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October 20, 2006 - October 29, 2006

News for Oct. 29, 2006

TTT: The Complete Recordings Review

10/29/06, 10:11 pm EST - Xoanon

From soundtrack.net: Last year, we were treated with a monumental soundtrack release - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - The Complete Recordings. This four-disc box set included nearly every note of music from the Oscar-winning film score by Howard Shore, and now - nearly one year later - we are finally able to look at the next release in the series: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - The Complete Recordings.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the middle film in the trilogy, has the narrowest scope of the three, given the journey of the ring in Fellowship of the Ring and the epic battles of Return of the King. Focusing on two elements - the Ring's journey toward Mordor and the battle for Rohan - The Two Towers also has a very focused score, tonally and thematically. A large number of minor themes and motifs permeate the score and the trilogy, but the major theme featured in this film is for Rohan. One of my favorite cues from this film is the opening cue, here heard in "Glamdring", which tells the story of Galdalf's battle with the Balrog. It sets a dark, grim tone that is a far cry from the bouncy Shire theme that opened The Fellowship of the Ring. Building into an epic cue with a pulsing male choir that ends the cue solo, it sets up the darker elements of the film perfectly. [More]

Pre-Order 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - The Complete Recordings' on Amazon.com today!

Order 'The Lord of the Rings: The The Fellowship of the Ring - The Complete Recordings' on Amazon.com today!

News for Oct. 28, 2006

Peter Jackson hopes biography will inspire new film-makers

10/28/06, 11:42 am EST - Xoanon

Top movie maker Peter Jackson is just about to launch the first book to explore behind the scenes of his films and his life. Rebecca Quilliam chats to one of Hollywood's most influential men, who warns film-making is not for the faint hearted. Peter Jackson was six-years-old when he watched a Batman movie and first heard the words "special effects". He says it was a moment he will never forget. The words are now synonymous with the man who started his career in Wellington's Pukerua Bay filming splatter movies with his friends and grew to direct top-grossing box office hits such as Lord of the Rings and King Kong. [More]

FAST CHAT Andy Serkis

10/28/06, 11:35 am EST - Xoanon

England's Andy Serkis is best known for playing the creepy or the colossal - he was Gollum, the whiny, covetous blue guy in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy; he was also the tall, dark and not-so-handsome leading ape in Peter Jackson's "King Kong." With a lengthy resume in British theater, Serkis has had notable screen roles playing bona fide humans - the choreographer in Mike Leigh's "Topsy Turvy," for instance - and is currently appearing in the movie "The Prestige." He is maintaining his creature franchise, however: Serkis will be voicing Spike the Rat in the upcoming animated feature "Flushed Away." John Anderson caught up with him in Los Angeles. [More]

'The Marvellous Land of Snergs' Reissue

10/28/06, 11:32 am EST - Xoanon

'The Marvellous Land of Snergs' Reissue Turgon writes: The book that inspired The Hobbit, The Marvellous Land of Snergs by E. A. Wyke-Smith, has just been reissued in an inexpensive facsimile edition published by Dover books (ISBN 0486452557), priced $9.95. For more information on the Tolkien connections, see my previous column and a follow-up interview with the author's grandson, Charles Wyke-Smith.

Order 'The Marvellous Land of Snergs' on Amazon.com today!

News for Oct. 27, 2006

Peter's Dream - Back to Bad Taste

10/27/06, 4:20 pm EST - Tehanu

The new Brian Sibley biography of Peter Jackson reveals his yearning to return to his roots - filming low-budget sequels to splatter comedy Bad Taste. The book also talks about other projects PJ and Fran have considered directing, including a film about the NZ/Australian forces at Gallipoli in WWI and a film about an American WWI flying ace. [More]

News for Oct. 26, 2006

Tolkien Lecture in Missouri

10/26/06, 2:32 pm EST - Xoanon

TORN Staffer MrCere sends this along: Colin Havard: An Inkling's Son Remembers J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis. Presented with Mike Foster, today at St. Louis Community College, South County Education & Training Center, 4115 Meramec Bottom Road, St. Louis, Missouri. Mark Colin Havard, the son of Dr. Robert (Humphrey) Havard of Oxford, who was the personal physician of Tolkien and Lewis as well as a member of the famous "Inklings" fellowship, occasionally attended Inklings sessions along with his father. [More]

Monaghan Attends CelebEvents Con

10/26/06, 2:28 pm EST - Xoanon

Cheley sends in word of an event at the London Heathrow Thistle Convention & Events Centre. Dominic Monaghan is slated to appear at a CelebEvents event on June 9th, 2007. Take a look at the link for more info. [More]

'We've got to kill a hobbit. You pick one'

10/26/06, 2:18 pm EST - Xoanon

In an extract from his biography of Peter Jackson, Brian Sibley, tells of the director's early struggles to make The Lord of the Rings. In 1994, the director Peter Jackson and his writing partner Fran Walsh, fresh from the success of Heavenly Creatures, were signed to an exclusive three-year “first look” deal by the Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein. “First look” deals allow a studio to pay overheads for writers and directors to come up with ideas. The studio then gets the option to turn those ideas into films. With the deal signed, Jackson and Walsh set to work on the screenplay for their adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series: by 1997, they had completed a draft script that abbreviated the trilogy into two films.

