Go back to Spy Reports Archives

October 12, 2002 - October 24, 2002


European news roundup
Tehanu @ 11:53 pm EST
Merry Tee reports from Denmark, " I just recieved an official mail from SF Film (the Danish distribution of TTT) saying that ticket sales for the premiere will start here November 11. The mail also tells us that FOTR wil be on the big screen here again from December 13."

Greetings from Norway: A fan's-eye perspective of the build-up to TTT, from Tolkien-Freak-Girl:

"I'm really sorry about my bad english today, it's just that I'm so excited for the moment that I can hardly move my fingers!!!!!

"You should se what the Norwegian Cinema Crew has done for the fans. They have actually created a Middle-Earth-ish, Hobbitonlike queue area, in a grand park outside the cinema.

"We are being met with a great tower at the entrance, and inside there are wraiths, elves, horses, sheeps (hihi), music, competitions, nights where we all gather and sing Tolkien-songs, fireplaces and here's the best!! On the 3. of november (the last night) they will show The FOTR on a big screen in the park, together with all the TTT trailers!!!!!!!

"Are we lucky to live in Norway or what?! :)))

"And the biggest thing: The person with the best costume and "livingplace" (in the queue, if you see what I mean) wins a trip to NewZealand for two....."

Meanwhile fans in Rumania are MUCH less happy. In fact they sound pretty bitter.

Radu writes, " Hi. I write this to let you know of the disapointment and anger we Lord Of The Rings fans in Romania. (I'm speaking for a group of people - but I know it's the same thing in all our hearts).

"First,the Two Towers are only getting here in 28 February (!!!!!!!!!); second-there was no launch of the DVD or tape yet of The Fellowsip. I don't know who to blame or what to say more, but please does anyone have some data about what's going on in here - a least an aprox. date on the tape's launching here.. ps.. The Two Towers Trailer was here today, but...surprise-surprise......[it was] the old one-released in spring.."

So there you have it. Anyone that's in touch with the New Line distributors for Rumania, tell us what's going on, please!

The Big Plunge
Tehanu @ 11:37 pm EST
Any guesses on what the 'big plunge' might be that's described as the breathtaking, amazing opening to TTT? It's mentioned in this article on the TTT script?
My favourite guess so far from Eddie: 'Gandalf and the Balrog falling''

Scr(i)pt Magazine Talks TTT Spoilers!!
Xoanon @ 2:24 pm EST
Loressar Erchamion writes: I just got my Nov/Dec issue of scr(i)pt, a screenwriters' magazine available at Barnes and Noble. It features a 4-page interview with Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyen discussing The Two Towers. Very interesting from a screenwriter's point of view, cruelly uninformative from a spoiler seeker's point of view.

For the first page or two, they mostly talk about the work involved in writing the script, what it's like to work on a project of this magnitude, etc. This is followed by something about how TTT gets more into the world of men.

The part that follows could count as a semi-spoiler as to the film's opening, so I'll give it verbatim here:

scr(i)pt: Will there be anything to help a novice find his/her way into The Two Towers, some recap of what has happened so far, or will we plunge right into it?

Philippa Boyens: Pretty much a big plunge, you might say - a rather large plunge! [Both laugh as if sharing a wicked, private joke.] - the deep breath before the plunge. Well, it's a terrible pun; and you'll understand it when you see it, but I think it's one of the most amazing openings ever - pure Peter Jackson!

They then talk about intercutting the two halves of TTT, a bit about Ents and their place in the story (Boyens mentions the challenges brought to scriptwriting by the long-winded Ents!), and the moving of Shelob to RotK.

The interviewer asks about the dialogue between Frodo and Sam about "tales". Walsh and Boyens are adamant about how much they love that passage, but don't tell us if it'll be in the film.

There is a question about looking at the movie in light of the events of September 11, which the interviewer acknowledges happened long after they began work on the screenplay. Both writers are hesitant to reply, but then offer some nice insight from the pages of Tolkien. Walsh quotes Eomer ("How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"), and Boyens quotes Frodo ("I wish none of this had happened") as well as Gandalf's response ("So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for you to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.") On that note, the interview ends.


UK News: TTT Chess Set and Risk
Tehanu @ 1:29 pm EST
"In my local WH Smiths in the U.K. they have the new Two Towers chess set. It's made by the same people who did the FOTR one just released in the US, only now done in an antique marble effect rather than the bronze and silver FOTR one. They've replaced three of the pieces (don't know which ones), with a warg rider, wormtonge, and Treebeard. It is priced at 29.99. WH Smiths also had the new TTT Risk game also priced at 29.99."
From ringerspy J ARMAN


Osgiliath Spotted Years Ago?
Xoanon @ 1:28 pm EST

Kyriel writes:

I was just looking through some of my old TORN pictures, spy shots of burnt ruins everyone thought were Minas Tirith. But I've just realized that buildings are actually part of Osgiliath. The frame-by-frame commentary on the official movie site shows a picture of almost identical ruins with a caption saying that Faramir takes Frodo here, to Osgiliath!

