The amazing folks at Diamond Select Toys asked us if we would be interested in showing off some of their awesome figures as a preview. That was a quick yes, as their figures are very well done and are great collectibles for fans of Middle-earth.
If you went to, or watched, any coverage of Comic-Con from last summer, you would have seen the concepts of these two figures on display. Today, we’re pleased to share with you the final images for the new Boromir and Lurtz figures.
These figures are available for pre-order on Friday January 20th at the Diamond Select Toys website for $29.99 and you can expect to add these to your collections in the fall.
Both CRIMES OF THE FUTURE and THIRTEEN LIVES featured the Aragorn actor in top fashion, yet there was no fan discussion nor viewership numbers worth reporting from any studio. Taking into consideration this was the year of the inescapable RINGS OF POWER, the most expensive TV season ever telling the story of Aragorn’s heritage, we have to ask: what happened?
Crimes of the Movie Going
Viggo Mortensen re-teaming with Howard Shore should be enough to grab any LOTR fans attention, then add in that it’s David Cronenberg returning to his shock-scifi roots. There should be an ongoing buzz about this in 2022 right? But CRIMES OF THE FUTURE came and went with barely a whisper. According to Rotten Tomatoes it is a respectable 80% Fresh, and JustWatch says it is currently streaming on Hulu.
Not only does it have a new Howard Shore score (who has worked with Cronenberg on most of his films), CRIMES OF THE FUTURE is the fourth collaboration between the director and Mortensen – who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for their hit EASTERN PROMISES. Yet there’s been close to zero conversation on our message boards or twitter feed, as if nobody gave this film a try.
To be clear, Cronenberg films can an acquired taste and you the viewer should be prepared for full dark, body-shock genre storytelling. This movie was never going to be a blockbuster, but with a very fervent fanbase for both LOTR and Cronenberg and Shore, it’s surprising this film didn’t find its footing in cinemas or streaming.
THIRTEEN LIVES, NO THEATERS
The other Viggo Mortensen film that should have been a huge 2022 hit is THIRTEEN LIVES, directed by Ron Howard and co-starring Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton. Critics and audiences agree that this is a great movie! An all-star cast, story ripped from the headlines, with one of the top directors of all time. It also was the best test-scores in MGM studios history.
THIRTEEN LIVES tells the story of the cave-diving rescue of a team of kids stuck underground in a Thailand monsoon. There’s also a meta-cultural touchpoint since this is the rescue event where Elon Musk called rescuers horrible names and promised a technological solution that never materialized, and Elon is one of the most talked about persons on the internet in 2022 with his takeover of Twitter. So between cultural relevance, meme opportunities, a real human story of heroics, epic test scores, this had all the hallmarks of a huge box office hit. Plus, THIRTEEN LIVES is produced by Amazon Studios, home to RINGS OF POWER.
We can guess why this film was direct-to-streaming, as Amazon wants people to sign up for Prime Video. But this film is a perfect theatrical experience where every thrilling hold-your-breath moment would be shared with strangers in a dark cinema. Prime Video has stated it still believes in theatrical distribution with its recent acquisition of MGM studios, so why didn’t this get a summer release? Top Gun Maverick is Tom Cruise’s biggest film of his career, while WB released several blockbusters on both HBO Max and theaters simultaneously.
Why wasn’t THIRTEEN LIVES put in theaters?
Why didn’t Prime offer this movie after each episode of RINGS OF POWER?
Why did Amazon make a movie with Isildur’s heir, in a year with their show about Isildur, and not promote it?
Does this movie show up in your Prime dashboard after watching the entirety of Rings of Powers?
Viggo Mortensen is turning in some of the best performances in 2022. As the movie industry enters awards season, maybe these films will get renewed interest and some nominations. Fans of Viggo Mortensen should definitely give THIRTEEN LIVES a go on Amazon Prime, and if you can stomach a jaunt with CRIMES OF THE FUTURE on Hulu.
With many new Lord of the Rings projects on the horizon, maybe there’s room for Viggo Mortensen to direct, write, score or star in more Middle-earth. Amazon or Embracer, give him a call.
Our friends at Diamond Select Toys sent a copy of Aragorn, Frodo, and the Moria Orc for theonering.net to take a look at.
As I said in my last review I think for the price, as well as the detailing, these are definitely worth the $29.99 you can get them for. I especially like these for collectors who enjoyed the Toy Biz line, released during The Lord of the Rings Trilogy run in theaters. Also, like the other figures released so far, you get pieces to put together to build your own Sauron. You can get these figures now! So if you have any extra Christmas cash, these figures are well worth using it on.
Actor Sala Baker is no stranger to playing the bad guy; he appeared, after all, as Sauron himself in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies. Now he’s starring as the ‘lead heavy’ in a new movie, The Last Deal.
Director Jonathan Salemi was in touch with TORn, and let us know that ‘Sala’s character, The Boss, is the leader of a gang that loans money to our lead character, Vince [played by Anthony Molinari], and when Vince can’t pay him back, The Boss intends to get his money back at any cost.’ Baker is of course also well known as a stuntman, and his skills are put to good use in this film; Salemi told ComingSoon.net, ‘Actors that are also veteran stunt performers were casted in the leads so we could keep all the action on screen without cutting away, and keep it very real.’
