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.
We all know by now that the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be available soon! Confirming some details, here’s the official word from Warner Bros.:
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
BLU-RAY™ and DVD ARRIVE ON NOVEMBER 17
OWN IT EARLY ON DIGITAL HD ON OCTOBER 20
EXTENDED EDITION FEATURES A 20-MINUTE LONGER CUT AND
MORE THAN NINE HOURS OF NEW SPECIAL FEATURES
The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition Also Available on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD
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.
In addition, The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition will also be available, featuring the extended editions of all three films in The Hobbit Trilogy – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition will be available as a 3-disc Blu-ray set ($35.99 SRP); and a 5-disc DVD set ($34.99 SRP). The Blu-ray and DVD include a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” via purchase from digital retailers.
The nine plus hours of new special features boasts audio commentary with Peter Jackson, the film’s director/producer/screenwriter, and Philippa Boyens, co-producer/screenwriter, as well as The Appendices, a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the Trilogy.
The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition will be available as a 9-disc Blu-ray set ($99.98 SRP); and a 15-disc DVD set ($78.92 SRP). The Blu-ray and DVD Trilogy sets include digital versions of the movies on Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition via purchase from digital retailers.
ALL-NEW SPECIAL FEATURES ON BLU-RAY AND DVD
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 DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On October 20, The Hobbit: The Battle ofthe Five Armies Extended Edition will be available for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on fans’ favorite devices from select digital retailers.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition
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.
The American Cinematheque will be screening their annual LOTR Extended Edition Trilogy marathon on Saturday, September 12 at the Aero Theater, 1328 Montana ave. in Santa Monica. In addition to the films, this will also be a tribute to Christopher Lee and Andrew Lesnie with discussions between the films with executive producer Mark Ordesky, and more guests to be announced. For details on how to get tickets and directions, please go to American Cinematheque website.
As usual, TheOneRing.net will be at the theater all day long, but in lieu of trivia contests on stage between films, we will host a few ‘pop trivia questions’ in the concession lines. After all, what else are you going to do while standing in line when you could be having fun winning stuff. All this because there will be special guest appearances on stage during the intermissions. The Cinematheque is bringing in a Food truck for the intermissions, so there should be a little bit of variety for food options, yum.
For those of you who reside in LA and have attended some of these Cinematheque trilogy screenings before, you know there is nothing more entertaining than getting to see these films on the big screen again, and with a bunch of fellow fans. Hopefully a few of you are on their mailing list or are members of the American Cinematheque. After all, with the LOTR trilogy being an annual event, chances are you will want to attend every year, and in between Trilogy screenings, they offer some other pretty cool programming all year long. Between foreign language films, indie films, classics and some really avant garde films, many of which they also bring in cast or crew members, it feels like a year round film festival. And membership will get your discounted tickets, most of which will be $7 per show (and $10 for this trilogy), free ‘members only’ sneak preview screenings, and priority ticket purchase and entry for certain screenings. For more details, just head to their membership page.
Here’s a nice story from stuff.co.nz: Sir Peter Jackson has come to the rescue of a historic Wellington church. Jackson and wife Fran Walsh have bought St Christopher’s Church in the suburb of Seatoun for $1.06 million in a move that saves the earthquake-prone church and neighbouring hall from potential demolition. The couple made their latest purchase to ensure the buildings would not be lost from the peninsula, trust chairman Richard Stubbs said. According to Stubbs, the community would have faced a huge fundraising effort were it not for Jackson and Walsh stepping in.
“They’ve rescued it. They’ve totally relieved us of that obligation, and that means we can get on and run the facilities … their involvement here is absolutely pivotal. They’ve done this for the people of the peninsula, and indeed for Wellington.”
Read the rest of the article on the stuff.co.nz website here.
We’ve just heard the sad news that Andrew Lesnie has died of a heart attack at the age of 59.
The filmmaker from Sydney, Australia, won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Peter Jackson‘s “The Fellowship Of The Ring” in 2002. He is most associated for his work with Peter Jackson on the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” trilogy and on “The Hobbit.” But his film catalog is much larger, including the just released Russell Crow-directed film, “The Water Diviner.”
He also served as director of photography for the Australian “Babe,” movies which led Jackson to him. In an interview with DigitalProducer.com, Jackson talked about the series of events, including Lesnie leaving “Mission Impossible 2,” to come to the Tolkien films. Said Jackson:
“I’d never worked with him or even met him before, but he’d shot the Babe films and I thought they looked amazing, the way he’d used backlight and the sun and natural light to create a very magical effect. And Babe had that larger-than-life feel about it that I wanted. So when we began looking for DPs in early 1999, I first decided to get either an Australian or New Zealand DP as they’d be used to the way we make films. Every country is slightly different in that way, and I immediately thought of Andrew. But he was shooting MI2 in Sydney, so I was a bit stuck then. But then after three weeks he left MI2 — apparently there was a lot of friction on the set, and we called him the next day and persuaded him to fly over to meet. Then we showed him all the designs and sets and he got very excited, and I liked him a lot.”
Jackson and Lesnie made the six Tolkien films together but they also collaborated on “King Kong,” and “The Lovely Bones.” Other notable films he worked on:
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and “I Am Legend,” among others.
He can be seen as a painter acting in the Sean Astin-directed short film, “The Long and Short of It.” He made a cameo in “Return of the King,” as a Corsair of Umbar sailing to battle. By all accounts and from personal observations, Lesnie was excellent to work with. He is immortalized through his work.
