Richard ArmitageTORn staffer Saystine found us another great interview video from Yahoo! Movies UK in which Hobbit cast members Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, and Andy Serkis discuss how the second film in the trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, will differ from An Unexpected Journey.

“It will get more dangerous and dark as Bilbo gets further away from home and in more jeopardy,” says Andy Serkis, who, in addition to playing Gollum in the films, is Second Unit Director on the trilogy.

Will we enjoy the departure from the more lighthearted nature of Unexpected Journey? Well Richard Armitage will, at least. He says, “Obviously I favor the dark.”

[Yahoo! Movies UK: Hobbit stars on ‘dark’ sequel]

minas_4110037Our sister site tolkienbrasil.com has posted and sent word of some very interesting verification that there is at least a possibility of a J.R.R. Tolkien inspired Middle-earth theme park. In records obtained by the website from the U.S. Patent office, the Saul Zaents Company, has registered in a goods and services document, several uses for Middle-earth properties that includes theme parks. When rumors of this first surfaced there was no credible source, or even really any source, that this was being explored. It didn’t even rise to the level of a rumor but now, those floating ideas are officially documented.

The Zaents Company owns Middle-earth Enterprises and that company gives Warner Bros. and other studios the right to produce Hobbit films and all that springs from them. The author, Tolkien sold his movie rights before his death to pay for medical expenses.

The found document is below, click it for a larger version:

Middle-earth

The document, dated January 22, 2013, could be the company simply protecting its rights to develop a theme park in response to the message board rumors late last year or it could be actively considering such a development as a real possibility. It isn’t clear if this park would be in New Zealand or in one of the established theme-park regions of the U.S., such as Flordia or California, or perhaps both. Warners recently had a successful port of its Harry Potter movie franchise to a well-received theme park experience. The possibilities of what to do with such a park, is a nearly limitless source of message board content.

Thanks again to Tolkienbrasil.com for the heads up. You can read the story right here or below is a rough translation:

FROM TOLKIENBRASIL.COM:

Warner Bross and Univeral are already thinking of a theme park ride on Middle Earth and it looks like the rumors are true.

The first news about occurred in early January in a post on micro site Micechat.com. In saying only: “Great news in the world of theme parks. Universal is negotiating the possibility of bringing the sights and scenery of The Lord of the Rings at a theme park near you. Heated with the success of the magical world of Harry Potter, Universal is unwilling to let Disney take the reins of the market with parks Avatar or Star Wars. We will have an exciting time for fans of theme parks. ”

Many took no credibility with the post, why not present any kind of source on this information. And there is no announcement from Universal about. Thus, the information was taken as mere rumor.

Given the recent process of merchandising products on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Tolkien Estate promoted by the companies face in administering the films (Warner Bros, New Line and Saulz Company), started to think that a theme park would still be far from becoming reality.

However, recently the site parkrumors.com presented what appears to be a piece of a document relating to the transaction that is like a theme park. This is the trademark registration of the name “Middle Earth”, which is the company Saulz Company. But that was extended with the possibility of doing a theme park.

The document presented by Parkrumors site is authentic?

Well, the document that the site has not parkrumors has its source, ie, we do not know its origin, since it is not told what department this document originou.O that could still form the opinion that it is only a rumor from fact.

Lawyer Site Tolkien Brazil came into contact with the industry patent records from the U.S. government on this information and the veracity of the document. And it was confirmed as true in an email received this morning. In that email it was confirmed that no such document exists and can be found on-site records of U.S. patents (see HERE).
parquetemáricodoc

Click on image to enlarge

In this document we see that is dated on January 22, 2013, with the word mark “Middle Earth”. Taking as the record owner of the company The Saul Zaentz COMPANY (which is the company that holds the rights to produce adaptations of the hobbit, lord of the rings and that makes the licenses of any products derived from these stories). Below is the translation of the terms of the document:

IC 028. U.S. 022023038050. G & S: Amusement

IC 035. U.S. 100101102. G & S: Management facilities for camping; Providing consumer information services and making referrals in the field of entertainment services for products, services, events, activities, facilities and locations

IC 039. U.S. 100 105. G & S: Organization of excursions; Organization of sightseeing trips, providing information, news and commentary in the field of travel, providing links to websites of other guidebooks, transportation of passengers and / or goods by car, boat and rail, transportation services, namely, providing transport services by bus services travel information

