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Archive for March, 2010

More Updates on MGM

Message board members Pipe Dream and macfalk have unearthed more breaking news regarding MGM’s financial woes. A Business Week/Bloomberg update announced that billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries may drop out of the bidding, having received no response to-date from MGM or its creditors regarding its restructuring proposal. Another interesting development was published today at Variety: with MGM’s latest extension on its debt servicing payment scheduled to run out today, MGM’s creditors granted yet another extension; this one for 45 days (expiring May 14).

From both articles: lenders have deemed the current offers too low, a person with knowledge of the deliberations said last week. MGM debtholders are said to be split into two camps — one that wants to accept the best offer; and the other that wants to prolong the process in hopes of keeping the studio alive. The remaining binding offers for MGM are believed to be in the $1.5 billion range, far below the $2 billion threshold price sought by MGM and its debtholders. MGM put itself up for sale in November, drawing a trio of binding offers two weeks ago. Lionsgate bailed out of the bidding last week, leaving only Time Warner and Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries in the running.

As we reported in this exclusive, inside sources tell us that moving forward with production of The Hobbit hinges on developments with MGM. So stay tuned here as we continue following the MGM saga closely.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Studios

Birmingham bog which inspired Tolkien to be restored

A Birmingham nature reserve that was a favourite childhood playground of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has been awarded a £376,500 lottery grant. Tolkien said Moseley Bog had inspired the mystical Old Forest that his Hobbit characters travelled through in the Lord of the Rings. The reserve is owned by Birmingham City Council and managed by the Friends of Moseley Bog and a wildlife trust. They said the grant would fund an outdoor theatre and restore hedgerows. More..

Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien

More Hobbiton Set Pics!

This feels like 1999 all over again, we have another collection of set pictures from the New Zealand set of Hobbiton. Thanks to Paul for sending these along!

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, New Zealand, The Hobbit

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy Blu Ray Giveaway and Warner Brothers are teaming up to celebrate the release of The Lord Of The Rings Motion Picture Trilogy on Blu Ray, April 6th 2010!

From now until April 13th 2010, we will be giving you the opportunity to win some amazing prizes, including the grand prize of a Lord of the Rings Middle-earth Treasure Chest Jewelry Box, worth nearly $200!

You will be also be competing for a Sterling Silver Arwen Evenstar Pendant, Sterling Silver Elven Leaf Brooch, and over thirty other great LOTR themed prizes!

How to Enter: This giveaway will be hosted on the Official Forums! All you have to do to enter is reply to this giveaway thread with your favorite scene in The Lord of the Rings and give us a small explanation of why that is your favorite scene. All winners will be randomly chosen from all replies to the thread.

Click Here to Enter

Posted in Contests, Events

Arlington Cinema Drafthouse Goes Geek

Hayes writes: The Arlington Cinema Drafthouse just added Rings Fest 2010 to their calendar. All Three Lord of the Ring Movies + Games and Contests – FOR ONE LOW PRICE!

When: Sunday, April 25th, 2010 from 12PM to 10PM
Where: Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
Price: $8

Watch for your favorite Movie or stay for ALL THREE. Enjoy Lord of the Rings again on the BIG SCREEN! The Festival is open all day, please feel free to come at any time. (more…)

Posted in Conventions, Events, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers

3rd Conference On Middle-Earth in Westford, MA

Pippin writes: In my infinite wisdom [and inability to learn from past mistakes, how many cons & conferences have I run now?] I will be chairing a Tolkien conference in the Boston area at the end of March 2011. (more…)

Posted in Events, Fans, Lectures & Education, Meet Ups, Other Events

McKellen & Serkis Big Winners at Empire Awards

Claire sends us a news story from the Empire Awards. Ian McKellen got an Empire Icon award and Andy Serkis received an Inspiration Award. There’s more on the BBC’s website and Empire’s own website.

Posted in Andy Serkis, Events, Ian McKellen, Other Events

A Long Expected Party in Kentucky

WhiteLadyEowyn writes: My dear Baggins and Boffins, ladies and gentlemen all: The organizers of A Long-Expected Party, held at Shaker Village, Kentucky in 2008, have heard your calls! They are proud to present ALEP2: There and Back Again, taking place from Wednesday, September 28th to Sunday, October 2, 2011. The setting will once again be the beautiful Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, located in central Kentucky. You can check out the website and make your reservations here: Remember, space is very limited on the number of attendees, so don’t hesitate to register!

Posted in Events, Fans, Meet Ups

Andy Serkis dishes out some “Hobbit” tidbits

Speaking with Digital Spy at last night’s Empire Film Awards, Andy Serkis dished out several small but interesting tidbits about The Hobbit films.

He revealed that he met with Guillermo del Toro last year (during the time he spent in New Zealand on his Tintin shoot) and talked through some visual concepts with him. Further, Guillermo also showed him some “fantastic pre-visualization stuff”, and he believes that shooting on the Hobbit films, which “looks like it’s going to be a very exciting shoot… should kick start by the end of this year”.

On the classic question about whether the films are going to differ visually from the Lord of the Rings, he says “I think Middle-earth will still feel like Middle-earth. Obviously, Guillermo’s got a particular take on how he envisions it, and that’s why he’s there. Peter, as producer, and the writing team want a fresh pair of eyes on the story. But at the same time… fans aren’t going to think “Oh my God, where are we!” There’s a familiarity to it, but there’s a fresh pair of eyes on it.”

Asked whether Bilbo has been found yet, his answer was a spontaneous “No”.

Lastly, on the aspect of the films being in 3D, he said “I don’t know what’s going on with that debate really. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s an interesting question… I don’t know!”

Watch the entire video over at Digital Spy.

Posted in Andy Serkis, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson

Source says the MGM situation of ‘great importance’ to two potential ‘Hobbit’ films has received rock-solid information from an absolutely reliable source that the MGM financial situation is indeed what is behind the delays of the start of “The Hobbit.”

The venerable film studio behind James Bond and about 4,000 other titles is reported to be in about $3.7 billion in debt but holds the distribution rights for two “Hobbit” films that are under contract to be made by Warners Bros. The two studios have an agreement in place to produce and distribute the film but financial difficulties for MGM, including the potential sale of the studio and its holdings, including rights to the films based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, has delayed the films.

The source inside the production has told that all of the wrangling with MGM is indeed a significant part of possibly pushing the films back.

“At this stage we are all working and hoping for the best case scenario. Without a doubt, the MGM situation carries great importance.” (more…)

Posted in Casting Rumors, ComicCon, Director Rumors, Guillermo Del Toro, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Middle-earth Conspiracy Theories: Fatty Bolger

Come join the discussion board members as they suggest wild answers to this week’s Middle-earth Conspiracy Theory: Just why did Fatty Bolger remain in Crickhollow when Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin went on their adventure?

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Miscellaneous

Hobbiton Construction Photos!

The great folks from Red Carpet Tours ( have sent along this report and imagery from the Hobbiton set near Matamata, New Zealand:

At last – work on the set at Hobbiton is under way in earnest ! A team of 60 people have begun building Hobbit holes. Three of those under construction are new and rather large. Does that mean we’ll be able to step inside them? Check out the photos below.

Click an image for a larger version
Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Production, Rumors Spy News, The Hobbit