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Archive for July, 2019

Breaking down the Amazon creative team video

This is a follow up to the story announcing Amazon’s release of the LOTR series creative team (see link below), with a breakdown on what this announcement means for the future of the show. Afterwards, there will be a ‘reaction’ story from a Tom Shippey interview that occurred on the same day as the video was released. 

Middle-earth map courtesy of LOTR on Prime

Justin, the producer of our TORn Tuesday live streaming series breaks down the Amazon creative team announcement:

“This Creative Team has something for everyone that it almost feels generated by an algorithm to appeal so perfectly to all fan groups. Howe & Shippey lock in the core book, art & film fans. 

Amazon got what it explicitly wanted day one — the next Game of Thrones — with 2 of the key people from HBO’s Thrones now on LOTR. Amazon is also following in the (successful) footsteps of Thrones by handing the show to a couple guys who have never produced anything, similar to HBO letting Benioff & Weiss run Thrones with zero producing experience. 

JA Bayona is an inspired choice as he is Guillermo del Toro’s protege in dark storytelling. GDT financed Bayona’s first few projects and helped put Bayona on the map. With Amazon, fans may finally get something akin to what The Hobbit was shaping up to be under del Toro. Some Weta folk felt that the costume & prosthetic orc work they did under Guillermo del Toro was the best the workshop had ever done, so it would be wonderful to bring forth some of that practical creativity under GDT’s heir apparent Juan Antonio Bayona.

“Peak TV” fans will appreciate the writers room of people who wrote some of the best episodes of Westworld, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Hannibal. Those are all somewhat dark & twisted fantasies which LOTR second age also is. 

Amazon’s corporate development team along with this LOTR writers room and production team is probably the most diverse multi-lingual creative group ever to work in Middle-earth. Tolkien wrote that LOTR is “fundamentally linguistic in inspiration… “ so it is wonderful to have a global group of filmmakers bringing in the next chapter of Tolkien’s legacy.”

Author Tom Shippey

Shortly after the video was released by Amazon, Tom Shippey did an exclusive interview with the folks at Tolkien Gesellschaft and he let a few very interesting tidbits out of the bag. 

Shippey confirms this map is from the Second Age, but then also admits we don’t know a lot of detail about the Second Age, and that the end of the Second Age on a map looks much like the beginning of the Third Age. Of course, with Numenor on the Map, that puts us closer to the early or middle part of the Second Age. He stresses that you have to be clear where in Middle-earth history  the story will begin so that it matches what this map is hinting at. 

Another really important fact is that Shippey clears up a lot about what sort of filming rights Amazon has, and how much freedom they do and don’t have when filling in the empty spots in their stories. Amazon must follow the history that Tolkien did write, such as Sauron invading Eriador, being forced back by a Numenorean force, his return to Numenor and seducing them to break the ban with the Valar. So, they have a road map, but they get to choose the route and fill in all the things seen and encountered on that road. 

Shippey doesn’t know much detail on when and where filming will begin, but we previously announced that New Zealand looks to be where the bulk of filming will be. He also mentioned that a Brian Miller was supposed to be the overall director, but since he didn’t feature in the video he surmises that things changed. It is interesting that Shippey seems to share our desire that more news was forthcoming. Yes, all these little teases arouse curiosity, but sooner or later you have to satisfy that curiosity. 

Read the article to learn more details from Tom Shippey. 

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Arwen and Frodo on Asfaloth Review

This superb looking piece made its debut at Comic-Con 2018. It also comes from one of my favorite sub lines: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Statue Line. This dynamic horse and rider piece, showing Arwen as she rescues Frodo after his encounter with the Witch-king, is super well-done. Jane Wenley, who’s work we’ve now seen in several Middle-earth pieces, is the sculptor and once again she’s done a fantastic job on this statue. This piece comes in with an edition size of 750 pieces and a price tag of $699. While you can, you are still able to order this but I wouldn’t wait around long. These horse and rider pieces tend to go for a good sum on the secondary market.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Collecting The Precious – Sideshow/Weta Theoden Statue Review

So every so often I get asked whether I would entertain reviewing one of the old Sideshow/Weta pieces. So, I decided to go ahead and review one, which turned out to be quite a bit of fun. I decided to take a look-back at the Theoden statue, one of my favorites from the original line. Theoden came out in 2003 and has an edition size of 2000 pieces. During that time you cold get Theoden brand new for $125. Obviously this piece is sold out now, but you can track him down on eBay. Watch my review now for loads of information on this classic piece.
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Posted in Uncategorized

Collecting The Precious – Asmus Toys Gandalf the Grey and Theoden 1:6 Figures

At Comic-Con this year I got a chance to see two brand new figures from Asmus Toys. First is a special version of Gandalf the Grey coming in their Crown Series. This Gandalf includes a boat-load of items including a awesome base with the gate and party-sign leading into Bag End. You can get this extremely awesome version of Gandalf for $350 and he’s due to ship between January and March of next year.

The other new item is a great looking version of Theoden. The detailing of the armor itself is incredible and he also comes with a load of extras such as Herugrim with sheath belt, and forearm and calf pieces. Fans can grab Theoden for $190 and for those who hate to wait, this piece will be available between August and October of this year. Both of these figures will look awesome in any collection and give lucky fans plenty of display options.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Amazon Prime Introduces their “Fellowship” of Creators

Amazon Prime’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have just dropped a new video introducing fans to the team of creators behind their new “Lord of the Rings” Prequel Series!

This includes such faces as showrunners J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay, as well the vast team of accomplished writers, producers, director J.A. Bayona, our beloved Tolkien artist John Howe and renowned Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey (yours truly would be lying if he didn’t say these last two fill him particularly with joy!).

