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February 06, 2001 - February 22, 2001

2-22-01 Latest News

Cinescape Magazine LOTR Coverage
Calisuri @ 10:51 am EST

The March-April 2001 edition of Cinescape Magazine has this summary of the LotR project:

\[ click for larger version

Plot: In ancient Middle Earth, Frodo Baggins and his hobbit pals embark on a peril filled quest to keep a powerful magic ring from falling into the hands of the forces of darkness.
Players: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, John Rhys-Daves.
Director: Peter Jackson
Status: Post Production
Release date: December 19, 2001 (for the first film of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring).
Latest Rumors: After principal photography wrapped in January, Jackson segued into the ambitious project's long post-production phase while the cast finally move on to other projects. "The Lord of the Rings was like stepping into a video game for me," says Blanchett, who played Galadriel, queen of the elves. "It was another world completely. I basically did it so I could have the [elf] ears. They were so sweet."

EmpireOnline interviews...erm...online!
leo @ 10:04 am EST

As promised entertainmentsite EmpireOnline has updated with some short interviews they held during the Empire Awards with John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) and Billy Boyd (Pippin). Nothing there we didn't already know, but it's still interesting to read about their enthousiasm for this project...

John Rhys-Davies/Gimli
Q. So tell us about Lord of The Rings.
A. It's going to be the biggest film series of all time. It's also going to be one of the series of films that are going to be in [Empire's] Favourite Films. It doesn't remind me of anything when I look at it...

Billy Boyd/Pippin
Q. So how did you enjoy doing Lord of the Rings?
A. It was an amazing experience. To be in New Zealand for a year and a half is incredible. And to be filming in places that not only had never been filmed in, but where you would think nobody's been for hundreds of years...

2-21-01 Latest News

LOTR Wrap Party footage.....STOLEN?
Tehanu @ 9:41 pm EST

Because the Net is so huge and the Tolkien community so large, it's easy to think it's all anonymous. People underestimate how fast news travels among the small number of big Tolkien sites who by this time know each other pretty well. Sometimes this leads to farcical situations that are as funny as watching somebody tread on a rake and knock themselves out.

When we started getting emails about film footage of the LOTR end-of-filming 'Wrap Party available on this site I got curious because although I couldn't SEE the clips myself on the computer du jour, (Ol' IMacDonald bought the farm, recently) it sure sounded like they were talking about clips from the 'Searching for the Hobbit' documentary that Assassinfilms are making. I mean, come on guys, I was there, I know them, I've worked with them, and sending me an email announcing that their work is on someone else's site is as funny as ringing up a musician and trying to sell them a bootleg recording of their own band.

But IS is it their work? The answer's more complicated than the usual straight pilfering that goes on between websites and other media.

I called up Assassinfilms and they had a look at the Wrap party video clips....and these aren't THEIR clips of the wrap party. "While we were filming there was this French girl there who said she was a freelance video journalist.....she sort of followed us around all night filming over our shoulders... we talked to her and were really nice to her, and gave her our number in case she wanted to get in contact later."

But she didn't call, and this appears to be her footage on the Aussie website.

I asked producer Mark Morgan (whose voice it is you can hear asking the celebrities 'who is the Hobbit?') what he thought of those clips.

"Well, that's pretty rich, isn't it? If she wanted to get interviews with them then she should have asked her own bloody questions and not just filmed us doing our work!"

So there you are, Marie. Do your own homework next time.

The actual 'Searching for the Hobbit' clips of the Wrap party are at Searching For The Hobbit in the cinema or archives section, where you can download them for free and see them at a lot better quality.

