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Archive for October, 2010

TORn Exclusive: an interview with Stephen Hunter/Bombur

He’s a Tolkien fan with a talent for comedy – so what better Hobbit role could there be for Stephen Hunter than food-loving, clumsy and loveable Bombur? I recently had the good fortune of catching a few minutes of Stephen’s time to ask him about his first reactions to being cast in a major role in the upcoming, two-film adaptation of “The Hobbit.”

“The Hobbit is my first job in fantasy – in fact this is my first big-budget film,” he says. “In most of the TV commercials I’ve done I’ve been the comedic relief. I’m only assuming that with Bombur there may be some comedy. Being cast in The Hobbit is really exciting and really an honour. I auditioned for the original Lord of the Rings way back when I signed with my agent in New Zealand. When I saw the films I thought, ‘Man, I so want to do The Hobbit’. “I’m just going to throw everything I’ve got into it. If I don’t come out the other end absolutely exhausted then I haven’t done my job.”


Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit

Happy Birthday Peter Jackson! would like to wish a very happy birthday to Sir Peter! New Zealand filmmaker, producer and screenwriter, Peter Jackson is 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. We venture to say this past year was more eventful than PJ ever imagined it would be. Now that things seem to be back on track for “The Hobbit” to move forward, we wish Peter a productive and successful upcoming year.

Posted in Director news, Peter Jackson

Brian Blessed in GDT’s Hobbit?

WacoKid writes: After last week’s Hobbit casting news I thought you might find this new interview with the mighty Brian Blessed of interest – the first five minutes he’s talking about Z-Cars and Flash Gordon but at the end of the video he mentions he was in discussions with Guillermo del Toro over a role in The Hobbit, with del Toro particularly interested in some Welsh mythology linking Brian and dwarves. Thought I’d highlight this as I’m not sure I’ve previously heard confirmation that Brian was in talks for a role in The Hobbit. More..

Posted in Casting Rumors, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie

Heart of the City Goes Halloween Geek

Mark Tatulli’s ‘Heart of the City’ has once again gone geek, but this time with a Halloween twist! Click on the thumbnail above to read the comic.

Posted in Books Publications

John Carpenter to Direct Darkchylde

Oct. 31st 2010, Los Angeles Master of Horror set to bring you the girl of your dreams. John Carpenter is onboard to direct Darkchylde, based on the comic by Randy Queen about a good hearted southern teen cursed to become the creatures from her many recurring nightmares. Every time Ariel Chylde transforms, she sheds her skin and a new nightmare emerges from her Id to act out her deepest, darkest impulses.

John Carpenter and Sandy King’s Storm King Productions have allied with Randy and Sarah Queen’s Darkchylde Ent. to produce the film, following the release of test footage created by Richard Taylor’s Academy Award Winning Weta Workshop. (The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, King Kong, The Hobbit)

John Carpenter says, “Randy Queen’s hijacked angel, Ariel Chylde, is the best young female character since Laurie Strode in Halloween. Bringing Ariel and her dark mysteries to life should be quite an adventure for us all.” (more…)

Posted in New Zealand, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

MGM Creditors Approve Spyglass Deal

MGM Creditors have overwhelmingly approved a deal put on the table by Spyglass in September. MGM will now enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and will emerge with Spyglass heads Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum at the helm in return for a rumored 5% share of MGM. The remaining 95% will go to the creditors who will swap almost $4 billion in debt for equity ownership in the legendary studio, estimated to now be worth just under $2 billion. The deal puts up a major road block to the plans of Carl Ichan and Lions Gate, who entered a last minute offer to merge with MGM. However, according to Reuters, experts say the activist shareholder could still challenge the deal in bankruptcy court, and an eventual partnership between MGM and Lions Gate remains possible.

Of course, the primary question we’re all interested in is: what does this mean for “The Hobbit”? In this fan’s opinion, the answer is: very little. The movie has been greenlit which means the funds necessary to move forward with production have already been committed. We may never know exactly what shuffling of money and deal-making resulted in those funds becoming available, but. available they are, and the upcoming bankruptcy proceedings shouldn’t come anywhere close to  affecting a revenue-making prospect like a major film in progress. Other than that, MGM will emerge as a healthier, better run, company which can only be good news to Hobbit fans everywhere.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, Studios, The Hobbit

New Line/WB/MGM Hobbit Statement

New Line, Warner Bros and MGM are pleased to have concluded successful discussions with the New Zealand government this past week. We’d like to thank Prime Minister Key, his Cabinet and the other dedicated New Zealand officials for their support and cooperation, which helped assuage our concerns and enabled us to keep The Hobbit in its proper home of New Zealand.

We’d also like to express very special appreciation to Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and the people of New Zealand for their tireless support of The Hobbit and their commitment to maintain and grow their vibrant film industry. Filming is scheduled to begin in February 2011 and we look forward to returning to Middle-earth.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Studios, Warner Bros.

Hobbiton Set At Matamata To Remain Permanent Tourist Attraction

From Brett Hodge, owner of Matamata Post and Rails, which has supplied the timber for The Hobbit duology since construction began in February, told the Waikato Times that Sir Peter Jackson’s company Three Foot Six was building the home of the Hobbits to last.

