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Archive for October, 2009

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks Book Tour Announcement

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming GeeksTORN Pal Ethan Gilsdorf sends us word on his new book ‘Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks’ and a West Coast book tour, take a look!

Ethan Gilsdorf presents his travel memoir / pop culture narrative “FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms.” The book is an exploration and celebration of fantasy and gaming subcultures. The events begin with a “geek trivia contest” with prizes that tests the audience’s knowledge of all things Tolkien, Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons and more. Gilsdorf will then read an excerpt from “Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks,” followed by a Q&A and book signing. More info:


Posted in Books Publications, Events, Gaming, Merchandise, Other Events

Sir Ian McKellen Shakespeare Gala Report

Shannon writes: Thanks to your reporting I found out about Sir Ian attending the Shakespeare Gala in DC. It was several days after my twenty-first birthday, so I approached my parents asking them if we could make the trek there from New York as my present, and much to my surprise, they agreed. They are well aware of my goal to meet the entire Fellowship and have helped me meet five so far, so it seemed like a great idea to them to help me meet such an awesome number six for my birthday. (more…)

Posted in Events, Ian McKellen

Richard Taylor KEA Luncheon Melbourne

Richard Taylor KEA Luncheon MelbourneMia writes: I attended the KEA Luncheon [last Thursday] in Melbourne, and wanted to share a few photos with you. The luncheon was fascinating, and it was an honour to be there. Richard was extremely friendly, and gave a great speech before jetting off to Sydney!! More..

Posted in Events, Lectures & Education, Richard Taylor, WETA Workshop

New Screens for LOTR Online: Siege of Mirkwood

New Screens for Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood, Digital ExpansionTurbine has just released a new batch of screenshots for The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood, the upcoming digital expansion to the award-winning MMO, which is scheduled to launch on December 1st in North America. The images depict the new Scuttledells region deep in the forests of Mirkwood.

Siege of Mirkwood will expand the online world of Middle-earth where players will join forces to press further eastward into the dark, foreboding and treacherous forest of Mirkwood and take part in the epic conclusion to Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online. More..

Posted in Gaming

TV Watch: Ian McKellen on ‘The View’ & ‘Jimmy’

mckellen_pengilley_104842astormcrow20 sends us word that Sir Ian McKellen is set to appear on both The View and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, November 5, 2009.

Posted in Ian McKellen, Television

Tom Hollander Out as Possible Bilbo?

Tom HollanderHolbytla writes: The BBC has just commissioned a six part series entitled ‘Handle with Prayer’ starring Tom Hollander, for broadcast sometime in 2010 (production beginning in January). This obviously casts doubt on his availability for the role of Bilbo, having previously appeared on a number of lists as a possible candidate for the part.

Posted in Casting Rumors, Characters, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

The Hobbit Production at Lindenwood University

Thorin writes: Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri is showcasing a student production of The Hobbit, both this weekend and next weekend at the times listed here.

Posted in Events, Stage Productions, The Hobbit

Happy Birthday Peter Jackson!

Peter JacksonPeter Robert Jackson, CNZM (born 31 October 1961) is a New Zealand filmmaker, producer and screenwriter, best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy adapted from the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien. He is also known for his 2005 remake of King Kong and as the producer of the critically acclaimed film District 9.

He won international attention early in his career with his “splatstick” horror comedies, before coming to mainstream prominence with Heavenly Creatures, for which he shared an Academy Award Best Screenplay nomination with his partner, Fran Walsh. Jackson has been awarded a total of three Academy Awards in his career. Visit:

Posted in Peter Jackson

Arise, Sir Dracula: prince knights Christopher Lee

sir-Christopher-Lee-recei-002All of us at would like to offer our warmest congratulations to *Sir* Chrstopher Lee for this well-deserved honor! 

Finding oneself opposite a tall, baleful celluloid vampire would have most people reaching for a head of the most pungent Spanish garlic, a large crucifix or a sharp stake. The Prince of Wales, however, opted for a ceremonial sword, even as the 1.95-metre (6ft 5ins) vision of Count Dracula leaned worryingly close to the royal neck. Fortunately, the prince had little to fear. Christopher Lee – aka Counts Dracula and Dooku, not to mention Lord Summerisle and the Duc de Richleau – had been invited to Buckingham Palace today to receive a knighthood for his services to drama and to charity. The 87-year-old is one of cinema’s most prolific actors, appearing in more than 250 films over the course of a career that has so far spanned 61 years. More..

Posted in Christopher Lee, LotR Cast News

John Rhys-Davies not Returning as Gimli

John Rys-DaviesThanks to many of you who sent in this story from I’m sure we’ll all miss John as part of The Hobbit cast. From John Rhys-Davies was, of course, Gimli the dwarf in The Lord of the Rings, and gave the series many of its funniest and most memorable moments. And while Gimli doesn’t appear in The Hobbit, his father Gloin does, so we asked him recently whether he’d be back for another go. “I’ve already been asked and to be honest with you, I wouldn’t. I have already completely ruled it out. There’s a sentimental part of me that would love to be involved again. Really I am not sure my face can take that sort of punishment any more.” More..

Posted in Casting Rumors, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, John Rhys-Davies, LotR Cast News

The KEA Dinner with speaker Richard Taylor … a great night!

Richard Taylor - KEA DinnerMessage board member Elven was lucky enough to attend the KEA dinner in Sydney this week and sends in this great report:

“If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, unless its an Oscar, it would be a much merrier world.”
-Prof Tolkien.

I have just returned home from a wonderful night at the Danks Street Depot Cafe in Sydney after listening to KEA’s special guest speaker ‘Richard Taylor’ talk and inspire an audience. People hung onto to his every word and laughed heartily at his stories – we enjoyed it so much we almost forgot about dessert. The food was glorious – the menu designed by NZ chef Jared Ingersol, and there was plenty of wonderful NZ wines available for the tasting.

Richard spoke for a good hour on his career and the movies WETA had been involved with much passion, and gave reference and credit to those people who had helped him along the way. His presentation was punctuated with some very funny anecdotes about Oscar Couture, Meet The Feebles and Taxi Drivers – but his story held a special message regarding success and talent and doing what you do, no matter what that might be, to the best of your ability – turning your life into an art.

Posted in Events, Lectures & Education, Richard Taylor, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

EMPIRE: Who Did You Vote The Greatest Characters Of The Decade?

Empire Magazine: Aragorn CoverFrom EMPIRE: Some are mad, bad and dangerous to know. Some you could safely bring to visit your granny for afternoon tea. But all of these ten characters are icons, the colossi who bestrode the last decade and gave us some of its most memorable moments. We asked you to vote; you answered in your thousands – and here are the top ten results, who will appear on ten special covers of the next issue of Empire magazine, presented in alphabetical order. Why not numerical? Well, when you’ve got characters this ace, why on Earth would you want to quibble about who’s best? We’ll be revealing the covers over the next few days, so keep an eye on this page to choose your favourite and decide who to buy.

#1 Aragorn
Inside the issue: A few of the reasons Viggo made the perfect Aragorn – by Ian Nathan

Others on the cover: James Bond, Jason Bourne, The Bride, The Joker, Maximus, Harry Potter, Shaun, Jack Sparrow, Wolverine

Posted in Uncategorized