Go back to Main News Archives

March 23, 2006 - March 29, 2006

News for Mar. 29, 2006

Problems at Helms Deep?

3/29/06, 10:38 pm EST - Xoanon

Ming writes: I attended the LOTR stage show in Toronto this afternoon, and I regret to say that the Helm's Deep scene is still error-prone. During the performance I attended, Saruman's orcs were scaling the walls of Helm's Deep when, abruptly, they all left the stage (was there some kind of signal, I wonder?) and the raised platforms on the stage descended. [More]

Ballroom Bliss

3/29/06, 6:43 pm EST - Xoanon

Rex Reed from observer.com writes: At the movies, there isn’t much to write home about, but compared with the violence and filth of today’s Hollywood action epics and the creeping deadliness of all the independent productions that look like they were made for $100, a sweet, unpretentious and heartfelt little movie like Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School begins to look like a wayward valentine from the dead-letter office, lost in transit and delivered late. [More]

Sean Astin Plans Moves into 'Meerkat Manor'

3/29/06, 6:34 pm EST - Xoanon

SILVER SPRING, Md., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Best known for playing "Sam" in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and "Lynn McGill" in "24" Sean Astin has embodied everything from loyalty and bravery to arrogance and redemption. Now, Astin tries to embody two new character traits -- small and furry -- as he lends his considerable talents to narrate MEERKAT MANOR, Animal Planet's new 13-part docu-drama that's All My Children meets Wild Kingdom. With all the love, squabbling, self-sacrifice and rivalry found in any family, a group of Meerkats struggles to survive in Africa's Kalahari Desert. MEERKAT MANOR premieres Friday, June 9, at 8 PM. [More]

'Lord of the Rings' Will Play London

3/29/06, 6:32 pm EST - Xoanon

Daily Variety reports Kevin Wallace, one of the producers of the big-budget Lord of the Rings musical that opened at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre March 23, confirmed the show will open in London in 2007. The reviews of Lord of the Rings, which began previews on Feb. 4, have been lukewarm thus far. However, Wallace pointed out to DV, "Our market research during previews indicated the show is scoring strongly with the ordinary man in the street." When asked about the reviews, Wallace replied, "I knew this would always be a show that would divide people. They'd either love it or reject it and no one would offer a middle-of-the-road response." [More]

Get 'Lost' Tonight!

3/29/06, 6:31 pm EST - Xoanon

Dominic Monaghan's Golden Globe winning show 'Lost' is on tonight at 9PM EST on ABC. TORN's chatroom now has a special 'Lost' screening room, login to #lost at 9PM and watch with fans from around the country! [ABC.com] [TORN Chat]

News for Mar. 28, 2006

Peter Jackson gets the monkey off his back

3/28/06, 9:20 pm EST - Xoanon

NEW YORK (AP) -- The box-office performance of Peter Jackson's "King Kong" wasn't as chest-thumping as many expected. But to be fair, $217 million isn't terrible, nor was the $520 million worldwide take. Moreover, the film was well received by critics, nominated for four Oscars and won three: visual effects, sound and sound editing. Those three aspects of filmmaking are represented on the new two-disc special edition DVD coming out Tuesday (a single disc version also is available). The features include post-production diaries that bookend the previously released production diaries of "Kong." They are an unusual inside look on the minutiae that goes into even the biggest of movies. [More]

Hill Nabs BAFTA Nom

3/28/06, 9:11 pm EST - Xoanon

Lion2b writes: It was recently announced that Mr Hill has been nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of former Home Secretary David Blunkett in 'A Very Social Secretary'. [More]


3/28/06, 1:09 pm EST - Xoanon

Set in the 1930s, this is the story of a young and beautiful actress Ann Darrow from the world of vaudeville who finds herself lost in depression-era New York and her luck changes when she meets an over-ambitious filmmaker Carl Denham who brings her on an exploratory expedition to a remote island where she finds compassion and the true meaning of humanity with an ape Kong. The beauty and the beast finally meet their fate back in the city of New York where the filmmaker takes and displays the ape in quest of his fame by commercial exploitation which ultimately leads to catastrophe for everyone including a playwright Jack Driscoll who falls in love with Ann and plays an unlikely hero by trying to save her from Kong and her destiny. [Order on Amazon]

Bid for Andy Serkis' Art

3/28/06, 1:00 pm EST - Xoanon

Sherry writes: Andy Serkis has just donated a painting he has done, to WAVE for their Art WAVE charity event. Serkis’ piece can be viewed at artwavni.com. Pre-auction bidding is available on the website. [More]

News for Mar. 27, 2006

LOTR Concert: Glasgow, Scotland

3/27/06, 4:03 pm EST - Xoanon

Neil writes: Thought you'd be interested to know that The Lord of the Rings Symphony will be performed at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June. More details can be found here. [More]

PJ Talks Kong, LOTR, Bones & More!

