Go back to Spy Reports Archives


September 10, 2000 - October 04, 2000

10-04-00

New Set News: Central Otago, Ida Valley?
Xoanon @ 11:48 am EST
Ringer Spy DocDanz sends in the latest word on a possible new set on the South Island, with a promise to get more news later!

Just a quick note to say that I saw an interesting article in the "Central Otago Mirror". Apparently a Lord of the Rings set is being built near the Poolburn Dam in the Ida Valley - a beautiful and remote valley in Central Otago. There was a picture of construction but litte else. I passed through the area in January and it is quite spectacular - a dry, wide, open valley with mainly sheep farming and a river with willow trees alongside. The Poolburn Gorge is particularly spectacular but I don't think that this is where they are filming. I hope to check it out in the weekend so watch this space.

Christopher Lee Interview from Lucasfilm Magazine!
Xoanon @ 11:28 am EST
Ringer Spy Francois sends in an interview with Christopher Lee (Saruman) from French 'Lucasfilm Magazine'.

Hi Xoanon!

I bought the french Lucasfilm Magazine. There was a teasing cover promising exclusive interview with Christopher Lee. The baseline reads "calls to the force in episode 2, and throws a spell upon Lord of the rings". From the beginnig of the interview, M. Lee shows clearly that he totally respects his vow of secrecy in a meaningful comment about his character in SWE2 :

Christopher Lee : [Ö] Iíve been entrusted for many secrets during WW2, and if I spoke, people died. I was in the intelligence service, special ops, and Iím not going to tell much more. Iíve signed the ę official secret act Ľ that bounds me for life. And what I mean by this , is that Iím able to keep a secret, and if Iím asked to say nothing, I say nothing. Never.

Later on, M. Lee speaks about how experienced directors know the importance of ę having fun Ľ (speaking about his experiences with Lucas, Spielberg, Joe Dante and Tim Burton) .

CL : [Ö] in the same way, we had great fun on LOTR, this gigantic epic adventure [Ö]

Now come some good excerpts from the interviewÖ

Q : Are you in the 3 LOTR movies ?

CL : Iím surely in the two first. Concerning the third, Iím not sure. Iíve signed a confidentiality agreement. Similar to the one with Star Wars which forbids me to reveal anything. [Ö]

Q : Have the 3 movies been filmed at the same time ?

CL : Iíll just say that they filmed the whole story. I really cannot say more. Theyíre shooting the whole story which will be shaped in three different movies. According to my personnal involvement, and what Iíve seen of action scenes, I would say that the effect will be as big as StarWarsí in its time. The two movies possess an epic dimension, though theyíre absolutely not alike since the first takes place in space in an undefined epoch, and the other takes place on earth, in fact the ę middle-earth Ľ in, again, an undefined epoch. No epoch or precise date is the only connection between these two productions.

Q : Iím a great admirer of LOTR director Peter Jackson. Do you feel the same way?

CL : Heís extraordinary. Heís an absolutely remarkable director. And I know what Iím talking about, because I had the privilege to work with several directors of that level. Of course, in the case of LOTR, what Peter Jackson is doing comes from the mind and work of another genius, J.R.R. Tolkien. But Peter Jackson is an incredible director. He has extraordinary intuition Ė all of the great directors know exactly what they want and how to get it. They donít always reach it, they would be first to admit that. But Peter Jacksonís intuition in terms of dialogues, scene organization, is infallible. He seems to always know exactly what he wants Ė when he says ę OK, we just got to print all this Ľ, we can be sure we wonít do better, that is very encouraging.

Q: How long is oyur shoot in Australia?

CL: Between 3 or 4 months, and I'll have to go back to Wellington immediately after for my ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording), for LOTR.

He's Back! The Prancing Pony and Galadriel Images!
Calisuri @ 12:52 am EST
Super-Spy Ciggy is back! From the super spy who brought us the first images of Arwen and Saruman come some amazing new pics!

