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Archive for October, 2006

‘We’ve got to kill a hobbit. You pick one’

In an extract from his biography of Peter Jackson, Brian Sibley, tells of the director’s early struggles to make The Lord of the Rings. In 1994, the director Peter Jackson and his writing partner Fran Walsh, fresh from the success of Heavenly Creatures, were signed to an exclusive three-year “first look” deal by the Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein. “First look” deals allow a studio to pay overheads for writers and directors to come up with ideas. The studio then gets the option to turn those ideas into films. With the deal signed, Jackson and Walsh set to work on the screenplay for their adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series: by 1997, they had completed a draft script that abbreviated the trilogy into two films.

Having completed their 92-page outline, Peter and Fran flew to New York for creative meetings with Miramax, which took place in a room nicknamed “the sweatbox” after the small airless rooms where, in the early days of film, movies got shown and discussed. In the middle of summer, with no windows and no air-conditioning and the obvious tensions involved in presenting a treatment for an ambitious movie project, the room lived up to its name. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Tolkien Again Makes ‘dead celebrity’ List

The Forbes.com website ranks 13 celebrities pushing up daisies on their income and proves that death need not be an obstacle to making money, with the group collectively earning 247 million dollars in the last year…J.R.R. Tolkein, the creator of the Lord of the Rings epic, slid three places since last year, but the success of the film trilogy, DVD sales and offshoot merchandise have continued to make a killing for the English writer. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

MGM Makes More Plans for Terminator 4 and The Hobbit

From The Hollywood Reporter (via movieweb.com): Sands hopes to resuscitate MGM with several big new films. He’s packaging the fourth “Terminator” film — it will be titled “Terminator blah blah, not Four,” Sands joked — with a new star likely to fill the Arnold Schwarzenegger role. “It’s like the “Batman” or “Superman” franchise in that it lends itself to having different actors in the roles,” he said.

Sands is in discussions with New Line Cinema to get the rights to produce two prequel films to “The Lord of the Rings” series, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, he said. Other projects he mentioned include a sequel to “The Thomas Crown Affair,” set to star Pierce Brosnan, and a remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Posted in Old Main News

HobbitCon 2006 in Brazil

The Brazilian Tolkiendili Federation (FTB) claims for your participation at the HobbitCon 2006, from November 2nd. to 5th., at Vitória – Esp’rito Santo, Brazil. You may come by poney, mearas or even oliphaunt, but don’t forget to knock on the first door marcked with runes, because we will be waiting for you with a big and fat hobbit feast. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Game on for Halo despite studio pullout

Reports that it was game over for Peter Jackson’s Halo movie are being shot down by industry insiders. Universal and Fox have pulled out of the movie deal but Microsoft and Jackson are reporting business as usual. “If you remember during King Kong Peter explained how King Kong was gonna be before Lord of the Rings and it fell over and back it came again…it’s just part of film making,” says Weta Ltd spokesperson Jamie Wilson. Rumours of a budget blow-out have been denied. Jackson and his producing partners, including Microsoft, claim Universal and Fox asked them to reduce their profit take. They declined, confidant the project is safe. Recently the game Doom was made into a feature film that barely broke even at the box office. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Serkis: Beowulf Is The Future

Andy Serkis, who co-stars in Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming Beowulf film, told SCI FI Wire that the movie’s computer animation is a glimpse of things to come. “I think that more motion capture is [being] used in film, and it’s becoming part of the mainstream and used in a mainstream way,” Serkis (King Kong) said in an interview. “It is … especially [true] with video games and the convergence of video games and film. It’s actually a really interesting time for actors. Robert Zemeckis has just made Beowulf with Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich, Ray Winstone and all kinds of high-profile and serious actors creating these characters. They are creating the movements. They are creating the personalities, and it’s the manifestation of those characters which is being handed over.” [More]

Posted in Old Main News

DVD Tuesday: Mission Impossible III, C.S.I. Miami & More!

A ton of interesting new films are out on DVD this week. Take an early look on our ‘DVD Tuesday’ feature…every Monday! You can actually pick up some DVDs today in most stores, it is Mission: Monday with ‘Mission: Impossible II’ out on DVD, as well as a collector three pack. A ‘Baywatch Collection’ is also available today. Check out some other TV goodies like the ‘Benny Hill Collection’, ‘C.S.I. Miami – S4’ & ‘Ghost Whisperer – S1’. Some great animation out today as well, ‘Ghost in the Shell SAC Complete 1st Season Box Set’ & ‘Speed Racer 5’. Some Blu-Ray & HD DVD offerings include; ‘Mission Impossible 3’, ‘Excalibur’ & ‘Under Siege’. Personally I’m interested in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawntreader’ & ‘The Kids in the Hall Megaset’! Check out the whole list here! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Bruce Hopkins in A Bullet Waits for You

Once again Bruce Hopkins aka Gamling explores new ways to marry digital film-making with the power of the Net. He’s loaning his best gravelly gunslinger voice to an animated Western designed to be distributed on the 3G phone network. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Bruce Hopkins in

Kiwi actor Bruce Hopkins aka Gamling gets involved in all kinds of experimental stuff exploring the possibilities of digital media and the Net. Here’s a word from him on his latest project:

“I have been working on a project with a guy over here called Andrew McKenzie, a lecturer in Digital Media. He got me on board to perform for an animation series he is creating to release on the mobile phone 3G platform. It is very cool to see what he has been able to do. We literally film this on a mini DV against a green screen in one corner of the space he teaches in. He films each character separately creating a library of sequences and then is able to manipulate this to create an episode such as what you see on this posting on Youtube.”

There’s some background on the project here.

Posted in Old Special Reports

Lord of the wings heads for Scotland

A DRAGON trained in the Highlands to defeat the French during the Napoleonic wars is to become the next blockbuster hero of the Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson. The man behind the Lord Of The Rings and King Kong has snapped up the rights to a series of fantasy novels by self- confessed “geek” Naomi Novik, a little-known American writer who features Scotland heavily in her debut work. With his JRR Tolkien trilogy, Jackson propelled New Zealand to the top of the world’s must-visit tourism destinations. Now plans are under way for Scotland to make the most of a potential multi-million-pound windfall. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Tolkien 2006 – From Oxford to Buenos Aires

Folks from the Argentinean Tolkien Society write: As every year the Asociacion Tolkien Argentina (Argentinean Tolkien Society) organizes the greatest Tolkien event in south America. As usual, activities include a large number of conferences, covering a wide range of issues: Tolkien’s youth and the influence of his friends, Christopher Tolkien and his contributions to the works of his father, and some debates concerning different features of Tolkien creations. Visitors from neighbour countries are expected, as well as from all over the world. Please take a minute to notice us so as to find you suitable accomodation. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Guinness lists record-breaking feats in the movies

Guinness has adjudged the Most Expensive Movie Ever Made to be the 2005 “King Kong” — at $207 million, compared to $200 million each for “Titanic” (1997) and “Spider-Man 2.”

Highest salary ever paid to a film director prior to production: The $20 million Peter Jackson earned for megging “The Lord of the Rings.”

Most Oscars for a movie: “Ben-Hur” won 11 in 1959, and its record was matched by “Titanic” in 1997. More recently, it became a three-way tie when “The Return of the of the King” won all 11 of its nominations. [More]

Posted in Old Main News