For the one year anniversary of the release of TOLKIEN we are excited to be joined by the director for a LIVE watch-along on #TORnTuesday.
Get your Blu-rays or streaming accounts ready to join Cliff Broadway and director Dome Karukoski for a live discussion of the feature film TOLKIEN on Tuesday, May 12 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET.
TOLKIEN (2019) can be found digitally for purchase on iTunes & Amazon, or can be streamed free with your HBO account. Get your copy ready to play, then tune into to TORn’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Twitch account where we will all press play at the same time!
Starring Nicholas Hoult & Lily Collins, and produced by FOX Searchlight Pictures, TOLKIEN tells the story of John Ronald & his school friends as they navigate school, war, orphan life, romance and friendship.
Several staff members of TheOneRing.net praised its depiction of The Professor’s life and the craftsmanship of the classical style film. Co-Founder of TheOneRing.net Calisuri found TOLKIEN so remarkable that it brought back to him a level of positivity in Ringer fandom that had been missing since 2005.
We are extremely excited to watch this movie with you the fans and the creative behind the film. So queue up your copy of TOLKIEN at 8pm ET on Tuesday!
Renown Tolkien scholar and author Tom Shippey is off the Lord of the Rings project, according to twitch broadcaster Tolkien Professor, confirming our early reports from March.
In a recent live stream from the Tolkien Professor – who we suggest watching & subscribing – Cory Olsen stumbles for words as he responds to a chat question about the status of his colleague Tom Shippey on Amazon’s LOTR series.
Olsen runs Signum University, the preeminent Tolkien scholar event series that travels the world bringing thoughtful, intelligent dialog to the world & works of J.R.R. Tolkien. His weekly LOTR streams have a dedicated audience that counts Stephen Colbert as an avid fan.
“I have spoken to Shippey… is he still involved? I don’t believe so.”
Cory Olsen, the Tolkien Professor
The early rumors of Shippey’s status set the community ablaze, with both reddit threads and YouTube comments becoming hotbeds of debate. On an early March episode of TORn Tuesday, it was revealed that none of the writers were currently engaged on the production and that the latest rumor was Tom Shippey was off the project. See TORn Veteran Quickbeam’s reaction starting 16:00 minutes into the show:
Fans hopes & concerns were calmed in 2019 when Amazon released a video that includes Tom Shippey in the creative team behind its billion-dollar LOTR series. Out of all the extremely talented people involved, Shippey brought a sense of authority and respect for Tolkien alongside artist John Howe. For many fans, Shippey is the iron rock that will ensure Amazon maintains fidelity to Tolkien — keeping the green showrunners in check with a focus on Tolkien’s intent. With his involvement diminished, Amazon risks alienating core fans and losing credibility among the show’s biggest champions.
Neither Amazon nor Shippey has publicly commented on the current status of their relationship. With the Tolkien Professor independently hearing the same things TORn Tuesday is hearing, there must be some truth in the air.
Tell us your thoughts! Are you concerned? Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter (@theoneringnet) to share your opinion!
Add these to your queue for a taste of the creative talent behind Amazon’s $1 Billion LOTR series
Amazon’s billion-dollar Lord of the Rings series is in production but fans want to know what to expect now that Peter Jackson isn’t crafting Middle-earth. Since many are in quarantine and looking for shows to watch, we have put together a comprehensive list of films & TV shows which the current LOTR production team have previously worked on to provide a sense of the talent behind the series. Many of the writers have worked on other book adaptations, sometimes with actors from Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth films!
Note: all watch suggestions are based on U.S. platforms, check your local region for each of these!
Penny Dreadful pilot S1E1 – S1E2
Watch on: Showtime, Amazon Prime
LOTR Director JA Bayona directed the 2-episode pilot of Penny Dreadful, setting the tone for the entire series. He is currently filming the 2-episode pilot of LOTR.
A Monster Calls
Watch on: Cinemax
Bayona directed this powerful fantasy drama of loss, despair, love and family – themes familiar to Tolkien’s Legendarium.
Watch on: Amazon Prime
LOTR writer Helen Shang was deeply involved in crafting the Red Dragon storyline for NBC’s Hannibal series, featuring Richard Armitage (Thorin).
On April 7, 2020 the senior members of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings production team came together with fans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first teaser trailer of LOTR, an online-only digital video that broke all online download records.
This digital trailer, released on Apple Trailers, was responsible for 30% of all internet traffic upon release according to Akamai. It surpassed the Star Wars Episode 1 trailer, arguable the most hyped film in history, in downloads the first day and first week.
Prior to this trailer, fandom was seen as “Star Wars.” This validated fandom and a different way of marketing and appreciating what fandom can bring. It created a different perception of the power of fans.
