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Archive for April, 2001

Get those Elven boats from another angle!

Thanks to Robbit the Hobbit, we have a picture of the Elven boats casting off on the Anduin, from another angle. !SPOILERS! [Here] and [Here]

Posted in Old Main News

Hall of Fire Topic for May 5 & 6

Arwen Evenstar

We’ve been hearing a lot about Liv Tyler in the news lately, so we thought we’d talk about her character Arwen for our next Hall of Fire chat. Clearly an essential, albeit behind-the-scenes character, Lady Undomiel is peerless in her time on Middle-earth. She makes one of the greatest sacrifices an Elf can give, yet we read more of her in the Appendixes of Return of the King then throughout the trilogy. Early LotR movie rumors and gossip often turned to Arwen’s character in the films as Tolkien purists recoiled at the thought of expanding her roll in the plot and perhaps taking creative license with her personality. Now we can actually hear her speak Elvish!

We offer three sessions for our discussions. First-timers are always welcome!

Place: #thehalloffire on server; come to’s chat room Barliman’s and then type /join #thehalloffire .

Saturday Chat: 7:00 pm ET (19:00) [also 12:00 am Sunday (0:00) GMT and 9:00 am Sunday (09:00) AET]

Sunday Chat: 8:00 pm (20:00) AET [also 11:00 am (11:00) GMT and 6:00 am (06:00) ET]

Sunday Chat: 6:00 pm (18:00) GMT [also 1:00 pm (13:00) ET and 3:00 am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
GMT = Greenwich Mean Time, Western Europe
AET = Australian Eastern Time, Australia’s East Coast

You can be a Hall of Fire Moderator!
That’s right folks, you can run a Hall of Fire! How you ask???

Send us your topics! If we pick your idea for discussion, you will be our guest co-moderator for that weekend. You can help us run the chat in your time zone, or all three! Of course, you will not be required to work the chat; this is our way of honoring those of you who take the time to put a topic together.

Questions? Topics? Send ‘em here.

Posted in Barliman News

Lots ‘o’ Liv

Thanks to Ringer fans Tim and Paul for sending in the latest Liv Tyler (Arwen) media mentions. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

MediaWatch: Liv and LOTR

Liv is all over the place as “One Night at McCool’s” opens in the US.

Ringer Paul sends in this from

Hey there. Just saw an article on Liv Tyler’s performance in “One Night at McCool’s” on, it mentioned her role in FOTR, as well as the fact that TTT and ROTK are coming in ’02 and ’03.” [More]

Ringer Tim sends in these mentions from the UK:

First off,Total Film has a “I’m-reading-this-for-McCool’s,honest” interview with Liv Tyler. A couple of quotes:

“Peter did not lose his cool once.And I’ve never seen that happen.Not even on a normal film….I was just so impressed.”

She says acting as an elf “…has f**cked me forever because I now sound English and I want to sound like a New Yorker!”

Also,next month’s Deamwatch magazine is due to have an interview with Liv. PURELY about LOTR…

Thanks guys for sending in this info!

Posted in Old Special Reports

Lord of the Rings Live Chats 4/28 & 4/29

The Hall of Fire features three chat sessions this weekend as we discuss chapter six of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Old Forest. [more]

Posted in Old Main News

AICN Explains Jeff Wells

Harry has a go at telling us why the misguided Jeff Wells said those mean, mean things. Geeks unite! [more]

Posted in Old Main News

Liv mentions LOTR over at Daily Radar.

Another interview with Liv Tyler [Arwen] where she talks a little bit about working on the ‘Rings,’ during an interview to promote her latest film.

Posted in Old Main News

More images from SilentMan

Wow! Amazing images from Silentman over at Les Seigneur des Anneaux. Get a load of that hideous face! Is this a goody from the WETA workshops? !SPOILERS [More]

Posted in Old Main News and

You can catch the latest ‘Lord of the Rings’ update on internet radio at Yours truly gives the ‘non-tolkien world’ a small update on all the latest. Check it out this week for news on Cannes, Liv’s ‘Mcool’s’ bad reviews, and the Howard Shore score (with apologies to Tehanu and the entire NZSO, she was kidding!). Follow the link below, click on April 27 on the right side, and move the progress bar to 1 hour and 11 minutes. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

In Bet on Sequels, New Line Films Three ‘Rings’ at Once

Ringer Spy Brian H sends along this news story from The Wall Street Journal.

The summer movie season may be just about to kick off, but in Hollywood, thoughts are turning to Christmas.

Christmas 2003, that is. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

In Bet on Sequels, New Line Films Three ‘Rings’ at Once


The summer movie season may be just about to kick off, but in Hollywood, thoughts are turning to Christmas.

Christmas 2003, that is.

As moviegoers settle into theaters for “Pearl Harbor” or “Tomb Raider,” many will be greeted by a trailer for one of the biggest movie gambles ever: Not one, not two, but three “Lord of the Rings” films, coming to theaters each December between now and 2003. Usually studios make Rocky I, say, before Rocky V. But all of these “Rings” have already been shot, put in the can and are ready for postproduction.

