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April 01, 2003 - May 02, 2003


Cast News: Cate Blanchett, John R-D, Orlando, Sean Bean and Sir Ian McK.
Tehanu @ 5:49 am EST
There's so much cast news, so little time. Here's a bouquet of the latest snippets for those of you who follow the LOTR stars careers.

First, thanks to Bella from Toronto, who transcribed this Cate Blanchett news from the National Post:

"Margaret Atwood's novel "Alias Grace" is to be turned into a movie with Cate Blanchett starring in the role of Grace Marks, one of Canada's most notorious female criminals.

"The movie will be directed by Dominic Savage, a rising talent in England who directed the low-budget drama "Out of Control", which won the award for best new British feature at least year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film will be written by John Brownlow, whose credits include a film on Sylvia Plath for BBC Films.

"Blanchett will play Marks, who was convicted of the murder of her employer and his mistress in 1843. The script will focus on her relationship with a young doctor who helps her find the truth about the murders by using psychology.

"Blanchett, who has recently starred in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "The Shipping News", brought the project to the U.K.'s Working Title Productions after Jodie Foster's film production company, Egg Pictures, failed to get it off the ground. Casting on the film should be finished by the end of the year."

Oh, and here's a pic of her on E!Online's Fashion Police page, where she gets a good review for her dress sense. [More] Thanks to Isabela for the link.

From Wales (I assume,) Claire writes, "Further to Nia's message here about John Rhys-Davies appearing on Welsh TV's 'Popcorn,' some viewers in the UK may be able to pick up terrestrial S4C if they're within reach of transmitters in Wales, but may have to tune in a spare channel on their TVs. Otherwise, those with Sky digital can get S4C on channel 184.

"The non-English-language bits of the programme will be subtitled in English (bring up Teletext page 888 on terrestrial or select 'Subtitles On' on digital). I won't be doing the subtitles for this particular programme, but hopefully they'll be adequate. :-)"

Atrus writes, "According to the Internet Movie Database, Troy (With Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean) has begun filming. Its release date is 21 May, 2004. This movie also has Eric Bana in it.(From this summer's, The Hulk) [More]

And concerning Sir Ian McKellen:

"My local paper's review of X2 has this interesting comment about Ian McKellen's recent movie performances (mainly X-Men 2 and LOTR).

'"While X-Men 2 remains as chaste and child-like as most American mainstream fodder, it does boast those wonderful British actors Stewart, McKellen and series newcomer Cox, who bring a surprising, almost Shakespearean, richness to characters who in the hands of lesser actors would remain fixed on comic book parallels.

"In fact, one of the unimagined benefits of digital special effects is the elevation of McKellen, with his parts in Lord of the Rings and Magneto, to the status of one of the most ubiquitous, compelling action heroes of our age.

"If digital fx can make a 64-year-old gay acting knight, who has spent his career on the English stage, now effortlessly kick the butts of teenage punk, I say: bring it on. In fact, forget Mel Gibson for Mad Max IV - I want Crazy Ian McKellen."'

Thanks to Jacobi for that.


DVD Extended Edition Info!
Xoanon @ 2:32 pm EST
Eogwyn writes:

Recently a friend of mine, Colin Duriez, was interviewed by Brian Sibley for the TTT extended DVD, it was a 30 minute piece devoted to the life and work of Tolkien. Colin is a Tolkien expert and has written several books including The JRR Tolkien Handbook, his earliest, which was used as a reference for the piece.

He says the interview lasted several hours and covered a vast range of topics but as the whole piece is only 30 minutes and includes other interviewees (as well as Brian Sibley) he's not sure how much will be used.

He just missed meeting Christopher Lee who was also being interviewd that day for the extended DVD although maybe not the same bit.

RoTK Re-shoot Set Activity!
Demosthenes @ 8:30 am EST
Ringer Spy Taniwha dropped us a line to let us know that some construction has begun at Stone Street studios. Looks like the re-shoots are on the way ...

He writes:

Looks like things are getting ready to happen at Stone St Studio - the Oliphaunt rigging is back up ...

Remember this photo?

Set Pic: Unknown

There's also some buildings being constructed, as well as a bluescreen wall mounted on shipping container, and a curved container wall for either shade, wind shield, or shelter from prying eyes ... Have a look!

