It’s that time of year again, time for all good Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and assorted denizens of Middle-earth to gather and make merry to help celebrate the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
Southern California Tolkien fans are invited to join in the merriment of TORN’s Annual Baggins Birthday Bash, which will take place on Sunday, Sept 22, 2019 starting at noon in Griffith Park in the Mineral Wells area. If you need help finding this location, look at the Directions below and at the Map, which clearly shows Mineral Wells near the Harding Golf Course. We will be celebrating the Birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and rejoice in each other’s fellowship.
COSTUMES are encouraged, and we may have a prize or two for the most beautifully or most creatively attired lads and ladies. There will also be fun and games and plenty of food.
BIRTHDAY CAKE(S) – We invite you all to get your creative baking going on and bring Middle-earth themed Cakes and/or cupcakes . This will actually be a Juried event with a prize for the Cake or Cupcakes deemed the most Beautiful or Whimsical, or maybe just most delicious looking.
The picnic is potluck so bring something to share. RSVP by leaving a note on our FB event page here or send an email to Garfeimao@theonering.net. Please let us know what you plan to bring so we can make sure we’ve got all bases covered for a good, Hobbity meal. The food list will be updated with what people are bringing so everyone can see what’s coming and what is still needed. Please read the full Info text for the Party for the food list, schedule of events and suggested driving instructions.
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.
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.”
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.
Tolkien just opened in the UK this past Friday, and will be opening up nationwide here in the US on May 10. You can read Quickbeam’s review here, or remain completely spoiler free, as you see fit. Suffice it to say Tolkien is a beautifully made film, from the acting, music score and gorgeous settings.
Back in the day, when the LOTR films were coming out, TORn rolled out the idea of Line Parties, a way for fans to meet and interact while standing in line for the movies. Of course, this was long before theaters moved to reserved seating, which has taken some of the fun energy out of the theater going experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way, we all know that movies are better with friends, new and old. So, bring your Fellowship, or make a new Fellowship, and plan to attend opening weekend of Tolkien with fellow fans.
We have partnered up with Legion M, the first fan-owned entertainment company, to host fan Meetups/Line Parties/Moots on opening weekend of Tolkien. You can sign up to attend an existing Meetup here, and if there is none near you, register to host your own. If you decide to host a Meetup, you will need to fill out the form and wait for a Legion M admin to activate your event. Once activated, you will be able to share the link and encourage all of your friends and family to attend. The Meetups with at least 8 attendees RSVPed will earn collectible pins, but you will need to move quickly in order for those to arrive in time for the film screening. Of course, existing Meetups may have already qualified, so do check your area within a good 15-20 mile radius first.
One other enticement is that One Meetup will win a special prize of free movie tickets, with the added bonus of one Meetup leader and one Attendee earning a trip to a Legion M premiere at a city to be determined by Legion M, a 2 night hotel stay and a cash prize towards airfare. Please see the One Meetup to Rule them All contest page for details on this.
Wondercon kicks off in a few hours in Anaheim, California and J.R.R. Tolkien and TheOneRing.net will have a big presence this year. On Friday afternoon at 4:30pm, the panel for Tolkien, Fox Searchlight’s historical biopic about the early life of the author who would create Middle-earth will give numerous glimpses into the what the film has in store for audiences. The panel discussion will include Director Dome Karusoski, and actors Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Boyle, Tom Glynne-Carney and Patrick Gibson. The Panel will be moderated by our own Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway, and will be in the Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center. More details can be found at the WonderCon sheduling page here.
On Saturday we will be having our own panel discussion at 3pm in room 213CD covering the Tolkien film, the Morgan Library exhibit in New York and all the activity regarding the Amazon Middle-earth TV Series. We will also have a very special surprise for attendees that you won’t want to miss. In fact, you should make plans to be occupied for the rest of the evening on Saturday. We can’t say much more, but if you have been paying attention to the internet chatter about Wondercon, you may know the surprise already. Just look for “There and Back Again: A Tolkien Store” at Wondercon and come visit us. Details can be found here.
Yes, we will be at Wondercon, but with a booth. We do, however, have a panel, and a surprise after the panel. Can’t talk about the surprise just yet, but keep reading for more details.
2019 is our 20th Anniversary, so we are lining up lots of Middle-earth and Tolkien fun throughout the year. Our Wondercon panel will be on Saturday afternoon, March 30 from 3pm to 4pm in room 213CD. The plan is to cover both the upcoming Tolkien biopic film and to discuss the facts and rumors surrounding the Amazon Prime TV series. We will have some other Tolkien news too, so don’t miss our panel or you will miss out on the surprise. Mathom or Moot, we must “Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe”, for now at least.
You can check out more details on our event page on facebook, which is the only place we will be updating with any additional information we are allowed to share. You can find our Wondercon Panel here. Our event page does link back to the Wondercon Schedule, which is important so you can check out the schedule for Friday afternoon at 4:30pm in the Arena for Fox Searchlight’s film Tolkien, with cast and crew members in attendance.
It’s been a while since we’ve had this much Tolkien to talk about, come have some Hobbity fun with us.
Blast from the past, Middle-earth March Madness circa 2012
TORn staff have been busy mixing things up a little bit this year. With Amazon Prime floating all these versions of Middle-earth Maps, we decided it would be fun to take some familiar and some not so familiar Middle-earth locations and spread them out in a Bracket and let you readers decide which destination is your favorite. This year’s madness will be known as Middle-earth Map March Madness for this reason, so you may want to pull out your books and start looking at your maps. Sure, we’ll have some handy little guides to help remind you of some of the more obscure locations, but in the end, this will help you get ready for Amazon’s series, if their teased maps are any indication.
