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October 15, 1999 - October 21, 1999

News for Oct. 21, 1999

Section Update: The Spy Reports

10/21/99, 10:24 pm EST - Xoanon

Our latest new Super Ringer Spy 'Xtem' has posted his very own report on the certain 'perks' some of the stars are getting.

Check it out on The Spy Reports.

Got what it takes to be a Super Ringer Spy? Send me some info to prove it! And we might let YOU post your own reports!

My money's on Canterbury, New Zealand.

10/21/99, 8:52 pm EST - Tehanu

Xoanon's correspondent is right, some of the backdrops to pictures on the official website look to be taken around Canterbury, New Zealand, as are some of the pictures in our 'Speculative Locations'.The area is as he describes, a region of broad plains and great rivers bordered by the mighty Southern Alps. Quite unlike Canterbury, England; I don't think cathedrals will be a large feature of the film. So, UK fans, sorry.

Canterbury to be Edoras? - UPDATED Again!

10/21/99, 6:50 pm EST - Xoanon

A recent click through over at IMDB, (The Internet Movie Database) a truly awesome site. Shows that not all filming will be taking place in New Zealand! They list Canterbury, Kent, England, UK as the filming site for Edoras, capital city of the Horsemen of Rohan. While I've never known IMDB to be false, this baffles me, because this is something I haven't heard before...very interesting.

So I place a few calls and recieved this from the locals.

'I heard they're filming near the catherdral'

More info coming soon. All you UK Ringers! Time for some action!
Just recieved this: I think they have made a mistake. The Canterbury that will be used for LOTR is Canterbury, a province of New Zealand. It has flat plains, mighty rivers, wooded forests, and the Southern Alps. A number of the shots on the official website look like they have used backgrounds of Canterbury places. hope that helps.

Could IMDB have gotten it wrong?

Thanks to James P for the tip!

Yes, as it turns out they are NOT filming in the UK, but Canterbury NZ. In the south Island, there we go :)

More on Craig Parker

10/21/99, 3:18 pm EST - Xoanon

Alot of folks have been sending me info on Craig Parker, saying he was on TV in New Zealand, talking aobut his role in LOTR. What role would that be? Some are saying Gildor, who knows, however I am working on it. In the meanwhile, here's a few pics.

Text from: TheatreSports: Craig is a very popular TS performer and was a member of the famed Auckland Champs team, Tuatara Park. He's been onstage in numerous ATC productions and he's also a veteran television actor. He was the much loved Guy Warner in Shortland Street and people wept at his departure. He's much sought after to MC public and corporate events and has travelled throughout the country participating in celebrity debates. He has just finished putting in a tropical garden in his backyard complete with whistling tree frogs.
Thanks to: Brian@CHUD, Rohanextra - 197 and Pypesmoke for the pics!

Cast News: Chris Lee in 'Sleepy Hollow'

10/21/99, 10:28 am EST - Xoanon

Christopher Lee's latest 'Sleepy Hollow' (November 19, USA) has an official site that just became active. It's got some pretty neat stuff.

Lee plays 'Burgonmaster'

Check out the cast section on the site to take a gander at Lee's bio.

Cast news: Viggo Mortensen Film in Australia

10/21/99, 8:38 am EST - Xoanon

Viggo Mortensen's latest film 'A Walk on the Moon' is out today in Australia, all you Aussie Ringers go check it out!

Viggo playes Walker Jerome.

Check out our Viggo Mortensen page here.
Take a gander at 'A Walk on the Moon' website here.

Section Update: The Spy Reports

10/21/99, 8:32 am EST - Xoanon

Dynamo checks in with his nice little family trip with Xtem. Oh, it's in New Zealand by the way...

Check out The Spy Reports

News for Oct. 20, 1999

Weathertop or Hollin?

10/20/99, 11:57 pm EST - Tehanu

Gandalf's exploding trees might actually be part of a set for the scene where the Fellowship confronts the Wargs before reaching the Misty Mountains, according to one of our correspondents. There are no trees mentioned on Weathertop, according to him, but Gandalf certainly sets some trees ablaze in confrontation in Hollin.

NZ News

10/20/99, 9:32 pm EST - Xoanon

From: Ang

Accomodation for the crew is running short and they're asking around for houses to rent to house them all - their big-wig stars are well taken care of and remain in 5-star accomodation. And as for Craig Parker - he's a bit of a comedic genius currently gracing the improvisation show 'Scared Scriptless' with his presence.