What they did last time was build a temporary set, but now it’s a permanent set.

It will begin a perpetual celebration around the party tree, on the set, where The Fellowship of the Ring began with Bilbo’s disappearance.

The Green Dragon, where the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield awaits Bilbo Baggins ahead of their quest, will include a real thatched roof and the nearby Bywater bridge, made from polystyrene blocks resembling stone for The Lord of the Rings, is being rebuilt in permanent stone.

Read more of the article over at that ends with quotes from none other than members from our very own message boards.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Production, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit

GDT Has “Incredible Heartache” Over The Hobbit

It’s been five months since GDT departed The Hobbit, but now that the movie has finally been greenlit and is on schedule for a February 2011 shoot, there’s little doubt he still feels the loss of what might have been.

ContactMusic caught up with Guillermo and questioned him concerning his quitting The Hobbit, and as the man’s said to various people numerous time before, he reiterates that leaving the director’s chair was indeed the hardest decision of his life.

It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever taken. I have incredible heartache. I feel terrible about it. It’s very hard. It’s getting a little easier to talk about it, but essentially it’s like you’ve been recently widowed and everybody (is) asking you how exactly your wife died. It’s pretty morbid.

There was no other choice, I kept postponing, I kept fending off the problems, I kept compartmentalising, I kept with it, everything we could (do).

I’ll be able to watch it and (I will) probably enjoy it. But you know, with The Hobbit, I feel like the guy (survival mountain climber Aron Ralston) in the real-life experience that Danny Boyle just did his movie (127 Hours about). I was hanging by a thread on my arm for so long that at the end of the day you have to cut it off. Do I like having one arm less? No. But did I have to? Yes.

Excerpted from an article at

Posted in Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, Production, The Hobbit

Sir Ian McKellen Talks THE HOBBIT, Only Make Believe & More

From Today, we present a particularly thrilling taste of the forthcoming InDepth InterView in this BWW WORLD EXCLUSIVE with one of the finest actors of stage and screen – and, now, thanks to the Scissor Sisters NIGHT WORK album, recording studio – the foremost Shakespearean interpreter of our age and star of two of the biggest film franchises of all time – LORD OF THE RINGS and X MEN – Sir Ian McKellen! In this portion of the complete discussion, we discuss his second year hosting the ONLY MAKE BELIEVE gala to benefit hospitalized children, as well as discuss how he became involved with the Deana Hammerstein-founded charity. We also discuss his participation in Peter Jackson’s forthcoming LORD OF THE RINGS prequel THE HOBBIT and his cameo in the epic music video for his Sister Sisters collaboration “Invisible Light” – plus thoughts on Shakespeare, stage, screen and monster movies (and not just GODS & MONSTERS). All god, no monster, Ian McKellen is as renowned and respected as it gets. And rightfully so. More..

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen

New Zealand Parliament Passes Hobbit Bill

Parliament has passed the government’s new law to clarify the position of contractors within the film industry. MPs have voted 66 to 50 in favour of the law, which is part of the deal brokered with movie producer Warner Brothers earlier this week to keep production of The Hobbit in New Zealand. This was that the Employment Relations Act would be amended to make sure a worker engaged on an independent contract will not be able to go to court and claim employee rights and conditions.

Labour fought the Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Bill to the last clause, arguing it isn’t necessary and the government is “sticking it to the unions”. During the debate, Labour’s David Parker accused the government of playing a “political game”. “I don’t even think Warner Brothers demanded this. There wasn’t a problem to be fixed, there have been no problems in the film industry for the last five years,” he said. Labour and the Greens are accusing the government of capitulating to a foreign company, abusing parliamentary process and making a mockery of democracy. But ministers say Warner Bros would have pulled out of New Zealand without the commitment to change the law. Read More…

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

Lions Gate sues Icahn, alleging `double game’

The MGM, Lions Gate drama continues. The latest from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is suing billionaire Carl Ichan over the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. studio deal in federal court in New York, alleging the financier was “secretly plotting” to merge the studios. In the lawsuit, Vancouver-based Lions Gate, the studio whose films include “Crash” and “Precious,” alleges that Icahn realized by June that Lions Gate was in advanced negotiations with two unidentified studios. Aware that the deals might dilute his stake in Lions Gate, Icahn “took drastic and improper action,” the studio said.

Icahn, 74, the studio’s largest shareholder, undermined any proposed transactions by making false and misleading statements, Lions Gate said. He told the investing public that such a deal would be a “financial debacle” and issued press releases vowing to challenge any transaction and sue any entity that interfered with his tender offer, the studio said.

“Icahn opposed a merger with MGM not because it was bad for Lions Gate shareholders, but because it was good — so good, in fact, that he wanted to postpone it until he could buy as much of both companies as he could and thus extract for himself as much of the value stemming from the merger as possible,” Lions Gate said in the complaint, filed today in U.S. District Court in New York. Thanks to message board member Owain for the link.  Read More…

Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, Studios, The Hobbit