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June 11, 2003 - July 03, 2003


There Will Be No RoTK Teaser Trailer
Demosthenes @ 7:58 pm EST
Lately it seems we receive Teaser Trailer rumours only to have them refuted hours later. Ringer Spy Mike, however, has just furnished us with the first hard evidence against the existence of a Teaser Trailer for RoTK.

He writes:

I am head projectionist at our local movie theatre, and today we received a tube with 3 rolled teaser posters for Return of the King. Also, included with the posters was a sheet from New Line Cinema that explains that it is the teaser for Return of the King, notes that it is not for internet use and should be displayed immediately, and THEN goes on to say "There will NOT be a teaser trailer this summer".

RoTK Teaser Trailer Announcement

Update: Voronwe on Tolkien Online made a couple of very interesting points about this note. First, it has no logo or letterhead. It does, however, have a contact number which I have cropped off. Second - and much more pertinent - Karl Urban isn't on the cast list.

Update 2: We've received two more copies of the note. Both copies have the same telephone number - and wording - on the contact section which I cropped out of the first.

I've compared the new ones pretty carefully to the original note we were sent - the details match as far as I can see - but they aren't exact replicas with exact same smudges and so on.

We also received an independent confirmation on July 2 from another source. Ringer Spy Jeff - who contacted us about the T3 teaser trailer rumour got in touch with us again recently after being asked to investigate this rumour we were sent.

Someone on another board I'm on found some press bit from the UK saying the trailer would be attached to their release of The Hulk, which is July 18th, I believe. Mid-July is what everyone's hearing, so it would seem that the best candidates for a US trailer release around that time would be Pirates (7/9), League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (7/11) or Seabiscuit. Remote possibilities include Bad Boys II (7/18) Tomb Raider II (7/25) or Spy Kids III (7/25).

The full trailer is apparently going to be released with New Line's Secondhand Lions on 9/26.

This is what Jeff found out:

Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 23:59:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: ROTK Teaser Before T3

Well when I got to work today I talked with my manager, and she said that there's not gonna be a trailer for ROTK until September, we got the posters today so I'm guessing there was something with them that said that. So it looks like no teaser, just a trailer after the summer.

ROTK Teaser Description?!
Xoanon @ 3:44 pm EST
DonDavis writes: My name ** and I work for ** and I have recently been looking at you website and have noticed that you have shown a lot of interest in the return of the king trailer. I can now tell you that a teaser trailer will be released buy the end of July and a theatrical trailer buy the end of September.

I have only seen part of the teaser trailer, it showed clips from Minas Tirith and the battle at the black gate. It also showed brief clips of Gandalf riding with a hobbit (Pippin?) through some woods and Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas in the mountain of Erech, But nothing of Sauron, if you were wondering.


More ROTK Reshoot Info!
Xoanon @ 4:06 pm EST
andrea writes: Marco Giovanni is the journalist who stayed in NZ during the re-shooting. No new photos, maybe in August issue, but some minor SPOILERS:

-Peter Jackson moved from a set to another, as usual, with his Red Bicycle 'Challenge' model, recognisable by the skull on the handle. It's a Shelob-lair souvenir, where there are also some dangling, mummyfied corpses, which are imprisoned in synthetic webs made by an elasticized fiber of boiled-vegetal-oil (220°C!!!).

-Shelob will be a 5 meter-high monster, really fast, who stops in a second to fix her eyes on her prey.

-The plot will have weddings, coronations, ambushes, suicides, betrayal, but also the biggest battle of the history of cinema: 200,000 orcs in Pelennor field!"

Demosthenes here. You might recall that some time ago, Peter Jackson spoke to the LoTR Fan Magazine about the inspiration for Shelob. In part, he said:

I've got a real fear of spiders; I guess I have arachnophobia. Ever since I was a kid, spiders have freaked me out. There is a spider in New Zealand called a Tunnel Web spider, which is a common New Zealand spider but a very nasty, fat, pudgy one that lives in gardens.

Ever since I was a kid, I have been terrified of coming across these things. You find them under old bricks and old logs and leaves and such. It is a very evil-looking spider; it's small—about an inch and a half long. About three weeks ago, we had a Shelob design meeting, and I looked at the designs and said, "You know, we have to make this look more like the Tunnel Web. She has to be more like this horrible spider." Most of the CG guys that I was talking to were from the U.S., so they didn't have a clue what a Tunnel Web was. So I turned to one of the Kiwi designers, Christian Rivers, and said, "Can we find pictures of one?"