Gordon Paddison, VP Marketing LOTR
Michael Pellerin describes watching the LOTR trailer with Chairman Roy Disney at Walt Disney Studios, the parent company of Miramax that actually let LOTR walk away to New Line Cinema. “He just went huh, wow, good on them. Disney would have made it a company film. This is more of a visionary thing.”
Richard Taylor tells a heartfelt story of offering a job to a professional make-up artist early on, which was respectfully declined. “We were turned down by almost everyone… but when the trailer came out, a number of people we had pursued actually wrote back to me!”
“What Michael did under Peter’s leadership was to unpack everything about everything, the whole process. In that trailer the world got to see the first thing that Weta Digital was doing. There was unbelievable groundbreaking stuff being done. It was all so beautifully unfolded for the world.”
Gordon Paddison was New Line Cinema’s VP of Digital Marketing who took a risk engaging with fan sites early on. “Nobody is doing anything bad, its just that they care! That’s how you develop a relationship that lasts 20 years. It comes down to passion. Fans are passionate and I was a champion of the fans, as was everyone on this chat and Peter. A strategy of love is the best you can have.”
“Star Trek had been taking legal action and shutting down fan sites for years. This was the beginning of embracing fandom and we developed a great relationship working with you guys [at TheOneRing.net]. This video changed the velocity & tone of the fan response.”
“Peter was so good at saying very early to the fans that this is not the definitive version of Lord of the Rings, this is my personal impression of what the films should be. It did a lot to right-set the filmmaker vision and set us on a journey that was really humble. “
“I have a very in-depth trust in Peter. When he came to us that he wanted to do this trailer, there was no question that it was the right thing to do. I hadn’t seen a trailer like this, so I was surprised that there would be this level of reveal.”
Co-Producer Rick Porras describes the unique vision of this first teaser trailer, “What made it special was intercutting the old footage and seeing the filmmaker talk about it. Including Peter [in the video] really started something special.”
A big reveal is that the this teaser trailer actually includes footage of the original pitch package for studios to even make LOTR. Everything with Peter Jackson in a white shirt was part of the pitch package delivered to Miramax, New Line, and all other potential studios. New Line Cinema of course saw the vision and financed the films.
“The fans were so engaged. Normally you can hide under a rock for a while. The fans were getting materials and putting them out. From my experience you don’t want to get into a fight with your core market. We had to feed them!” Gordon Paddison acknowledging the fourth estate of filmmaking – the fan community.
Jed Brophy, in addition to playing many orc characters, was a horse rangler on the film and is actually in the teaser trailer as one of the nazgul nine. “It is a pretty incredible thing to see something you’ve done, which is just another day at work.”
Executive Producer Mark Ordesky was fully supportive of Peter & Gordon’s efforts releasing this teaser. “The best way is tell your own story before someone else tells it. What was genius about the trailer is Peter basically showed how he’s going to do things that you can’t possible imagine.”
“Think with hope, not with fear. I have come with answers.”
One of the fun tidbits revealed was that the ringer verse voice over was performed by Nick Tate, who has done everything from Jurassic Park to Spongebob. The Tolkienist was the first to reshare the discovery with fans!
Michael Pellerin expands on the Roy Disney story, confirming that LORD OF THE RINGS was indeed a Disney film at its inception because of the Miramax deal. Miramax was a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, and to this day Harvey Weinstein is credited as Executive Producer on LOTR.
“In April of 2000, I was in NYC in an audio recording session with Roy Disney, for a project I was finishing up with him. I had been counting down the days until the first LOTR online preview was to be released and it just happened to occur while we were in the studio. I tried to be as surreptitious as I could, waiting for the preview to drop on my laptop. But Roy could see I was obviously up to something — probably not having to do with our show. So he asked me what I was doing, and I fessed up to him that the first LOTR preview was about to appear online, and I couldn’t miss it. Instead of reprimanding me, Roy said we should all take a break from the session and watch it together — which we did.
When it was over, Roy turned to me and was duly impressed. He said he thought Peter and New Line were really going to pull off what many felt was impossible — a motion picture of The Lord of the Rings – and that the project had found the right home, after all, with a director who was clearly a visionary. This was an amazing comment by a man whose progenitors founded the Walt Disney Company, and who himself was one of its chairmen. Especially in light of the fact that Disney that was the parent company of Miramax, the studio that was originally producing Peter Jackson’s film version of LOTR, before it went into turnaround and ended up as a trilogy of films for New Line Cinema. Technically speaking, Peter Jackson’s LOTR was originally a Disney film, in its inception. So hearing Roy Disney express the same hope and feeling of excitement we all had watching that preview, felt like a sense of closure to a long journey that began in 1997, and was soon to make cinematic history.”
