Rumor has it that Universal Studios is planning a Tolkien Middle-Earth theme park much like the Warner BrothersThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At this stage the word is that Universal, Warner Brothers and the Tolkien estate are in the beginning stages of talks. /Film reports:
Hypable picked up a post on the Orlando United forum from a reputable user, who claims that Universal Studios asked Warner Bros. to raise the topic with the Tolkien estate.
The Tolkien estate has always carefully guarded the LOTR rights and it is interesting that it is also being reported that the Tolkien estate representatives spoke with J.K. Rowling herself about the Warner Brothers theme park creation and her experiences protecting her vision for the project, and apparently liked what they heard. Universal then got in contact with the Tolkiens to discuss their ideas.
That’s pretty exciting news if accurate. Fans wouldn’t have to travel half way across the world to get that Tolkien itch scratched. What do you think, would a LOTR themed park work? Is it just a much more expensive Medieval Times Diner theater?
The things I do to bring you the nerdiest news, you just can’t imagine the suffering. Just the other day I had to attend a press showing of The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey, and I’m just itching to tell you all about it, but I can’t. I don’t want to spoil it for you.
While you can expect a full review on Friday, there are a few things I can share.
It runs a little long, and is a tad more whimsical than the LOTR trilogy. Overall, though, it’s an astonishing picture. It’s beautifully shot and filled with great performances and moments that due Tolkien proud. It’s wonderful to be back in the world of middle earth again. Oh, and if you plan on seeing it, you gotta see it in 3D, 48 Frames Per Second. It’s really something. It’s not gimmicky, or makes you sick like some reports have lead you to believe. You feel immersed in the movie. Your eyes never leave the screen. If anything, it will ruin watching movies at home, as all else pails in comparison. This really is the future of the movie going experience
Anyway, with 3 days left until the official premier, The Hobbit marketing machine is still in full effect. Warner Bros. has released yet another new film clip from the film, featuring Thorin Oakenshield and the dwarves singing the “Misty Mountains” song as Bilbo listens in. We heard this song in the first trailer, but now you get to see how the scene plays out. Having seen the film, I can tell you it’s one of the best scenes. It sets the tone for journey ahead. Check it out below:
Peter Jackson‘s The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy was a huge success both financially and critically, but when the project was just getting started, it had a rocky road to travel and almost never was. In a recent sit down with The Playlist, Jackson recounts the beginnings of the LOTR project.
We went to Harvey Weinstein after “Heavenly Creatures.” We pitched the idea of doing “The Hobbit” first actually. My original idea [was] do “The Hobbit,” and if that’s successful, we’ll do “The Lord of the Rings” as two movies, back to back after that. Harvey went away and looked into the rights because we didn’t know how the rights were placed at that stage. We just asked Harvey to inquire on our behalf and he came back and said “The Hobbit” was difficult because MGM owns some of the rights, and the Saul Zaentz Company owns some of the rights, but “The Lord of the Rings” was a lot easier because it was entirely owned by Saul Zaentz. MGM didn’t have anything to do with “The Lord of the Rings.” And it so happened that he was in business with Saul Zaentz at that exact time — they were just making “The English Patient” together. So we had no idea that Saul Zaentz had the rights, so it was just a very, very lucky piece of timing that we made that phone call to the right person at the right time. And Harvey got excited about the idea, and he ended up supporting the development of “The Lord of the Rings” for a couple of years,
Harvey however, wanted it all in one movie. Disney owned Miramax at the time and ran the numbers and said, “‘Fantasy films don’t make money.’” Then Jackson went on with the story.
Then Harvey said to Fran and I, “You’ve got to make one movie, or I’m going to take it away from you, and I’ve got John Madden lined up to direct the one movie, and I’ve got Hossein Amini to write the screenplay.” He had other people all set to go on making “The Lord of the Rings” as one film, and then our manager negotiated a four-week turnaround where he said to Harvey, “You’ve got to give Peter and Fran a chance. They’ve worked on this for too long. You’ve got to give them a chance to set it up somewhere else as two films.” Harvey gave us four weeks to do that, and then he was going to take it back and it would be the end of us.
That began a studio hunt for Jackson in hopes of saving his then two picture Lord Of The Rings deal. Jackson was shown the door every time he tried to get the deal going until he was left with New Line Studios. With Harvey’s four week clock ticking down, Jackson was willing to try anything to hook that studio fish.
“I remember we had a meeting with New Line the following day, so what we did was we kept canceling it, and we kept saying, ‘Listen, we’re really busy, we’ve got to take a meeting about it here, we’ve got to take a meeting about it. It’s going out of control. We’re not going to be able to see you today, but we’ll try to fit you in before the end of the week.’ And we put this whole pretense on that this project was so eagerly sought after [laughs], which is complete crap. And we went into New Line’s office at the end of that week, and the credit really ultimately belongs to Bob Shaye who was the head of New Line at that stage. He looked at the reel and said, ‘You know what I don’t get is why you want to do two films.’ And we thought, ‘Oh, here we go. He’s going to try to make us do one film now. The same story.’ But the very next thing he said was, ‘Why would you do two films when there’s three books? Why wouldn’t you do three films?’ And that was the way he took the project on.
The shenanigans that go on in the film industry usually make good stories and this is sure one of the good ones that doesn’t involve a donkey and compromising naked pictures.
***SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE THAT CAN”T TELL THERE MIGHT BE SPOILERS IN A POST UNTIL AFTER THEY HAVE SPOILED IT FOR THEMSELVES BY BLINDLY CLICKING ON THE POST AND READING THE WHOLE DAMN THING THEN BLEATING ABOUT IT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION LIKE SOME LOST LAMB IN THE MEADOW!***
There’s six new clips on the Internet from Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It’s a great mixture of action, humor, and a couple of those quiet, under the radar, touching moments that we all loved in the Lord of The Rings Trilogy.
After the jump and the clips below are some of the early reviews for the movie that you can check out if you actually give a Frack about what some pretentious, obnoxious, overly wordy, film critic has to say. Oh, yeah, make sure you check back after the USA release on December 14th for NerdBastards pretentious, obnoxious, overly wordy review.
Prince Charles, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, is touring New Zealand with his wife Camilla. The Prince of Wales spent part of his 64th birthday visiting with The Lord Of The Rings director Sir Peter Jackson and touring Jackson’s WETA workshop.
What a fantastic way to spend your birthday. He was shown costumes, props of the film, and met with actors and special effects and props masters.
The Prince watched and chatted with actor Peter Hambleton, who plays the Dwarf Gloin in the new film, as he had his make-up applied.
Another great part of the prince’s visit was when actor Mark Hadlow, who plays Dori, one of the dwarfs in the film, drops to his knees and offers to be the Prince’s servant for the day.
“Your Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, I am Dori the dwarf and on this special day your birthday, I offer myself at the request of Sir Peter Jackson for you to command as you see fit, your servant Dori,”
I love that Dori mentions the dwarf beatings that Sir Peter Jackson has threatened and committed in the past. They all seem to be having a lot of fun amidst all the hard work of making the movie. With the amount of time they will be spending together during the next years of filming, it’s important they can all have a good time and get along.
I’m beginning to believe that Hobbits have as many TV spots as they have daily meals. Everyday seems to bring another one out of the Shire and onto your television screen. This is the sixth TV spot so far for Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so if my “TV-spot-to-Hobbit-meal” hypothesis is correct, we’ve got one more to go.
I’m willing to be that even with everything we’ve been given a glimpse of so far, we’ve seen NOTHING yet. Everything points to this movie being another triumph for Peter Jackson and company.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey makes it’s way onto movie screens on December 14th!
Cross marketing is the norm these days so it’s not surprising that companies use movie tie ins to promote products, services, or in this case airplane safety. Air New Zealand teamed up with Weta Workshop, (Those creative guys that make wonderful toys that Peter Jackson plays with.), to create a hobbit themed safety video, there’s even a couple of surprise cameos.
Air New Zealand is also running a contest at their website. Solve the Elvish code and win six double passes to the World Premiere Screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in New Zealand on the 28th of November. The winners also receive a tour of the Hobbiton set, enjoy a Weta cave visit, and then get to go to the Lord of the Rings tour in Wellington and Queenstown.
Hard to believe there was once a time when Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings was considered such a major risk by a little studio, that its failure threatened to ruin the reputations of everyone involved in perpetuity throughout the universe.
And now The Hobbit has its own menu at a national chain restaurant.
In conjunction with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Denny’s is promoting a special Hobbit themed menu with such delicious concoctions as the ‘Hobbit Hole Breakfast,’ ‘Gandalf’s Gobble Melt’, Frodo’s Pot Roast Skillet’, ‘Shire Sausage,’ and ‘Seed Cake French Toast.’
So when you walk into your local Denny’s in the near future, the menu you get will look more like this:
And here’s a sneak preview of the kind of fun you’ll have on your next Tolkien-esque trek to Denny’s
The love of scribe J.R.R. Tolkien is nearly legendary within the realm of literature. Few people have captured the imagination of so many people across the world. The obsession with Lord of the Rings and its resounding theatrical success is proof of that, as is the timeless attraction of people to Tolkien’s works over the last several decades. Unfortunately, like all good things the stories must end. Eventually you run out of books and the journey is over. Unless, of course, a new work by the old master happens to be published…
That’s exactly what’s happening with Tolkien’s previously unpublished The Fall of Arthur. This 200-page narrative has remained in the shadows for more than 75 years – since before the publication of The Hobbit. Even though people knew of its existence, no finished versions were known of until recently.
This new tale of Tolkien details the last days of King Arthur’s life and how he marches off to battle against Mordred to save his kingdom. It will be published by HarperCollins and edited by Tolkien’s son, Christopher. The younger Tolkien will also be providing some commentary via essays placed within the book.
For those who can’t wait, here are the opening lines of The Fall of Arthur:
“Arthur eastward in arms purposed
his war to wage on the wild marches,
over seas sailing to Saxon lands,
from the Roman realm ruin defending.
Thus the tides of time to turn backward
and the heathen to humble, his hope urged him,
that with harrying ships they should hunt no more
on the shining shores and shallow waters
of South Britain, booty seeking.”
Look for the new book to be released during May of 2013.
Principle photography for Peter Jackson’s two-film epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is finally done after a ridiculous 266 shoot. And now, ladies and gentlemen, let the teasing begin!
The first round of visual enticement comes in the form of some images. This new panoramic banner collects some of the eye-candy that the movie is expected to be and mashes it up for your enjoyment. The banner is up above, second image down (just in case you missed it).
The pictures are a little hard to see, so here are some close-ups of each piece: