RoTK Spoilers From CFQ Magazine |
Demosthenes @ 10:31 pm EST
Ringer Spy Celebrial got her hands on a copy of the Dec 2003/Jan 2004 issue of CFQ, (formerly Cinefantastique). This edition features a 16-page special on Return of the King. Ian McKellan as Gandalf is on the cover.
In addition to the cover story on ROTK, there are sidebars on:
Coverage will continue with the next edition, Vol 36, #1.
OK, now for SPOILERS from the articles.
"(Production Designer Grant) Major cites King Denethor's throne room - "the court of the kings" - as the grandest interior set, both in Minas Tirith and the entire trilogy. "We were looking for the biggest space we could possibly find in Wellington for that set, " Major says, "...we ended up using a big wharfshed on the Wellington dockyards. It was filled almost entirely with that one set..."
Areas on and around an active volcano, Mount Ruapehu, on New Zealand's north island, served as other parts of Mordor, including the battlefield scene in the prologue to FOTR , the slopes of Mt. Doom, and the Black Gates.
Peter Jackson: "Each film becomes darker as Sauron's power grows, and they emotionally go places, which is very interesting. By the third film, the Ring of Power is such a burden for Frodo, and he is starting to behave in such a strange way that I think the empathy of the audience will switch over to Sam....To a certain degree, Frodo is becoming like Gollum, so it's a torturous journey he has to complete."
Philippa Boyens says some of the best acting in the trilogy occurs during the Pelennor Fields battle. "And that's just what the whole battle feels like,- it's the end of all things, it's so huge and phenomenal. So you have these great, epic movie moments, like Eowyn's confrontation and slaying of the Witch King - who is riding a flying Fell-beast - as well as some emotional moments like the death of King Theoden."
Philippa: "We've got one of the great endings of all time and we've worked hard to make sense of how to achieve it, what it would be and what it means. So during the pick-up shooting, we added a couple of scenes which help those moments and drive the ending along. It helps people understand exactly what is happening at that point in the story. I think if we deliver on that, then it's going to be an extraordinarily gut-wrenching experience for the audience. What happens is: ir's not just Sam, Merry, and Pippin who are saying goodbye to Frodo but it's the audience as well."
Randall Cook on Shelob: "Tolkien hedged his bets a little and basically said she's a spider-like thing, so in designing Shelob, the New Zealand tunnel spider was a heavy influence, but I think you'll find that the animators and designers at WETA have taken it a few steps beyond that to make her an individual creature ... Shelob should be equal parts Tolkien, 1950s B movie, Discovery Channel, and nightmare, with heavy emphasis on nightmare."
"For Jackson, the Grey Havens represents a culmination of the entire story - what it means to give and to lose and all the emotions tied to the opening line of the story: The world is changing.
"The emotional story is where most of the power of ROTK really lies" Jackson says. "Every character that we know in the story, in some form or another, comes out of it different. It is an immensely affecting experience for them, and I hope for the audience as well."
Ending-Biggest SPOILER: " For the ending of ROTK...the production has created the kind of overwhelming emotional experience that undoubtedly will leave many viewers in tears."
"I saw a rough cut of the sequence," Lesnie says, "with all the bluescreens in the shots, and it was still a staggeringly moving sequence... you're cutting back and forth between the four hobbits and Galadriel, and everyone is standing on the jetty next to the Elven boat that's going to sail away. Bilbo's gone and Gandalf says goodbye, and they summon Frodo, and then the other three hobbits suddenly realize Frodo is going as well..."
Major explains, "(Elves) Their time on earth is coming to a close, and this Elvish migration through the Grey Havens gives the port a great resonance. It has an Elvish architectural style, but there is also a bit of a Mediterranean feeling about it ... the tall cypresses, the stonework, the views facing west and a certain emptiness. The Grey Havens don't open directly to the sea, but are sheltered in ther gulf of Lhun, so there are hills surrounding the wharf - it's not a big place, but being Elvish, it is really beautiful."
Intriguing News From London|
Demosthenes @ 3:54 pm EST
Ringer Dan noticed something odd at the Tolkien exhbition in London recently and decided to drop us a line. Perhaps it has some bearing on the Saruman situation - or perhaps not, but it's a very intriguing coicidence.
Just thought I d drop you a note to say that when I was at the exhibition [in London], the Orthanc prop had been removed, with a small note saying it had been returned to the set for further filming if nothing else this goes to show that you are looking at the real deal when you go to the exhibition, although I was a little disappointed as it was one of the things I was looking forward to seeing!