Baby Lurtz confirms Uruk-hai birth
Calisuri @ 2:31 pm EST

Nazgurl and Huan picked up something rather interesting from the Toy Biz Toy list posted at About.com. (Full Article)

If you will, Assortament #1 of the 6" charcters includes:

"Newborn Lurtz Urak-Hai"

Now reference that with the following reports:

Galadriel's Report on Orc Birth (4/5/00):

"...They are also filming the Caves of Orthanc scenes at the moment. With Jo Pearse, 1st Unit AD at the helm. The Caves scenes are very interesting, it will consist of an Uruk Hai assembly line, with the Uruks which have been bred with Wildmen ond Orcs..Uruks are born from cocoons and are usually ordered around by Orcs. The Uruks rebel against the Orcs and kill them. This is the Uruk army that Saruman uses. "

Galadriel's creative description of the baby Uruk-hai:

"...The Rohirrim, frightened by the current war situation that Saruman is forcing upon the people of the Land, decide as a last effort in keeping the helpless safe to send them to the abandoned keep of Helms Deep. Unfortunately Wormtounge informs Saruman of this and the duplicitous wizard takes this as an opportunity to feed his newly born and hungry specialised army of Uruk Hai, thinking, "What better than a bunch of Rohan refugees made up of women and children!..."

Page 1, 3rd image on the Internet Preview Frame by Frame

The white hand of Saruman on the face/bodies of the Uruk-Hai models.

We can then theorize that Lurtz will be seen at some point being born and pledging his allegiance to Saruman.

Cool stuff for movie goers, but will hardcore Tolkienites go for it?

Complete Toy List
Calisuri @ 10:01 am EST

Check out the full list of LotR related toys coming to stores near you!

Playmates Toys - All of these items from Playmates will be released in the Fall of 2001. At this time (February 2001), I have no information on price points for these toys. [More]

Sideshow Toys - Sideshow Toy has partnered with Weta Workshop of New Zealand to create collectibles based on the LotR trilogy. Weta is the special effects company responsible for the effects and makeup on the films. [More]

Toybiz Toys - Toy Biz has the license to produce action figures and role play toys based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Here's a peek at what to expect in 2001 (these items are based on the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring) [More]

Thanks to Leo for the links.

2-16-01 Latest News

Early Version of Internet Preview Online!?
Calisuri @ 10:30 pm EST

Thanks to Barlimans regulars Gollum and SamGamgee from elfenomeno.com for providing a link to what looks to be an early version of the official internet preview. Follow the following link and click on the LOTR Trailer at the bottom of the page. [More]

After just viewing this low quality real video file a few times, this is what we have have noticed is different:

1. Gollum with skin - The second and a half of Gollum matches up with earlier pictures we have seen, but this time with skin and hair. We are not posting a still image of Gollum at this time because of a promise to the artists at WETA. You can see Gollum in the Real version though.

2. Aragorn Fighting the Nazgul - We have seen a similar scene with this image from the scrapbook. [842]

\[ Aragorn Fighting Nazgul \]

3. A new shot of Liv.

\[ Liv Tyler \]

4. An extended shot of the running Troll.

\[extended troll sequence\]

Where this version came from, its anyone's guess. We are also NOT sure if this is even legit. Hopefully we'll be getting more info about it shortly!

2-12-01 Latest News

The American Humane Association.
Tehanu @ 2:46 am EST

Months ago some rumours surfaced in the media about the alleged mistreatment of horses during the making of LOTR. It was left to the American Humane Association to prove or disprove the allegations, as concrete evidence seemed very hard to pin down at the time. The LA Times has a long article here on the AHA's animal-rights work on film sets and LOTR is mentioned:

"More recently, AHA officials waited months to weigh in about persistent reports that horses were abused during the New Zealand filming of "Lord of the Rings," part of New Line Cinema's long-anticipated $270-million trilogy. The allegations sparked local news reports and investigations by New Zealand government officials, who found nothing.

Despite receiving dozens of e-mails since October alleging mistreatment on the set of "Lord of the Rings," AHA officials did not contact or initiate a meeting with New Line executives until mid-January.

Barrett said the AHA is stretched too thin to look into the non-SAG production--among Hollywood's most expensive projects ever. "We frankly didn't have the resources to go and beat down the door and try to argue with them about it," she said.

In a meeting last month, AHA officials "asked questions and we answered all of them," said New Line spokesman Steve Elzer. "They were more than satisfied with our answers." Nevertheless, Barrett said that none of the three "Lord of the Ring" films will receive the association's endorsement, since no AHA monitor was invited to the set."