3/27/06, 3:49 pm EST - Xoanon

Malcolm writes: There's an interview with Peter Jackson over at Dark Horizons (darkhorizons.com) in which he discusses the King Kong DVD, a possible future edition to be released later this year, and plans for an LOTR box set on an HD format. [More]

LOTR Musical Clip on NBC's 'Today Show'

3/27/06, 3:47 pm EST - Xoanon

In case you missed THE LORD OF THE RINGS segment this morning on NBC’s “Today”, you can access it on the following link. "The stage version of The Lord of the Rings is a robust, serious, quite faithful transposition of the saga. This is the one LOTR (to use the fans acronym) you can consume in a single evening and say with a pleased smile, “Yes, that’s it”. It is a musical that becomes a spectacular morality play, an adventure with a soft and stricken heart. The Ring Fellowship has staged the season’s definitive megamusical, 560 Km north of Times Square. For now, Broadway is off-Toronto" [More]

Middle Earth musical divides critics

3/27/06, 1:20 pm EST - Xoanon

TORONTO (Reuters) - The "Lord of the Rings" musical, touted as the most expensive stage production yet, met mixed reviews on Friday as critics applauded its leaping orcs and menacing dark riders, but got lost in the tangled plots of Middle Earth. The 55-strong cast slipped into 500 costumes and engaged in fight scenes and acrobatics atop a 40-ton, computer-controlled stage floor featuring 17 elevators, which spun and rose amid magic and illusion. For all the feverish activity at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre, the show based on J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy drew only one standing ovation in more than three hours, but many in the audience called it breathtaking and spectacular. [More]

News for Mar. 26, 2006

More 'Sons of Elrond'

3/26/06, 10:48 pm EST - Xoanon

Arwen writes: Toby and Cody McClure, the directors of the Fan Film "The Sons of Elrond" have just finished a “Behind the Scenes” of their film and thought you might enjoy viewing it. Just log onto their website (seakings.net) and click on the small, large or iPod version for viewing.

Catch 'Sharpe's Challenge' in the UK

3/26/06, 10:45 pm EST - Xoanon

Evie sends along word that the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is screening 'Sharpe's Challenge' on April 3rd at Princess Anne Theatre. Follow the link for more info. [More]

Tolkien descendant praises musical 'Rings'

3/26/06, 10:31 pm EST - Xoanon

TORONTO -- Though theater critics were tepid in their reviews of the stage version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," the granddaughter of the legendary English author praised it for staying true to his classic tale. In town Thursday night for the lavish world premiere at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Rachel Tolkien said she admired the opulent sets and Finnish music, and felt the 3 1/2-hour spectacle was a lovely retelling of her grandfather's Middle-earth saga. "The set is incredible, the costumes are beautiful," said Tolkien, 35. "The Hobbit" was first read to her when she was 6. "Everything to me that is the most important, and the most moving in the book, they've gotten on the stage. I think it's an amazing feat to have made 'The Lord of the Rings' in 3½ hours." [More]

'The Magic Ring' Released in English

3/26/06, 10:29 pm EST - Xoanon

The great fantasy classic that anticipated J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is now available in English for the first time in 181 years! Preorders for 'The Magic Ring' by Baron de la Motte-Fouqué made between March 25 and April 30 will be guaranteed to arrive on the world release date of July 1. Order now to ensure you're among the first to experience the excitement of The Magic Ring! [More]

Northern California Tolkien Friendship Society

3/26/06, 10:26 pm EST - Xoanon

Northern California Tolkien Friendship Society Celebriel wrote to tell us about The Tolkien Friendship Society's March 25 Gondorian New Years Celebration. The group of about 15 regulars is based in Northern California and meets monthly for dinner, costuming, conversation, and contests. Recent event themes have included a Dol Amroth banquet, an Oxford Tea, Tolkien's Lovers (for Valentine's Day), and a pub night. The group's next meeting will be at the Vacaville Middle Earth Festival the weekend of April 21-23. [More]