There's further confirmation that the Hobbiton set that's been built near Matamata is a whole village. The Matamata Chronicle reports that the film company hopes to shoot as much as possible of the Hobbiton scenes in the area before their Christmas Break. Although none of the hobbit extras have been contacted, news is imminent, according to publicist Claire Raskind.

ooooh, Craig, not Chris

10/20/99, 6:10 pm EST - Xoanon

No wonder I couldn't find anything on this guy. It's CRAIG Parker, not Chris, as I just posted 2 articles ago.

Hello - love your site. I thought you might be interested in a bit of info I just saw on television.

It was an advertisement for an upcoming programme, and showed a snippet of an interview between the presenter (Alison Mau) and a well-known NZ actor, Craig Parker. He said on the snippet that he's been cast as an elf in guess-which-movie (graphic of large, pointy ears emerging from his head).

Craig Parker has a short background listed on IMDb, but is a household name in NZ, having had a role in our most popular soap opera, as well as many other dramas. Internationally, he'd be relatively unknown apart from a part as a bartender in The Tommyknockers, which was filmed here some years ago. He is in his late 20s, lightly built with dark hair and blue eyes and a very nice speaking voice. He's a good actor, so I can imagine any role he has to have at least a few lines.

Hope this is of interest,

Thank to Bonnie for the Tip!

Exploding Tree!

10/20/99, 5:52 pm EST - Xoanon

From: Scoop.co.nz

Responding to the hints of a couple of US Lord of The Rings websites – http://www.lordoftherings.com/ and http://www.theonering.net/ - Scoop earlier this week informed its star Hobbit paparazzi of a reported sighting of Gandalf’s exploding trees in Upper Hutt.

This morning a package arrived back in the mail, and Scoop can reveal today that the information was correct. An Upper Hutt Park is indeed the site of magical goings on.

In the park two trees appear to be being prepared for Gandalf’s magical prowess to be demonstrated in all its glory. Two trees have been loaded onto giant hinges. Branches have been stripped from the trees and appear to be being prepared for reassembly.

Scoop can only guess but we suspect that the trees are being prepared to explode when struck by lightning.

The US based LOTR websites have speculated that the trees will be used to film the “weathertops” scene.

So without further ado…. Scoop presents….

Click here to go to the Spy Reports!

Oh you got Cast? Why not go on TV?

10/20/99, 5:38 pm EST - Xoanon

From: DOOM

On New Zealand T.V last night on the commercials, a New Zealand Actor who was promoting a T.V program, said that he was in LOTR. His name is Chris Parker, and he is well known in NZ Acting circles, having appeared in the local program, Shortland Street a few years back. He said that he was to play an elve, he did not name who he played, but Im shall he is not just an extra since he is well known in NZ. He does look like an elve, and Maybe he has got the part of one of elrond brothers or even elrond himself. Anyhow the program he is appearing on is on friday at 8pm on tv one. He may expand on who he is playing at this time.

Working to bring you more!

A Taste of Things to Come...

10/20/99, 11:10 am EST - Xoanon

The dawning of a new
Better addition to the site
Hopefully you will all
Love it

Coming Soon..

-TheOneRing.net Team

Cast News: Viggo Has A Birthday

10/20/99, 8:35 am EST - Xoanon

Today, October 20 is Viggo Mortensen's Birthday. Happy Birthday Viggo! Viggo was born in Manhattan, New York in 1958, which makes him 41 today.

Check out Viggo's bio here.

News for Oct. 19, 1999

The Army Takes Off!

10/19/99, 7:07 pm EST - Xoanon

This from someone in the know:

The Royal New Zealand Amry is unable to help with Lord of the Rings production any more. Most likely due to their heavy commitment in East Timor, so a couple of thousand extras are going to have to be dug up from somewhere else.

Word has it that the NZ were going to help with the large battle scenes, now with them being commisioned to move to East Timor (or so we think) who will PJ get now?

Thanks to Dynamo for the scoop!

Cast News: Uma Cate and Liv

10/19/99, 6:38 pm EST - Xoanon

You think the ladies in LOTR might not be able to shine on their own? Forget about it!

This months 'Elle' (www.elle.com) has our very own Uma Thurman on the cover, there is also an interview inside, no details yet on weither there is ant mention of LOTR, any of you Ringer Spies, get on it!

Meanwhile 'Movieline' (website down ATM) has a few mentions on the other fair ladies of LOTR. They have this '100 Best..' article, where they chose the 100 best actors with certain qualities, our fair Cate Blanchett won for 'Best Poise'.

And also in 'Movieline' or lovely Liv Tyler has a nod, they posted a small blurb about her preformance in 'Plunkett & Mclaine'.

