Just thought you and the thousand of other Tolkien fans might be interested. The British Foreign Office have produced a website (scheduled to be on-line from the millennium) called Planet-Britain 2000. The idea is to communicate Britain and its culture to the rest of the world. Part of the site (and its gonna be huge) overviews our links with other countries (including Canada Xo) and in the Australasia section of course, there is New Zealand.
This is what they’ll have concerning LOTR:
“The Lord of the Rings
New Zealand director Peter Jackson is currently filming this epic trilogy in the South Island. The movies, which will be filmed back to back, have an estimated budget of $360m and are to be released in the summer of 2001. It is the first time anyone has atempted to bring Tolkien’s internationally adored works together as a live-action film, but it is a project that has been close to Jackson’s heart for the best part of his life. Now, with a cast including Sir Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee, a crew of hundreds and some of the most amazing scenery on the planet – we can expect to see Frodo and Bilbo Baggins come to life thanks to the glory and splendour of New Zealand.”
The website will be used by governments, universities and people all over the world and though I say it myself, there’s something for everyone. The address will be www.planet-britain.org.