RoTK Reshoot Construction - Wide Shot


Tidbits from 'Return to Middle-earth'
Calisuri @ 2:00 am EST
Ringer BeastyBunny sent us a small video clip from the 'Return to Middle-earth' documentary, which appears to show a scene from Return of the King. Right before a commercial break, we get a quick glimpse of Eowyn pleading with Aragorn as he rushes off camera. Could this be Eowyn begging him not to take the Paths of the Dead? You're guess is as good as ours, but we're certainly intrigued! [More]

Eowyn pleads with Aragorn Eowyn Pleads with Aragorn 2


Viggo in Iceland: Translation
Tehanu @ 12:12 am EST
Viggo went Horseback Riding (headline)

Actor Viggo Mortensen, famous from The Lord Of The Rings Films, visited Iceland in the past week. Like Aragorn he is a great horseman and he went with his son, Henry Mortensen, on horseback twice with the Laxnes Horse-Leasing Company. Both times they went for two hours in the area around Laxnes, according to Haukur Thórarinsson owner of the Leasing Co. who went with them the second time.

Did his own dishes (second headline)

"He is an exprienced rider and had fun. They cought some bad weather and lots of rain the first time but had fun nevertheless. They had soup afterwards and he even did his own dishes," says Haukur about Viggo's down to earth personality.

Father and son like the Icelandic horses. "I understand that he had not tried Icelandic horses before but he was very pleased," says Haukur

As an example of Viggo's love for horses he requested that Aragorn would be more on horseback in the films than first was thought. He always kept his horse close and went riding when he was not shooting to strengthen the relationship between rider and horse.

The Mortensens left the country yesterday, but 15 year old Henry has also appeared in movies like his father. He played Viggo's son on the white screen in the film Crimson Tide from the year 1995.

Haukur is a big fan of The Lord of the Rings, both books and films and was very pleased with the visit. "It was a great honor"


(1) Viggo Mortensen with Kristján Ara, son of Íris and Haukur, in his arms.

(2) Henry Mortensen, horseman and actor Viggo Mortensen, Íris Kristjánsdóttir, Haukur Thórarinsson and their son, Júlíus Hauksson.


Orlando Bloom, Pirates Trailer
Tehanu @ 5:05 pm EST
For Orlando Bloom fans, there are lots of ways to catch a glimpse of him in his new role in 'Pirates of the Caribbean.'

Liam sent the link for the new Pirates of the Caribbean trailer - it's here

April writes, "Heads up for all you Orlando Bloom fans. Buena Vista will air the trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean on Sunday, April 6th on all of their affiliate TV stations. They are calling it a trailer roadblock. That includes, ABC, Family Channel, Disney Channel, etc. It will air sometime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Only in the United States, I think."

Cleolinda writes, "We've updated our Pirates of the Caribbean preview--we've now got 220+ screen caps of the full Pirates/Caribbean trailer that's set to debut Sunday night on ABC/Disney-owned channels." [More]


Figwit Lives On Air
Tehanu @ 9:25 pm EST
Roheryn heard the Figwit interview on netcast, and writes,

"The interview was great! It was good to hear the guys; they were in the studio for over half an hour. The interviewer started off by asking some lame questions ("Jemaine, you've done some directing...what advice would you give to Peter Jackson?" Jemaine: "More jokes.") but he got better, and the guys were really funny. They played two of their songs, "Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring" and "Albi, the Racist Dragon", and the interviewer asked Bret a bunch of questions sent in by other people ("How'd you get in to your costume?" "What were you wearing underneath all those robes?") Found out something I don't remember hearing before - when Bret was 7, he played Frodo in a stage play of The Hobbit. I bet he was adorable!

"The interviewer twice gave the wrong address for the Figwit Lives! site - and both times Bret corrected him! I thought that was hilarious. One cute little moment: Bret saying "My name is Figwit the Elf. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

"And of course the best part - the guys saying they met us in Edinburgh, and Jemaine said "Actually, they're probably listening...Hi Iris! Hi Jen!" That's inDUHvidual and me. *grin*"

Demos here with an addendum:

InDUHvidual over at Figwit Lives recorded the 3RRR interview and converted it into an MP3 format. It's a 6MB download, but you can grab it from here. We are also co-hosting the interview, so alternatively, you can grab it off the TORn server here. The Frodo song is really funny, and after a slowish start, the interview is very interesting with some great moments from both Jemaine and Brett.