TheOneRing.net wants to thank all the participants for engaging with the fans from those early days to now, 20 years later, in such a respectful and candid nature. THANK YOU Gordon Paddison, Richard Taylor, Jed Brophy, Mark Ordesky, Michael Pellerin, & Rick Porras for making the time to celebrate this record setting trailer release.
Watch the entire conversation as it streamed live here:
As widely reported on March 31, Andrew Jack, the supervising dialect coach for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has passed from complications related to COVID-19. Reactions across film industry and fandom were immediately filled with shock and sadness, bringing home the importance of safety during this pandemic.
Andrew Jack was one of the most respected dialect coaches in Hollywood having worked on hundreds of films & shows including Star Wars, James Bond, MARVEL cinematic universe, and Batman. His crowning achievement may well be Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS in his capacity as senior supervising dialect coach, as he aligned all the various actors’ speech patterns into the cohesive dialects of Middle-earth.
Accents and dialects were a top concern of Ringer fans as LOTR began production in the year 2000, with online debates spilling into newspapers on whether the four hobbits – cast with actors from 3 different countries – would even sound the same. As we all know J.R.R. Tolkien himself was a philologist who made a career of language, and many fans have adopted his passion for linguistics. New Line Cinema realized how critically important the dialects would be to these films, they hired Hollywood’s expert dialect coach in Andrew Jack.
Ian Mckellen said at the time, in 2000, “Andrew Jack is following carefully Tolkien’s own instructions in his appendices to the novels.” When asked about pronouncing Saruman’s name, “We call him SAH – ru- mahn. I ran this answer past our pronunciation adviser Andrew Jack who adds: “It depends on who is saying it!”
Karl Urban (Eomer) was currently working with Andrew Jack for the second time on his Amazon series THE BOYS writing, “Andrew was such a gentle giant and a man who possessed such great generosity of spirit. He was extraordinarily talented, professional and an absolute joy to work with.”
Hooded figures seen in the dense forest under cover of night!
Here’s a phrase we haven’t used in a long, long time: A Spy Report from the set of Lord of the Rings! Ringer “David” sends word of “Hooded Guys” from the riverbanks of Auckland:
The photos were made in or near the circle. Although I walked pretty much around it nothing could be seen. Maybe there wasn’t a set anymore, maybe trees/hills got in the way. One of the people who lived there told me there was filming in the dark with bright lights on for 4 hours (I think Monday last week). He didn’t know what it was. Afterwards he saw hooded guys (which normally doesn’t mean good things) so he walked up and spoke to them. They were telling it was for filming ‘the new Lord of the Rings’.
The “circle” he references is the blue one on the far right edge of this map, while the photos below indicate a heavily wooded area where vans full of production gear were loading out.
Photos provided in the Spy Report show what is possibly the codename for the production: “GIN”
It always comes down to some wacky code word they use on set location signs. Back in the day of filming the O.G. Trilogy as Peter Jackson and team were traipsing around both North and South Islands with multiple Film Units the dead giveaway was any sign that said “JAMBOREE.” Even script pages and daily Call Sheets were printed with the pretend Boy Scout name. Many of our community members remember that code word from twenty years ago!
What can we really tell from these spy photos? Just that they’re quick to arrive and quick to leave. These actual set locations are in the past tense, so to speak. Production has already moved on from these woods as Amazon’s “2nd Age of Middle-earth” series pilot episode director J.A. Bayona posted a photo from a dry field area.
Only days ago one of the new cast members of Amazon’s $1-Billion production posted the words: “Calm before the storm.” British stage actress Sophia Nomvete is filming her first days on set for a brand new character to the Tolkien Film Legendarium.
How many of you are familiar with the physical features in this area? Any Kiwis down there who can tell us the lay of the land — what types of trees, the slope of the elevation, any such unique features that might suggest a location in Númenor or the mainland of Eregion, things like that — would be a great place to start our guesswork!
Thank you for the first Amazon LOTR Spy Report, David! If anyone else in the Auckland area notices anything… unnatural… please email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter & Instagram DM’s.
Aquaman & Mortal Kombat actress in recovery for potentially months.
NZ Herald reports that the injury took place during stunt rehearsals on Amazon’s billion-dollar LORD OF THE RINGS series.
Elissa Cadwell, an experienced Brisbane-based stunt woman, actor and dancer, who recently doubled for Nicole Kidman in Aquaman, is understood to have been injured during rehearsals at the sprawling Kumeu Film Studio.
Sources confirmed she fell into water in large tanks as planned, but her head struck a bolt in the process. One witness said the resulting injuries were traumatic.
She’s not back at work and won’t be for weeks, if not months. But she is ok and I understand she is being looked after.
The actress bears a resemblance to a young Galadriel, who is one of the lead characters in Amazon’s LOTR show. Director J.A. Bayona is crafting the pilot episode which, presumably, will have big underwater action sequences set in Second Age Numenor.