I wrote back, asking what date this was - he replied telling me it was November 3.
Of course, the bigature could have been gone a while. But this does add another layer of confusion to the Saruman mess. Was it needed for alternate scenes for Isengard? Or is it just coincidence?
As with all spy reports, treat this news cautiously.
After posting this I received a couple of e-mails from readers. Ringer Philip in particular writes that he went on the first Sunday (back in September) and Orthanc was missing then with exactly the same notice ...
KFC Promo RoTK Mini Spoilers|
Demosthenes @ 6:51 am EST
Ringer Simon wrote in last night about a couple of competitions to win tickets to the World Premiere of RotK for Australians. Now he has a few tiny dialogue spoilers from the KFC ad:
I finally paid attention to that KFC/RotK promo ad, and wrote down the Frodo/Sam dialogue. Here it is:
Frodo: (to Sam) "Not without a guard... I need you on my side!"
Plus I think Gollum might be in the scene as well, but he doesn't say anything at that point.
The Sons Of The Steward|
Demosthenes @ 5:21 pm EST
This is a transcription of a section of dialogue from the Two Towers Extended Edition, courtesy of Ringer Spy Faid. It contains a pivotal conversation between Faramir, Boromir and Denethor at Osgiliath.
Sons of the Steward
Boromir: This city was once the jewel of our kingdom. A place of light, and beauty, and music. And so it shall be once more!
Boromir: Let the armies of Mordor know this: Never again will the land of my people fall into enemy hands!
Boromir: This city, of Osgiliath, has been reclaimed for Gondor!
*Cue Trailer Music/EE Preview Score*
Boromir: For Gondor! For Gondor!
Faramir: Good speech. Nice and short.
Boromir: Leaves more time for drinking!
Boromir: Break out the ale! These men are thirsty!
Boromir: Remember today little brother. Today, life is good!
Faramir looks away from Boromir.
Faramir: He is here.
Shows Denethor surrounded by troops.
Denethor: Well done men.
Boromir: In our moment of peace, can he not give us that?
Denethor: Where is he? Where is Gondor's finest? Where is my first born?
Boromir and Denethor embrace.
Denethor: They say you vanquished the enemy almost single handed.
Boromir: They exagerrate! The victory belongs to Faramir also!
Denethor: But for Faramir this city would still be standing. Were you not entrusted to protect it?
Faramir: I would have done but our numbers were too few.
Denethor: All too few. You let the enemy walk in and take it on a whim. Only you cast a poor reflection on me.
Faramir: That is not my intent.
Boromir whispers to Denethor
Boromir: You give him no credit and yet he tries to do your will.
Denethor and Boromir move to the next room
Boromir: He loves you father.
Denethor: Do not trouble me with Faramir, I know his uses and they are few. We have more urgent things to speak of. Elrond of Rivendell has called a meeting. He will not say why, but I have guessed its purpose. It is rumored that the weapon of the enemy has been found.
Boromir: The one ring. Isildur's Bane.
Denethor: And it has fallen into the hand of the elves. Everyone will try to claim it. Men, Dwarves, Wizards. We cannot let that happen. This thing MUST come to Gondor.
Denethor: It is dangerous, I know. Ever the ring will seek to corrupt the hearts of lesser men. But YOU! You are strong! And our need is great. It is OUR blood which has been spilt. OUR people who are dying. Sauron is biding his time. He is massing fresh armies. He will return. And when he does, we will be powerless to stop him. YOU MUST GO. Bring me back this mighty gift.
Boromir: Noo. My place is here with my people. Not in Rivendell!
Denethor: Would you deny your own father?
Faramir: There is need to go to Rivendell? Send me in his stead.
Denethor: You? Ha, oh I see. A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show his quality. I think not. I trust this mission only to your brother. The one who will not fail me.
Boromir gazes up at the White Flag of Gondor.
Boromir: Remember today, little brother.
Boromir rides off on horseback.
Massive RoTK GBA Spoilers!|
Demosthenes @ 5:08 pm EST
HavenSpy Strider compiled this amazing overview of spoilers from EA's Return of the King game. And although a game is not a movie - and there could be some variation in the film - these make very interesting reading indeed! This first lot is just for Aragorn and Frodo, expect more soon!
1. Saruman's Death
Saruman does his talk with Theoden/Company. Then Theoden says something to Wormtongue and Saruman says to Worm that he killed Theodred by putting poison in his food.
