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Archive for September, 2010

Studios hit back at actors over ‘Hobbit’

New Line, Warner Bros. and MGM have issued a combined statement regarding the current ‘Hobbit’ headlines:

New Line, Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures are concerned by the recent allegations of unfair treatment of actors in New Zealand and instructions from the performers’ guilds to their membership to withhold services from the producers of “The Hobbit” in New Zealand. We are proud to have good relations with all of those performers’ guilds and value their contribution to the motion pictures produced in their respective jurisdictions throughout the world. But we believe that in this case the allegations are baseless and unfair to Peter Jackson and his team in Wellington who have been tireless supporters of the New Zealand motion picture community.


Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, The Hobbit

Cate Blanchett and Sir Ian McKellen may decline Hobbit roles in pay row

Seven global actors’ unions have instructed their members to walk away from roles in the two big-budget Lord of the Rings prequels because producers have allegedly refused to negotiate a deal guaranteeing wages and working conditions for performers in New Zealand. Unions in the US, Australia, the UK and Canada, acting under the umbrella of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), said Kiwi performers had “struggled on non-union contracts” for some years during filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They said the contracts “provide no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions”, no payment for future broadcasts and no cancellation payments. More..

Posted in Casting Rumors, Cate Blanchett, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, New Zealand, The Hobbit

Peter Jackson Takes the Gloves Off

Peter Jackson has issued a swift and decisive statement in answer to recent suggestions by the IFA and affiliated actor’s unions that their members turn down parts in “The Hobbit” movie unless all New Zealand actors are allowed to bargain with the movie-makers collectively. Peter made the interesting point that this may be against current New Zealand law:

“NZ law prohibits engaging in collective bargaining with any labour organisation representing performers who are independent contractors, as film actors clearly are. The NZ Commerce Act claims it would be unlawful to engage with an Australian Union on these matters.”

More worrisome for Hobbit fans is his assertion that this may delay the making of “The Hobbit” even further and/or force the production to move to eastern Europe:

..”the “demands” of MEAA cannot be agreed to, or even considered – by law – and therefore the only options that remain involve closing the Hobbit down, or more likely shifting the production to Europe. It could so easily happen. I’ve been told that Disney are no longer bring movies to Australia because of their frustration with the MEAA.”

The MEAA is the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, or the actors union in Australia. The IFA and New Zealand Actors guild solicited the help of the Aussie organization in 2006 to help the unionization process of New Zealand actors. Keep reading to see the entire statement and be sure to join the discussion on our message boards.


Posted in Casting Rumors, Director news, Director Rumors, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit

Hobbit Hopefuls Gather in Wellington – 3 News

Delayed Peter Jackson movie The Hobbit has shown signs of life with a preliminary casting call in Wellington.

The movie has been held up by the sale of the MGM studio, which owns half of the production.

Budding film stars of all shapes and sizes arrived from around the country.

A preliminary casting call is great news for Wellington’s film industry, but it wasn’t the happiest of days for some Hobbit hopefuls.

[Full story]

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

Actor’s Unions Urge Actors not to Work on “The Hobbit”

Variety reported today that the seven major actor’s unions have told members not to work on “The Hobbit” due to the refusal of producers of the feature film to sign a deal with local New Zealand performers. A SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) Member Alert published on SAG’s website yesterday states:

“Members of Canadian Actors Equity, US Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, UK Actors Equity, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists are advised not to accept work on this non-union production. If you are contacted to be engaged on The Hobbit please notify your union immediately.”

The alert comes after repeated attempts by Australian actor’s union, the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Alliance), to negotiate minimum wages and other working conditions for New Zealand actors who are currently not unionized. The International Federation of Actors (FIA) finally stepped in to urge their affiliates worldwide to flat out refuse to work on “The Hobbit” in a show of solidarity for their New Zealand counterparts. With offers to actors rumored to be “imminent,” the initiative is undoubtedly timed to put maximum pressure on the film-makers to negotiate.  It remains to be seen whether playing what they think is their strongest hand now will have the results the FIA desires.
Posted in Casting Rumors, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Rumors Spy News, The Hobbit

Guillermo Del Toro Producing “The Hobbit”? Not True According to a Very Good Source

In the past few days, several stories have surfaced around the internet claiming that, in addition to his co-writing duties, Guillermo Del Toro is also now one of the producers of “The Hobbit.” Today we happen to have it on very good authority that this is not the case. Our good friend GDT stopped by our message boards to clear the air and state that he is: “not a producer of any kind.”