New Zealand’s work & safety compliance office, WorkSafe, was notified of the accident over a week after the occurrence when the press contact their office. “The cone of silence around the production really shouldn’t come into play with health and safety – that’s how Pike River happened” says Denise Roche, director of actors union Equity New Zealand.
While Weta Workshop & Weta Digital have been busy filming the water-based AVATAR sequels and AQUAMAN film with no reported set injuries, there has been no confirmation and zero hints they have been engaged to work on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings.
2014. It heralded the final chapter of Thorin’s Company of 14. What better way to relive it than with a “Top 14” list!
TheOneRing on YouTube is full of videos from past and present — along with our weekly web series TORn Tuesday and Happy Hobbit. Check out some of our playlists and exclusive cast interviews! Throughout last year, we also brought you live video coverage from many events over at www.theonering.net/live (bookmark it)! (more…)
With 2014 about to come to a close, we thought we’d look back at the big stories of the year. So read on and check out our 14 most popular posts of 2014!
By the way, it doesn’t end here — don’t forget you can join us in Hollywood in February at the The One Last Party. Even if you can’t make it, there are still plenty of cool and interesting perks available if you’d like to back us!
Fans had a lot of fun in 2014 reveling in Middle-earth while the filmmakers toiled away. This year we reached over 100 Million Hobbit fans across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the community here, so let’s look back at some of the most exciting Hobbit Fan moments of the year!
YouTube recently enabled High Frame Rate (HFR) playback supporting 60 frames per second and the new Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies trailer is the first to take advantage of High Frame Rate. Click to watch the video, and when it starts click on the gear in the lower right and choose 1080p60.
Peter Jackson famously filmed the entire Hobbit trilogy in HFR, and every film has been available in theaters in this unique smooth format.
Gamers used to 60fps love it, cinephiles loathe the change from standard film 24 fps. Fans are growing accustomed to the new HFR smooth movie — and for good reason as many other filmmakers including James Cameron plan to utilize this enhanced film format. (more…)
Lord Richard Attenborough has sailed into the West at 90. Though mostly known from Jurassic Park (and as older brother of David Attenborough) he holds a dear place for Tolkien fans as the director of Shadowlands, a wonderful film about C.S.Lewis featuring the first cinematic representation of the Inklings group which Tolkien was part of. Lord Attenborough considered Shadowlands his most perfect work, and we can only hope that the two upcoming J.R.R. Tolkien biographical films will be made with as much care and passion as Attenborough put into his films.
There are many tributes and remembrances around the net celebrating his career as actor, director, executive and philanthropist. It is the 1993 film Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger where Attenborough’s talent shines as a storyteller of storytellers. The film is a biographical look at author C.S. Lewis and his relationships both personally and professionally. Importantly it is the first film to include the Inklings – a group of famed authors and writers which J.R.R. Tolkien was part of. Actor John Wood plays a loosely based figure of Tolkien through the character Christopher Riley. Although Riley/Tolkien is the fictional antagonist of the film, his portrayal includes Tolkien’s dialog from what we know of their relationship at the time.
Many biographies detail how John Tolkien helped bring his fellow author, Oxford academic and close friend Jack Lewis to Christianity, but was dismayed when Lewis chose the Anglican Church of England instead of Tolkien’s Catholicism. This would provide the significant break in their friendship; Tolkien’s Catholicism disapproved of divorce and was not supportive of Lewis’ marriage to Joy Gresham. Shadowlands focuses solely on that marriage and uses Tolkien’s own words and writings in the Christopher Riley character, saying ‘any book written faster than his own books couldn’t possibly be good–and Tolkien wrote slowly, very slowly; he never did finish the dictionary of Icelandic he promised for decades to Oxford University Press.’ (LA Times) Lewis’ brother Warren was more supportive, writing “For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. Joy was the only woman whom he had met … who had a brain which matched his own in suppleness, in width of interest, and in analytical grasp, and above all in humour and a sense of fun.”
Lord Richard Attenborough was one of the very few directors or storytellers who could make an emotionally captivating film of a bunch of Oxford professors. Although Shadowlands deviates significantly from real life in some of the character portrayals, Lord Attenborough provides careful directorial attention in bringing this important literary era of Oxford to life.
Shadowlands is close to a perfect film and Richard Attenborough rightly considers it his most perfect work of his career. It demonstrates a nuanced control of the material – the retelling of C.S. Lewis’ late blooming. Even the antagonist, a Tolkienesque figure, is portrayed respectfully without falling into caricature. Films such as Shadowlands, Chaplin and Gandhi prove that Lord Attenborough is one of the greatest biographical storytellers Hollywood has seen. With TWO distinct biographical films in development on the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, studios and filmmakers would be smart to carefully study Lord Richard Attenborough’s biographical output.
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