All of us here at TheOneRing.net send our best wishes and condolences to his family and friends.
Below is the video of Lesnie winning his Academy Award for “Fellowship,” where he is graceful, humorous and thanks many people person-to-person before walking on stage to accept the award. It is a fine example of his professionalism and good nature.
On March 28, 2015 TheOneRing.net livestreamed an interview with animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi to discuss the first-ever “The Lord of the Rings” film (1978), and to parse the differences between homage and rip-off (and the not-so-nebulous chains of inspiration from one artist to another).
Bakshi revealed to us that his Studio’s “LOTR” character designs and artwork were sent down to Three Foot Six in New Zealand; elevating the conversation of his impact on the live-action epic.
The subversive director has lived through numerous controversies, yet remains undervalued by Ringer fans and feels personally slighted by Jackson. He carries on vigorously at 77 years old with a new crowdfunded animated work, “The Last Days of Coney Island” and his intent to direct a “Wizards 2” follow-up to his 1977 cult hit.(more…)
We know that many fans are in New York this week, enjoying the fabulous Lord of the Rings in Concert performances at Lincoln Center. For those of you who can’t be there, here’s a short video to enjoy, which captures the excitement of seeing these great films with live orchestra:
We hope that everyone who is there is having a great time in the Big Apple!
In the USA, from March 24th, the last in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies will be available for you to take home. (It’s been available in digital version in many countries since March 3rd; but from Tuesday you can get your hands on a ‘hard’ copy.)
Many fans, of course, like to wait for the Extended Edition release before purchasing a copy; but speaking personally, my collection isn’t complete unless I have the theatrical cut as well. I was thrilled to get my hands on a review copy of the Blu-ray Combo pack, which includes copies of the movie on Blu-ray, on DVD and a Digital HD copy – as well as various extras. (more…)
We’re delighted to bring you an excerpt from Cinefex‘s forthcoming behind-the-scenes account of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Joe Fordham’s 26-page feature in Cinefex 141 includes in-depth interviews with the film’s effects artists — and Peter Jackson — and is accompanied by 28 behind-the-scenes photos and frame clips from the movie. Many of them are exclusive to Cinefex.
Here’s a teaser exclusively for TheOneRing.net readers: (more…)
WETA Digital director and senior visual fx supervisor Joe Letteri conducted an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit a little earlier. Letteri has, of course, worked on a slew of films such as Lord of the Rings, Avatar, The Hobbit, King Kong, and Planet of the Apes.
Here’s just a few of his answers. Click the link at the bottom to see the complete thread.
Q: How is Peter Jackson in person?
Peter’s great in person. He’s really collaborative, really open to ideas. And he’s got a LOT of energy. And I think one of the things that motivates Peter, which I think applies to everyone at Weta, is that you don’t give up on the film until you have put every ounce of effort you possibly can into it, to try to make it as best as possible before it goes out the door.
Q: What’s your favorite pre-cgi movie? Have there been any movies that you thought, “Wow, I wish we thought of that?”
There’s 2 that really stand out, pre-CGI – they would have to be 2001 and STAR WARS. Because 2001 was just visually stunning, with its portrayal of space and how you could use FX to take you INTO space, and STAR WARS just applied that with a whole idea of an action movie sequence that just really opened up a whole world of storytelling.
Q: How was your experience working on the hobbit:battle of the five armies movie?
The experience working on those films was great, because we got to really spend another 3 years in Middle Earth, which is a fantastically open environment for us. We had the ability to not only walk through this fantastic landscape of Middle Earth, but help to create large parts of it, and as the series went on, we got to create more and more interesting characters. So it was great in the first film, to be able to bring Gollum back again, because he’s a favorite character of mine. It was great to be able to create Smaug, because he’s such a fantastic character. And, in the end, we created about 130 different characters for those 3 films.
Q: You mentioned that gollum from lotr and hobbit is your favourite character; how did the idea come about to use an actor for the portrayal of gollum rather than use cgi? And what did you think of Andy Serkis as gollum? I thought he was amazing, really brought the character to life!
Well, Gollum is a CGI character. What happened is that Andy was brought in, to record Gollum’s voice. But Andy, being an actor himself, worked with Peter to come up with this idea of having him perform in front of the camera with the other actors.
And that brought a whole new level of drama to the performance, because that meant that the actors could work with Andy as if Gollum were really there with them.
And so we then recorded Andy’s performance, and used that as a guide for creating the Gollum character, on top of the performance he gave on the set.
Now, when we did RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, we made a technical breakthrough where we could use the performance capture at the same time that Andy was performing onset.
And so that really allowed us then to do Gollum the same way for Hobbit, which was fantastic because it really kept Andy’s performance in the moment. And then we were able to take that one step further with DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, because then we were able to take all the recording gear to a remote location. So it’s given us the ability to work with actors to create these characters anywhere in the world.
And obviously, a huge fan of Andy. He’s a fantastic actor, and we’ve been fortunate to work with him all these years.
Hey all, MrCere here. We have a friend in Italy who has been great at promoting some J.R.R. Tolkien related stuff and has been also providing TheOneRing content and ways to reach readers and Tolkienites in Europe.
Gabriele Marconi sent in the following info, I think, with the idea that I could shape a post for TORn from it. Instead, I love his energy and style so and am presenting the info as he provided. It is long compared to many posts, but there is a lot of useful info. And, if this doesn’t want to make you go to Milan, you might not be a Tolkien fan. This is an astounding collection of art with all the names you hope might be included. Anyway, go read!:
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