TV Watch: CBC National Talks LOTR Musical

3/26/06, 10:53 am EST - Xoanon

The CBC National News ran a small segment on the LOTR Musical which opened in Toronto this past week. They detailed the difficulties in getting the play opened in London, the move to Toronto and the big risks involved in creating a play with such a huge budget. The segment features a ton of clips from the musical, which looks quite stunning. Take a look for yourself! (15.3 MOV) [More]

News for Mar. 25, 2006

Tonight in #Moviechat 7:00 pm: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

3/25/06, 5:51 pm EST - Jincey

As part of our popular Movie Watch chats, tonight TORn's IRC gang will be settling in to watch the fourth Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".

Join us tonight in the #moviechat channel on our IRC server at 7:00 pm EST when we pop our copies of the film into the DVD player. After the usual confusion we'll all press play on our individual players and proceed to cheer and jeer (or discuss and argue, if you like!) the finer points of the film.

For information on IRC chat and how to take part in the fun, visit our FAQ. Chat is family-friendly and easy in TORn's lively chat rooms. If you've never checked it out, this is a great chance to meet the regulars and have some fun. [Join the chat now!]

New Tolkien-Inspired Music

3/25/06, 11:46 am EST - Xoanon

Marion Arts writes: I am a New Zealand composer/singer and have fairly recently released a cd of original songs inspired by the poetry/chants& ballads in LOTR. This is an independantly released cd, of very original acoustic music featuring a most unusual instrumentarium. My name is Marion Arts (ex Red Hot Peppers), The CD is called "Songs Of The Rings" and it is available at [fragilecolours.com]

LOTR Musical Music Download

3/25/06, 11:44 am EST - Xoanon

Nick writes: In today's Times there is an enthusiastic review of the LOTR musical, plus a profile of the musical team, plus a free download of one of the songs (Lothlorien). [More]

Trilogy Screening in Lincoln, Rhode Island

3/25/06, 11:40 am EST - Xoanon

Nancy writes: I just wanted to let you know that CinemaWorld, in Lincoln, Rhode Island is showing the LotR films individually for the next few weeks, and will have a TRILOGY screening starting at noon on April 15th. [More]

Tolkien or Tolkein? Who Should be Offended?

3/25/06, 11:38 am EST - Xoanon

Ian Collier from The Tolkien Society writes: There are two articles one pro one anti (and the anti is quite anti) and a brief mention of reading day. [More]

But the funniest thing is that the Times' fiction specialist can't spell Tolkien's name right, should the defenders of Tolkein, a Birmingham based childrens' author, raise an objection? [tolkeinsociety.org]

Tolkien Reading Day in LA

3/25/06, 11:34 am EST - Xoanon

Garfeimao writes: The Los Angeles Chapter of the JRR Tolkien Society and California State University at Long Beach Proudly Present: Tolkien Reading Day! Featuring: Tolkien Stories, arts and crafts, and free giveaways. [More]

Balin Gallery Grows

3/25/06, 9:06 am EST - Calisuri

Anne and Greg - Barlibash 2004

Our good friend and staff member Balin will be laid to rest today - we will greatly miss him. We continue to get photos from friends all over the world! If you have any photos with Balin, please send them in (spymaster@theonering.net) and we'll add them to the gallery. [Gallery]

News for Mar. 24, 2006

Win a 15 Minute Call from PJ!

3/24/06, 4:56 pm EST - Xoanon

From MSN: Have you seen every “Lord of the Rings” episode ten times? Were you in line at midnight to go see “King KongR21;? What would you do to win a phone call from Academy Award winning director, Peter Jackson? To celebrate the release of the King Kong DVD, one lucky fan will win a 15 minute phone call with Peter Jackson! [More]

Action Jackson

3/24/06, 4:34 pm EST - Xoanon

Peter Jackson, taking a vacation? Hard to imagine, but the director — who bounced from one F/X-heavy project (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) to another (King Kong) — recently spent some time tooling down the West Coast with his family. Still, it's no surprise the workhorse is already gearing up for two new projects: First, he'll co-write and direct an adaptation of Alice Sebold's best-selling novel The Lovely Bones, about a murdered girl who watches over her family from heaven; then he'll exec-produce Halo, a film version of the addictive Xbox game. We called Jackson in New Zealand to chat about those films, plus the King Kong DVD (due March 28). [More]