Isn't it funny that we only got a glimpse of the uined city in the trailer - but TORN had a full-on overhead shot two years or more ago?

I'm enclosing copies of four spy photos from TORN and a screen capture from the newest trailer so you can see for yourself. Hope this'll get me "super spy" billing on the front page of TORN. ;-P


DVD "Easter Eggs"
Tehanu @ 3:19 pm EST
DVD Easter Eggs We like eggsesss! Bill wrote in to help out treasure-seekers:

"I just read the review of the Special Edition DVD from your link from DigitalBits.com Did you notice the easter egg info telling where to get the four minute TTT preview that was tacked onto the end of FOTR last March?

Disc Two: To access The Two Towers sneak peek trailer that was shown briefly in theaters at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring (4 min, 16x9, DD 5.1), go to the last page of the scene selections menu area and select the number "48" on the far right-hand side of the screen. Then navigate "down" to reveal a hidden Two Towers symbol. Press "Enter".

Cast Watch: Hard-riding Viggo
Tehanu @ 2:58 pm EST
Those following Viggo Mortensen's career will enjoy the reports coming in from the observers of his latest movie project, Hidaldgo.

He's learning Lakota, a Native American Plains language: The Dakota, Nakota and Lakota people make up the Sioux, which may be a more familiar name to some.

As well as the language task which he takes seriously, he gets to fulfil his love of horseriding, as horses are a big part of the story. Certainly since filming LOTR he's become a keen horseman, and even took his LOTR mount home to the States when filming was over. No word on whether that horse is being used in the current project.
Six horses are playing the part of Viggo's horse Hidalgo, because their role is so demanding. Viggo has to be able to bond with them and establish trust, as the kind of riding required is also very demanding. Near the start of the film Viggo has to ride while acting drunk. There's a lot of stunts in HIDALGO, including some hard riding across the desert in Morocco where he races against Arabian horses. That part of the shoot was very tough - very hot and with troublesome sandstorms. Early scenes were shot in Montana.


TTT final cut finished? Nearly?
Tehanu @ 12:42 pm EST
More evidence that TTT is either finished or close to:
Prokiwi writes, "my boss is good mates with the ***** ****** for TTT and he was talking about how the new movie is going to kick FOTR's [butt] (in his opinion anyway - he likes his action sequences). Apparently he was in a video conference with PJ and Fran Walsh the other week (PJ was hooked up to a camera as he was out of the country at the time). Seeing as this was a wee while ago and they were just finishing up that suggests that there is a finished version of the movie out there by now. Anyway, just thought I'd put my twopenneth in! "

Here's sweating with anticipation till December " - Prokiwi.


I've Seen FOTR: Special Edition!!
Xoanon @ 1:44 am EST
I've just returned from a marathon 12 hour screening of Peter Jackson's FOTR: Special Edition. A handful of special quests (like one of the new writers for CHUD) attended the screening with Catherine and I. We viewed the entire special edition film and ALL 6 plus hours of the documentries and special features.

I will be writing my full report tomorrow and will have it online by tomrrow night. Let me just tell you this, any fan of Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, film making, film production, digital effects, sound effect production, and sound editing will NEED to have this DVD!!

These DVD specials have the most complete, most thorough, behind the scenes, making of and special views I have ever seen on a DVD before. There is no aspect that is not covered, no detail left forgotten...everything you'll ever want to know about Fellowship....more tomorrow


Doug Anderson Reports In Seattle
Tehanu @ 2:27 pm EST
"Hey. Just writing to tell you that I was at the Doug Anderson appearance in Seattle, and I thought I'd share with you a bit of a review of the whole event...

"The evening was a chill one, filled with a cold thrill that sent shivers through my coatless spine and shook the leaves from the trees they resided in. The glowering clouds were cast throughout the reaches of the sky, obscuring the luminous points of stars that scantily dotted the heavens. It was a night filled with anticipation, for it was the night I was to see a true Tolkien Scholar in action. Douglas Anderson, the writer of The Annotated Hobbit was speaking at Kane Hall in the University of Washington, and it was a night I would not soon forget.

"As I arrived in the Walker-Ames room of Kane Hall several minutes after the event was slated to begin (I will have you know that, much like a Wizard, a Nazgul is never late) and scoured the crowded room for a vacant seat, I began to wonder just how much this guy knew about the world of Tolkien. Had he read the History of Middle-earth series? Did he delve into Tolkien's letters? Just how much of a Tolkien Scholar was he? While I have known several people whose knowledge of Tolkien's mythos borders on the scholarly, I did not quite know what to expect from seeing a reputed expert in the subject.

"But I learned soon enough.

"A shortish, plump, balding man took the stage after a brief announcement by a member of the University Bookstore (the organization that put on the event) and the lights dimmed. He gave us a brief introduction about the process behind both versions of the book, comparing and contrasting the methods of research and annotation between 1988 and the present, before dimming the lights to show us a series of slides.