The film sold out at the Boston International Film Festival, where Salemi was awarded Best Director. The Last Deal also sold out at Dances with Films in Hollywood, and Molinari was awarded ‘Best Performance by a lead actor’ at San Antonio Film Festival.
The Last Deal is scheduled for a select theatre release in February 2023; meanwhile, you can enjoy the trailer:
The exclusive The Lord of The Rings™ Roleplaying game live event for Extra Life, a charity uniting thousands of gamers around the world in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals — Only at LA Comic Con
For every Middle-earth fan attending L.A. Comic Con, this Roleplaying live event is the perfect way to end your Saturday evening. There will be an All-Star group of gamers and actors playing the game, all for charity, and you can be there to watch it live.
LIVE EVENT DETAILS: How: Redeem your free ticket at the Legion M booth (booth 1015) starting at 11 am PST on Sat, December 3rd, 2022 When: Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 Where: Only at Los Angeles Comic Con in room 301AB Time: Doors open 6 pm | Show starts 7 pm PT Donate to Extra Life at: https://www.extra-life.org/participant/lostodyssey
The full press release is below:
LOS ANGELES, Ca., Nov. 29 — One charity campaign to unite fans of fantasy and gaming alike. ‘From the mind of Kate Welch’, Lost Odyssey: The Red Scribe will see a fellowship of heroes come together in the World Premiere of the brand new The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying Game, in a spectacular, never-before-heard tale from Middle Earth. The game will kick off a first-of-its-kind digital marketplace, hosted by eBay, where both fans and companies can buy and sell products to benefit Extra Life, a program that’s raised over $100 million to fund critical life-saving treatments and healthcare services, along with innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment, and child life services across the nation.
Join game master Kate Welch (Acquisitions Incorporated), alongside an all-star cast of players including Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood, Daredevil), Reggie Watts (The Late Late Show with James Corden), TJ Storm (Godzilla, Deadpool), Luke Gygax (GaryCon, GaxxWorx), and The Dark Lord Sauron himself, Sala Baker (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), for a tabletop roleplaying experience like no other. Free to attend for any LACC Saturday badge holder, the star-studded celebrity gaming series Lost Odyssey returns to a physical table after two years of webcam games for an incredible cause. People coming together and telling stories to help one another—gathering around the proverbial campfire, and telling a story as one. Be the first to get your free ticket at the Legion M booth starting at 11 am PST on December 3rd – A limited number of tickets are available! Attendees will receive exclusive Comic-Con giveaways like minis, dice, and more… they may even have a role to play in the onstage story itself!
Lost Odyssey: The Red Scribe is presented by The Lord of the Rings™: Rise to War (an officially licensed mobile strategy game based on the iconic trilogy of books by J.R.R. Tolkien, developed by NetEase Games), and brought to you from sponsors including Free League Publishing (Creators of hit TTRPGs like ALIEN The Roleplaying Game, Blade Runner The Roleplaying Game, The One Ring™, and of course the new The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying Game), Legion M (the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company), Magpie Games (Avatar: Legends, Root The Roleplaying Game, and Urban Shadows), Spidermind Games (creator of the new technologically advanced, Dragon Eye Dice), Miniature Market (the online gaming superstore), DUST (a diverse platform for visionaries across the sci-fi community), GaxxWorx (veteran-owned company focused on creating well-designed and fun games and gaming accessories for everyone), and Syrinscape (the app that brings immersive sound effects and music to your tabletop roleplaying games, offering unique soundscapes that will elevate your game at home the same way you’ll see at-play in Lost Odyssey: The Red Scribe).
Stay tuned for more game details at: lostodysseyevents.com
Follow along on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/TikTok: @LostOdysseyLive
About LOST ODYSSEY EVENTS: From the production company INSIGNIS PICTURES, LOST ODYSSEY EVENTS is a TTRPG event series created by Douglisio DiMuccio and Rob D. Miller, a narrative multiverse bringing together the organizations and personalities of the TTRPG community behind common causes. Story saves.
About EXTRA LIFE: Extra Life is a charity uniting thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised over $100 million to fund critical life-saving treatments and healthcare services, along with innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment, and child life services across the nation. For Lost Odyssey Events: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to some technical issues, there has been some realignment to the programming schedule at LACC and TheOneRing.net has a slight change in our programming slot.
Our ‘Dispatches from Middle-earth: The return to Middle-earth’ panel is still in room 303 AB on Saturday, December 3, but now our start time is at 5:30 PM and ending at 7:00 PM, giving us nearly a full 90-minute panel. Join us as we talk about all things Tolkien, past, present, and future. And remember, we love seeing Middle-earth themed cosplay, and this is the weekend to really bring it.
But wait, there’s more Middle-earth goodness to be had. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin will be on the Main Stage on Saturday, December 3 from 3:00 PM to 3:50 PM. Both will be doing autographs and photo ops on Saturday as well, check the L.A. ComicCon App for details.
There is one more surprise coming tomorrow for cool, geeky Middle-earth-themed fun happening at LACC, so check back tomorrow morning.