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August 13, 2007 - August 20, 2007

News for Aug. 20, 2007

Happy Birthday John Noble!

8/20/07, 8:14 pm EST - Xoanon

London Film And Comic Con Images

Today is also John Noble's birthday! John Noble (born August 20, 1948) is an Australian film, television actor and theatre director of more than 80 plays. He was born in Port Pirie, South Australia, Australia.

He makes occasional appearances on the television series All Saints. He is internationally best known for his performance as Denethor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King film. His latest films are White Noise: The Light and One Night with the King. He stands 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) in height.

He played Russian Consul Anatoly Markov in the sixth season of 24. He was also the Artistic Director of Stage Company of South Australia from 1977 to 1987 and Head of Drama, Brent St. School of Arts (Sydney) 1997-2000.

Happy Birthday Alan Lee!

8/20/07, 8:11 pm EST - Xoanon

Alan Lee a hit in San Francisco

Today is Alan Lee's Birthday! Alan Lee (born August 20, 1947) is an English book illustrator and movie conceptual designer.

He has illustrated several fantasy books such as the centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings, The Children of Húrin, Faeries (with Brian Froud), Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock (as well as the cover of an early print of this book), The Mabinogion, Castles and Merlin Dreams. He won the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration in 1993 for Black Ships Before Troy and the Best Artist Award at the World Fantasy Awards of 1998.

Lee and John Howe were the lead concept artists of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies. He illustrated many of the scenarios for the movies, including objects and weapons for the actors. In 2004, he won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction for his work on the third film in the trilogy, The Return of the King. Lee has also worked as a conceptual designer on the films Legend, Erik the Viking, King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the television mini-series Merlin. Lee recently released a portfolio of his conceptual artwork for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, entitled The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook.

Turbine Releases Second Content Update to LOTR Online

8/20/07, 8:09 pm EST - Xoanon

WESTWOOD, MA – August 20, 2007 - Today, Turbine, Inc. released the second free update for subscribers to The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. Book 10: The City of the Kings, the second of many planned free updates to the world of Middle-earth, continues the epic story, adds over 100 new quests, implements significant enhancements to monster play and introduces the Reputation and Bartering systems. [More]

From King Lear to The Seagull

8/20/07, 8:04 pm EST - Xoanon

On Saturday night Sir Ian McKellen entered the stage at Auckland's ASB Theatre as a regal king draped in ceremonial costume. He left as a broken man, in an unequivocal and heart rendering performance as King Lear, a monarch whose course of suffering is sparked by his blind, proud affection for his three daughters. From the elaborate opening scene, McKellen and his velvet-gravel voice carry the audience through Lear's journey of sadness and disbelief at the betrayal of his two eldest daughters, through the haze of madness, to new hope in his youngest child, then down to the deep pit of eventual despair. It was a gripping ride. [More]

Sean Astin to Attend 'World Series of Video Games'

8/20/07, 8:02 pm EST - Xoanon

Lee sends this in: The World Series of Video Games, operated by Games Media Properties of New York, will be making a stop at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this Friday for a three-day showcase of high-stakes online competition that will see an army of futuristic soldiers on the hunt, guitar heroes vamping it up, and orcs, trolls and dwarves working together to slay dragons...A collection of cult movie and TV stars such as Hayden Christensen from Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer and Sean Astin, who starred as a hobbit in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will all be in attendance in the Fan Expo Canada area, also included in the $15 WSVG entrance fee. [More]

News for Aug. 18, 2007

LOTRO Book 10: The City of Kings Patch Notes Now Available!

8/18/07, 9:25 pm EST - Xoanon

Meghan S. Rodberg, Online Community Manager for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, writes: Don't forget, Book 10: The City of the Kings goes live on Monday, August 20th! Our servers will be down from 7:00AM - 2:00PM to apply the update. Players can pre-patch their games by downloading our new downloadable update (from Book 9 to Book 10) - more info here (please note that this updater is for the North American/Oceania client only and will not patch the EU client!).

MGM, UA face manic money day

8/18/07, 9:23 pm EST - Xoanon

United Artists closed its $500 million deal with Merrill Lynch late Thursday morning in the wake of news that Goldman Sachs had backed away from committing to a $1 billion fund for MGM. Goldman Sachs was one of five banks considering underwriting the MGM fund. Move was Hollywood's first brush with the widening credit crunch. However, MGM CEO Harry Sloan said Goldman Sachs' move -- or any delay in the franchise fund -- would not impact the movies it has in the works, including "The Hobbit," a co-production with New Line, or the next installment with the Bond franchise, which it is cofinancing with Sony. "No MGM property will wait for a film (finance) slate," Sloan said. [More]

News for Aug. 17, 2007

REPOST: The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood

8/17/07, 1:16 pm EST - Xoanon

Hi all, Xoanon here. I've been reading Kristin Thompson's 'The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood' and loving every page of it! It seems like years ago we spoke about this book, and now it is finally out there for the fans to read! Learn about the early days of 'TheOneRing.net' (and the LOTR internet zeitgeist), and all other manner of geeky goodness! [More]

Weta Press: Warthog & Beta Keys

8/17/07, 12:39 pm EST - Xoanon

From the Geek Gods at WETA: Thanks to everyone who visited the WETA stand at Comic Con. Attached are are few highlights from the Weta crew. The Rayguns statue gathered alot of attention, and creator of Dr Grordbort's world, Greg Broadmore, was on hand to answer media and fan enquiries. The show exclusive, the Miniature ManMelter, completely sold out, and a little birdy tells me they are going for three times the original price on Ebay! [More]

New Emerald Rose CD for DragonCon!

