Go back to Spy Reports Archives

March 18, 2001 - April 02, 2001


Yet MORE LOTR Books for you to Drool Over!
Xoanon @ 5:55 pm EST
Ringer Spy 200 decided to throw his/her hat into the ring and send along 4 more LOTR Books being issued by Harper Collins in North America! Check them out!

The Large images are a wee bit grainy, but hey, haven't we given you enough for one day?

Wow! Scrow scores bigtime!
Xoanon @ 11:31 am EST
Super Ringer Spy Scrow sent us these great pics from an insider in the production. Take a look at these great pics of Arwen, Boromir, Legolas and Saruman!

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]

\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]\[ Click for Larger Version \]


Various UK Mags cover LOTR
Xoanon @ 10:14 am EST
Dreamwatch: The article has all the hobbit pics we know and love, but the text is just a Tolkien backstory and speculation.

Empire: LOTR is back up as Empire's No.1 Awaited film--a picture of Gandalf at the Council Of Elrond with the caption--

"After forty years in the queue for the barber, McKellen finally lost his rag."!!!!!!

And a quote from Billy Boyd--

"There's a scene where there are two characters, me being one, tied up by some baddies, "adds Billy Boyd (Pippin). "Someone gets their head cut off and initially you don't see it. But Peter's like, 'Wait, hold on,' and by the time he'd shot it, the head falls off, bounces off me, and falls in front, blood spurting from it, and I was like, 'Yeah! I can see the Braindead thing here!'".

There's also an interview with Liv Tyler (Arwen) concerning "One Night At McCool's" which involves a some talk of LOTR fight scenes and the text--

"There were also more cerebral trials to be overcome, not least learning the English accent with which Jackson has decided elf royalty speaks.

"It was a challenge for me as an American speaking in a British accent anyway, but as an elf you have to be so erect and centered. We had to move effortlessly and gracefully.""

Total Film: Lastly, Total Film magazine has a section for "up-and-coming" stars, and calls Peter Jackson "The New George Lucas"--as if he won't surpass the man...


NZ Relase Date News, Again
Xoanon @ 7:07 pm EST
From: Kimi

There is a chance we won't have to wait a week longer than the US, depending on just when and where the premier is (probably Wellington).

"Filming for the 360-million dollar budget trilogy finished in December, and the films are tipped to be bigger than "Star Wars".

Roadshow Film Distributors Special Projects Manager Susan Leigh says there will probably be a New Zealand premier of the first film, "The Fellowship of the Rings", in early December.

However, she is unsure whether this will be the official premier, or whether others will be held overseas before the New Zealand screening.

Ms Leigh says part two of the trilogy "The Two Towers" will be released around Christmas 2002, and the final film, "The Return of the King", will be released a year later."

Edoras Images
Calisuri @ 9:04 am EST
J NZ sends us some screencaptures from a video they took of Edoras last year. One of the images seems to show a helicopter with a camera mounted on the front. Check them out!

\[ Click for larger version \]\[ Click for larger version \]

\[ Click for larger version \]\[ Click for larger version \]

Noro lim, noro lim, Arwen!?!
Calisuri @ 8:18 am EST
Well, well, well! Remember all the talk about poor ol' Glorfindel being ousted from FotR because more room was needed for Arwen? A source close to the production says this is not entirely true! It seems Glorfindel will indeed be at the Ford of Bruinen, in a role slightly modified from the text. We have heard that Glorfindel gives Arwen his horse, Asfaloth, and bids her to hurry on across with Frodo. He then remains with Aragorn to harry the Ringwraiths into the waters. But wait! There's more! Rumor has it that Glorfindel is actually at the Council of Elrond, as we read in the book.

So! Glorfindel's in? Where does Arwen come from? Is there any chance Bombadil will make a cameo, after all? Mr. Jackson, if you could, please drop us an email and help set these rumors straight! ; )


Same Minas, Different Angle
Xoanon @ 1:08 am EST
Ringer Spy Jason sends along these great pics from the days of old when the Haywards Hill Quarry was Minas Tirith. Check them out.

I took these shots early winter of last year...had to hike miles to get up around behind the set on the mountain behind the quarry.

I drove all over both the islands inquiring and collecting more info about the project. AWESOME STUFF!


Cate Blanchett in Aussie Mag
Xoanon @ 12:24 pm EST
A small excerpt from a Brisbane newspaper:

Another unique experience was working on the elaborate and much anticipated Lord of the Rings. Both of these films (LotR and the Gift) were uncharted territory, such as in the case of Rings dealing with blue-screen special effects and prosthetics.

"It was like stepping into a video game for me." She talks enthusiastically about Galadriel.

"I basically did it so I could have the ears. They were so sweet, because they actually made little bronze castings of my ears. I loved all that stuff."

Yet again, Blanchett adopts a royal posture, but this time she's not speaking the Queen's English; she's speaking the Queen's Elvish.

"Tolkien actually wrote a language called Elvish, and there are, to my astonishment, Elvish experts, people who speak fluent Elvish."

She says the language is "really beautiful, similar to Welsh and a melange of other Celtic languages."

Thanks to Kerryn for the tip!


Tyler: 'an amazing thing'
Xoanon @ 6:05 pm EST
From: Flaunt Magaine

Tyler, admittedly, is maybe a bit giddy lately over her relationship, partly because The Lord of the Rings has kept her away from home so much.

