possibly post it but it’s great fan service from four classy New Zealand gentlemen.
The owner of the sheep and cattle farm the set sits on and his son who run it, Ian and Russel Alaexander, were on hand for interviews as well. TORn didn’t catch up with them, but plenty of media outlets did. In the late afternoon, in the guise of introducing The Green Dragon, fans were led into the room where the actors and executives were enjoying dinner and where media was stationed to grab reactions. As anticipated, tears where shed, hugs were shared and memories were made. Staff working on the event expressed a lot of tender emotions while watching fans enjoy the surprise so much.
I was pleased to have time to mix and mingle with fans — and I met a lot of them and enjoyed it every time. Before long it was trailer time. Despite this group’s appointment this week to screen the actual film with director Peter Jackson, the trailer announcement was greeted with great excitement.
Dravitzki promised a triple showing and delivered. All three times fans hushed each other at the start, not wanting to miss any dialog.
Then it was outdoors for the night tour when fireworks were triggered. Then, off to buses and tomorrow, Queenstown.Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Meet Ups, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tours
Thanks to Amazon’s France website, we now have the track list for Howard Shore’s score for the third and final Hobbit film The Battle of the Five Armies. We don’t yet know which of the tracks will be extended on the Special Edition Album, but there are definitely two bonus tracks at the end of disc two, as well as some reordering of the final tracks. (more…)Posted in Billy Boyd, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Howard Shore, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, Music, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, soundtrack, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Tolkien, Warner Bros.
Sources close to the production of The Hobbit inform us that the Kiwi-based actors of The Hobbit films will be flown to Los Angeles where the very final premiere for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be held.
It seems that John Callen (who plays Oin) wasn’t told of this plan before the announcement of the London World Premiere — hence his distress that we publicised earlier today. (more…)Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, John Callen, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.
So from all of us here at theonering.net we would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Sir Peter Jackson!
Thank you for bringing Middle-earth to the big screen.
Now for that one last visit…
Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson
Catching up with some of our friends from New Zealand, we learned about a project that involves the efforts of a lot of Kiwis, including Sylvester McCoy of Hobbit fame and Lord of the Rings’ Alex Funke. For good measure New Zealand’s Grammy winner Kimbra (Somebody That I Used To Know) is supporting the project with her voice.
In the age of computer generated effects, the film “Birds” is a throwback. A friend to TORn, Horst Sarubin, who worked on visual effects for the three Hobbit films, is behind the project that uses puppets, shot one frame at a time with incremental movements between frames to create a motion picture. The film, about the struggles of George the bird in the primordial forests of Zealandia (pre-historic New Zealand) to carry on.
McCoy is well known for his bird whistles and humor, which Hobbit director Peter Jackson definitely brought through the former Dr. Who’s Radagast into cinematic Middle-earth. In the film’s kickstarter campaign McCoy presents those whistles and gets a little bird treat in return. In the same video Funke, who is best know for helping make the LOTR bigatures look amazing on screen, explains his role is to make the cinematography great.
The stop-motion technique is being employed to give the filmmakers a hands-on experience and a final project they claim will be alive and organic. Tying closely with the passions of Peter Jackson, these are the same techniques used by Ray Harryhausen and Willis H. O’Brien. The original King Kong movie was made in this fashion, inspiring a generation of filmmakers.
With a team of grass-roots talent with a Middle-earth cinematic legacy efforting the film and a universal appealing story, but set in the ancient human-free land that would eventually become New Zealand, TORn readers may want to know further information is available at georgethebird.com. The grass-roots effort is seeking fan support via the kickstarter campaign above.Posted in Alex Funke, Crew News, Lord of the Rings, Models, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit
Entertainment Weekly posted this fascinating article, giving some insight into Peter Jackson’s plans for what must surely be the epic battle to end all epic battles. Just how do you stage the fight which is the title of your final movie in Middle-earth?
“There’s a lot of logistics that have to be thought through,” says Jackson. “We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics.”
The EW article contains a particularly interesting ‘map’, showing the different groups and their positioning in the battle at the gate of Erebor. Exactly what/who those five armies will be in Jackson’s movie has been a subject of speculation – and if you’re avoiding spoilers, now would be a good time to stop reading!