Having completed their 92-page outline, Peter and Fran flew to New York for creative meetings with Miramax, which took place in a room nicknamed “the sweatbox” after the small airless rooms where, in the early days of film, movies got shown and discussed. In the middle of summer, with no windows and no air-conditioning and the obvious tensions involved in presenting a treatment for an ambitious movie project, the room lived up to its name. [More]

Tolkien Again Makes 'dead celebrity' List

10/26/06, 2:15 pm EST - Xoanon

The Forbes.com website ranks 13 celebrities pushing up daisies on their income and proves that death need not be an obstacle to making money, with the group collectively earning 247 million dollars in the last year...J.R.R. Tolkein, the creator of the Lord of the Rings epic, slid three places since last year, but the success of the film trilogy, DVD sales and offshoot merchandise have continued to make a killing for the English writer. [More]

MGM Makes More Plans for Terminator 4 and The Hobbit

10/26/06, 2:13 pm EST - Xoanon

From The Hollywood Reporter (via movieweb.com): Sands hopes to resuscitate MGM with several big new films. He's packaging the fourth "Terminator" film -- it will be titled "Terminator blah blah, not Four," Sands joked -- with a new star likely to fill the Arnold Schwarzenegger role. "It's like the "Batman" or "Superman" franchise in that it lends itself to having different actors in the roles," he said.

Sands is in discussions with New Line Cinema to get the rights to produce two prequel films to "The Lord of the Rings" series, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, he said. Other projects he mentioned include a sequel to "The Thomas Crown Affair," set to star Pierce Brosnan, and a remake of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", according to The Hollywood Reporter.

News for Oct. 23, 2006

HobbitCon 2006 in Brazil

10/23/06, 10:30 pm EST - Xoanon

The Brazilian Tolkiendili Federation (FTB) claims for your participation at the HobbitCon 2006, from November 2nd. to 5th., at Vitória - Esp'rito Santo, Brazil. You may come by poney, mearas or even oliphaunt, but don't forget to knock on the first door marcked with runes, because we will be waiting for you with a big and fat hobbit feast. [More]

Game on for Halo despite studio pullout

10/23/06, 3:13 pm EST - Xoanon

Reports that it was game over for Peter Jackson's Halo movie are being shot down by industry insiders. Universal and Fox have pulled out of the movie deal but Microsoft and Jackson are reporting business as usual. "If you remember during King Kong Peter explained how King Kong was gonna be before Lord of the Rings and it fell over and back it came again...it's just part of film making," says Weta Ltd spokesperson Jamie Wilson. Rumours of a budget blow-out have been denied. Jackson and his producing partners, including Microsoft, claim Universal and Fox asked them to reduce their profit take. They declined, confidant the project is safe. Recently the game Doom was made into a feature film that barely broke even at the box office. [More]

Serkis: Beowulf Is The Future

10/23/06, 3:09 pm EST - Xoanon

Andy Serkis, who co-stars in Robert Zemeckis' upcoming Beowulf film, told SCI FI Wire that the movie's computer animation is a glimpse of things to come. "I think that more motion capture is [being] used in film, and it's becoming part of the mainstream and used in a mainstream way," Serkis (King Kong) said in an interview. "It is ... especially [true] with video games and the convergence of video games and film. It's actually a really interesting time for actors. Robert Zemeckis has just made Beowulf with Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich, Ray Winstone and all kinds of high-profile and serious actors creating these characters. They are creating the movements. They are creating the personalities, and it's the manifestation of those characters which is being handed over." [More]

DVD Tuesday: Mission Impossible III, C.S.I. Miami & More!

10/23/06, 2:51 pm EST - Xoanon

A ton of interesting new films are out on DVD this week. Take an early look on our 'DVD Tuesday' feature...every Monday! You can actually pick up some DVDs today in most stores, it is Mission: Monday with 'Mission: Impossible II' out on DVD, as well as a collector three pack. A 'Baywatch Collection' is also available today. Check out some other TV goodies like the 'Benny Hill Collection', 'C.S.I. Miami - S4' & 'Ghost Whisperer - S1'. Some great animation out today as well, 'Ghost in the Shell SAC Complete 1st Season Box Set' & 'Speed Racer 5'. Some Blu-Ray & HD DVD offerings include; 'Mission Impossible 3', 'Excalibur' & 'Under Siege'. Personally I'm interested in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawntreader' & 'The Kids in the Hall Megaset'! Check out the whole list here! [More]

Bruce Hopkins in A Bullet Waits for You

10/23/06, 1:26 am EST - Tehanu

Once again Bruce Hopkins aka Gamling explores new ways to marry digital film-making with the power of the Net. He's loaning his best gravelly gunslinger voice to an animated Western designed to be distributed on the 3G phone network. [More]

