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TORn senior staff goes radio to talk ‘Hobbit’

October 19, 2010 at 3:32 am by admin  - 

Fictional Frontiers with Sohaib which airs on WNJC-1360 AM Philadelphia did a segment with a TORn senior staffer regarding all the most recent developments with “The Hobbit”. You can catch it right here.

And, if you keep listening beyond the “Hobbit” segment, you can hear Naomi Novik talk about Peter Jackson and “The Lord of the Rings,” and “The Hobbit,” and her own Temeraire series which Jackson owns the rights to and plans to eventually turn into films.

Update: Thanks to our friend, Deleece Cook, you can read a full transcript of the TORn interview using the “Continue Reading” link below.

Transcript – Episode 119 – Part 2 -Wednesday, 20 October 2010 – Fictional Frontiers Radio Show
The show can be heard here on the Fictional Frontier Website:


Fictional Frontiers with host Sohaib Awan talks with Senior Staffer Larry Curtis about the recent developments with The Hobbit and about

About a week ago, Larry Curtis, one of the senior contributors from the OneRing.Net, and I had a pretty extensive discussion about the pitfalls with respect to the production of the 2 Hobbit films. We were talking about the possibility of these maybe not even being green-lit and we were all ready to air the segment, and lo and behold something major happened on Friday. And Larry’s going to talk all about it, and I’m just going to let him take it away because its late, its Saturday night and he’s been so accommodating, he’s actually going to chat with us right now for a couple of minutes. Larry, take it away – What was the big announcement on Friday night involving the Lord of the Rings sister projects The Hobbit Films?

Larry Curtis:
If people have not heard, a great thing has come to pass, at least from a fans perspective, in that finally The Hobbit has been green-lit, which means it’s fully in production. And, Peter Jackson will definitely be the Director, beyond that there a lot of answered questions, but beyond that it’s great news people are celebrating, actually all around the globe literally. Finally the Hobbit movie people have been waiting at least 7 years for is going to be made. There’s still some more waiting, we got to wait still, but at least it’s going to happen. And it will be in 3D so that’s one thing we talked about in that segment, but my friends at WETA reminded me that anything that is in 3D is also available in 2D, so that’s probably how I’ll go see the film.

Well obviously, as far as 3D goes, you and I have had discussions back and forth about the 3D process and whether or not it adds to the film experience and obviously it depends a lot on whether 2D film will be converted into 3D or wether it’s actually a 3D planned event or film, and in this case obviously Peter is going for it full steam ahead. And what does it mean to be green-lit. I know a lot of our listeners in the Philadelphia region understand the basics as far as film production are concerned – but what does that mean to actually have a film ‘Green-lit’. What does this mean for The Hobbit franchise?

Larry Curtis:
Well thank-you, that’s an excellent question, and something we should definitely explain. A film is always a scary thing. It can, probably as anyone knows, even casual film fans, films sometimes never happens or it can take years and years to make them. When a film actually achieves ‘Green Light’ status or gets a ‘greenlight’ that means a Studio, and in this case the studios, are fronting cash to make the movies. So they have budgeted and committed and figured out what everything costs down to catering and the drivers and every single thing involved. And they’ve budgeted t all out and they’ve planned the film. And they have committed to that cash and they start spending money right away. Now, in this case Sohaib, I actually probably spent a lot of money already getting ready for the Greenlight, but now the project is fully funded and people on all aspects of the film can start their work; from costumers to set designers they can really start digging in and get ready to get the cameras to roll and what happens in February 2011 which was part of the news – so its full steam ahead. A question does linger about the film and that is that it’s not entirely certain where it will be shot yet.


Larry Curtis:
Probably assume its in New Zealand but that was not confirmed Friday when all this news came down, so … there’s an actor’s dispute there which prevents the film at least for now, becoming a guaranteed New Zealand product so, it’s really interesting.

We’re speaking to Larry Curtis, one of the senior contributors to And again is the definitive source for all information related to the lands of Middle-Earth. And as soon as I had been made aware of some rumours along these lines I immediately went to the site and there was a wealth of information there and one of the things that stood out in my mind Larry which I thought was rather interesting was that press releases from New Line/Warners Bros – now what is this – I thought New Line didn’t exist any longer and I know MGM is involved, but what’s the relationship among the parties, now as far as the production is concerned?