All in all you have to ask, where are the men?

JRR Tolkien's Epic Tale Has Gone Public

10/19/99, 5:45 pm EST - Xoanon

Here's a little article written for us by Hobbs3, Thanks Hobbs!

With the explosion of internet stock trading and the continuing public fascination with Hollywood, it was bound to happen The Hollywood Stock Exchange. A virtual community where movies act like a stocks and actors perform similar to a bonds. The name of game here is money, virtual of course. To make those virtual bucks is all about box office performance, specifically how much in it's first four weeks of release. Speculation is rampant with movie stocks fluctuating in price according to industry buzz.

NewLine's $130 million gamble has not been overlooked, the three films where offered as a ipo in April of 98' when there was little more rumors of the trilogy. Interest was less than spectacular with a initial price for each at a paltry $5 million. However in August of that year The Lord of Rings stocks gained speed, most likely due to the infamous 20 Question's session with director Peter Jackson. Since then the trilogy has proved a good investment for movie buffs, considering the release of the Fellowship of the Ring is still over 18 months away. To compare Tolkien's epic in terms of stock buzz, as of today the first movie has even outperformed that other trilogy's next installment.

Fellowship of the Ring $87.74
The Two Towers $46.05
The Return of the King $51.96

Star Wars EP 2 $79.34

Tehanu's adventures in Wellington.

10/19/99, 3:47 pm EST - Tehanu

New report coming soon in "NZ Exclusives."

Liv and Elijah painting the town red. Well, trying to....

10/19/99, 3:43 pm EST - Tehanu

In case there remained any doubt that Liv and Elijah really are in Wellington, the Dominion reported that they were out and about on Friday, going to the Matterhorn (now has THAT place changed, or what?)and the Tupelo bar for a look at the nightlife. Elijah reportedly asked if there was any rock-and-roll to be had, and then set off for Barney's nightclub. Where he was turned away. Entry is restricted to people over 21. Wood is 18.
Thanks to Tiggy for sending us this tid-bit.

Another Funny

10/19/99, 2:32 pm EST - Xoanon

These dudes over at 'User Friendly' have a continuing LOTR theme going. Check out the latest, and no, I don't get this one either. :)

check it out here.


10/19/99, 11:27 am EST - Xoanon

This news story from Imraldis. This could very well be Weathertop, but here's one theory: IF it is Weathertop, then they cannot be filming Gandalf there, so we will not see that in the film. a) because Ian Mckellen isn't there, and won't be there for another 2 and 1/2 months. b) They'd never set up a set for just the Hobbits + Aragorn, tear it down, and then rebuild it again in January for McKellen, you can't do that. So that means that IF this is Weathertop, we will not see Gandalf's lightening fight there, unless they use a stand in. Or Unless this isn't Weathertop, but some other scene...

It appears that part of the film will be shot at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt, in the next couple of weeks. It appears to be a small battle scene, as they have bought in a number of trees which have been cut up to reflect lightning strikes. There are also a couple of large trees that have been mounted on pivorts, so they can fall after being hit by lightning.

I suspect it may be when the ringwraiths attacked Gandalf at Weathertop, thats the only occassion I can recall large pyrotechnics outdoors in the movie. If anyone has a digital camera you can pretty much just walk in and take some pictures. I was shooed off by a security man, but its a public park so there are no access issues at the moment.

He said it would all be gone in a couple of weeks, so I assume the filming will be taking place fairly soon.

Click here for some promotional info of the area.

I'm working on getting better pics.

News for Oct. 18, 1999

Internet Article: Myrkr.com

10/18/99, 11:12 pm EST - Xoanon

There is a great in depth article on the team behind the LOTR project.

Dreaming Rings Part I

interview by Sam Wiley

When I start to think about the upcoming LotR movies from Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema, my mind goes into overload mode. The Lord of the Rings is my favorite trilogy of books, and my favorite piece of literature, period. The plot is epic and heroic, sweeping and grand, written in eloquent prose and presented in a deep world that has its own mythology and historic background. These three movies could very well become a high watermark for all fantasy films, and I can't stop thinking about them, considering all their facets, and wondering, wondering...

Check out the great article here.

J strikes Gold Again

10/18/99, 10:47 pm EST - Xoanon

J the notorious Ringer Spy from LA, has sent me something amusing and rather odd to ponder. Apparently Sean Connery's stand-in has posed for some photos where he's dressed as a certain Grey Wizard we all know and love. Now why would he do this is beyond me, but check 'em out in The Spy Reports. And don't worry about seeing that 'Notorious' pic, I added some spoiler space...