Why would anyone make three hugely expensive films at the same time, when they don’t even know if there’s an audience for one? Turns out the studio, New Line Cinema, isn’t alone in making this kind of bet. Before audiences ever lay eyes on WWF star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in “The Mummy Returns,” Universal Pictures has already given him his own $60 million movie. Warner Bros., meanwhile, is currently making two sequels to “The Matrix,” its Keanu Reeves hit of 1999. And the producers of the Jackie Chan action movie “Rush Hour” are talking about “Rush Hour 3” — “RH2” doesn’t hit theaters until August.

But at a time when moviegoers’ tastes seem to change faster than Gwyneth’s boyfriends, the “Rings” movies are by far the riskiest. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classics, not only do the movies have a combined price tag of $270 million, they’ll also be going up against the first “Harry Potter” film. Both movies, plus Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.,” will be battling for the same family audience, in the theaters and also in the toy stores. Beyond that, we’re talking about a studio trying to create a franchise without any input from ticket buyers. Aren’t they supposed to have some influence?

Bob Shaye, New Line’s co-chairman, has an answer. He says the Tolkien books have a dedicated fan base, and besides, making three films at once is cheaper than making them individually.

Sequel Economics

Here’s how: When studios make sequels, the costs always go up for special effects, for sets and costumes and — especially — for actors. Mike Myers got just $3 million to star in New Line’s 1997 hit “Austin Powers.” For the 1999 sequel, “The Spy Who Shagged Me,” Mr. Myers’s price jumped to almost $10 million; he’s getting a whopping $25 million for “Austin 3.” And when Dino De Laurentiis tried to get Jodie Foster to return as Clarice Starling in “Hannibal” last year, he says she wanted $20 million (she is believed to have gotten about $1 million for “The Silence of the Lambs”). The producer hired the much less expensive Julianne Moore instead.

For the “Rings” movies, New Line also had to build just one enormous Middle-earth set (in New Zealand), not three. And it had to pay the fees and salaries of all the technical crew just once, before anyone’s won an Oscar and before it’s a blockbuster, when the studio had the most leverage. The other company co-chairman, Michael Lynne, says the studio estimated it might have cost almost twice as much to make the “Rings” movies individually.

Then there’s the lesson in sequel reality that New Line got from “The Mask,” the 1994 blockbuster starring Jim Carrey as a bank clerk turned super-hero. When the studio wanted to make a sequel to it, Mr. Carrey balked, not only wanting more money than New Line was willing to pay, but also not sure he wanted to revisit the character. The result: A potentially big hit never got made.

In the case of the “Rings” movies, Mr. Lynne also insists the studio has limited its financial risk by selling off nearly all the foreign rights and driving some hard bargains on merchandising. He says New Line is on the hook for only about $60 million of the films’ $270 million cost. (Others say the number is more like $90 million.)

Still, if the first “Rings” film bombs, the studio — which was founded as a niche player making movies on the cheap — could be left with two very expensive sequels that nobody wants to see. That’s hardly inconceivable, given that for every “Star Wars” or “Jurassic Park” out there, there’s an equally expensive bomb that studios once claimed could be a franchise movie. Remember “G.I. Jane,” “Last Action Hero” and “Howard the Duck”? But, says Mr. Shaye, New Line is investing in an event, and “one of the very few that you’d decide was worth it.” Still, he concedes, “anything could happen. I’m sitting here crossing my fingers.”

‘Ishtar’ Again?

But why worry about the future when the present is even scarier? This weekend, New Line finally opens its troubled Warren Beatty comedy, “Town & Country,” the most fabled runaway production in recent memory and a film that’s already being compared with legendary disasters like Mr. Beatty’s “Ishtar.”

‘Town & Country’ Publicity Proves an Awkward Act

Originally slated to open in April 1999, the movie has had its release date changed 13 times. Initially given the green light at $55 million, industry executives say the film ended up costing closer to $85 million due to what Mr. Shaye calls “logistic” issues.

That’s a pretty frightening number given the film’s cast. Besides Mr. Beatty, it has Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton, all of them over 50 and none of them with great appeal for the core young moviegoing audience these days. Plus, “Town & Country” arrives with the baggage of a long and tortured backstage drama (shoots, reshoots, and then more reshoots) well known among the public. The main problem: The movie started production without a finished script.

Mr. Shaye says despite its troubles, the movie is “sassy and funny and definitely worth your nine bucks.” That may or may not be true, but, most incredibly, he adds, New Line isn’t going to incur huge losses on the film the way the studio did with last year’s “Little Nicky.” “I think we’re going to get out in one piece.”

Whatever happens, the studio, part of AOL Time Warner , recently announced that it was going back to making fewer — and cheaper — movies.

Posted in Old Special Reports

Latest on MM3D vs Sierra

Gaming Havens guru DarthCaeser reports MM3D, who was suing Sierra over a breach of contract, has withdrawn their lawsuit. [More]

Posted in Old Main News