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May 31, 2001 - June 08, 2001


LOTR in Japan - imagine how it's going to hit them!
Tehanu @ 3:54 am EST
We got this from "A frustrated (American) Tolkien Fan in Japan," who's really looked into the LACK of a 'LOTR craze' in Japan. Seeing how things stand at present, it's possible that this country will go absolutely wild when they see LOTR after having had [apparently] no access to a good translation in print, which is what I'm learning. I'm very curious to see what that could lead to. Here is what our correspondent wrote:

"Regarding the "relative lack of popularity and awareness of LOTR" in Japan, after recovering from my shock of having to wait 3 extra months, I queried several of my co-workers here in Tokyo.

Most are male, Japanese, techie/engineering types, mid 20's to late 30's. Most have heard of the name (the old name is "Yubiwa-Monogatari", The Tale of the Ring; the movie site is pushing a phoenetic version of "Lord of the Ring", which sounds much cooler), but none of them have read it and none of them knew anything about a movie being made. Role-playing games are huge over here, and translations of Harry Potter crap are all over the place. I have no idea what's up with Tolkien's works.

A quick check of Amazon.co.jp lists several printings of LoTR (1972, 1977, 1992), various Hobbits, a Silmarillion (1981), and a couple other works by Tolkien. Just about all of them were translated by one or both of the same two people.

For whatever reason, there is bad market penetration in Japan for LoTR".


Aragorn and the Evenstar?
Xoanon @ 5:42 pm EST
Ringer Spy Miriel sends along a fascinating observation regarding Arwen and Aragorn. Check it out!

1 shows Arwen wearing the Evenstar at Rivendell. 2 is a closeup of the evenstar. 3 shows Aragorn and Arwen about to kiss from the newest trailer, its from the same scene (same dress anyway) but she is no longer wearing the evenstar. 4 shows a post-rivendell pic of aragorn, notice chain around neck. 5 is a close-up of thing around neck - looks a lot like the same evenstar, especially detail at the bottom that looks like criss-crossing legs. You can also partly see it in the 2nd teaser trailer when the entire fellowship walk across the screen.

So I think Arwen probably gives the Evenstar to Aragorn as a parting gift at Rivendell. What d'ya think??

Click here to see the proof!


Swords and Daggers Galore!
Xoanon @ 12:35 am EST
Ringer Spy Riskbreaker sends in more news on a story we reported back to you on January 25th

I have spoken with someone on the "inside" of the movie memorabilia production industry. He has told me that United Cutlery (http://www.unitedcutlery.com/) is releasing their licensed versions of STING, GLAMDRING and THE SWORD OF THE WITCH-KING all before the film.

Sting will come in October, followed by Glamdring and the Witch-King sword both in November. There will be more swords in the future, but these are confirmed for those dates. The prototypes already exist. In fact, United Cutlery has sent out pictures of each of these swords on their plaques lying next to the actual prop. My contact (a sword afficionado) has said that they are "beautiful" (no, my contact is not at United Cutlery) but that he cannot divulge the pictures until July 1st, as is apparently United Cutlery's deal with New Line.

But, I know you guys are talented spies, and I hope that this information will cause you to send your men out into the trenches and dig up these pictures. I, for one, am drooling in anticipation. So is my movie prop collection. :-)


Exclusive: Changes with Narsíl
Calisuri @ 8:57 pm EST
Aragorn's sword is indeed one of the more notable weapons in the Lord of the Rings, and the Sword that Was Broken will not be wielded by the future king at Weathertop in the Fellowship of the Ring movie.

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For the last few weeks, we have received many emails from sharp-eyed fans worried about the image of Aragorn wielding a sword at Weathertop. As we  all know, in the books Aragorn carries a broken Narsíl, which isn't reforged into Andúril until after he and the hobbits arrive in Rivendell.

Well, Ringer spy Ignacius sent us something to clear up this discrepency. The sword Aragorn uses at Weathertop is not Narsíl: In a change from the books, Aragorn doesn't receive Narsíl until he reaches Rivendell (Assumed Rivendell, but thats not confirmed).

What is the switch in the storyline? In the movie, Aragorn will carry a different sword _ rather than the broken one _ while journeying with the hobbits to Rivendell. That's a change from the books, when Aragorn meets the hobbits at The Prancing Pony and shows them the shards of Narsíl.

Why the change? According to Ignacius, it was felt the image of a main character such as Aragorn wielding a broken sword at Weathertop wouldn't seem right in the film.

So there you have it!

Thanks to Ringer Staff Member Melian for writing this story!

Galadriel on her Swan Boat!
Xoanon @ 3:40 pm EST
Ringer Spy Gregory sends along a great pic of Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) on her swan boat! Check out the great pic! (via cine6.fr)


Danish Show 'Bogart' Covers LOTR
Xoanon @ 8:27 pm EST
I just wanted to let you guys know that the new LOTR trailer was shown tonight on national Danish television in the weekly show “Bogart” about upcomming films.

The film was introduced as “the great beast of movie revelation” They also showed bits of the first theatrical trailer and some footage from Cannes. In this footage there was an interview with Viggo Mortensen in danish where he admitted to never actually having read the books before getting to New Zealand. He also said that he enjoyed playing Aragorn, because of the development in the character: “Aragorn is not that great and strong a man in the beginning”, I believe was his exact words. He also stated that he found it interesting and rather amusing to find many parts of the books strongly “borrowed” from nordic mythology to put it nicely.

They had another person from the crew (I am not sure who because I’m not really in to that, sorry) but he said that they had been greatly inspired by nordic mythology in coming up with the visual look for the films, and when they got Viggo on board they particularly took a great interest in danish mythology, being danish that of course was really was cool to hear.

At the end of the footage the said that future shows will be featuring interviews with a lot of the stars of the movie up to its opening, I’m looking forward to that.

The program will be aired again on Danish DR2 at 7.10 pm on wedensday.

Books Expo America (BEA) 2001 - Chicago
Calisuri @ 2:14 pm EST
Ringer Fan Jim sent us this from last weekend's BEA (Books Expo America) in Chicago:

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"I thought you might be interested in these images from the Houghton/Mifflin exhibit area at last weekend's Book Expo America (BEA) in Chicago. They are very high on the movies and have quite a campaign with new packaging for the books set for the fall. They were showing the trailers continuously and had some nice collateral material (canvas book bags with LOTR logos, etc.). The booth decorations were outstanding with life size Frodo & Gandalf cutouts.

All told there were at least four separate exhibitors that had LOTR items for preview. It was hard to get any serious work done."


Empire Online Scans
Calisuri @ 1:38 pm EST
Thanks to Ringer fans Dave and M for sending us these scans of the July 2001 Empire Magazine LOTR Feature:

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Report on the Cannes footage
Tehanu @ 1:14 am EST
This report quotes somebody who saw the 25 minutes shown at Cannes through his games manufacturing connections:
"He said he and his boss were tearing up within the first few minutes of the showing and they didn't stop for the entire footage. Once done he said that the press and people gathered went nuts applauding and asking for more. He said that if he had any doubts about it being a great movie they were squelched. He said everything was perfect, from the score to the actors.... he said that it was the most beautiful thing he has seen on film. The visuals were stunning... the people he works with are betting on how fast it will outrank Titanic and Star Wars....Just thought you might be interested."

Indeed we are. Thanks for that.

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