2-11-01 Latest News

The Hobbit play hits Belfast.
Tehanu @ 5:20 am EST

Tuor wants to spread the word on a production of 'The Hobbit.'

"The Hobbit:
13th - 17th February,
Created for stage by Glyn Robbins,
All done by Jim Henson puppets,
7.50 on the Stall (ground floor area)
5 in the gallery

A note about the play:
It will be a two hour and twenty minute show all done by puppets with humans working them, all covered in black, and also, when Bilbo puts on the ring, it will look as if he disappears because they put a black cloak over in a very, what's the word......stylish way.


"An excellant show" - Birmingham Express & Star

"Delight and surprises from Middle Eearth" - Liverpool Daily Express

"Baggins full of action. A vivid fast moving show." - Nottingham Evening Post

Suitable for 9 years of age and up

For more information or to book go to goh.co.uk

He says he'll send us a pic of the programme if he gets one. I think this same version of 'The Hobbit' has been touring all over the world to very positive reviews.

2-09-01 Latest News

New downloads and some good reading.
Tehanu @ 5:17 am EST

The Searching for the Hobbit website has posted up some videoclips including an interview with publishers Harper Collins - they estimate how many copies of 'The Lord of the Rings' have been sold, and the figure might surprise you. Another clip shows a closeup of a special edition of the trilogy -signed by the film actors! The auctioneer who handles the copy wouldn't like to guess what that will be worth one day.

Anyone who hasn't checked out the MP3 of Flowinglass doing their version of that song that proved the Hobbits' downfall in Bree, have a listen and see if you agree with me ...that's EXACTLY the way I'd imagined it!
"There is an inn, a merry old inn,
Beneath an old grey hill..."

The Message-Board got some amazing and surprising stories in response to the question 'How has reading Tolkien affected your life?'

2-06-01 Latest News

Mudslinging at distant locations.
Tehanu @ 9:07 pm EST

IMDB's "Studio Report" has expanded on last week's "Dominion" article on what the NZ Army was paid for taking part in LOTR - that story is on Stuff and a quick read between the lines shows that it's an attempt by a marginal political party to topple the NZ Government by discrediting them. It's a valiant effort but so far nobody's taken to the streets in protest at the Govt's shocking mismanagement of the armed forces. I have yet to meet anyone that gives a toss, quite frankly.

The Australian papers took up the story because it is sort of funny - after all, what kind of wussy country is it that allows its military personnel to dress up in funny costumes and run round with outdated weapons? Don't worry, we're used to it.

By the time IMBD got hold of the story it read like this:

"Rings Producers Bought Soldiers For $8.83 Per Day.
Controversy has erupted in New Zealand following the revelation that the country's Defense Force, the combined army, navy and air force, was paid only $91,000 for the use of 15-250 men, mostly as extras, each day during the filming of Lord of the Rings. The figure breaks down to $8.83 per man per day. A spokesman for the political party New Zealand First, which has been pushing for an increase in pay for military personnel, told the NZPA news service, "If we are going to insist the Defense Force operate in a business-like manner ... then pay it what (the personnel) are worth. ... I'd now ask the Prime Minister to transfer funds from allocations to the film industry to compensate the army for the loss of its resources and its time."

I like that 'Controversy has erupted' line. Perhaps it's erupting away quietly under our tightly-buttoned stiff upper lips or something. Anyhow, I've failed to notice it. There's another story going on behind this one, though, which relates to Hollywood's alarm at the number of 'runaway' productions that are made in cheaper locations such as Canada, Mexico, Australia and now NZ., which hosted both LOTR and 'Vertical Limit.' Quickbeam, a film industry insider working in LA commented:

"I'm quite sure the intention of having this story on IMDb today was to have Hollywood-ites be grateful they have a Union to protect them from the evils of foreign film productions. And of course to bring embarrassment to New Line for even taking this project out of Los Angeles in the first place. The climate here regarding Canada, New Zealand, and Australia stealing productions from L.A. is incredibly sour. This is a non-event to you & I, but any story that reinforces the impact of "runaway productions" is press-worthy to an industry nervous about its future."

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