Another Argument

10/18/99, 10:32 pm EST - Xoanon

ok, this is probably the LAST thing I'm going to post on this subject. So here it is:

From: Tiny

Tiny has had a ton of experience with CG and film effects in general, he has taught at sheridan college in the advanced computer animation and fx course and has been involved in many pertinant projects.

I'd like to make some observations about the photo of bag end and say that it in fact could be a photo (as for pete's sake, I think it is!).

First of all, ID4's observations. The chimneys shadow looks pretty bang on for the shape of the hill, if you notice, the hill has a lip and it follows it to a tee.

Cyan - I don't know what shadow he is talking about, but if it is the gates, you can see that the actual gate is off the ground which causes the shadow to be farther back than the bottom of the gate. If it's the darker splotch on the ground, well, if you take a look at what the *real* man is doing in the photo (remember, it was snuck, not a promotional peice) he's busy planting plants. What do you do when you are planting plants, but pour water into the hole, lots of it. The ground tends to get saturated with water, and we all know that when dry dirt gets wet, it gets darker. You can actually see the hose just infront of his closest leg and to the left of that.

Blue - I am pretty sure the gate has texture, but at the resolution and what compression the image has been trough I am sure the sublte details have been lost. Plus, when something is in shadow, texture tends not to show as much because the light doesn't vary of the surface as much. I am pretty sure that man is inthe photo, he's happily planting away, unless the final film will have those fresh from the store look plants just sitting, dying above ground, just right of his head. The glow on his leg is actually rim or back lighting, in CG we call it global illumination or radiosty effects where light energy causes a nice soft rim, it co incides with the direction of the sun. Again, if you think it's CG because of the size of the doors, what about the size of the actual house and the chimney. If I remember correctly, a lot of the concept work for the film is being done by john howe, take a look at the one painting of his from inside a hobbit's hole looking out into the shire, notice how big the door is - he's the concept guy, get it? Plus, the extra area that the dimensions of the circle adds to the door makes it look bigger.

Last but not least, if they we're taking this image in secret, would they not be farther away than what appears, could the actual camera have had a telephoto lense on it? I really don't think the location of the photographer was from the perceived vantage point of the photo.

I think the physical effects crew are doing a great job! The sets look wonderful.

See ya.

BTW - with there being so many other aspects of the films being done digitally, why would the film makers go through the trouble of producing the shire as all CG, maybe for a long shot but for close ups, especially a shot like this, wouldn't you think it would be easier for the actors to act within the natural environment - unless of course you'd like the movie to look like EP1. All the roto work and matte pulling would take a team of at least 10 folks, and out of the 80 that is said to be the talent count for the weta digital team, I don't think they could afford 10 folks just pulling mattes and pushing splines around the screen.

Another note -> as nice as the image that was an example of something made to look real in CG (the one with the house infront of the trees) - it exhibits one of the key problems of lighting a CG scene, solid black hard shadows. You would at least see some colour in the shadows on the yellow slats at the front of the house (take a look at the shadows of the trees in the background and the nice soft transparent shadow it casts on the ground).

To check out the pics, head on over to the Spy Reports, SPOILER WARNING!

More Evidence

10/18/99, 7:49 pm EST - Xoanon

After asking around I recieved yet another in depth look at the phototgraph. I won't post the pic he sent, but basically I'll tell you where to look. Take a look at the worker's um, behind, :) and if you zoom in on a photo editor, you can see a halo around the guy, as if it was smudged.

yellow arrows: compare the highlights on the man to the direction in which the chimney's shadow is thrown. inconsistent, as ID4 pointed out about other parts of the scene.

red: the man looks as though he's been composited into the image--he's essentially been outlined...almost as if he was cut and pasted, and then smoothed over to take care of aliasing around the edges...most people don't emit a glow by themselves :)

proportions: here's something that has been overlooked.

(1) look at the size of the man compared to the size of the doors. a six foot hobbit hole? (but then again, the actors will be 'cut in half' via CGI techniques, so that might be a tad more likely than not)

(2) look at the size of the gates compared to the size of the doors. assuming the hole is roughly as tall as a hobbit (it'd have to be, if you look at the position of the window), the fence would come up to their knees. does that seem likely?

(3) look at the angle from which this picture was taken. I'm wondering how a spy got 20 or 30 feet into the air above this thing...he'd have to be standing on one hell of a hill.