Saruman:"And you always do exactly as I say, don't you Worm?"
Then we see Saruman fall of of Orthanc and die.
2. The Visit of Elrond In Dunharrow, before they go to the Paths of the Dead, Elrond talks to Aragorn.
Elrond: "Your Path does not lie with the others, Aragorn. The man who wields the power of Isildur's sword can summon an army more deadly than anything that walks the earth...every path you have trod, through wilderness, through war, has led you to this road."
3. Encounter with the King of the Dead After fighting many shades (floating, blue, and transparent warriors, and some skeletons), Aragorn has this conversation with the King of the Dead...
King: "Who enters my domain???"
Afterwards, the company takes a shortcut through the White Mountains to the Corsairs of Umbar. They capture their ships and with the help of the Dead, defeat the orcs at the Minas Tirith docks.
At the gates of Mordor, Gimli fights the Mouth of Sauron (prob. just a game adaption :) And that is it for Gimli.
Gollum: "Nassty Hobbittsess. Wicked, tricksey, false. She is hungry, perhaps they could appease her appetite."
Later on the stairs of Cirith Ungol ...
Gollum: "Clever Hobbitses to climb so high. Very clever Hobbitses. Only a few more stairs to go before we reach the top"
Sam: "Mr. Frodo?"
Later Frodo enters Shelob's lair.
Frodo: "Smeagol? What was that? Smeagol? Sees Sheolob
Sam comes to the rescue and beats Shelob. Two orcs take Frodo and Sam promises to rescue him. I did notice the watchers, but nothing special happened. Sam goes to the tower and finds the two orcs fighting (forgot their names), kills them and resues Frodo. Asks again if he can help with the ring, and is refused.
At Mount Doom...
Sam: "Frodo! Destroy it, now, do it! Throw it in the fire!"
Gollum fights Sam, Frodo puts on the ring, fights with Gollum, Gollum takes the ring and falls into the Crack of Doom.
Frodo: "Sam! It's gone...it is done."
Then two eagles fly to them, and that is the end.
More to come from Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Eowyn!
Storeroom Scene for Tower's EE?|
Demosthenes @ 5:55 am EST
Ringer Mattforce spotted the following post over on the IGN boards following the posting of these screencaps.
The post (corrected for appalling grammer) reads:
And they get to this little like store room where Isengard had all its food. like chicken and fruits and all. And then Pippin sees a barrel that says "South Farthing" and they open up the barrel and its full of weed from the Shire!
And at one point Pippin's like "Do you think we should give Treebeard some of this?" And Merry's like "No, it's dead plant, he wouldn't understand, it could be one of his relatives". And they both start smoking it. And start laughing their asses off. And smoke comes out of the room, they fog machined it! And Treebeard's looking at the smoke coming out of the doorway and listening to Merry and Pippin laugh their asses off!!!
This tends to mesh with War of the Ring's description: "After the trashing of Isengard, Merry and Pippin mock Saruman. Floating apples, and other food lead them to discover the storeroom where they promptly find two barrels of Long Bottom Leaf. (One barrel for each of them of course!)"
Not long to wait to find out, now.
More Info on Arwen at Helms Deep|
Xoanon @ 7:02 pm EST
Ceejay writes: I've just started watching the first of the extras disc on TTT exdended edition DVD after watching the film twice and have come something that caused quite a stir on the internet between the makers of the film and the fans. I remeber quite a while back about the huge uproar fans made whenit was suggested that PJ would have Arwen turn up at Helms Deep and deliver the sword of Kings to Aragorn while indulging in some sword play herself. One of the books on the films production even had sketches of her armour but to my knowledge none of the footage was ever sen if they had shot any.
Well in the second featurette on disc three of the DVD titled"From Book to Script: Finding the story" Not only do they cover the other touchy subject of Farimir's character adaptation (fully justified) but they also explain why they decided to originally have Arwen at Helms Deep and why they scrapped the idea late into filming. They also show footage of Arwen and Aragorn fighting at Helms Deep side by side, she is not in armour though, only a burgundy dress but you see her dispatch an Orc sending him over a wall. We also see Liv Tyler training with her sword choreographing her fight scenes on the set. On a side note, the same featurette also shows a few scenes from ROTK a few of which were never seen before. Amongst them are Farimir and his Rangers returning to Osgiliath, Gollum leading Sam and Frodo up some part of Mordor and also the complete shot of Gandalf racing up the side wall ontop Shadowfax to see the enemy surrounding Minas Tirith. There are also some footage of the Elves at Helms Deep not used in the final film as they await the coming forces of Saruman.