TTT enjoyed in India - But has it been CUT again?
Tehanu @ 9:10 pm EST
Conflicting reports: Joyita complains that the version of TTT that was shown in her town was CUT!! NOT THAT AGAIN!!

"It's true that people here in India like TTT more, but there were MANY scenes cut. They didn't even cut it off properly and we were left staring at a blank screen for several seconds. It was so crude that they didn't leave the credits and the music didn't blend properly. Its sad that many ppl in India will never see much of the deadmarshes, Edoras,Arwen and Galadriel. The 3 hour movie was cut to two and a half hours. Even FOTR was cut better(and that wasn't very good). Not that the movie wasn't enjoyable, but NewLine should hang its head in shame anyway. Its because of things like this that pirating is rampant in India." [Note - I think it's the distributors doing the cutting, not New Line - Tehanu]

Varun in Mumbai:
"The Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers was released here in Mumbai,India on Friday the 28th,of march. It released in 11 theatres across the city which for an english film is pretty awesome.The movie is currently running 4 shows a day at all the 11 theatres nearly a week after its release which by standards here is amazing. Even folks who haven't read the books were enthralled by the visual effects and enjoyed the movie.The battle at Helms Deep,the ents,gollum and of course Legolas and Gimli turned out to be great favourites with the audiences.i have seen TTT twice already within 6 days of its release and plan to see it atleast twice more."

From Mumbai also, Tunali writes,
"Well as you know TTT has released in india on the 28th. I have been unlucky enough to not be able to see it yet thanks to my exams and also to the huge crowds it has drawn. The movie is at present going housefull and will continue too i hope for a long time... hopefully more than FOTR; which went on for more than a month here. It seems that the Ring really yields more power and all who see it seem to be enchanted by it! The one ring seems to fade the "razzle dazzle" of chicago.... As always tolkien still remains a "hot topic" for discussion and I cannot tell you how eager I am to see the movie for myself!"

Where ROTK Follows the Book.
Tehanu @ 8:36 pm EST
Jess sends in this quote from the Australian Empire magazine:
'Destined to be even more incident-packed than The Two Towers, The Return of the King will see Frodo and Sam battle the giant CGI spider Shelob and Aragorn travel the Paths of the Dead in an attempt to forge an army capable of vanquishing Sauron's hordes. And as Andy Serkis reveals, the third film will provide audiences with a chance to see how Smeagol became Gollum.

"You see me on-screen transformed into Gollum once he kills his best mate Deagol," enthuses the actor. "You see this whole descent into madness."'


TTT well-received in India.
Tehanu @ 3:35 am EST
Eto writes, "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" was released in India yesterday (March 28th 2003). It opened in 7 theatres in my city, and that's a pretty big release. I went for the evening show and the hall was packed to the brim (more than 500 people). Lots and lots of claps and whistles during Legolas's mounting of the horse, his slide on the shield, Eomer's arrival at Helms Deep, the charge of the Ents, and of course Gollum was the favorite. The last hour of the movie was full of claps, whistles and cries. IMO, a much better response than FoTR. May be because of all the action, the war and ... Gollum."

ROTK Reshoots, and King Kong Casting
Tehanu @ 3:17 am EST
Chris writes: New Zealand TV Guide had an article on the reshoots for ROTK. According to them they have it on good authority that it will be at the start of May and Viggo Mortneson let it slip in a recent interview that Sean Bean was coming back to do flashback scenes for the upcoming third film.

King Kong News:

Jess heard on the radio in NZ that "Peter Jackson is looking for tall, hairy folk. I guess that they are tall means he can't cast himself! LOL!!!"

Lil' ROTK possible spoiler.
Tehanu @ 2:44 am EST
Todd noticed this: 'At the end of the Xbox and Gamecube EA TTT Game, there is a scene from the ROTK. It is Gandalf talking to Aragorn at night, much like a shot in TTT. He quotes almost dircetly from the book, ' Sauron is afraid of you Aragorn' and so on. I was happy when I saw it because those were a few lines that I was hoping they would include in the next movie. It also states how (again almost straight from the book) 'the thought of us destroying the Ring has not yet entered into his darkest nightmares.'

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