Jackson Happy to Move on From Big Movies

3/24/06, 4:30 pm EST - Xoanon

NEW YORK - The box-office performance of Peter Jackson's "King Kong" wasn't as chest-thumping as many expected. But to be fair, $217 million isn't terrible, nor was the $520 million worldwide take. It was well received by critics, nominated for four Oscars and won three: visual effects, sound and sound editing. Those three aspects of filmmaking are represented on the new two-disc special edition DVD coming out Tuesday (a single disc version also is available). The features include post-production diaries that bookend the previously released production diaries of "Kong." They are an unusual inside look on the minutiae that goes into even the biggest of movies. [More]

Celebrate Tolkien Reading Day in Denver, Colorado

3/24/06, 4:25 pm EST - Xoanon

Altaira writes: The Misty Mountains Smial, the Denver, Colorado Tolkien Society group, invites you to join us to celebrate Tolkien Reading Day! On Saturday, March 25 th , people all around the world will gather to read their favorite passages from Tolkien's works. March 25th is the day the Ring of Power was destroyed and Sauron was defeated. [More]

'Lord of the Rings' — the musical?

3/24/06, 4:01 pm EST - Xoanon

TORONTO — Memo to producers of would-be blockbusters: Keep your outrageous production costs to yourselves. One would have thought that "Waterworld" was enough to teach everyone this basic lesson. Now we have "The Lord of the Rings," the theatrical juggernaut that had its world premiere here Thursday, flaunting its $23-million price tag. Well, much as the theater may deplore its beer-budget conditions, a colossal bankroll is no guarantee of such legendary status — or, for that matter, a measly standing ovation, which noticeably failed to ignite after the reviewed performance Tuesday. [More]

It should come with an elf warning

3/24/06, 4:00 pm EST - Xoanon

It was the custom of Tolkien, CS Lewis and their fellow "Inklings" to read extracts from work in progress over foaming pints in the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford. One evening, as Tolkien launched into yet another chapter from The Lord of the Rings, a fellow member of the circle, Hugo Dyson, was audibly heard to groan: "Oh no! Not another elf!" It is a feeling likely to be shared by all but the most fanatical of sword and sorcery fans, as this musical version of the Middle Earth epic wends its often weary way, finally clocking in at just under four hours. [More]

AS GOOD AS GOLD: 'LOTR' stage version is worth every penny

3/24/06, 3:59 pm EST - Xoanon

TORONTO -- Attention, Ontario: Resume breathing. That show you've been counting on to bring in tourists? It just might do the trick. The most expensive stage show ever (more than $23 million U.S.), the musical version of "The Lord of the Rings" began its world premiere engagement at the Princess of Wales Theatre right on schedule. Seven weeks ago, technical glitches made the first preview clock in at 5 hours. These days "LOTR" runs 3 hours and 50 minutes, with two intermissions and a song after the curtain call. It may not be the 3 hours, 30 minutes that producer Kevin Wallace envisioned, but it doesn't feel overlong. [More]

Serkis relishes role as guy behind 'Kong'

3/24/06, 3:56 pm EST - Xoanon

Andy Serkis helped to create two of filmdom's most celebrated characters, but most people probably wouldn't recognize him. That's because the veteran actor's breakthrough performances -- as Gollum in "Lord of the Rings" and the big, misunderstood ape in the 2005 "King Kong" remake -- were created using digital technology. Although computer animators relied on Serkis' performance for the emotional center and movements of both characters, he doesn't get any face time (aside from a small, secondary role in "Kong"). Serkis is fine with that. [More]

Curtain up for Rings stage show

3/24/06, 3:54 pm EST - Xoanon

The team behind the stage version of Lord Of The Rings have been slogging through a journey almost as epic as the one they are depicting through Middle Earth. More than four years in the making and at a cost of $25m (£14.3m), it has become the world's most expensive theatre show to date. And its global future as an enterprise hangs on its opening night in Toronto, Canada, on Thursday. [More]

News for Mar. 23, 2006

In Memory of Balin Gallery

3/23/06, 7:28 pm EST - Calisuri

Thorongil and Balin at ORC 2006

Thanks to our friends who have sent in pictures in memory of TORn Staffer and friend, Greg (aka Balin). We have updated the gallery and hope to add more as more friends send in pictures. Please send your pictures to spymaster@theonering.net. [Gallery]

Will Lord of the Rings, Opening March 23, Get to Be a Hobbit With Audiences?