I'm loving this gem of a DVD!
GAMING: New EA RoTK Game Ad|
Demosthenes @ 3:26 am EST
Ringer Mattforce writes in with a few tidbits about a new RoTK game trailer (from EA) he saw on the Fox network during MadTV. Here be spoilers, you have been warned.
I just saw this ROTK game commercial - it was all about Gollum. It showed clips from the theatrical trailer, with a voiceover from Gollum. I can't quite remember, but he was talking about eating the hobbitses and pulling their fingers from their bodies and licking them and eating them one by one.
Secret Shire Party Scene?|
Xoanon @ 10:11 pm EST
Miami Mofo writes: While at B&N to buy Jude Fisher's 'LotR:RotK Visual Companion', I was leafing through an imported October, 2003 issue of 'Empire Magazine' where I read the following in a report written as filming drew to a close in July, 2003:
'Hobbit extra Peter Eastwood (no relation to Clint), a naturally diminutive tax inspector from Auckland blessed with startingly large eyes, stubs out a cigarette and grins from ear to pointy ear. "I was going to be Sean Astin's stand-in," he announces to anyone in the vicinity whom he suspects to be a member of the press, "but I've been a Hobbit, another Hobbit and a Dwarf in the Council of Elrond, and now I'm that first Hobbit again. 'During lunch, waiting to be rustled back to finish a secret "Shire party scene" for the end of the movie, the Hobbits tend to stick together. ...'
A "Secret Shire Party scene"? This tidbit of info, coupled with AICN's news that we will not see Saruman's demise in LotR:RotK makes me wonder if P.J. made a last minute decision to change Saruman's end as originally filmed for one that takes place in the Shire, to be used in the Extended Edition DVD.
Some MAJOR RoTK News|
Demosthenes @ 4:25 pm EST
Harry Knowles from AICN got word about some major developments in the editing of RoTK from Peter Jackson himself. AICN's server seems to be having trouble coping with the load right now, so I've taken the liberty of cutting down Harry's verboseness and reproducing Jackson's statement below:
"Hey folks, Harry here... Sometimes working on an epic ain't easy. Specially when you have so much passion involved, not only by the filmmakers, but the fans themselves.
About two weeks ago I heard that the Saruman/Grima work had been edited out of RETURN OF THE KING. My immediate reaction was... "OUCH!" I mean, Christopher Lee has owned in each of the 2 Lord of the Rings movies we've seen thus far, but also... His presence has been iconic and classy in a way that defies description.
I figured that this news would best be left to Peter to address in interviews once the film began screening, as I was sure it was a decision he did not relish making.
Here's what Peter wrote me....
[The] Saruman thing you describe is a muddle of half-truths.
We have decided to save the Saruman sequence for the DVD. It's a great little scene. 7 mins long. Chris is wonderful, as usual. Brad is in about 6 shots. It was a film maker decision - nothing to do with the studio.
The problem is that the sequence was originally shot for The Two Towers, as it is in the book. Since The Two Towers couldn't sustain a 7 min "wrap" after Helm's Deep, we thought it would be a good idea to save it for the beginning of the Return of the King. The trouble is, when we viewed various ROTK cuts over the last few weeks, it feels like the first scenes are wrapping last year's movie, instead of starting the new one. We felt it got ROTK off to an uncertain beginning, since Saruman plays no role in the events of ROTK (we don't have the Scouring later, as the book does), yet we dwell in Isengard for quite a long time before our new story kicks off.
We reluctantly made the decision to save this sequence for the DVD. The choice was made on the basis that most people will assume that Saruman was vanquished by the Helm's Deep events, and Ent attack. We can now crack straight into setting up the narrative tension of ROTK, which features Sauron as the villian.
It was a very similar situation to last year when we decided to take a nice Boromir/Denethor flashback out of The Two Towers, and put it in the DVD. It was causing us pacing problems in the theatrical version, but with the Extended Cut just coming out now, fans can see this great little scene. Thank God for DVD, since it does mean that a version of the movie, which has different pacing requirements, can be released later. The Saruman sequence will definately be a highlight of the Extended ROTK DVD.
We have a lot of great DVD material this time around. As we crafted the movie, we reduced it from an over 4 hour running time, down to 3.12 (without credits - about 8 mins long). This was done by us. There were no studio cutting notes. We now have a movie with a pace that fells ok for it's theatrical release. One more week to go. We are nearly there. Will we still be standing? It's going to be a close run thing.