(more…) Posted in Amazon TV series, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Howe, Lord of the Rings, Miscellaneous, Television, Tolkien

TORn 20th Anniversary Panel SDCC 2019

(VIDEO) For the 20th Anniversary of TheOneRing.net, our panel at San Diego Comic-con ventured back into the past (No time machine involved, but wouldn’t that be fun!) to look at TORN’s roots and how we grew from our early beginnings into arguably the world’s premiere J.R.R. Tolkien fansite. From fan clubs to card games and Oscar parties, no stone was left unturned. And for the crowning moment, we invited Sir Richard Taylor, Co-Founder and Creative Director of WETA Workshop, onto the stage, and he entertained us with fascinating and funny tales of how WETA grew right along with TORn.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Amazon Middle-earth series: first casting news

Markella Kavenagh (source: imdb)

And so it begins! The first news of who will be cast in the Amazon series set in Middle-earth was announced yesterday. According to Variety.com, actress Markella Kavenagh is in talks to join the cast. Kavenagh is best known for her parts in several Australian TV series, including Picnic at Hanging Rock, and in 2018, won the Best New Talent award from the AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts).

The name of the character Kavenagh’s is set to play is rumored to be Tyra. This has some fans around the internet fretting due to 1) similar to Tauriel of Hobbit fame, the name Tyra isn’t found anywhere in Tolkien’s published literature, and 2) it sounds too much like Arya. However, as our sources tell us, it’s not uncommon to use code names for characters during the auditioning process. Still, even if the character’s name really is Tyra, character names outside of Tolkien’s legendarium are probably inevitable (Lurtz, anyone?), and don’t necessarily reflect badly on the entire endeavor.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Collecting The Precious: Weta Workshop’s Comic-Con 2019 Booth Tour

Comic-Con 2019 has come and gone. However that doesn’t mean our coverage of the show is done. Today we have our booth tour coverage of all the goodies that our friends at Weta Workshop brought with them to Comic-Con 2019.

Some of these goodies like the cool Merry Mini Epic, Pippin Mini Epic, and Bilbo Mini Epic can already be ordered.

Minas Morgul, Dark Galadriel, and Gandalf and Frodo riding on Gandalf’s cart are not available for order yet. But once they are, you can count on us to let you know. Hope you all enjoy the booth tour and corresponding pictures.

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Posted in Uncategorized

‘Tolkien’ Available Now on Digital, Due on Blu-ray in Two Weeks

Today sees the Digital Release of Dome Karukoski’s biopic “Tolkien”. Available now on all the usual digital platforms, the film is also set to be released on Blu-ray & DVD on August 6.

If you purchase the digital release from iTunes, you will own the film in both High Definition and 4K Ultra HD (although you will need an Apple TV device and a compatible 4K television to watch it in the latter format), along with all the bonus features that will also be available on the Blu-ray.

These include an Audio Commentary by director Dome Karukoski, a First Look Featurette, Photo Gallery and Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Karukoski.

(more…) Posted in "Tolkien" Movie, Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, FOX Searchlight Pictures, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lily Collins, Miscellaneous, Nicholas Hoult

Comic-Con Panel Saturday July 20: TheOneRing.net at 20

If you’re one of the lucky fans attending San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, don’t forget to swing by our presentation tomorrow night, July 20, from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. in room 6DE. The room is already filling up, so be sure to get there early! For all of you Hobbits, Elves and Orcs who attend in costume, directly after the panel there will be a group photo taken on the steps behind the convention center, facing the Bay and the Coronado Bridge. In true Hobbity fashion, after the Cosplay photo, we’ll also be having in ice cream social at Ghirardelli, 643 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101. Show up between 8:15pm through about 9pm or so and there may be a few little mathoms handed out as well.

More details about the panel below, and don’t forget to RSVP on the SDCC SCHED page for the panel linked below.

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TheOneRing.net (TORn) staffers Josh “Elessar” Long (host of Collecting the Precious), Jon “Tookish” Ben-Asher (former associate editor for TORn), Hannah “Took” Greenwood (co-host of TORn Tuesday, associate staff at WETA Workshop), and Josh “Sarumann” Rubinstein (former host of TORn Bookclub) celebrate 20 years of talking Tolkien and all things Middle-earth. They will be discussing all the current known news and maybe a rumor or two, reminiscing about some of their biggest stories and events in the past, and laying out a schedule of some of their 20th anniversary events. The Tolkien movie has already hit theaters, but the Amazon Lord of the Rings (LOTR) series is full-steam ahead in preproduction and this panel’s got some tantalizing news on that front. Bring your favorite stories about a TORn event or story they posted to discuss-they really want to focus on the community that TheOneRing.net has created these past 20 years. Costumes are welcome and encouraged. Cathy “Garfeimao” Udovch (special events coordinator) moderates.

Posted in "Tolkien" Movie, Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Fans, Meet Ups, Uncategorized

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Elf and Dwarves in Battle Review

Out latest review covers not one but two statues from out friend at Weta Workshop. The two statues we will be looking at come from The Hobbit Trilogy and specifically The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. During the final sequences of the film, we get to see some Elves and Dwarves joining forces. To depict this,  Weta made individual statues covering a single Mirkwood Elf as well as a pair of Iron Hills Dwarves–  but  the two statues come with a twist. You can switch out the shoulder armor of one of the Dwarves and combine them to make one massive statue. You can also get both statues individually for $449 with an edition size of 750.

Posted in Uncategorized

Today in Middle-earth, July 19

Riddles in the Dark The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on July 19th:

  • Bilbo’s lost in the caves (1341)
  • Riddles in the dark (1341)
  • Bilbo finds the dwarves and the wizard (1341)
  • The Company is trapped in the trees (1341)
  • The funeral escort of King Théoden sets out (1419)

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Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth