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Archive for May, 2010

Newstalk Radio Talks Del Toro

Deleece Cook sends along an interview transcript from Newstalk Radio discussing the departure of Guillermo del Toro. The interview features…well…me! Take a listen or a read.

Perma-Listen link here.

Director Guillermo Del Toro has quit as director of The Hobbit movies. The Mexican filmmaker has been working with Sir Peter Jackson to bring the two Lord of the Rings Prequels to the screen. (duration: 10:57):

Jim Mora “After living 2 years breathing designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must with great regret take leave from helming these wonderful pictures”.

And with that, Director Guillermo del Toro has quit as Director of The Hobbit movies. The Mexican Film Maker has been working with Sir Peter Jackson to bring the 2 Lord of the Rings prequels to the screen. But indefinite delays forced on the films by the financial troubles at MGM, which holds part of the rights, and also del Toro’s unwillingness to continue delaying his other projects, these factors have contributed to the split here. (more…)

Posted in Director Rumors, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, New Zealand, The Hobbit

PJ ‘may direct The Hobbit’

Sir Peter Jackson says he will step into the breach and direct The Hobbit himself if it becomes the only way to ensure the US$150 million (NZ$219m) film is made after the sudden departure of director Guillermo del Toro.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce has said that the film is worth “many millions of dollars” to Wellington’s economy and further delays may mean the film does not start shooting until next year.

Del Toro announced yesterday he had quit the The Lord of the Rings prequel over frustration with repeated delays. He had commitments to other films and said his resignation was “the hardest decision I’ve ever taken”. Read more

Posted in Director news, Director Rumors, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, MGM, Peter Jackson, PJ's Other Films, Production, The Hobbit Podcast – Hobbit Director GDT Steps Down

With all the traffic TORn has been getting since the GDT resignation story first broke, we were not able to post this podcast in a ‘hasty’ manner. But now that things are a ‘bit’ slower, here’s TORn’s very own Quickbeam with reaction to the news that Guillermo del Toro has resigned from The Hobbit project.

Posted in Director news, Director Rumors, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Community

Guillermo Del Toro departs “The Hobbit”

Guillermo Del Toro announced today that he is no longer directing the two movies based on J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, but will continue to co-write the screenplays. Out of respect to the legions of loyal Tolkien fans, both Guillermo and Peter Jackson wanted to break the news to The One Ring first. They are both committed to protecting The Hobbit and will do everything in their power to ensure the films are everything that the fans want them to be.

“In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming “The Hobbit,” I am faced with the hardest decision of my life”, says Guillermo. “After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director”. (more…)

Posted in Director news, Director Rumors, Guillermo Del Toro, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit

Don’t panic, ‘Hobbit’ not ‘on hold indefinitely’

Reports around the wwwebs are proclaiming that “‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel on hold” or “The Hobbit On Hold Indefinitely” which surely makes readers click headlines but aren’t actually accurate. They are suggesting the comments that director Guillermo del Toro made in a conference call this week somehow contradicts what Peter Jackson said about the production to MoviePhone on April 16. (Summarized here.) It doesn’t.

As Jackson said, “It’s not really been delayed, because we’ve never announced the date.” The film is, as it has been for a long time, in development. That means scripts get written, and broken down into scenes with cost estimates, possible actors and potential audiences are considered and budgets are written up so studios can gauge potential profits against costs. Then with money in place, a film gets the magical greenlight and goes into pre-production where actors and crew are hired. Contrary to reports, this has not happened yet but we do know designs, costumes, creatures and many elements of the film have been underway. There is obviously enough development budget and work in place to hit pre-production running when that green light gets turned on. Everybody knows two ‘Hobbit’ movies will happen. Guillermo del Toro’s latest comments (remember, in reaction to a false report about a greenlight and the film’s 3D status) are just a restating of what TheOneRing exclusively reported way back on March 17; the MGM financial mess is holding up “The Hobbit”. It has been confirmed many times in many place since then but this isn’t new at all, it is just still the situation as it has been for months. But, there are a lot of signs that Warner Bros. is frustrated, things are moving forward and November is still a target for a start date.

To go with all these facts, our best “guess” is that some official word will come down from the studio in about the next two weeks. As you might imagine, we will report on it ASAP when it becomes official.

Posted in Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, MGM, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, The Hobbit

Sideshow Collectibles releases peek at next LOTR PF

Looks like Sideshow is going to be releasing a new premium format figure soon! If you can’t see the video above, click here to video it at And if you are new to collecting their Premium Format line-up, the Moria Orc and Galadriel figures are now instock. The Gandalf the Grey figure is currently pre-ordering.