Just more possible evidence for you to take into consideration. granted, I could be (and most likely am) wrong, and maybe the image is authentic. maybe some of it's just bad compression or weird tricks of light...imperfections of nature, but it just doesn't seem likely to me. when you spend enough time critizing CGI work, you take for granted everything you see in the real world...and I don't see most of that in this picture.it just doesn't feel right to me. my two cents. take it or leave it.

.evil bob.

Note from Xoanon: Now I've been getting some pretty heated emails ove rthis, and let me tell you, I wish and HOPE this image IS real! Because it rocks! So don't think I'm trying to bash all your hopes.

That Photo a FAKE?!

10/18/99, 3:56 pm EST - Xoanon

ID4 has sent me some startling news! This may not be accurate, but ID4 does have some expierence in the field of CGI art, he first sent me this:

I am a CG animator. And the supposed shot of Bag End is not a photo but a CG frame...First off, look at the shadows on the chimney and around the gate, this is always a sign of animation. If not done correctly you have shadows where shadows should not be. Also. Look at the Bree photos and compare to the photo of Bag End. Does Bag End look strained in color and not clear. This also is a sign of animation. What I want to know is why there is a person in the garden. I don’t think someone would be tending a garden in a spy shot! Any more questions let me know.

I did want to know more! So I asked him for some proof, and he sent me along some! Check out the Spy Reports for his theory! WARNING SPOILER INFO THERE!

Could The Mirror have faked it? Why not? There was that flop with Prince Williams face, on the wedding shot. If anyone has any more proof or they're CGI experts, drop me a line!

Cate's In....Right?

10/18/99, 2:43 pm EST - Xoanon

Following this report from Garth over at DarkHorizon's it might be a busy time for Cate. Garth speculates that she's not confirmed in LOTR, but that press release tells me otherwise.

The Man Who Cried: Whether Cate Blanchett is onboard "The Lord of the Rings" or not is a matter of debate depending upon who you talk to (she's been offered the role, but whether she's accepted or not that's another story). In any case she won't start work on it soon with 'The Age' reporting that the actress is currently on a break from filming "The Man Who Cried" in Paris. Based on the Sally Potter novel and set during World War Two, the story follows a young German woman (Christina Ricci) who flees to Paris in the secret hope of getting to America. Johnny Depp, John Turturro and Blanchett are also a part of the cast. Shooting is expected to continue on the movie right up till the end of the year. Thanks to 'LZ'

Internet Article: Philly News

10/18/99, 11:15 am EST - Xoanon

From: Philly News

Cyberspying on ‘Rings’ films

Announcement of the “Lord of the Rings” movies confirmed reports and rumors that have long been flying on the Internet.

By Christopher Cornell

Score one for the Internet movie spies - and brace yourself for years of cyberbuzz so fierce it could rival Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

The J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings, long thought to be unfilmable, is being brought to the screen by New Line Cinema. The series of three live-action films, the first scheduled to reach theaters in late 2001, will feature a cast including Elijah Wood as Frodo, Ian Holm as Bilbo, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, and Ian McKellan as Gandalf.

"Like Frodo, the hero of this saga, we're on a film `quest,' " New Line head Michael De Luca said Oct. 8 in an announcement that confirmed months of rumors. Director Peter Jackson - best known for 1994's dark fantasy Heavenly Creatures and the 1996 paranormal slasher comedy The Frighteners - began principal photography last Monday in his native New Zealand.

Set in a pre-industrial world called Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings - which comprises the volumes The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King - chronicles a group of civilizations as they struggle against a malevolent supernatural being bent on enslaving them. Required reading by teenagers and college students in the trippy '60s and early '70s, the saga has sold more than 50 million copies in more than 30 languages since it was published between 1954 and 1956, according to Houghton-Mifflin, Tolkien's U.S. publisher.

New Line's budget for the series is said to be between $120 million and $150 million. A good chunk of that will go to Jackson's digital special-effects company, which will shrink full-sized actors to play Tolkien's pint-sized hobbits and simulate the clashes of massive armies depicted in the story. Several roles will be played by "digital actors," creations the filmmaker surely hopes will meet with greater public acceptance than Phantom Menace's much-maligned Jar Jar Binks...

Read the rest of the article here.

Thanks to Mike O for the tip!

LOTR Comic

10/18/99, 9:47 am EST - Xoanon

Not what you think folks, there is a little silly LOTR related comic strip at 'User Friendly the Comic Strip'. Personally, I don't get the joke, but hey... Thanks to 'WowTIP' for the tip!

Ethan News: 'Snow Falling on Cedars' Review

10/18/99, 8:58 am EST - Xoanon

Ethan Hawke's latest, 'Snow Falling on Cedars' has just been reviewed by one of Gath's folks over at DarkHorizons. It recieved favorable reviews. With Hawke's preformance considered '...(Ethan was) okay with it (although he was pretty understated)'.