Tolkien wrote, ‘Upon one side were the Goblins and the Wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves.’ Readers have often wondered, however, why the Eagles don’t count as an army; Douglas A Anderson notes, in The Annotated Hobbit, that ‘in the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated television program of The Hobbit, the Five Armies specifically include the Eagles instead of the Wolves.’
Some TORn staffers have suggested that, having experienced battle in the First World War, when flight was still in its infancy and the idea of an air force was new, Tolkien perhaps didn’t consider battles as taking place in the air. It could, however, be a simple question of semantics: the word ‘army’ actually means ‘the military land forces of a nation’ (according to Collins English Dictionary). The Professor, being a stickler for precise meaning, perhaps dismissed as too clumsy ‘The Battle of Five Armies and Two Air Forces’ (if we include the ‘bat-cloud’) – so his ‘five armies’ would only refer to the land forces involved.
None of this necessarily means anything when it comes to Peter Jackson’s movie! He’s already strayed from Tolkien’s outline of the battle participants; the official synopsis for The Battle of the Five Armies states, ‘Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain’. In the book it is the goblins from the Misty Mountains who instigate the war, gathering forces with their kin at Gundabad, and coming down from the North led by Bolg (Azog, his father, having been slain at the Battle of Azanulbizar) – Sauron isn’t involved at all.
The map in EW’s article shows six different colour-coded groups – goblins and wargs are one colour, with eagles, elves, men and dwarves each having a different colour. This would seem to confirm what we at TORn have speculated in our panel presentations at various conventions – that Jackson’s five armies will in fact be men, dwarves, elves, orcs and eagles, with the wolves/wargs being a part of the orc army. The sixth colour on the diagram is for Beorn and Thorin – perhaps to highlight the key players of the battle (although Bard, though having his own spot on the schematic, does not share this orange colour – and it’s interesting to note that Dain, surely a key player, is not mentioned by name on this map; nor is Azog).
There’s much food for thought in this simple diagram. It appears that Bard leads men attacking from the East (from Dale, whither Lake-town refugees have fled after Smaug’s attack?). Elves come in from the West – presumably direct from Mirkwood. Beorn is coming up from the South, and the Eagles down from the North. There are also numbers on the chart – and Jackson is quoted as saying, ‘We could then start drawing the arrows on the schematics’, suggesting this is just one of several. Perhaps these numbers indicate a sequence of events? Beorn is the highest number on this image – meaning he arrives late in the battle, as in the book?
Also in the article is a wonderful piece of artwork, showing a mighty battle outside Erebor – if you click on the image (at EW’s site), it links to a bigger version. This picture seems to include cave trolls and other strange, giant creatures – and siege towers? Is this just an artist’s vision of the battle, or does it offer more insight into what we will see on the big screen?
Questions still to be answered include: when/how does Dain arrive from the North? Will Tauriel fight with the dwarves or with her Mirkwood kin? We’ve seen, in the trailer, Legolas in Dale with Bard; will he fight alongside men? The newly released Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition contains dialogue between Thrain and Gandalf, emphasizing an alliance between Smaug and the Necromancer – is it even possible that Smaug’s death will be delayed until the start of the battle, so we see him helping the attacking orcs??
And a final question – is it December yet….?
Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien
Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi has taken two Middle-earth fans and placed them in the middle of an Epic Journey, surrounded by Hobbits, Dwarves, Orcs and Elves, and some of them are the actual actors from the films. All the bases are covered, seat belts, electronic devices, life vests, etc, but there is a very definite Middle-earth vibe going on. (more…)Posted in Dean O'Gorman, Elijah Wood, Fans, Locations Sets, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien
Playing a bit of catch-up. This isn’t exactly new anymore, but in case you missed it, Total Film features an interview with Peter Jackson in the November issue of their magazine talking about how the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is coming together.
Hollywood movie studio accounts are famously opaque, but in New Zealand Warner Bros. is obliged to file detailed accounts of production spending on Peter Jackson’s films of The Hobbit.
Associated Press reports the latest filings reveal that, as of March this year, total production costs had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars — the equivalent of US $745 million. AP reports it is unclear whether the documents factor in worldwide marketing and distribution costs into this figure.Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.