Adding to the list of rich foreigners who are buying land in New Zealand is singing sensation Justin Bieber. Fresh off a tour of NZ, during which he tweeted his love for the place, the ultimate Bielieber has entered negotiations to buy a substantial tract of land at Glenorchy, near Queenstown. The property includes various film sites from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, and is where many Lothlorien scenes were shot.
“What the world doesn’t know is that Justin is a massive Lord of the Rings fan – but the movies only, not really the books which he’s never read,” says a source close to the singer. “Although he knows about Tom Bombadil, he thinks he’s hilarious. He’s seen some Bombadil fan videos online and he wants to create his own, but using these woods that appeared in the films.
“His plans are to build a replica of the horse-people hall and hold big Middle-earth parties exclusively for his friends – but he’ll likely want some local ring-ins as character props, so anyone who looks really hobbity will have a good shot at being invited.”
Bieber spent a few days in Queenstown after his concert in Auckland before jetting off to South America to continue his Purpose World Tour. The source added: “I can say for a fact that he was overheard having several phone conversations with a “PJ.” Whether that was ‘the’ Peter Jackson, I can’t really say. I just know the conversations definitely mentioned Bombadil, something called the Sil-merryland, and roles of interest to JayBee.”
Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien will recognize that the ‘Sil-merryland’ almost certainly refers to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, an epic compilation of stories recounting, in part, the struggle of the peoples of Middle-earth against the dark lord Morgoth. “Getting the film rights was apparently going to be a major hurdle” said the source. “‘Impossible’ and ‘a real long shot’ were overheard quite often.” But apparently Justin hopes to use his considerable influence to sweet-talk some of the members of the Tolkien family and Tolkien Estate who are huge fans, and devoted Bieliebers, to release at least limited rights to some of the Silmarillion stories.
Regarding possible roles for Bieber, one can only guess. Given that his physique doesn’t lend itself to playing the rotund Tom Bombadil, and Bombadil doesn’t appear in The Silmarillion anyway, fans can only speculate that it would have to refer to some other major role. Given Justin’s rather elfin features, the roles of the heroic Fingolfin, or even the proud Feanor come to mind. The mention of “growing acceptance of gender neutrality trends” was reportedly also overheard by our source, so the roles of Luthien or Melian can’t be ruled out completely.
Meanwhile, if the Queenstown land purchase goes ahead, the Mayor of Queenstown Lakes District has promised to name Bieber as an official inhabitant of Middle-earth. “I’m sure I can get Peter Jackson down here to dub him with a replica of Anduril – the guy owes me a favour for having to muck up all the horse poo he left behind after filming the charge of the Rohirrim,” says the Mayor.
QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND — Queenstown is the kind of place where people come and never leave. In fact, talk to a few dozen folks in town and chances are good a few of them wandered into the place and never found their way out.
If it isn’t already, get it on your bucket list.
The mark of the Lord of the Rings films are still indelibly written here and to a degree that might surprise. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with majestic mountains on either side, this busy adventure town looks a good bit like cinematic Middle-earth because many times this regions served as such in Peter Jackson’s films. In fact, the list is too long to include comprehensively here.
With a town big enough to have good food, amenities and lodging suitable for stars, it is also on the frontier and a gateway to much of the South Island. But, cultural and financial residue from the LOTR films is still readily apparent and especially to a writer who wears a “One Ring” jersey around town. Continue reading “LOTR still found in the fabric of Queenstown, Hobbit next”
With the pages falling off the calendar of time remaining in The Hobbit filming schedule, TheOneRing.net is heading to Queenstown (for starters) for more coverage.
Writer and photographer Larry D. Curtis (MrCere@TheOneRing.net) will be a one-man news production team for two weeks, starting November 30 when he touches down at the Queenstown airport. His journey will also take him to Wellington to mark the one year countdown before the world premiere of the first Hobbit film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in 2012 along with visits to friends of TORn (such as our own founder Tehanu) and can’t-miss public sites like the Weta Cave.
Curtis (known by the handle MrCere on the site) also plans to meet with as many fans as possible while in the area, including at un-official but hopefully frequent moot events, so if interested in attending or hosting, please contact him at the email above. The always all-volunteer and not-for-profit TheOneRing.net would also appreciate anybody who has great information or tips on inexpensive places to stay (no haystack ruled out!) or eat while in New Zealand. Continue reading “TORn headed to Queenstown, NZ for ‘Hobbit’ reporting”
From The Southland Times (via stuff.co.nz) Location scouts for The Hobbit are looking at Queenstown locations and shooting crews could be working in the area this year. A Queenstown film industry source said that while no filming was guaranteed, some shooting of what is likely to be a two-part concurrently shot film was likely to happen in the area.
Celebriel sends along this article about the closure of NZ’s Deer Park, a filming location for many scenes in LOTR (notably the flight of the Rohan refugees to Helm’s Deep and Aragorn’s fall over the cliff). Queenstown tourist attraction Deer Park Heights has been closed to visitors after nearly 40 years. Owner Frank Mee said he was closing the park, but it was not for sale. He said the park had been making money and was “very popular”. “Everyone is going bankrupt in Queenstown, but we are not. . . we’re just getting too old, so we’re giving up,” he said. Mr Mee was born in 1922 and he, and his wife Jean, opened the park in 1970. More..