"Many of the pictures in these slides are reproduced in the actual book, though without the wry commentary of Mr. Anderson. He seemed to be in his element, describing the slides that depicted events in the book as interpreted by various artists for the various translations of The Hobbit. Anderson spoke all about each and every one of the illustrations, interjecting some of Tolkien's own commentary on the images (emphasizing one-word commentary used by the Professor, such as describing the Swedish illustrations as `Frightful' and the Portuguese illustrations as just plain `Foul') along with the images histories.

"Finally, after an hour and a half of showing all manner of slides, there was a brief question and answer session where only a handful questions were asked, followed by the part that everyone was waiting for: the signing. Being the opinionated Tolkien fan that I am, I could not help but ask Anderson the infamous Balrog Question. Certainly, I got his signature and everything (on both my book and my friend Linda's), but the real moment of the night was our small discussion on whether or not Balrogs had wings. From a scholarly perspective, he reasoned that the evidence was inconclusive and that Tolkien did not paint a good enough picture of that aspect of the Valaraukar for us to determine whether or not they have wings. But as far as opinions go, the was of the opinion that they did not have wings, citing the metaphors that Tolkien used to describe the shadows and the fact that they could not fly.

"But I digress.

"Finally, the evening ended for me. Autographed books in hand and moral vindication for my position of wingless Balrogs giving me strength, I departed the company of Douglas Anderson. The talk was a fun one, filled with all sorts of insights into the Professor's work that I had never realized, and I left with a sense of fulfillment, having finally met an actual Tolkien Scholar"

LinuxElf writes:

Friday 11th October.

I just came back from the the Hawke's Bay New Zealand
BookFest (Friday 11th to Sunday 13 October 2002) with
special guest Daniel Falconer Design Artist for the Lord of the Rings!

In case you didn't know;

A Trained illustrator, Daniel Falconer is a Conceptual
designer at Weta Workshop, one of a team of five full time design specialists based in the facility. Daniel has been with Weta now for six years. Over that time he has been involved in design work for a variety of different projects including creatures for television shows like William Tell, Hercules, Xena and Young Hercules, and most notably, desining creatures, armour, weaponry, props and costumes for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. A long time of J.R.R Tolkien's writing, the opportuinty to be so intimately involved in bringing Middle-eart to the screen was a fulfillment of a childhood dream for Daniel and continues to be his 'dream job'.

I arrived early to beat the crowds and to make sure I got a good seat! Which I did front row :) Daniel was busy studying his speech and looked up as I approached him for his autograph and a couple of snap shots of him and me. He seemed like a nice fellow, pretty down to earth and laid back as a typical kiwi!

At about 7:00pm he started his talk on his involvement with the LOTR trilogy and other projects including TV series Xena the warrior princess and Hercules. He had brought along with him his laptop and a projector together with a video / TV set, and a power-point slideshow for good measure.

He Began his talk about the beginnings of Weta Studios (14 years ago) how Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger started "R T Effects" (the name being a combination of Richard's and Tania's names) in the backroom of there flat, wanting to make all sorts of creatures and SFX for movies and TV series, Public Eye a puppetry show was an early example, this later on evolved into Weta Studios.

He then showed us a video of examples of the work they did at Weta Workshop & Weta Digital including shots from LOTR and Xena, Hercules, and several other movies like Brain Dead and Meet The Feebles, the Frighteners with Michael J Fox, The Secret Garden and Contact with Jodie Foster.

After that he showed us some sketches which where
conceptual drawings for the cave troll which was used in the Fellowship of the Ring, from its early beginnings as a sketch, to the scale model which was used finally to be scanned into the computer and digitally animated.

And finally he covered the work they do at Sideshow-Weta Collectibles with all the collectibles they make! And boy they looked cool! He showed us a video showing the artists at work making the collectables and painting them, it even had the actors and actresses of LOTR examining them...

With a question and answer session afterwards...

All and all it was a great evening!

Sean Bean in 'Starlog.' - Boromir in TTT
Tehanu @ 12:25 pm EST
Just thought you would like to know that the November 2002 issue of Starlog magazine has a four page interview with Sean Bean. The article is called, "The Warrior Repentant" and there's a spoiler about his appearance in "The Two Towers":

"You will see me for a bit, in some form at least," Sean Bean reveals. "I'm not sure how Peter will edit the film, but there is a moment where Faramir sees me in a dream. He has a vision of me. I'm assuming it will be incorporated into the second film." (page 53, "The Warrior Repentant")

Thanks to Narya for that!

Xoanon Takes Hollywood By Storm!
Xoanon @ 11:29 am EST
Hey all, Xoanon here, I`m currenlty having breakfast with Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, so I won`t be too busy to work on the site, that nutty Cameron Diaz is begging me to get into the pool later...

...ok maybe not, but I AM taking Hollywood by storm this weekend! I`ll be in LALA land for the next few days, working on something super secret, more on that later! If you want to get in touch you can reach me at the Wyndham Belage Hotel in West Hollywood, 1.310.854.1111 ask for Mike Regina. Another best way to reach me is by my good ol`cell phone 1.514.947.5221, hope to see you under the plam trees!

Go back to Spy Reports Archives