"I think I felt more homesick than anybody else, just by nature of how my character is," she sighs. "The rest of the actors are all kind of together on this journey and my character is not."

Tyler plays Arwen, the paramour of Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen) in the epic story. The rest of the cast includes Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, and Ian McKellen. "I had no idea what I was taking on," Tyler continues. "I thought, Oh I can handle it, it's only a year out of my life. Then again, the thought of being employed for a year was really nice."

Tyler can't divulge much about the film for fear of being attacked by an army of hobbits (direcor Peter Jackson, anyway). She does say that her story line diverts from the letter of the book and instead is drawn from the trilogy's appendix. Tyler is in awe over how Jackson poured excruciatingly over every detail of the mythology surrounding the books, to the point they made the actorts learn a new language spoken by its characters-Elvish.

"It's an amazing thing, really," she gushes, "It's a legitimate language. There are only a certain amount of people in the world who can speak it, like Oxford professors and what not. It's such a beautiful language too, it's really brilliant." Asked to speak a few lines, Tyler obliges and though the words pouring out sound like gibberish, she speaks them delicately, fluidly, and it sounds like a gentler version of French done with a crisp New Zealand accent. Tyler translates, "I said, 'Now my Lord, winter has not yet come. Would you before your time leave your people?' And the last one I said was, 'I'll take him. I'm the fastest rider.'"

Thanks to Baffled for the tip!

SFX Goes LOTR Mad!!
Xoanon @ 9:23 am EST
Ringer Spy David C did an AMAZING job by sending me this amazing scans from our good pals at SFX Magazine, thanks alot!!

3foot6 Insider talks LOTR
Xoanon @ 8:26 am EST
From: Androg

Just got the latest Kathmandu newsletter, and they have another bit about Lord of the Rings:

Melissa works at the Wellington beased production company 3foot6 and had the inside view of the production of Lord of the Rings -- here is her account of the events:

"Finally, Tolkien's best seller Lord of the Rings will be realised on film and at the helm New Zealand's Peter Jackson. Principal photography began on October 11 1999 and wrapped up on December 22 2000, with another 2 years of work to come in Post Production. All three movies were shot concurrently, a movie making first requiring world class organisation and the commitment of thousands of talented crew.

Using over 100 locations around New Zealand, the crew experienced extremes in weather conditions. Standing around for hours in snow, hail, rain, storms, walking through rivers, fords, streams, trekking through snow, mud and shingle as well as being beaten by relentless sunshine. On some days looking around you might have thought that the crew was working for Kathmandu. Be it gloves, hats, jackets, weatherproof pants, thermals, boots, Kathmandu had a presence within the production from beginning to end.

We were embraced by numerous communities who opened their doors, shops, cafes and bars to sometimes hundreds of cast and crew. People were always friendly, helpful and supportive providing comfortable service and surroundings for tired and hungry crew.

One of my favourite locations was the Ruapehu region in April. Suffering from several shortened ski seasons, this community were more than ready for the huge influx of people. Having never spent any tim ein this area out of ski season I was struck by the beauty of the volcanic plateau. It was a treat to spend weekends hiking on many of the beautiful tracks in the area.

We had some of our largest days in this area. I remember the caterers feeding 1000 people for lunch in the area usually designated for beginner skiers, Happy Valley.

It was with great sadness that thousands of cast and crew said goodbye on the 22nd of December at a wrap party for two and a half thousand people.

The next day the star-studded cast packed up and left the place they had called home for nearly one and a half years. Hundreds of crew dispersed around New Zealand (and abroad) for much needed rest and relaxation.

Most importantly for the thousands of people dying to see the completed movie, "The Lord of the Rings" The Fellowship of the Ring will be in theatres on the 26th of December, 2001. For those who can't wait, visit the official movie website www.lordoftherings.net."


Rygiel Replaces Stetson?
Xoanon @ 10:19 pm EST
Since the surprising news of Mark Stetson being "let go" everybody was wondering who will be brought in his place. Well, now we have the answer:

The new visual effects supervisor for Lord of the Rings is Jim Rygiel.

His film credits go back into the 80s, and he can surely be considered among the pioneers of computer graphics for films. He worked first as a technical director/digital effects supervisor on a film called "The Last Starfighter" in 1984, the very first movie to feature extensive computer generated space ships, over 230 shots and 20 minutes of on-screen computer generated effects. The company where Mr. Rygiel started went on to produce visual effects shots from "2010", film on which Mark Stetson also worked.

In the following years, Jim Rygiel worked as digital effects supervisor on movies such as "Ghost", "Alien 3" and "Batman Returns". This last movie was made while he was employed at Boss Film Studios, where he also worked later on as visual effects supervisor on "Outbreak" and "Starship Troopers".

Other notable movies were "Species" in 1995 as visual effects co-supervisor and "Star Trek: Insurrection" as visual effects supervisor (for Blue Sky/VIFX). His last project before "Lord of The Rings" was "102 Dalmatians" for Walt Disney Pictures at Secret Lab, where he and his team had to tackle the problem of creating a believable fully synthetic puppy from the bones up (literally).

More info coming soon.

Thanks to TORN Staffer Amyd from our SFX Section for hleping us out with this story!

Go back to Spy Reports Archives