Cate Blanchett showing something of the intense glowing quality of an Elf Queen. (Note: This may simply be a recent shot of Cate Blanchett, not in her full Galadriel glory)

Galadriel in Costume\? - Click for larger image

Check out this shot of the four hobbits at the Prancing Pony....not quite built to their size! You can see the way forced perspective's used to make the human look bigger than the hobbits, too.

Force Perspective - Click for larger image

10-02-00

What'll happen next at Wingate?
Tehanu @ 12:02 am EST
We got mail from Robbit the Hobbit:

There has been a bit of activity at Wingate recently. The internal fence in the yard has been removed, and a large hole has been dug in the middle of the yard. Workman have been seen with welding equipment and grinders. There are also some piles of 4by2 timber stacked in a corner. The blue screen is still there, so i suspect that this set will be used again. I will keep you informed of developments :)

The Minas Tirith set is coming along nicely, with walls and parapets sprouting up all over the set.

9-20-00

Phoenix at Helms Deep? (erm, Minas Tirith)
Xoanon @ 10:08 am EST
Ringer Spy Guinness Sends in the latest from the Minas Tirith set, which has been remade on the ashes of the Helms Deep set.

New building has appeared over the last week or so at Dry Creek Quarry, site of Minas Tirith. Some looks to be brand new and separate whilst other parts are an add on to the original buildings there. A dome has been placed on top of one tower, and extra height added to the main front gates. Another dome is being constructed in a makeshift hanger fabricated from shipping containers and tarpaulins.

Orc Day out in the Park
Xoanon @ 9:32 am EST
Ringer Spy PH sends in the hollowing article from a Porirua Newspaper:

This is in our local paper the PORIRUA (POHREEROOA) news which is only about 10 mins drive from here.


Click to enlarge

9-15-00

Edoras Extra Speaks!
Xoanon @ 10:44 am EST
TORN Staffer Leo sends in info from his dutch site lordoftherings.nl.Miep talks about being cast as an Edoras extra!

I got the part because we live in Geraldine, which is a 45 minute drive from Methven, and the model agency asked for extras.

First I had my sons audition, a week later I went myself because I figured this was a once in a lifetime oportunity. A few weeks later they called to ask if my hair was still blond, I said yes and after that went to the store to get some dye for my hair ;)

But last sunday my son and I went to Methven to fit a costume. Arriving there we got some papers which we had to sign because of secrecy concerning costumes, props and filming sessions. The only thing we were allowed to say was what kind of extra's we were Edoras village people. Filming was gonna start this week, but due to the weather it was postponed until Friday (hopefully).

Media Watch: Scotland Sunday Mail
Xoanon @ 10:31 am EST
Ringer Spy Michelle sends along a nice, if flawed at some points, newpaper article from Scotland. Firstly, I'm not to sure that Liv Tyler (Arwen) and Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) will ONLY speak Elvish, and I'm also fairly certain Galadriel will NOT do any swordfighting.

From: Michelle

I found this article in the Scottish Newspaper the Sunday Mail. Thought you might be interested in seeing it.

Yours Most Truly, Michelle

From: Sunday Mail

Billy (Boyd) keeps Scots lilt in hobbit film

A KEY character in the new pounds 120 million Lord of the Rings movie will have a Scottish accent.

Actor Billy Boyd will play the role of Pippin, the loyal pal of Frodo, the hobbit hero of the supernatural fantasy tale by JRR Tolkien.

And while superstars Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett will have their lines turned into subtitles, Billy will be heard using his native Glasgow accent.

The film version of Tolkien's classic allows him - and fellow-hobbits Ian Holm and Elijah Wood - to deliver their lines in English, while other characters must speak in made-up languages.

It means Oscar-winner Blanchett and Sleeping Beauty star Tyler will speak "elvish", a gobbledegook tongue for elves invented by Tolkien.

Lord of the Rings, the second-most expensive film in history after Titanic, is being shot amid tight security in New Zealand. But the embarrassing news for two of Hollywood's hottest leading ladies was let slip by co-star Sir Ian McKellen.

Sir Ian, who plays wizard Gandalf, said on his website: "The Elvish lines will be subtitled."

He said Billy would keep his Scots accent. Other hobbits would have a mixture of "middle-class gentry", Yorkshire and West Country accents.