A week to go? The news about New Line making the cuts themselves had instantly struck me wrong, because I knew that New Line wasn't supposed to take possession of the film till November 1st.
However, I had found out that 11 days before that time, Peter had added, I believe it was 12 visual effects shots for the Minas Tirith battles, and I had heard it was going to put them past their deadline a bit... Well, now it'll be 2 weeks past that date, which means that Next Friday... New Line will finally take over possession of the print, then about a 2 months of work will be squeezed into a month - as prints are created for world consumption.
Wonder how wet these things will be by the time they hit theaters?
Demosthenes here. This is very interesting, for sure. Sounds like we all get to play a giant game of "let's pretend" with that particular scene until the DVD is released sometime next year. Personally, I'm not particularly fussed - I enjoyed EE release of Fellowship far more, and I expect I will feel the same for Towers.
Most of the outcomes of the confrontation at Isengard are plot trivialities with no great plot implications - except the Palantir. We've seen images of Aragorn holding it, and the implication is that Pippin does use it at Meduseld. I'll be keen to see how effectively Walsh, Boyens and Jackson rework that.
LOTR Marathon at the Embassy, and countdown clock|
Tehanu @ 6:28 am EST
Taniwha sent in the link to the countdown clock and webcam overlooking the home of ROTK's world premiere, The Embassy Theatre. [More]
He also sent word of a really good trilogy marathon to be held at the Embassy. Here's the word from them:
As we countdown to the World Premiere of the final instalment of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the Embassy Theatre in Wellington is preparing for yet another unique event in conjunction with Tolkien's trilogy - a one-off screening of all 3 films back-to-back on Wednesday 17 December. The screenings start on Wednesday afternoon with Fellowship of the Ring, leading into The Two Towers and finally at midnight with the first public, and sure to be extremely excitingly charged, screening of The Return of the King.
After the Monday 1 December Wellington World Premiere of The Return Of The King, the Embassy will begin screening exclusively the extended version of the Fellowship of the Ring from Thursday 4th December. A week later the Two Towers extended version will begin its exclusive season on Thursday 11th December. Then both of these films screen back to back on Wednesday 17th leading into the midnight screening of the much anticipated The Return Of The King.
This marathon event of screening the 3 The Lord of the Rings films together has proven popular in the USA, selling out in many cities there and Wellington is certain to follow this pattern.
"Bookings are coming in from all over New Zealand, Australia, USA and Europe" said Ms O'Donnell "with a huge interest from Asia as well. Many are wanting to be in Wellington for the World Premiere of The Return Of The King, then are holidaying through the country and coming back to Wellington for when the film opens on the 18th. But I think many are now having to adjust their plans to be here for this unique marathon screening of all 3 films. These are the real Tolkien aficionados and for them, Wellington is LOTRwhere its at, as the Embassy is recognised as the spiritual home of the film." she said.
Tickets for the marathon will go on sale in the next few weeks but if you need further information or wish to register and be first in line, then please contact us at; firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Drout, Tolkien Scholar|
Tehanu @ 5:50 am EST
Annalisa sends us news from Michael Drout's corner of the academic world, including the Tolkien Encyclopaedia, and 'on becoming a Tolkien Scholar.'
"I wrote in previously when Dr. Michael Drout of Wheaton College ("Beowulf and the Critics") mentioned he was in talks to edit a new Tolkien Encyclopedia. It is now official and on his website he says that "The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia" will be out in 2006, published by Routledge.
UPDATE Trilogy Tuesday: Vancouver|
maegwen @ 1:33 pm EST
I called Capitol 6 in a panic thinking my tickets were invalid. They didn't help me much, so I called customer service at movietickets.com and spoke to Charles. He said my tickets should still be valid, and reccomended I call Capitol 6 again and ask to speak to a manager. I did just that, and spoke to a man named Tui (can't spell, but that's what it sounded like). He told me that there were a set block of online tickets, that I had bought out of those, and once those were sold, that was it for online tickets, and that my tickets are valid. I believe he said to pick up the tickets the day of the show, althoguh I can't remember.
I thought this info might be of use to any distressed fans. I cannot vouch that everyone who bought tickets online will get them, as the 8.50$ tickets that were being sold were most likely invalid.
p.s. The Capitol 6 office number (if calling from the Vancouver area) is 604-669-6600