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Archive for the ‘Production’ Category

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s The Witch-king and Frodo at Weathertop Part 2

As we shared with you a couple of weeks ago, our friends at Weta Workshop posted part one of a video, showing us the path the Witch-king and Frodo statue took to arrive at its final design. Today, fans can watch part two, and get to see what this amazing piece will finally look like, so we can prepare to place orders sometime in the near future. This piece is absolutely stunning and the final choices for the statue really do help create something very special. I cannot wait to order this myself, and hope you all enjoy the video below showcasing the journey of this collectible. After watching the video, use the link above to sign up, to know when this goes up for pre-order.

(more…)

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Headlines, Merchandise, Shop, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

What to watch to prepare for Amazon’s LOTR


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.


Hannibal S3

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).

Posted in Amazon TV series, Lord of the Rings, Production

LOTR Production Team reveals secrets of Teaser Trailer

Click to watch on YouTube

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!”

An early Cinefex advertisement soliciting resumes for Weta Digital c. 1999-2000

“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.”

Richard Taylor

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.

Sasha is a Weta artist who designed the Lord of the Rings logo and typefaces – who also pulled double duty as an orc on stilts.
Jed Brophy is the first actor ever shown officially from LOTR, on Nazgul horseback

“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.

Gandalf’s shadow, sent secretly by Ian Mckellen, generated one of the first legal notices the studio sent to TheOneRing.net

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:

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, Other Crew, Richard Taylor, Rick Porras, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Uncategorized

All-Star Panel Joins TORn Tuesday LIVE! 5pm PT / 8pm ET

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lord of the Rings internet teaser for The Lord of the Rings, we’ve put together an all-star line-up to join us LIVE for TORn Tuesday!

Join us on all our social channels at 5pm PT/8pm ET (All Timezones) as we welcome guests…

  • Mark Ordesky – Executive Producer
  • Richard Taylor – Creative Director Weta Workshop, VFX Supervisor
  • Gordon Paddison – VP Marketing, New Line Cinema
  • Jed Brophy – Actor, Snaga and Sharku
  • Rick Porras – Co-Producer
  • Michael Pellerin – Director The Appendices

Where to watch…

Posted in Crew News, Director news, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Original TORn, Peter Jackson, Production, Richard Taylor, Studios

20 Years Ago Today, the LOTR Internet Trailer was Released and the World was Never the Same Again

It is hard to believe that 20 years ago today, we got our first collective tease at what would become the greatest film trilogy of all time. (Yea…I said it.)

Way back on March 31st, 2000 – New Line sent out an update for those folks subscribed to their newsletter…footage was going to be released officially on April 7th. (See our squee-worthy post from 2000)

The waiting game began. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, check out all of our headlines from that timeframe. The child-like exuberance of our staff in anticipation of the trailer was unmatched. One particular enthusiastic staffer – some guy named Calisuri – even kept a daily countdown that eventually went into an hourly countdown.

Then in the early hours of April 7th, the official website posted the trailer and our lifelong dream of seeing The Lord of the Rings on the big-screen become a reality. By the time Peter Jackson says ‘This is the time,’ and the screen fills with an army of Uruk-hai, we could barely contain our joy. The Ring Verse is read while Carmina Burana builds the tension, and we all couldn’t get enough of the magic.

TheOneRing.net staff immediately went to work on our Frame by Frame analysis, and as you will see on that page, we kept updating for days and months afterwards.

The ‘internet trailer’ for Lord of the Rings became the most downloaded preview in history and holds a special place in film history as a result.

Posted in Crew News, Director news, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Original TORn, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios

LOTR dialect coach Andrew Jack dies from COVID-19 and Middle-earth cast reacts

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.

Newspaper clipping from 2000 era.

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.”

Elijah Wood (Frodo), Sean Astin (Samwise) and Billy Boyd (Pippin) immediately tweeted, “[Andrew Jack] lead all of us through the many accents of Middle-Earth.”

Katie Jackson, one of the youngest actors on LOTR and Peter’s daughter, reinforces the coronavirus warning, “I beg you please stay at home. By doing so you will save lives. Rest In Peace Andrew.”

Kiran Shah (Frodo) who probably worked with Andrew Jack on more films than anyways through LOTR and Star Wars says, “A good friend. Will miss him.”

Henry Mortensen (Viggo’s son) and many other LOTR adjacent folks and fans retweeted and shared news clippings of the passing.

Rest in peace Andrew Jack, may your passage into the west be greeted by all the dialects of history.

Posted in Crew News, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Production

Bilbo Baggins’ pipe up for auction by Julien’s Auctions

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for your favorite fan of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies? Look no further! Monday, December 16 could be your lucky day. That’s the day Julien’s Auctions, known for their auctions packed with Hollywood collectibles, will be auctioning off one of the original tobacco pipes used by Sir Ian Holm in his role as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring! The pipe will come fully documented for authenticity by both Peter Jackson and Animation Designer and Supervisor, Randall William Cook.

According to the Julien’s Auctions website: Jackson personally gifted this production artifact to animation supervisor Randall William Cook in celebration of Cook’s 50th birthday during the making of the film. Included with the prop is the original birthday card from Jackson to Cook when the gift was presented to Cook on his birthday as well as a letter of authenticity from Cook.

Follow this link to the Julien’s Auctions site to bid. Did we mention the opening bid is $25,000 with the piece expected to bring between $100,000 and $120,000 U.S.? Good luck!


Posted in Director news, FOX Searchlight Pictures, Ian Holm, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson, Randy Cook

TORn Tuesday all-star panel tomorrow, Nov 5

What lessons can Amazon learn from the team that’s been there & back again? Let’s find out! Join TORn Tuesday hosts Cliff Broadway and Justin Sewell for an epic All-Star LOTR panel tomorrow! Joining us will be Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer), Sean Astin (Actor – Sam Gamgee), Rick Porras (Co-producer), Jim Rygiel (Visual Effects Supervisor), Michael Pellerin (Producer, multiple LOTR & Hobbit documentaries), Keith Stern (Ian McKellen’s Digital Manager), and Sala Baker (Actor – Sauron), as we all relive memories of filming LORD OF THE RINGS. What were those early days on set like? Did producers follow the fan discussion online? What made this effort so special? Get your deep knowledge questions ready for this multi-Oscar winning team and join the Live chat tomorrow 5pm PT. There are three options to watch the live stream, each of which let you comment and ask questions of your own:

theoneringnet facebook

theoneringnet twitter

theoneringnet youtube

Posted in Jim Rygiel, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, Sala Baker, Sean Astin

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

‘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

Newsweek’s Special Edition: J.R.R. Tolkien – The Genius Behind Middle-earth

This special edition looks at J.R.R. Tolkien’s history, creativity and his influence on current works in the fantasy genre.

This edition also includes articles on the biopic “Tolkien” in theatres now, and Amazon’s television series in a stunning, high-quality, glossy 100-page issue filled with full-page photos. Another wonderful collectible by Newsweek in its 3rd Tolkien Special Editions on newsstands and store check-out lanes until June 29, 2019. [Topix Media Specials]

Some of the items included in this issue:

  • Creating Middle-earth
  • The Man Behind Middle-earth: The life of the 20th century’s most imaginative writer.
  • Laying the Foundations: The story behind Beren and Lúthien.
  • Fantasy to Reality: Tolkien’s creation of Middle-earth.
  • Searching For Tolkien: A look at Fox Searchlight’s film “Tolkien”.
  • Exploring Middle-earth:
  • Tale of the Ages: A timeline of major event in Middle-earth.
  • Tracing Their Journey: A wonderful map showing the paths of the Fellowship during the Quest.
  • Welcome to the Second Age: Looks at Amazon’s Tolkien Series (w/map)
  • Ring Bearers: Diagram tracing the history of the Rings of Power (Awesome!)
  • Celebrating Middle-earth:
  • A Literary Legacy: Tolkien’s influence on the genre: Looks at films, music and literature from Game of Thrones to Led Zeppelin; including comments by many famous authors.
  • The Saga’s Breakout Star: An interview with Andy Serkis.
  • Ring Games: Reveals a new game made available in 2021.
  • Quenya: Speak like an Elf?: Looks at Tolkien and language.
  • Tolkien Maker of Middle-earth: Looks at an exhibit at NY’s Morgan Library works by Tolkien.
  • 1919: A Most Momentous Year: Tolkien’s steps in the direction of Middle-earth.
  • One Fan To School Them All: Stephen Colbert is a noted Tolkien fan.

Posted in "Tolkien" Movie, Amazon TV series, Books Publications, Exhibits, FOX Searchlight Pictures, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Studios, Tolkien

Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop send TORn some 20th anniversary love

The party continues! We’re still celebrating 20 years of TheOneRing.net (check out the message boards for all the fun and games), and yesterday we received another lovely video message. This comes all the way from New Zealand; check out what Richard Taylor had to say. (You may want to be sitting down before you watch this one…) Thanks so much, Richard!

Posted in Fans, Founders Day, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, Production, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, WETA Workshop