'Snow Falling on Cedars' is a touching love story in the midst of WWII, the Japanese concentration camp experience on the West Coast, AND a murder trial. So it's a fully packed film. No car chases I guess...

Check out the review here.
Check out the official site here.

New Server

10/18/99, 4:20 am EST - Corvar

I just finished moving TheOneRing.net to a new server. Please let webmaster@theonering.net know if anything stops working.

The new server should allow us to do some fun stuff which wasn't easy to accomplish before. So keep your eye out for new things on the site.

News for Oct. 17, 1999

New poll question, etc

10/17/99, 11:27 pm EST - Calisuri

Thanks to Thorin Oakensheild for the last two poll questions. They may look the same, but your answers will be very different. Check out the results of last weeks poll here. Remember to submit your questions to Calisuri at calisuri@theonering.net.

Halloween is almost upon us! Don't forget to create that once in a lifetime LOTR costume and enter TheOneRing.net™'s Halloween Contest. Check for the offical rules in our contest section.

Look for a large Green Books update this wednesday!

Have a great week everyone!

Bag End Photo!!!!

10/17/99, 10:19 am EST - Xoanon

Thanks to super ringer spy Darren L we now have the picture from The Mirror Article! Check it out in The Spy Reports! (SPOILER WARNING)

Media Watch: Sunday Star Times

10/17/99, 12:53 am EST - Xoanon

You have to watch for sesationalizing articles like this. They blow everything out of proportion, I really doubt anyone is 'reeling'. Shock and dismay? And The morale was boosted by Liv showing up in NZ? come oooooon


Sunday Star Times
By Oskar Alley

The cast and crew of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film project are reeling after one of the stars
was sensationally sacked after two days of filming.
Irish actor Stuart Townsend, who had been cast to play the key role of Aragorn, was dumped on Wednesday and left New Zealand the same day, insiders on the set told the Sunday Star-Times. The shock dismissal was reportedly ordered by Jackson over what a senior studio executive described as "director-actor creative chemistry". It is understood no formal announcement was made and the dumping filtered through to bemused cast and crew on Thursday.

Sources said the trilogy's producers were already negotiating with Viggo Mortensen (A Perfect Murder, GI Jane, Crimson Tide) to fill the vacated role. Townsend's dismissal had thrown the first week of filming in Wellington into disarray, forcing at least 1 1/2 days of scheduled scenes to be postponed.

Just one week into a marathon 18 month shoot, the project is already believed to be behind schedule. However, crew morale has been boosted by screen siren Liv Tyler's arrival in Wellington. She is playing the elf princess Arwen. It is understood she ate lunch on the set on Friday, though her first scenes are still weeks away.

Jackson's production company confirmed Townsend had been dismissed but refused to comment further. Rumours on the set suggested Townsend (26), the star of the Vritish comedy Shooting Fish either looked too young for the part or that Jackson was under pressure from studio bosses to replace the actor with a more recognisable star. New Line Productions president Michael De Luca has reportedly said: "It's not over any other names, just director-actor creative chemistry."

A spokeswoman for Townsend's London agent confirmed the dismissal yesterday but referred all other comment to the film's publicist.

Townsend was to have played Aragorn, a human raised by eleves, who is later revealed as the rightful king of Gondor.

The central character enters the first book at an early stageand guides hero Frodo Baggins (played by Elijah Wood) on his quest to destroy the all powerful ring.

Sources said Townsend's dismissal forced scenes scheduled for THursday and Friday to be postponed. Several local actors hired as extras, some of whome have grown beards for the part, were told by their casting agents their scenes had been postponed. No reason was given for the delay.

Hollywood entertainment newspaper Variety reported yesterday Mortensen was negotiating with the film's backers to replace Townsend.

Mortensen (41) is a stranger to New Zealand but not to some of the country's leading film talents. He had a role in Jane Campion's Portrait of a Lady and in his latest film, A Walk on the Moon, he stars with Anna Paquin. Thanks to Sam for the scoop!

News for Oct. 16, 1999

Sean News: Bean Narrating TV Special in Australia

10/16/99, 10:22 pm EST - Xoanon

In an ongoing effort to bring you everything from the confirmed cast that we can, we have this:

From: Resevoir Dog

Just thought i'd drop you a line to let you know something. Your article about Ian Holm jogged my memory about a Sean Bean TV show I meant to tell you about.