Larry Curtis:
That is really interesting and something I was also fascinated by on Friday. As you suggested a minute ago, leaks were springing up all over the internet, all over the news world that this was going to become official and then the press release actually came out and from New Line Cinema, Warner Bros and MGM. And a few years ago, you’re exactly right, Warner Bros kind of swallowed New Line right up and New Line was the company responsible famously for the Lord of the Rings. But, they barely exist – well that’s no completely fair to say but they’re now a very small studio under the umbrella of Warner Bros and they make a few films and small ones. Back in the history of New Line they made films like Nightmare on Elm Street, kind of low budget and highly profitable horror films – so they did the Lord of the Rings films – that was a little bit out of character for them. Well then they didn’t do so well a few times (after LOTR) and so Warner Bros bought them. So they really live inside Warner Bros but I think partly for public relations purposes and partly because to keep it true to traditional Lord of the Rings keeping the New Line Cinema brand on these Hobbit films. But I’ve been told, I’m sure there’s people in New Line who wouldn’t want me to say this out loud, but New Line really is Warner Bros. It’s a strange thing, they’re a division of Warner Bros or an arm of Warner Bros so it’s kind of the same thing. Then MGM was also in the press release. They will handle, according to what I read, the foreign distribution and Warner Bros will handle the domestic distribution – the United States distribution. And New Line is in charge of getting the film made. So that’s the division of power I guess by the studios but, I guarantee you, anytime Warner Bros tells New Line anything it’s expected to be done, so they will be in charge.

You know I’m trying to find an analogy of how announcements go. This happened so suddenly – literally we spoke not even a week ago about the possibility of something being announced maybe a couple of weeks from now, a month from now, and you said there was time still – and I’m really going to rub it in with respect to my friend James Berardinelli whose the noted film critic at and he’s on rottentomatoes, he’s listed as one of the top film critics, and obviously his skills at prognosticating are you know – there’s something to be desired there, but I’m definitely going to rub it in – no doubt about that I’m trying to find an analogy (Larry is laughing). Even in sports you haven’t really found anything recently that’s been as exciting. I mean maybe a major player signing with a major franchise or what have you – I mean LeBron James going to Cleveland was hyped in advance and there was the big announcement… this (the Hobbits Greenlight announcement) just came out of nowhere right?

Larry Curtis:
Yeah. There’s been rumours for weeks that this was going to happen but as you said there were others who doubted it completely – and there were so many problems with making this happen so it was not a sure thing especially with the very recent actor’s dispute in New Zealand. So all of a sudden on Friday, for whatever reason – I’m just guessing Sohaib, but I just think the lawyers finally got something settled, I just think they felt solid about MGM, because MGM’s future is still somewhat in doubt but they must feel ok about it and enough to go ahead, so all of a sudden the —and the business people, and the decision makers sais ‘yep, we’re doing this’ and the Green-light’s go. So yeah, and it is a big deal, I mean people anticipate movies like Harry Potter Movies and Star Wars movies, but people are just frothing, foaming at the mouth for these Hobbit films, and in fact people were literally publically on message boards – not just the one ring – thanking the studios – like ‘thank-you’ – what they’re really doing are thanking the studios for allowing them to spend a whole lot of money down the road. Like they’ll pay all kinds of money for 3D, 2D and DVD and BluRay and thanking the studio for giving them a product they want to spend money on which is phenomenal. So yeah, it’s a big deal. There’s no getting around it.

In a couple of quick questions before we head out – and I know Larry is so busy and he’s going to be overrun by media requests as the hours tick forward to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as the days progress… The’s going to be a pretty buzzing site if it weren’t already over these next couple of weeks and months. I mean it’s like count down with respect to the Space Shuttle. I mean now the Shuttle has taken off and the team at the is going to be monitoring every single aspect of the shuttle mission – and believe me everything is already in place – on your site you have I guess basically you have Simon Pegg almost confirming you have Martin Freeman as Bilbo – I mean all these rumours are starting to gain some solid basis or solid ground for being pronounced as actual truth. What’s going on there?