The next morning, Christian poked around in his garden and managed to catch one in a glass jar! So right now, we have a live Tunnel Web at Weta being the model for Shelob. As far as I'm concerned, a photograph would've been just fine!

Xoanon promptly went and dug up the image below from the Te Papa museum website to terrify us all.

Real Life Shelob Model?

But when I saw Shelob described as being "really fast" it struck me that not only might WETA use the Tunnelweb as a static starting point, they may use its movements as a starting point for modelling the way that Shelob moves. This would make any video of a Tunnelweb in action worth gold to the thousands of spoiler-seeking LoTR fans around the world.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to disover any video of a Tunnelweb lurking on the internet. But here's a couple more pictures of this vicious-looking beastie for you to enjoy.

Black Tunnelweb Spider Black Tunnelweb Spider

I also remembered that there's been shots of an (early) model of Shelob floating around for a while. While not new, they've never been scrapbooked previously. These particular ones are screencapped from The Quest for the Ring.

Richard Taylor Holds Shelob


Arwen rumour rebuffed
Tehanu @ 6:33 am EST
John wanted to fix a spy report he sent recently here which had us thinking that Arwen would turn up to Minas Tirith before the battle there.

"Actually, I realised some days ago that the scene we had to shoot about one week ago was not the one in which Aragorn gets Anduril from Arwen.

"Arwen and Aragorn were in a tent, that's true, and Elrond came as I previously said, but apparently this scene takes place after the "final fight", as Arwen arrives in Minas Tirith to marry Aragorn."


MORE Trailer Info
Xoanon @ 9:10 pm EST
All-Canadian writes: I have been reading TORN site for over two years now, but never contributed sofar but would like to add to the trailer-confustion; A-films (the Dutch distributor for NewLine) has just announced to their relations that the trailer will be no earlier then September, but a teaser poster will be availiable in July. They quote NewLine:


The decision has been made to release only one trailer for ROTK but to make it the most "kick ass" trailer on screens this September, laden with spectacular special effects and powerful emotional elements. The exact debut date for this trailer will depend on how quickly Peter Jackson can finish the sfx shots so for the moment it's a floating trailer release date, as early as the beginning of September, but no later than September 26th.


TTT DVD Chapter Titles!
Xoanon @ 12:50 pm EST
Brian sends along the 53 chapter titles that will appear on the TTT Theatrical DVD! Take a look!

1. The Foundations of Stone
2. The Taming of Smeagol
3. The Uruk-hai
4. The Three Hunters
5. The Burning of Westfold
6. The Banishment of Eomer
7. On the Trail of the Uruk-hai
8. Night Camp at Fangorn
9. The Riders of Rohan
10. Traces of Merry and Pippin
11. Treebeard
12. The Passage of the Marshes
13. The White Rider
14. Fangorn Forest
15. The Black Gate is Closed
16. The King of the Golden Hall
17. Simbelmyne on the Burial Mounds
18. The King's Decision
19. A Daughter of Kings
20. Exodus from Edoras
21. The Forces of Ithilen
22. Gollum and Smeagol
23. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
24. Dwarf Women
25. The Evenstar
26. The Wolves of Isengard
27. Helm's Deep
28. Isengard Unleashed
29. The Grace of the Valar
30. Arwen's Fate
31. The Story from Lorien
32. The Window on the West
33. The Forbidden Pool
34. Aragorn's Return
35. Entmoot
36. The Glittering Caves
37. "Where is the Horse and the Rider?"
38. The Host of the Eldar
39. The Battle of the Hornburg
40. Old Entish
41. The Breach of the Deeping Wall
42. The Entmoot Decides
43. Retreat to the Hornburg
44. Master Peregrin's Plan
45. Osgiliath
46. The Last March of the Ents
47. The Nazgul Attack
48. Forth Eorlingas
49. The Flooding of Isengard
50. The Tales That Really Mattered
51. "The Battle for Middle-earth is About to Begin"
52. Gollum's Plan
53. End Credits

The Continuing Mystery Of The Tents
Demosthenes @ 10:50 am EST
They seem to be the talking point of the month for the Return of the King. Who will be in them? What will happen? And where are they located?

Well, we've previously tried to solve the first two questions - check out this AICN rumour and this TORn spy report if you missed them. Now a reliable TORn source who was involved in the production chimes in with some information on the third.