8/17/07, 12:31 pm EST - Xoanon

Long time TORn friends Emerald Rose have announced the upcoming release of their newest cd 'Con Suite' just in time for DragonCon! Stepping back from their Celtic roots, the group has prepared a genre-busting set of light-hearted tunes that cover subjects from Harry Potter to Star Trek to Dungeons and Dragons. 'Chocolate Frog', a happy ditty about a Potter wannabee, is available for free listens and downloads here.

Fans can find a trio of videos, including the 'Never Split the Party' brickfilm (Lego's characters) by Larry Morris, which is causing a stir on YouTube.com, here. Tolkien fans will find a few characters and situations in the video that they recognize! Emerald Rose will be performing songs from the new cd at their concerts at DragonCon.

Subprime menace endangers hobbits and James Bond

8/17/07, 12:29 pm EST - Xoanon

Is there no end to the carnage wrought by subprime madness? Far from being "contained," the fallout is now spreading to fictional realms populated by some of the mightiest icons of human civilization. On Wednesday afternoon, the Financial Times published a scoop breaking the news that funding for a slate of upcoming blockbuster movies may be delayed because of Wall Street's current woes. The studio in question is MGM: The movies on the list include "The Hobbit" and the next installments in both the Terminator and James Bond sagas. It seems that in recent years Hollywood has moved to a relatively new financing model in which it raises funding for a slate of upcoming films by having investment banks tap the pockets of private equity funds, hedge funds and institutional investors. In this case, MGM had contracted with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to raise as much as a billion dollars. [More]

News for Aug. 16, 2007

Live in NYC? Wanna See Ian McKellen?

8/16/07, 5:04 pm EST - Xoanon

Mary writes: Ian McKellen will be interviewed on September 17 in New York at the Times Center. The interview will be followed by a wine reception & tickets are only $25. [More]

'Weekend at Sarehole Mill' Registration

8/16/07, 12:52 pm EST - Xoanon

GilraenBham sends along word about the annual Tolkien Weekend in November, it is registration time! Visit Birmingham for a weekend break exploring the places J.R.R. Tolkien lived and played, studied and worshiped during the formative years of his life. Accommodation, food, transport, talks, entertainment and well-informed guides are included in this unique and informative weekend for fans of Tolkien everywhere. Friday evening 9th November, all Day Saturday 10th November, to mid-afternoon Sunday 11th November 2007. The weekend is based around the Plough and Harrow Hotel in Edgbaston, Birmingham, where Professor Tolkien and his wife Edith stayed prior to Tolkien leaving for France during the First World War. The hotel is offering very attractive rates for this special weekend. For further information download this WORD document.

Massive Helm’s Deep Miniature Exhibition in Malta

8/16/07, 12:48 pm EST - Xoanon

James writes: The AME (Association of Model Engineers) is organizing its Annual Exhibition, held between 8th and 16th September, 2007 and this year it is showcasing a massive miniature of Helm’s Deep, the main fortress of Rohan. The exhibition will be held at the Scouts Headquarters in Floriana, Malta and shall display a wide range of models of all types of genres; including Military, Fantasy and Science Fiction. [More]

Jed Brophy Inspires Colleen Doran

8/16/07, 12:27 pm EST - Xoanon

Artiste extraordinaire Colleen Doran sends along word on her latest work 'The Nightmare Factory': The model of my main character was actor Jed Brophy, who has appeared in a number of Peter Jackson’s films...Jed is a big comics fan and made an especially good Spiderman model, because he is not only lean and wiry, he knows all the classic comics poses. All I had to do was ask for a character and he could immediately become that character. He could even nail poses based on the iconic images of certain artists. [More]

Month of the Captain and Month of the Hunter

8/16/07, 12:16 pm EST - Xoanon

Vanessa "Saffron" Price, Online Community Representative for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, writes: Today we added a two new class overviews about the changes coming in the upcoming content update to our Developer’s Corner! In Book 10: The City of the Kings, LOTRO's second free content update, the LOTRO game systems team focused on the Captain and Hunter classes. Learn about the changes in two new overviews! [Overview I] [Overview II]

The Telegraph Talks Gandalf & McKellen

8/16/07, 12:09 pm EST - Xoanon

telegraph.co.uk recently ran this small article, which should be taken with a large grain of salt: Sir Ian McKellen's dream of reprising the role of Gandalf - the role that turned the stage actor into an international film star - looks like being realised after all. Last year, it had looked a distinctly forlorn hope after Sir Ian's friend Peter Jackson, the director of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, said he wanted nothing to do with turning Tolkien's other great work, The Hobbit, into a film after a row about money with the production company New Line Cinema. Now, however, Jackson appears to have patched things up with New Line's founder, Bob Shaye, and the film looks back on course.