Larry Curtis:
Well you are exactly right. It is a super busy time. If I may just reminisce for a minute, your listeners probably wouldn’t remember or care all that much but, 7 years ago when Return of the King won all those Oscars and everybody thought ‘well how is theOneRing or any site that covers Tolkien films going to survive?’ And we hung in there and so 7 years later it’s like everybody turned the theatre lights back on and suddenly the auditorium filled and the stage is getting ready to draw the curtains and yeah, its busy crazy and rumours are flying and we try to be careful to find the true ones and not the false ones cause they’re just everywhere. Things are everywhere. But it’s fun. It’s a good time to be a fan. It’s fun to have things to look forward to and things to speculate out about and wonder about. And we are really busy trying to develop our site a little more. All of a sudden we really need to be a comprehensive Hobbit site, we need to talk about our roles and characters and start to classify things and make things really easy for people to stop by the site for the first time and give them a lot of knowledge for sure – we’re really busy. Who knows, we may have to just go down to New Zealand and see what’s going on first hand… (Sohaib laughs)

If its in New Zealand exactly, which I hope it is, I mean WETA is down there so there will be some elements of the film that will be produced down in New Zealand…

Larry Curtis:

But, last quick question before we go Larry, and for me you know this is the most exciting announcement. You know I was down in the dumps when I spoke to you last time there was this malaise, I was so tired of the trials and tribulations here, but to me this is the biggest announcement since, I’ll be honest with you, since there was a little film I believe in 1999 if I’m not mistaken, a certain Star Wars project was released in theatres again, and you saw the opening crawl ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far far away’ I mean this is pretty much an analogist to that I can think of now. How exciting is this for you and what can we hope to see from the over the next couple of weeks, next couple of years, and on down the road?

Larry Curtis:
Well, great analogy. When you started to draw comparisons, that’s the very first thing I thought of, it was very apt. Let me just say I hope that we – people who are fans of the Phantom Menace, God Bless Them but, I’m hoping we’re a lot more happy. Not just us but the public’s a lot more happy with The Hobbit than people were with the Phantom Menace. But there are a lot of big expectations. I mean it’s because of the magnitude of the announcement it does carry with it the weight of responsibility and so Jackson and his team they do have a lot to live up to. So it’s a very good analogy in a lot of ways.
We will be giving on our site, besides from keeping up with the news, we will be giving a real overview of… you know, not everyone has read The Hobbit, or if they’ve read it they’ve read it many years ago. We provide plenty of things for people who have read the books to see and do and to participate and talk about but, our site will be visited once again, and it will blow up and it will be one of the biggest sites in the world for a while. And we want to provide things for people who just want to find out about the film, and about the characters and who are all these dwarves and what are their names and what do they do. So we’ll be providing extensive kind of ‘that’ experience for anyone who wants to stop by. And we always try to keep the OneRing family friendly and it’s OK for people’s kids to be there and it’s an all ages site, so it’s a fun place to spend your time when you’re at work when you wish you were going to the movies instead and that’s what theOneRing is all about.

Oh yeah, definitely Larry and like I say we are going to be talking to you – were going to be bugging you like crazy and I know you’ve been – I don’t want to say I know you’ve been sort of in cruise control but if I can borrow another film analogy as far as the staff of the and maybe getting into this comfortable mode just sort of waiting for things to happen –‘ just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water’ – and this is going to apply to you guys (Larry laughs) – you guys are going to be swamped, and I’m really, really happy for you guys and I think that you guys have stayed the course and you’ve been there for all us Tolkien fans throughout the world and I know it’s going to be very interesting, not only to see production involved with these projects, it’s going to be very interesting to see what’s going to happen with .
We’ve been speaking to Larry Curtis – one of the senior contributors. A person whose not going to be getting much sleep over the next couple of years – so Larry, get some sleep tonight. Thanks for talking with us so late and it’s going to be a ride my friend, it’s going to be a ride. Now one other point. I was right wasn’t I not, 2012 San Diego Comic Com the big event will indeed be The Hobbit – the first of The Hobbit films as I was hoping, and I predicted.

Larry Curtis:
No, you were right man. And it will be madness – appropriately so. And thank-you for all your kind words. And a lot of credit needs to go to Mike Regina who for years has been plugging away at the site – you know really keeping things alike. It is really rewarding now to know that once again pop culture will remember who JR Tolkien is and you can pick up a book and read it and discover Middle-Earth all over again. It’s really is a good time and of course we’ll also keep in touch with you when ever you want us to and it should be a great time.
The making of the film, the anticipation of the films and that’s just as much fun for us as probably for lots of people as you know the day you actually finally go to the theatre and so it should be fun.

Definitely Larry and get some rest and we’ll talk to you soon my friend

Larry Curtis:
Alright. Take care. Bye.

End interview
Transcript by Deleece Cook for tORN & Fictional Frontiers ©2010

Posted in Casting Rumors, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Martin Freeman, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, Warner Bros. on October 19, 2010 by TORn senior staff goes radio to talk ‘Hobbit’ | Discuss
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