Posted in Cate Blanchett, Collectibles, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Sideshow Collectibles

Top 10 ways to make ‘The Hobbit’ movie like ‘Avatar’

With all the rumors and speculation about having “The Hobbit” movies in 3D, it sometimes feels like the big money made by “Avatar” has cast impossible expectations over blockbuster films forever. It also seems that all that cash is simply being attributed to the 3D aspect of the film and so now every movie, including both parts of “The Hobbit,” are part of the hype. Since “Avatar” made sooooo much money, we wondered, “Why stop with visual depth and polarized glasses?” And so we present our “Top 10 ways to make ‘The Hobbit’ movie like ‘Avatar’.” (more…)

Posted in Casting Rumors, Hobbit Movie

Guillermo del Toro confirms no-green ‘Hobbit’, no 3D

Sources all over the place are confirming our earlier report that indeed, there is no greenlight for “The Hobbit,” and that currently 3D isn’t being planned. The director held a conference call supporting the film “Splice,” and predictably those films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book written for children came up during the phone chat. The Mexican director, currently living and working in New Zealand was definitive:

“On both counts, there are no final answers. It is not greenlit. That is categorical. And 3D has been discussed literally once in the room. The budget and the schedule and everything that we are handling – the cost of the film, the number of days it would take to shoot – is being handled right now without looking towards 3D. Is there a chance it will become 3D in the future? Maybe. Right now, it’s not being planned as such.”

Posted in Director news, Director Rumors, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, MGM, Studios

McAvoy Signs On To “X-Men”

According to Borys Kit’s Heat Vision blog with The Hollywood Reporter,  James McAvoy has signed on to play a young Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, in “X-Men: First Class,” which Matthew Vaughn is directing for Fox.  Fox is moving fast on the production, hiring Vaughn in early May and planning a summer start in London. The movie is being planned for a June 3, 2011, release.

McAvoy had been rumoured to be a candidate for the role of Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Guillermo del Toro epic The Hobbit,  which has yet to be officially green-lighted.  More
Posted in Casting Rumors, Hobbit Movie

One Big King Kong Contest!

Kaitlin from sends this in: I read your article on King Kong invading Dodger stadium and I thought the “King Kong’s Path to Universal Studios Hollywood” short film competition on Zooppa would tie in nicely.

A total of $15,000 in cash will be awarded to the best short films depicting Kong’s journey back to Hollywood. Universal Studios Hollywood plans to use the winning videos in the park, online, and for broadcast.

Here is a link to the competition page on Zooppa. (more…)

Posted in Contests, Events, PJ's Other Films, Studios

Free on-line Tolkien lecture from Harvard

Tamara sends along word about a Tolkien lecture at Harvard: While my program doesn’t allow for any “outside” classes, I just noticed that they offered an inaugural Tolkien course this spring, with the first lecture available on-line. Here’s the link below, but I may audit this one next year, if it is still around! Commencement is today, so I’m not sure how long this will be available, but I enjoyed two very interesting hours listening/watching! More..

ANTH E-164 Tolkien as Translator: Language, Culture, and Society in Middle-Earth (23228) – Marc Zender, PhD, Lecturer on Anthropology, Harvard University.

As the purported “translation” of ancient records from before the dawn of accepted history, J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings grapples with themes of language and identity rarely encountered in fantasy novels. In this course, students study the role of language in making the cultures and societies of Middle-Earth come alive, and are introduced to concepts from linguistic anthropology that shed light on Tolkien’s methods and purpose.

Posted in Events, Lectures & Education, Tolkien

Sideshow Releases a variety of LOTR Items

If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings collectibles and fine art, you’ll want to jump over to tonight. With the launch of their latest newsletter they have added Funko’s LOTR plush dolls, including Legolas, Gandalf, Frodo and a Moria Orc. Besides being insanely cute, they are also very affordable at only $9.99 a piece. Sideshow has also begun a relationship with renown LOTR artist Ted Nasmith to offer some of his masterpieces. The first two offerings are custom framed versions of ‘The Wrath of the Ents‘ and ‘Eowyn and the Nazgul.’ And if that wasn’t enough LOTR to whet your collecting whistle, they’ve also added the Hobbit themed Taverncraft ‘Smaug the Magnificent‘ mugs which we posted about earlier this week. Oh yea, they’ve also teased a new line of LOTR statues, starting out with everyone’s favorite Ranger!

Posted in Collectibles, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Miscellaneous, Sideshow Collectibles, Toys