When the news first broke here on of Guillermo leaving “The Hobbit” as director, Peter Jackson confirmed that GDT was staying on as co-writer:“Guillermo is co-writing the Hobbit screenplays with Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and myself, and happily our writing partnership will continue for several more months, until the scripts are fine tuned and polished.” According to Del Toro, currently on tour to promote his new book “The Fall,” producing is definitely not an additional part of those responsibilities. Read Guillermo’s comments and join in the discussion here.

Posted in Director Rumors, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Rumors Spy News, The Hobbit

LOTR Takes Top Spot in Empire’s 33 Greatest Movie Trilogies

Empire Magazine asked their readers to vote on their favorite movie trilogies and Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ has taken the top spot. LOTR beat out other film trios such as the original Star Wars films (2), Back to the Future  (3), Toy Story (4) and The Godfather (5). Not that we are biased or anything, but we believe the results came out as they should! Check out the full list over at Empire Online. Thanks to Ringer Mikstan for sending us the link. [33 Greatest Movie Trilogies] [LOTR Top Spot]

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers

The Two Towers: One Tweet at a Time

In celebration of the Two Towers concert at Radio City Music Hall next month, I will be tweeting the entire text of ‘The Two Towers’ on the official Twitter page. Join in on the fun and see if I can make it in 3 weeks time!

Visit the Radio City Music Hall page for updates, pictures and more!

Posted in Concerts, Events, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie The Two Towers, The Two Towers

As predicted MGM rejects $2B bid

A leaked memo last week informed us that an MGM buyout wouldn’t go through. MGM is on target for a planned bankruptcy and association with Spyglass that will likely allow two ‘Hobbit’ movies to go forward. Today we have info directly from the once potential buyer reported by the Associated Press which says:

Indian conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar says that its offer to buy out the creditors of struggling Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. for more than $2 billion has been rejected.

Subrata Roy Sahara, the company’s chairman, had a conference call with creditors on Tuesday. The company said late Thursday that the offer was rejected within hours.

A spokesman for Houlihan Lokey, an investment bank that is advising MGM’s creditors, declined to comment. You can read the rest right here.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, Studios

LOTR Tower Defense App Coming Soon!

For anyone who is addicted to ‘tower defense’ type games on their iPhone, you will be getting an amazing Christmas present this year. The folks from Glu Mobile are releasing an officially licensed The Lord of the Rings game app for the iPhone titled ‘The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense’.

The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense – Relive the major battles from the epic movie trilogy as you take command of Frodo, Aragorn and many other classic characters in a strategic tower defense game.

Gizmodo has posted a video of the gameplay featuring ‘story mode’ with Aragorn and Legolas are battling some ringwraiths and wargs (or at least it looks that way from the video). This is the first time we are seeing the gameplay, and it is expected to be available in December for download. Jump over to Gizmodo to check out the gameplay. Thanks to TORn Staffer Jincey for the heads up! [Gizmodo] [Glu Press Release]

Posted in Gaming, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Merchandise, Toys

LOTR tops Classic FM Movie Music Chart

Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings soundtrack has taken the top spot on UK’s Classic FM’s top 100 movie music chart. Thanks to Ringer Diztek for sending us the link. For the full list, jump over to Classic FM. [Top 100 MovieMusic] [LOTR Top Spot]

Posted in Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Music, New Zealand

LOTRO – Child’s Play Event

This fall, a very special Fellowship will undertake one of the most epic journeys in Turbine’s The Lord of the Rings Online. The Fellowship’s Walk is an online fundraising event for Child’s Play Charity, an organization providing toys and games to sick kids in hospitals, and is being organized by The Casual Stroll to Mordor blog and podcast.

On the traces of Frodo and his friends, the Casual Stroll to Mordor writers will walk from Bag End up to Rivendell, and maybe beyond. For every donation made to Child’s Play, the Fellowship will take one step further towards the healing house of Elrond. More..

Posted in Events