Sean has been narrating a TV series called Decisive Weapons for about 4 or five weeks. It's on TV in Australia on SBS at the moment but I think it's actually a British show. The show discusses an important development in warfare each week and it's interesting to here Sean talk about knights, bows and arrows and some other medievil methods of warfare.

Got something for me? Send it along! Xoanon@theonering.net

Ian News: 'Animal Farm' on TNT Tonight

10/16/99, 12:08 pm EST - Xoanon

Ian Holm has recently lent his voice to the TNT live action TV special 'Animal Farm'. The Special will be on TNT Tonight.

Ian dons the voice of 'Squealer' who is, a pig.

check out the official site here.

Media Watch: The Mirror/Daily Record

10/16/99, 12:03 pm EST - Xoanon

From: The UK papers The Mirror/Daily Record

How annoying is this? I get a million emails from people telling me there is a NEW pic (some think it's Bagshot Row) in the Daily Record or the Mirror, the official site has the article but NO pic!

If anyone has the pic, send it me a.s.a.p.!


First picture of hobbit's secret pounds 120m movie kingdom

WELCOME to Middle Earth, home of the hobbit, in the far-off setting of...New Zealand.

For this is where JRR Tolkien's classic books are being turned into the second most expensive movie production of all time.

The fantasy world of Frodo and Baggins will be made into three Lord of the Rings films.

Production began this week at a secret hillside location in New Zealand's capital Wellington where Hobbiton, seen here in The Mirror's exclusive picture for the first time, has been recreated. The cast - headed by Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, and Britons Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Bean and Timothy Spall - are assembling for a year-long shoot.

From Hobbiton Frodo, played by American youngster Elijah Wood, sets out on his treacherous journey to save the hobbits from the powers of darkness, led by veteran Dracula star Christopher Lee as the evil wizard Saruman.

Director Peter Jackson, whose pounds 120million budget is topped only by Titanic, says his home country is a perfect backdrop in which to recreate the magical continent of the furry-footed human-like hobbits.

The New Zealand army helped with the massive earth-moving task of building Hobbiton.

Massive computer power will be used for battle scenes.

A team of elderly members of a knitting circle is producing lightweight armour for the thousands of extras.

The first of the three films, The Fellowship of the Ring, is due for release in 2001.

The Hobbit, first published in 1937, has sold 30 million copies worldwide and The Lord of the Rings more than 50 million.

Oxford professor Tolkien died in 1973, aged 81.

Thanks to: J and Tom H for the tip!

Media Watch: Yahoo News

10/16/99, 11:24 am EST - Xoanon

From: Yahoo!

Saturday October 16 02:48 AM EDT

"Lord of the Rings" Cast Shuffle

Just a couple of days into shooting, the big-budget, big-screen version of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy is already minus a key cast member.

Stuart Townsend (All About Adam, Wonderland), cast as the hero Aragorn, has left the production, according to New Line Cinema, the studio behind the project. The official line is that Townsend quit over--you guessed it--"creative differences."

While New Line refuses to say what went down, set scuttlebutt has it that either director Peter Jackson and Townsend didn't agree about his portrayal, or Jackson just plain didn't think the relatively unknown Towsend had the requisite star power to pull off the role of Aragorn, one of the film's principals. "He just didn't fit into the role," a source close to the New Zealand-based production says.

Cast members have reportedly been supportive of the decision. No reshooting will be necessary, says New Line, because none of Townsend's scenes have been filmed.

According to the Hollywood trades, Viggo Mortensen--whose résumé includes Psycho, G.I. Jane, A Perfect Murder and Portrait of a Lady--is in final negotiations to replace Townsend.

Not surprisingly, the quick cast change is already big news on the alt.fan.tolkien newsgroup. "I think looks-wise [Mortensen]'s better. He has a more rugged look than Townsend, who appeared to look like a young pretty boy," one fan writes. Opines another: "Townsend is an idiot though for getting himself fired. Talk about blowing the opportunity of a lifetime."

Meanwhile, the studio has dispelled rumors that Sean Connery, who was seen in the general vicinity of the shoot, will make any appearances in Rings. No official word on reports that Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke are up for the roles of Eowyn
and Faramir.

Confirmed cast members include Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen and Liv Tyler.

Thanks to: James T and Michael L for the tip!

News for Oct. 15, 1999

'Scriptdoctor' Checks In...

10/15/99, 3:35 pm EST - Xoanon

Just a few more things before I head out to work. (May the Gods of restauranting be nice to me tonight), I've had another chat with the Maia spirit known as 'ScriptDoctor', whis is what he has to say:

Yes, he's (DDL) refused, and he's actually quite angry that they keep offering him the part...