News for Oct. 22, 2006

Lord of the wings heads for Scotland

10/22/06, 11:36 am EST - Xoanon

A DRAGON trained in the Highlands to defeat the French during the Napoleonic wars is to become the next blockbuster hero of the Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson. The man behind the Lord Of The Rings and King Kong has snapped up the rights to a series of fantasy novels by self- confessed "geek" Naomi Novik, a little-known American writer who features Scotland heavily in her debut work. With his JRR Tolkien trilogy, Jackson propelled New Zealand to the top of the world's must-visit tourism destinations. Now plans are under way for Scotland to make the most of a potential multi-million-pound windfall. [More]

Tolkien 2006 - From Oxford to Buenos Aires

10/22/06, 11:32 am EST - Xoanon

Folks from the Argentinean Tolkien Society write: As every year the Asociacion Tolkien Argentina (Argentinean Tolkien Society) organizes the greatest Tolkien event in south America. As usual, activities include a large number of conferences, covering a wide range of issues: Tolkien's youth and the influence of his friends, Christopher Tolkien and his contributions to the works of his father, and some debates concerning different features of Tolkien creations. Visitors from neighbour countries are expected, as well as from all over the world. Please take a minute to notice us so as to find you suitable accomodation. [More]

Guinness lists record-breaking feats in the movies

10/22/06, 11:26 am EST - Xoanon

Guinness has adjudged the Most Expensive Movie Ever Made to be the 2005 “King Kong” -- at $207 million, compared to $200 million each for “Titanic” (1997) and “Spider-Man 2.”

Highest salary ever paid to a film director prior to production: The $20 million Peter Jackson earned for megging “The Lord of the Rings.”

Most Oscars for a movie: “Ben-Hur” won 11 in 1959, and its record was matched by “Titanic” in 1997. More recently, it became a three-way tie when “The Return of the of the King” won all 11 of its nominations. [More]

Disappearing Serkis act

10/22/06, 11:18 am EST - Xoanon

Penny Wark writes: I am looking for a globally famous man yet I suspect I will not recognise him. If you know him as Gollum or King Kong you will understand the difficulty. So I study the people in this achingly fashionable hotel where, because we are in West Hollywood, the look is one of contrived casual beauty. A woman is being interviewed for a job and I know she is doomed because she is plump. [More]

News for Oct. 20, 2006

Win a chance to meet Peter Jackson

10/20/06, 4:18 pm EST - Tehanu

Wellington paper The Dominion Post is giving away ten double passes to the launch of Brian Sibley's authorised biography, "Peter Jackson, a Film-maker's Journey." [More]

Studio backers quit Jackson's Halo project

10/20/06, 4:08 pm EST - Tehanu

Universal and Fox have pulled out of co-financing the film after disagreements over Jackson and Walsh's profit shares, according to PJ's agent Ken Kamins. Kamins says they are not unduly worried, as they are confident other backers will be found. [More]

Wood Confirmed for ORC 2007

10/20/06, 12:13 pm EST - Xoanon

Elijah Wood has been confirmed as a guest for ORC 2007, our annual LOTR convention held in LA. I missed ORC 2006, therefore did NOT get the chance to meet Miranda Otto (doh!!!). ORC 2005 was a blast with Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies and more! More news as we confirm guests, ORC 2007 will take place Fri., Sat. & Sun. March 9-11, 2007 at the The Burbank Airport Hilton Hotel. [More]

Monaghan Does PETA Ad

10/20/06, 12:10 pm EST - Xoanon

Lost star Dominic Monaghan has a soft spot for wildlife. In fact, he feels so strongly about the protection of wildlife and their right to live in peace that he agreed to star in peta2’s first-ever wildlife ad to help remind us that we’re not the only beings on the planet. In the ad, Dominic encourages everyone to “Share the World,” saying, “Your actions can and do have an impact on the natural environment around you.” [More]

Andy Serkis Uses His Words

10/20/06, 12:06 pm EST - Xoanon

The versatile Andy Serkis, known mostly for playing characters such as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or King Kong in, well, King Kong, can now add voice actor, writer and director to his growing list of credits. Serkis recently told Sci-Fi Wire that even though he has been busy as an actor with other projects, like the upcoming The Prestige and the action-adventure Stormbreaker, he also found time to work on the story and direct some of the sequences for an upcoming animated video game for Playstation 3 called Heavenly Sword. The story of Heavenly Sword centers around a warrior named Nariko who, when her village is attacked, takes up the fight against an evil king and his army using the Heavenly Sword. [More]

Happy Birthday Viggo Mortensen!

10/20/06, 10:35 am EST - Xoanon

Today is Viggo Mortensen's Birthday! Viggo was born on October 20th, 1958 in Manhattan, New York. That makes him 48 years old today! Happy Birthday Viggo!

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