Looks like you don’t have a report on this yet, so I thought I’d write in: Peter, Fran, and Philippa all made an appearance in Austin TX yesterday as part of Harry Knowles’ fifth annual Butt-Numb-a-Thon. For those who don’t know, Butt-Numb-a-Thon is a 24-hour movie marathon at a local dinner theater, typically showing a mixture of older films and brand-new not-yet-released films.
This year it was no surprise to anyone that Return of the King would be one of the selected films, but we all figured it would come at the end of the 24-hour marathon. Imagine our surprise when they interrupted the second film mid-scene, and with no warning whatsoever the New Line Cinema logo appeared on the screen. Everyone flipped out in the theater, and settled in for a phenomenal film-going experience. (I won’t waste any space with my personal review, except to say it’s like Fellowship meets Towers with whipped cream and a cherry on top.)
At the conclusion of the film there was a minutes-long standing ovation that lasted through much of the closing credits. Then Harry Knowles walked up front and confirmed our wildest dreams: “Please welcome Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh.” The audience lit up like a firecracker as the production team walked in the theater and took up their mics.
For about 20 minutes they took questions from the audience, covering their problems adapting the stories; why they cut some scenes and kept others; a status update on King Kong (they’re into building maquettes at the moment, if that’s how you spell it); and more on The Hobbit (he’d like to do it, but the legals need to be cleared up first).
So there weren’t any groundbreaking revelations from the trio onstage, but more than anything we were elated that we got to thank them in person for such a spectacular set of films. Everyone that got up to ask a question fell over themselves to compliment the filmmakers, and Harry himself teared up while issuing his own thanks for the movies.
They stayed for the next film showing – Buster Keaton’s “The General” with a live score by local artist Guy Forsyth and his band – then it was off to Berlin for their next press junket.
Not too often that you get to meet such luminaries with an audience as few as 300! Everyone got a signed poster and had a great time. Just thought you’d like a report.