By a happy coincidence, Sir Ian is currently in New Zealand performing in King Lear and plans to dine with New Line's bosses shortly when he will make it clear how keen he is to play Gandalf in the new film.

Weta Collectibles Announcement - Exclusive Hellgate: London Offer!

8/16/07, 12:00 pm EST - Xoanon

Flagship Studios is offering fans of the highly anticipated PC game, Hellgate: London, the chance to participate in the closed beta test of the game! Anyone who purchases a Hellgate: London statue from Weta Collectibles between 15 – 31 August, will be offered a key to the closed beta test for Hellgate: London. The closed beta is only available to a select group of video game industry insiders, and you only have a short time to join their ranks. [More]

UKers: LOTR Trilogy in IMAX!

8/16/07, 11:50 am EST - Xoanon

seb writes: The BFI IMAX is doing a LOTR Trilogy on Saturday the 15th of September, starting at 22.45. Having been there before for a few of these nights, it is brilliant: people dress up and the atmosphere is great and very relaxed. Complementary tea and coffee ensure that no one falls asleep (as if true fans would!). Should you be interested in booking a ticket, please call the booking line on 0870 787 2525 or visit the website bfi.org.uk.

John Howe's Journal: Just Between Us

8/16/07, 11:45 am EST - Xoanon

With kind permission John Howe has allowed us to re-print his newsletter entries as they are released. Take a look at the latest edition!

JUST BETWEEN US (Or A Few Words and Some Pictures): At rather a loss as to what to actually write for this newsletter, I've fallen back on the tried and true method of using something I've written before. (I have an excuse, I am working very assiduously writing texts for another book.) [More] [john-howe.com]

An Israeli Tolkien conference

8/16/07, 2:54 am EST - MrCere

Udi writes in about a myth and Tolkien conference in Israel called Mythopia. Read here for all the details.

News for Aug. 15, 2007

DragonCon only two weeks away!

8/15/07, 1:48 am EST - MrCere

August 31 marks the begining of one of the best geek events in the world! DragonCon 2007 kicks off for a weekend that features something from nearly every nook and cranny of pop-culture and genre entertainment. DragonCon features a robust Tolkien Track of programming, details of which can be found right here. TORn will be well represented this year with a message board moot and half of TORn's four founders attending as well as this reporter. Stay tuned for more details before during and after the event. Hope to see you there!

News for Aug. 14, 2007

Orlando Bloom voted Britain's most desirable date

8/14/07, 5:45 pm EST - Xoanon

Orlando Bloom has been voted Britain's most desirable date. The 'Lord of the Rings' star has topped Cosmopolitan magazine's Eligible Eleven poll, after readers chose him as the man they would most like to be wooed by. The 30-year-old actor's sex appeal secured him 21 per cent of the vote. However, those hoping to land a date with Orlando will be disappointed. He is currently rumoured to be dating his 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' co-star, Naomie Harris, 30, following his split from actress Kate Bosworth. [More]

News for Aug. 13, 2007

SHOP: Pre-Order the Gandalf the White Premium Format Figure

8/13/07, 1:28 pm EST - Celeborn

Gandalf the WhiteThe latest edition to The Lord of the Rings Premium Format Line-up is Gandalf the White, and the exclusive edition of that piece is now available for pre-order over at SideshowCollectibles.com. The Sideshow Exclusive version of the Gandalf the White Premium Format figure includes interchangeable hands, so that you may choose whether Glamdring is securely in Gandalf's scabbard, or at the ready in his hand. The edition size is only 500 on the exclusive, so order asap! (Note - if you are not a newsletter member, you will not be able to pre-order until Noon PDT) [Pre-Order Gandalf]

From Frodo to music mogul

8/13/07, 11:51 am EST - Xoanon

Starting your own record company would never rank in any financial adviser’s top 10 investment tips: in fact, it would be in the high-risk category, along with buying a racehorse and backing an independent movie. But that has not deterred Elijah Wood. Nor is Simian Records some sort of vanity project for the record mogul formerly known as Frodo. If it were, he would hardly be signing as his first act a cult band who have been slogging away for the best part of 15 years without managing a single hit. It must, therefore, be his genuine love of their resolutely uncommercial psych-pop music that prompted Wood to make his debut as a label boss this summer by releasing, to a largely indifferent world, New Magnetic Wonder, the sixth studio album by the Apples in Stereo. Wood signed the Apples not so much because of his belief in their untapped commercial potential as from a simple desire to share his love of their music. [More]

TURBINE Announces 'BOOK 10: THE City of the kings'

8/13/07, 11:38 am EST - Xoanon

WESTWOOD, MA – August 13, 2007 - Turbine, Inc. and Codemasters Online Gaming announced the details of the second free content update for subscribers to The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. Book 10: The City of the Kings continues the epic story, adds over 100 new quests, implements significant enhancements to monster play and introduces the Reputation and Bartering systems. Book 10: The City of the Kings will be available to subscribers of The Lord of the Rings Online on August 20, 2007. [More]

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