Lord of the Rings was voted Book of the Century in a poll three years ago, and fanatical fans have made a huge issue of the movie accents.

Nearly 17,000 signed an "integrity petition" calling for the trilogy of films to stick closely to Tolkien's book. And they threatened to boycott the films if American accents were used.

Fans are also getting flustered about elf princesses Blanchett and Tyler carrying swords is a departure from the book.

Little-known Boyd was a surprise choice for the role of Pippin, after a handful of stage roles and walk-on parts in Taggart and other TV shows.

But he has lost no time getting into the glitzy lifestyle. He has been spotted out with Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, and fellow-Brit Dominic Monaghan, who plays another hobbit pal, Merry. The three wore kilts to a New Zealand performance of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The same trio took to the water in bath tubs in Wellington's annual dragon boat race, and they were mobbed by young fans when they arrived by limo at a swanky, black-tie Hollywood Ball in the city. Billy's agent Aude Powell said: "He is having awonderful time."

More from Edoras!
Xoanon @ 10:15 am EST
Ringer Spy Ian sends in the latest pic from TV One News. One news did a piece on Edoras, down in the South Island.


9-14-00

Edoras Set Pics!
Xoanon @ 10:29 am EST

Ringer Spy Lapp took his Hollow Man juice and traveled down to the Edoras set and snapped a few pics!

The view from the lake is fine!
Xoanon @ 2:12 am EST

Ringer Spy Dwarvo risks an Orc attack and braves the dangers that is Lake Mavora and gets some great snaps of the LOTR set! I'm thinking Boromir's Funeral at Emyn Muil? What do you think?


9-12-00

New Set News!
Xoanon @ 11:35 pm EST

From: Dwarno

Hi just writing to tell you that I stumbled across a LOTR site yesterday the 12-09-00. Its at mavora lakes 45k nw of mossburn southland, I was tipped off about it by a guy and his wife going to the lake to fish when they came across it. When I finally got there (what a mission) I could not believe the magnitude of it, it was huge. I saw the security guard on his post when i got there but i just drove on by as if i never saw him. I continued on until I came right up to the set, i came face to face with a land buggy which was towing a trailer with some what looked like extras with costumes on, they were so close. I was trying to get past as if i were there to do some fishing on the lake but was stopped by a security guard who told me i could not get through. There was misty smoke every where to the point where i could not see, so i reversed up and left the area, but as i was leaving i noticed another little road going down to the lake front where the guard could not see me. So I went down there and sneaked a few shots of them filming a boat scene on the lake.

New Set News!
Xoanon @ 11:32 pm EST

From: Dwarno

Hi just writing to tell you that I stumbled across a LOTR site yesterday the 12-09-00. Its at mavora lakes 45k nw of mossburn southland, I was tipped off about it by a guy and his wife going to the lake to fish when they came across it. When I finally got there (what a mission) I could not believe the magnitude of it, it was huge. I saw the security guard on his post when i got there but i just drove on by as if i never saw him. I continued on until I came right up to the set, i came face to face with a land buggy which was towing a trailer with some what looked like extras with costumes on, they were so close. I was trying to get past as if i were there to do some fishing on the lake but was stopped by a security guard who told me i could not get through. There was misty smoke every where to the point where i could not see, so i reversed up and left the area, but as i was leaving i noticed another little road going down to the lake front where the guard could not see me. So I went down there and sneaked a few shots of them filming a boat scene on the lake.

9-10-00

Media Watch: Sci-Fi Magazine Brazil
Xoanon @ 10:56 pm EST

From: Dune

" 'Welcome to Middle-Earth'

That's the title of the article about 'The Lord of the Rings' movie production in the Sci-Fi News magazine. The september edition brought a two-pages report wih everything about the movie, and also lots of informations about the fantasy genre moveis in Hollywood. Brazilian fans can run to get it!

Another thing that surprised me is the sub-title: "In an era where the space batles of 'Star Wars' dominate the public, the classic 'Lord of the Rings' promess to be one of the greatest cinematograph attractions of the beginning of the century.'"


Go back to Spy Reports Archives