...Townsend was NOT creating problems for anyone.. ...he was sacked because PJ actually did come to believe that he was wrong for Aragorn, and the execs were in full agreement (though for different reasons)...

'ScriptDoctor' also believes that Townsend was 'let go' and did not quit. And that Daniel Day-Lewis will NEVER bring up this affair. DDL did not care for the Money or the fame, and just wanted no part of these films. :(

Viggo Is Aragorn

10/15/99, 2:58 pm EST - Xoanon

Harry, over at AICN confirms that Viggo Mortensen has accepted the role of Aragorn. I guess this means DDL turned down the role again. Let the Message boards explode...

Daniel Day-Lewis Offered role of Aragorn, Again!

10/15/99, 11:32 am EST - Xoanon


News has reached me from another VERY reliable source that Daniel Day-Lewis has been offered the role of Aragorn, again. If you didn't know, DDL was offered the role back at the beginning of Pre-Production, but turned it down. (The guys at Barliman's new this, I let things slip there sometimes)

This is what Super Ringer Spy 'ScriptDoctor' Told me:

DDL has been offered the Aragorn role again! Everyone will deny this but it is fact. He has been offered the (Middle) earth to take the role. The producers think he'll say no again but they don't want to miss the chance to try him.

Townsend was always very much his (PJ's) choice (after DDL turned them down); the producers were never keen on him but PJ insisted on having him. It seems, now, that PJ just thinks he is wrong for the role, a verdict with which the producers were only to happy to concur. So, it suits everyone , except poor Townsend, to bring someone else in.

So it seems that not all is set in stone? What do you think about this? Why not make your voice heard at Barliman's or on the message board!

Media Watch: Yahoo News

10/15/99, 8:55 am EST - Xoanon

Right from Yahoo! news.

Mortensen negotiating to replace ``Rings'' lead

By Charles Lyons and Claude Brodesser

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - One week into principal photography, New Line Cinema's ``Lord of the Rings'' has lost a principal.

Stuart Townsend (``All About Adam,'' ``Wonderland''), who had sitgned to play the role of Strider/Aragorn, has left the production. Viggo Mortensen is in negotiations to replace him.

While the studio has not confirmed his departure nor given an official reason for it, sources close to the New Zealand production told Daily Variety that director Peter Jackson and Townsend didn't see eye to eye about the role; others said they believed that Townsend was exiting because he lacked the star power to carry off the part.

Mortensen has appeared in such films as ``G.I. Jane,'' ``A Perfect Murder,'' ``Portrait of a Lady'' and ``Vanishing Point.''

Representatives for New Line were unavailable for comment late Thursday.


Thank to Thersites for the tip!

Viggo News: 'A Walk on the Moon' released in Italy

10/15/99, 8:43 am EST - Xoanon

Viggo may not be officially cast, but this is how vigilant we are! Viggo's latest, 'A Walk on the Moon' a romance/drama also starring Diane Lane, and Anna Paquin has been released today in Italy.

Viggo plays Walker Jerome, described as 'a hippie...who has the charisma to sweep Pearl (Diane Lane) from her feet'

Check out a review of the film here

Check out the BOMIS 'A Walk On The Moon' Webring here

Deluca on Townsend

10/15/99, 8:32 am EST - Xoanon

My cool friends over at Cinescape sent me this along today:

Just letting you know that we checked in with New Line's Michale DeLuca on the specifics regarding Townsend's leaving the LOTR production. DeLuca quickly replied with the following simply answer: " It's not over any other names, just director/actor creative chemistry."

Thanks to The Cinescape Insider for the tip!

Ian News: McKellen Wins Brit Award

10/15/99, 8:30 am EST - Xoanon

Xoanon here,

Ian Mckellen won best actor for is work in 'Gods And Monsters', Straight from BBC News:

Sir Ian McKellen and Emily Watson, who both missed out on Oscars earlier this year, have won major acting titles at the British Independent Film Awards...

Sir Ian, star of Gods And Monsters, beat off strong competition from Michael Caine and Ray Winstone, last year's Best Actor winner...

Thanks to Robin Allport for the tip!

Bree by night, the whole story.

10/15/99, 4:42 am EST - Tehanu

Thanks again to our intrepid friends at Scoop, and their friends.
Having seemingly scored the internet Scoop of the week with the pictures of BREE AT FIRST LIGHT Scoop contacted the Hobbit who scooped the world and asked him if he had any more snaps from his visit to Bree. See... Scoop Images: Bree Is Spooky At Night.

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