3/23/06, 7:27 pm EST - Xoanon

The Lord of the Rings, the J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired stage spectacle created by an international team of artists, opens in its Toronto world premiere March 23 at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Like the massive three-part fantasy novel and film versions that came before it, the music-infused, three-act production — with a running time of more than three hours — is nothing if not ambitious. Director Matthew Warchus, who co-adapted the novel (with Shaun McKenna) for the stage, is in charge of the $27 million (Canadian) production, which boasts 70 actors (which includes 49 plus a battery of support people) in a 2,000-seat venue. [More]

Andy Serkis: Hollywood's Unrecognizable Blockbuster Star

3/23/06, 7:21 pm EST - Xoanon

We admire Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep as legends-in-waiting, committing performances to film that might be referenced by future generations alongside Marlon Brando and Katharine Hepburn. We praise the lengthy careers of Steve Martin and Bill Murray, wondering if their work will live on like the Marx Brothers or Peter Sellers. However, the most significant contemporary cinematic figure of our time might be launching a career even more monumental, but we're too busy eating popcorn and enjoying the ride to fully appreciate it. It's OK, says Andy Serkis, because until recently, he was equally unaware. [More]

New Zealand Bound

3/23/06, 4:03 pm EST - Xoanon

I will be heading to New Zealand next month for a 10-day vacation in and around Wellington. Ubisoft, makers of “Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie” headed a contest a while back where the winners receive an all-expense paid trip to Wellington to visit the WETA studios, and I’ll be escorting them!

My journey begins on April 6th and I arrive on the 8th (the 7th will magically disappear from my calendar thanks to the wonder of crossing a ton of time zones), I have a few things already planned, my wife and I want to take some city and LOTR location tours, and we plan on seeing some friends I have made over the years while working on Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Narnia websites. Of course I also want to do some lounging about in the pre-fall goodness that is Wellywood. I will be shooting some video to be featured on the site, so keep an eye out for those!

I plan on having a ton of photos and goodies to show you from my trip, and if you know of any cool places to visit in the area, drop me a line!

The Star Goes Rings Musical Geek

3/23/06, 11:42 am EST - Xoanon

StriderGirl writes: I'm a Toronto Ringer eagerly anticipating my trip to the LOTR musical - my husband and I are going next Friday for our anniversary. CAN'T WAIT!!! Today's Toronto Star newspaper has a full section devoted to the musical, with pictures for the first time! (They had had to sign an agreement that they wouldn't write anything about it or publish photos until the previews were over, and the grand opening is tonight.) It's quite interesting, and it's all on the Star's website too! [More]

"Violence" tops DVD rental chart in first week

3/23/06, 11:39 am EST - Xoanon

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "A History of Violence" snagged the top spot on the DVD rental chart its first week in stores, but the Oscar-nominated crime drama wasn't able to topple "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" from the No. 1 position on the DVD sales chart. The fourth film in the "Harry Potter" franchise outsold "Violence," which stars Oscar nominee William Hurt, by a margin of nearly 2-1 during the week ended March 19, according to VideoScan data issued Wednesday. [More]

Order "A History of Violence" on Amazon.com today! [CA] [UK]

TV Watch: CBC Talks LOTR Musical

3/23/06, 11:34 am EST - Xoanon

Allison writes: Something your Canadian readers might appreciate knowing, I just heard that on "The National" tonight there will be a documentary about the making of the Lord Of The Rings musical. The National is on C.B.C T.V. at 10:00PM. The documentary part usually begins at approximately 10:30.

Early 'Marilyn Hotchkiss' Review

3/23/06, 11:32 am EST - Xoanon

Garfeimao writes: In two weeks time, a new film will be released, starring Sean Astin called "Marilyn Hotchkiss's Ballroom Dancing and Charm School". This film was originally screened at Sundance last year, and subsequently bought by Samual Goldwyn for distribution. [More]

LOTR Musical Opens Today

3/23/06, 11:27 am EST - Xoanon

The much-anticipated Lord of the Rings musical is set to open today in Toronto, Canada. There have been several reviews posted here the past few weeks, but we're always interested in more. If you plan on making a weekend of it and gathering with other fans, send us along your story, photos and review! Take a look at the Musical website. [More]

Go back to Main News Archives