IC 041. U.S. 100101107. G & S: Salas games, entertainment centers for children, interactive play areas; entertainment as amusement, entertainment services in the form of an amusement park to show, entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting special events at an amusement park, entertainment services, namely, arranging for ticket reservations amusement park attractions; Organizing and organizing exhibitions for entertainment purposes; Providing amusement parks; Provide recreation facilities; Provision of park thematic

IC 043. U.S. 100 101. G & S: Reservation of accommodation for camping, camping facilities provide services Resort Hotel

The document is official. And we see clearly that this is a trademark registration document for the purpose of producing a theme park. It remains now await negotiations to be made quickly and it becomes reality theme park on the middle ground.

A pity that the park “Middle Earth” will have no character of Silmarillon stories …

Hogwarts Orlando Universal Unconfirmed rumours are circulating that Universal is talking with Tolkien Estate about creating a Middle-earth theme park. The rumours emerged on New Year’s day on the Orlando United forum where a user reported claims that Universal Studios asked Warner Bros. to raise the topic with Tolkien Estate. At this point, it is unclear whether the user has insider knowledge, or is simply reporting what others have said.

From the source post:

“…here is how I heard that it played out. Universal asked Warner Bros. to approach the Tolkien family since the Tolkien’s trust WB with the success of the LOTR series. WB described how Universal was willing to work with JK Rowling and how the 2 of them (WB and JK) held Universal’s feet to the fire to uphold Rowling’s vision of the IP. And I believe that the Tolkien’s may have actually talked to JK Rowling. This was before Universal said a word to the Tolkien’s. So after WB stoked the fire, Universal entered the picture with an impressive plan.

As of now there is a lot of hammering out to go, but Universal has gotten a lot farther than Disney ever did.”

Tolkien aficionados would recall, of course, that the professor had a notoriously low estimation of the creative works of Walt Disney. Letter #13 in Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien makes his position clear:

“It might be advisable […] to let the Americans do what seems good to them — as long as it was possible […] to veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing).”

That’s not to say that Universal would fare any better with Tolkien Estate in any quest to create a Middle-earth theme park. The Estate is well-known to be wary of merchandising, and is currently engaged in a legal stoush with Warner Bros. and Saul Zaentz, alleging that the companies are merchandising beyond what was contractually agreed upon in the 1969 rights deal.

Micechat, a site that specialises in theme park news, claims Universal “is very close to acquiring the rights to develop and produce attractions based on the successful Lord of the Rings franchise of films”. So we might see whether there’s anything to this rumour quite soon.

An official WB press release came out today that includes some Plot detail. One new Cast member is in the list, a John Bell, who appears to be about 10 years old or so. No official listing on IMDB yet for this casting, so no idea if he is Bain or Estel, or some other youngster. I’m including a link to an interview with the young actor under the press release.

Continue reading “New WB press release and a mystery bit of casting”

What we know: Peter Jackson began rolling film on The Hobbit back in April, 2011 and will be adapting this story as a Duology, two films instead of just the one like the book. They’ve had periods of shooting in the studio, a hiatus on filming while post production was being done, and now they are in the midst of Location shooting, with another hiatus and more studio shooting scheduled through June of 2012. The existence of the first Teaser was mentioned by both Andy Serkis and Elijah Wood several weeks ago, and it had its world debut at BNAT13 this past weekend. The mass release of the Teaser has not yet happened, and that is where we pick up our story.

Continue reading “The Hobbit Teaser is coming, soon”

Glaurung writes: Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh were at the Skyline Gondola park in Queenstown today – Peter and Fran went past me on the chairlift for the Skyline Luge twice. Perhaps they were scouting locations? Or merely sightseeing.

From skyline.co.nz: Reputed to be the steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, the gondola carries visitors high above Queenstown to the Skyline complex located on Bob’s Peak. Situated an easy five minute walk from central Queenstown, the gondola is an all weather tourist attraction in its own right. Sit back and relax as the views from the gondola unfold while you journey to the Skyline complex. The best vistas in the region are found here, spread out in a spectacular 220 degree panorama. Numerous observation decks around the complex offer breathtaking views of Coronet Peak & The Remarkables, over Queenstown and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. Truly magnificent and awe-inspiring.