andrea writes: Marco Giovanni is the journalist who stayed in NZ during the re-shooting. No new photos, maybe in August issue, but some minor SPOILERS:

Peter Jackson moved from a set to another, as usual, with his Red Bicycle ‘Challenge’ model, recognizable by the skull on the handle. It’s a Shelob-lair souvenir, where there are also some dangling, mummyfied corpses, which are imprisoned in synthetic webs made by an elasticized fiber of boiled-vegetable-oil (220°C!!!).

-Shelob will be a 5 meter-high monster, really fast, who stops in a second to fix her eyes on her prey.

-The plot will have weddings, coronations, ambushes, suicides, betrayal, but also the biggest battle of the history of cinema: 200,000 orcs in Pelennor field!”

Demosthenes here. You might recall that some time ago, Peter Jackson spoke to the LoTR Fan Magazine about the inspiration for Shelob. In part, he said:

I’ve got a real fear of spiders; I guess I have arachnophobia. Ever since I was a kid, spiders have freaked me out. There is a spider in New Zealand called a Tunnel Web spider, which is a common New Zealand spider but a very nasty, fat, pudgy one that lives in gardens.

Ever since I was a kid, I have been terrified of coming across these things. You find them under old bricks and old logs and leaves and such. It is a very evil-looking spider; it’s small—about an inch and a half long. About three weeks ago, we had a Shelob design meeting, and I looked at the designs and said, “You know, we have to make this look more like the Tunnel Web. She has to be more like this horrible spider.” Most of the CG guys that I was talking to were from the U.S., so they didn’t have a clue what a Tunnel Web was. So I turned to one of the Kiwi designers, Christian Rivers, and said, “Can we find pictures of one?”

The next morning, Christian poked around in his garden and managed to catch one in a glass jar! So right now, we have a live Tunnel Web at Weta being the model for Shelob. As far as I’m concerned, a photograph would’ve been just fine!

Xoanon promptly went and dug up the image below from the Te Papa museum website to terrify us all.

Real Life Shelob Model?
But when I saw Shelob described as being “really fast” it struck me that not only might WETA use the Tunnelweb as a static starting point, they may use its movements as a starting point for modelling the way that Shelob moves. This would make any video of a Tunnelweb in action worth gold to the thousands of spoiler-seeking LoTR fans around the world.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to disover any video of a Tunnelweb lurking on the internet. But here’s a couple more pictures of this vicious-looking beastie for you to enjoy.

Black Tunnelweb Spider Black Tunnelweb Spider
I also remembered that there’s been shots of an (early) model of Shelob floating around for a while. While not new, they’ve never been scrapbooked previously. These particular ones are screencapped from The Quest for the Ring.

Richard Taylor Holds Shelob