This source indicates he's "pretty sure" these tents are at Dunharrow. He says this was in reality at the mouth of the Greenstone river near Glenorchy.

And, checking through our scrapbook, I discovered a picture of these tents that was taken way back in November 2000. Check this very old newspaper clipping from our scrapbook, then cast your mind back to the shapes of the tents in the background of Peter Jackson's very recent MTV acceptance speech.

Camping Out

A little bit of further detective work around the internet reveals this tidbit on the Glenorchy Air website - the company which ferried cast to and from the sets.

"Turning left out of the Dart river valley we arrive over the Greenstone Valley, the location of Dunharrow which will feature in the last film."

There's also this complete list of filming locations, produced by the NZ Film Commission. Again, you'll note, Dunharrow Encampment is listed - listed at Greenstone. Vitally, Dunharrow is also listed in the Wellington Region, which is where that old picture was taken.

And anyone who's been casting their eye over the Herr de Ringe RoTK screencaps will note the shot with the ranks of Rohirrim assembled on a broad green field with a mountain quite close by - very close in my memory to Tolkien's description of Dunharrow.

Who knows? Maybe we'll see some of those stone Pukel Men, as well as hearing Elrond deliver the words of Malbeth the Seer to Aragorn.


New Line Licensing Expo RoTK Images
Demosthenes @ 10:45 pm EST
Ringer Spy Sven informed us that Dark Horizons had got hold of a few images from the recent Licensing Exhibition 2003 in New York.

First of all, this lends more credibility to a report we received a couple of days ago about this event. You can check that out here.

Not a lot can be drawn from the pictures themselves.

Gondorian Soldiers Brace Themselves

This one is probably just before the Great Gate is destroyed by the seige engine Grond. Not hard to conclude.

Aragorn At The Tents

Who is Aragorn looking at and/or speaking to? And where are these tents anyway? There's surely no need to camp near Edoras or at Helm's Deep. Perhaps it's up near Isengard? Or could it be at the Pelennor? One suspects it could be related to those rumours of Elrond turning up to deliver some words of wisdom and/or a certain object vital to Aragorn's kingly future ...

Gandalf At Minas Tirith

Finally, Gandalf looking pretty much on the edge of his wits. Waiting for Faramir, perhaps, and news of FRodo and the Ring? Seems to be daylight, as opposed to the nightime looking shot of the Gondorian soldiers. I guess that could be altered with digital colour correction.


Aragorn gets Anduril?
Tehanu @ 11:17 pm EST
We got this from somebody who is apparently somehow working as an extra while visiting NZ [from France, judging by the email address.] How this came to be, he doesn't explain, so I'm taking this all with a grain of salt:

"I'm writing this morning from my hotel in New Zealand, having informations which could possibly be interesting for you. Actually, I'm involved in shooting scenes as a Gondorian soldier (I'm not working today, so I'm writing to you now and will certainly walk around this afternoon).

"Well, what you will perhaps be happy to learn concerns yesterday's shootings. These shoots included Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler and Hugo Weaving. I'll try to tell you the most details I can, which is not easy because I was involved in a very little part of the scene.

"In fact, Mortensen was in a tent with Liv Tyler, bringing him his sword. My task, to me and five others, was to bring Hugo Weaving, dressed in a blue elvish coat, in the tent, announcing him to the two others. One of my fellows had to say something like "Someone is asking your attention", or anything like this.

"This was in fact all I had to do : we had to do this 3 time, and that's all. after that, I think they shooted what was happening in the tent."

So, if this is true, we know a bit more about how Viggo gets Anduril back, and that it seems like Arwen and Elrond will both be around together seeing Aragorn either before or after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Demosthenes here - just thought I'd add a few quick comments.

Coming pretty hot on the heels of the AICN report, this little snippet is very interesting. Now, it could be that the AICN spy simply neglects to mention any others in the scene by name. He/she does refer to "all assembled" at one point. But that could mean the crew. It's vague.

However, I (personally) think Arwen's involvement is very doubtful, given what Philippa Boyens said back in 2001 about Arwen not entering Gondor or Rohan until the wedding.

That means this report should also be considered pretty doubtful.

Of course, 2001 was a long time ago, and things may have changed in the storyline during that time, but (to the best of my recollection) we still haven't scene any hard physical evidence that counters this statement.

In fact, the Helm's Deep scenes tend to support Boyen's quotes from 2001, rather than detract from it.

Hope for a teaser trailer soon, because that will clear up some of these wilder rumours once and for all.

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