We’ve decided upon a rather simple format of divvying up by books, giving one quarter draw to locations within Silmarillion, one to places found in the Hobbit, and one to locations found in the Lord of the Rings. To fill out the fourth quarter draw, we separated the Shire from the other books and gave it a place of it’s own. So, our final Four will include one location from each of these draws, but will your favorite Middle-earth locations even make the cut? We are still finalizing the draw, which basically consisted of various staff members tossing out loads of names until we had a good 20-25 from each segment, then we began voting to narrow each Quarter draw down to just 16 selections. We hope to have things ready to go in the next few days, so make sure to vote and keep track of the game as it moves through each round.
A report has appeared in Scotland’s Daily Record stating that representatives of Amazon Studios were scouting filming locations for their Lord of the Rings TV project in Scotland over the summer. This story is light on details, so we at TORn are treating this information as rumors, for now. These location scouts purportedly traveled as tourists, checking out various locales around Scotland, which offered the opportunity for a meaningful connection with the local communities. (more…)
Principle photography was completed on this film a little over a year ago and the first test audience screenings began in June, so we’ve been waiting quite a while for this release date to be announced. This film will open on May 10, 2019 in a limited release, as is usual for indie films. This is good news if you live in big cities that typically get art films, but others may have to make a little more effort to get out and see it. Once we get word on just how many theaters it will open in and whether it will go into a wider release, we will share that news here. Also, there are those among us who have seen the film, and once permission has been given you can expect a review or two. But first, just what is this film about and when is it set? (more…)
This past week, the New Zealand Government and executives from Amazon TV held a meeting in an effort to address concerns about a lack of studio capacity in Auckland. This planned 5 season LOTR series is a big production that will require quite a lot of studio space for filming, post production facilities and local crews, so of course they want to make sure the resources exist that they need. It appears that a decision or deal may be made within the next month, so we don’t have long to wait. You can see the source of this story at Stuff.Co.NZ.
You may be wondering why Auckland and not Wellington, but that is easily explained by the fact that the Avatar trilogy of films currently in pre-production will soon be moving into full production. While the Amazon LOTR production will be big, Avatar is going to be much bigger, and there may or may not be enough room for both as far as studio and post-production facilities go.
This leads to a much bigger debate on whether or not this new series should look and feel much like the existing Middle-earth films or whether it should blaze its own path for design and locations. The appeal to any production of not having to look for too many new locations can’t be understated. Film and TV productions are always having to research and locate interesting places that fit what the production needs, so the fact that so many locations in New Zealand have already been established as feeling like Middle-earth is a boon. But then, there are hundreds of beautiful places around the world, and with chunks of filming now happening in studios, does it really matter where those studios are? Is it possible that Amazon can do location filming in New Zealand and Studio work in London, Hollywood or Vancouver? Or why not film in British Columbia, or Northern Ireland or Slovenia for that matter?
You may not know his name, but outside of being a co-investor in the LOTR films, Samuel Hadida through his Davis-Films production company and his Metropolitan FilmExport distribution company in France helped make or distribute numerous films you would have heard of, including the Resident Evil franchise, True Romance, and the Silent Hill films and this year’s Hunter Killer. This reporter first encountered Samuel Hadida at San Diego Comic con when he brought Solomon Kane to Hall H in 2009. He was a champion of indie and genre films, and without his output deal with New Line Cinema, Lionsgate and Dreamworks, we might not have ever gotten the LOTR or the Hunger Games films.
Mark Ordesky, Executive Producer on the Lord of the Rings films said of him;
“Shocked and saddened. Sammy was so dear and brimming with life. One of many memories is indelible: His company was a co-investor in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and needless to say the stakes were high. After we premiered the first public footage in Cannes 2001, Sammy lifted me off the ground and kissed me in his excitement. He lived and bet his passions and I’ll miss him terribly. We should all aspire to love our lives and jobs as much as he did. My deepest sympathy to his brother, Victor, and all who loved him.”
We at TORn also send out a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for his courage in being a financial partner on the LOTR film, and send our condolences to his family and friends on his passing at such a young age. You can read more on his work at Passing of French Distributor Samuel Hadida
Solomon Kane panel at SDCC 2009 with Samuel Hadida second from left, Director Michael J Bassett and actor James Purefoy on the right. AICN’s Quint was the moderator on the far left.
The last big comic con of 2018 takes place in Los Angeles next weekend and TheOneRing.net will be there with not one, but two panels. Both panels take place on Sunday, October 28 in Room 306. The first will take place at 11am and is called “I am no Man: The Women of Middle-earth”, and you guessed it, the panel will focus on some of the amazing, heroic women who inhabit the deeper legendarium created by Professor Tolkien. The second panel will be at 2pm and is entitled “Dispatches from Middle-earth: New Tolkien projects on the Horizon” and will be a comprehensive update of both the Tolkien Biopic and the new Amazon Studios Lord of the Rings production.
Signum University and the Mythgard Institute are proud to announce LAMoot, the first annual Southern California symposium dedicated to the exploration of speculative fiction, mythology, and medieval literature and languages.
This one-day event will investigate the challenges of adapting literature to other media, including art, film, television, video games, and music. LAMoot will feature a keynote address by Signum President Corey Olsen (The Tolkien Professor), a panel of invited guests, discussion panels, and time for fellowship with like-minded professionals, academics, and enthusiasts.
LAMoot is an inclusive creative space uniting scholarship with creativity. We invite you to participate and are seeking proposals for presentations involving the adaptation of everything from science fiction to fairy tales to Norse mythology. Please visit our website for the call for proposals.
LAMoot will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Westwood Gateway at Santa Monica and 405 in the Elite Conference Room located in Suite 150 at 11100 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Visit our Website for more information
TheOneRing.net will be on hand to discuss recent past Adaptations and what we anticipate for the new Amazon series.
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