Lord of the Rings
Dec. 10, 2012 | 10:15 a.m.
One of the most memorable dwarfs in “The Hobbit” is Bombur, described by J.R.R. Tolkien as “immensely fat and heavy.” The role was big in more ways than one for Stephen Hunter, the Sydney-based actor who brings the character to life in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which opens in theaters Friday. The Peter Jackson-directed trilogy is the first major feature film for Hunter, whose previous work includes parts in Australian television series. Hero Complex spoke with Hunter about landing the role, working with the brotherhood of dwarfs and grappling with his character’s enormous girth. HC: Can you tell us a little bit about auditioning? How did you get the role? SH: I actually auditioned for “The Lord of the Rings” right at the very start. … I just did a general audition a long time ago, and it was […]
Dec. 05, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
Few people know Middle-earth better than Dan Hennah, the production designer tasked with translating J.R.R. Tolkien’s words and director Peter Jackson’s vision to the big screen for “The Hobbit” trilogy. Hennah has been working on the film for three years, but it’s not his first visit to the land of dwarfs, elves, hobbits and Orcs. Hennah served as art director for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and won the art direction and set decoration Academy Award for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” along with Grant Major and Alan Lee in 2004. Hero Complex spoke with Hennah about his return to Tolkien’s world, what’s different in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the challenges of bringing to life new corners of Middle-earth. HC: Can you start by explaining what your job entails? Production design must […]
Dec. 04, 2012 | 8:02 a.m.
“The Hobbit” may be one of J. R. R. Tolkien’s simpler tales, but creating 13 individual yet cohesive hairstyles (and beard-styles) for the dwarfs in “The Hobbit” was no simple task. That challenge fell to makeup and hair designer Peter King, who won an Oscar with Richard Taylor for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” King, who has worked on all of Peter Jackson’s films since “The Lord of the Rings,” including “King Kong” and “The Lovely Bones,” spoke with Hero Complex about designing the hairstyles for ”The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” opening in theaters Dec. 14. HC: What’s it been like to return to Middle-earth after all this time? PK: Like we’ve never been away. We had a break of what, eight, nine years and a few other films in between, but it was great. Like going back to see an […]
Nov. 26, 2012 | 10:42 a.m.
Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will have its world premiere Tuesday — and Hero Complex will take you there with a live stream of the event beginning at 6:50 p.m. PST. Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Ian Holm, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood and more are expected to walk the red carpet. Neil Finn will also perform at the event in a set that will include ”Song of the Lonely Mountain” from the film’s soundtrack. Since those first notes were sung by Thorin Oakenshield and his dwarf companions in the debut trailers late last year, fans of J.R.R. Tolkein’s tome have waited to see Freeman and company put their stamp on the […]
Nov. 13, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
Sauron has never been so cute. “Lego The Lord of the Rings” — out today for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and PC following a previous release on Nintendo and PlayStation’s handheld consoles — applies the Lego franchise’s trademark charm and humor to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The game features the voice acting from Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and follows the major events from all three installments, including the Battle of Helm’s Deep and Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring. The game emphasizes teamwork, and players can shoot arrows as elven cutie Legolas, sword fight as the ranger and king-to-be Aragorn, and destroy obstacles as mighty dwarf Gimli, among other characters. Hero Complex caught up with Nick Ricks, executive producer at TT Games, about bringing Tolkien’s hobbits, dwarves and elves to […]
Nov. 02, 2012 | 3:14 p.m.
Peter Jackson has a message for J.R.R Tolkien: I can’t quit you. Nearly a decade after the New Zealand filmmaker concluded his massively successful “Lord of the Rings” trilogy — a string of films that grossed more than $2.9 billion worldwide, capped with a best picture Oscar for 2003′s “The Return of the King” — Jackson is set to launch yet another three-film series from the fantasy novelist’s other famous tome, “The Hobbit.” Unlike his previous trifecta, Jackson wasn’t the original filmmaker behind the “Hobbit” films (Guillermo del Toro was initially set to direct, with Jackson producing), and there were supposed to be two, not three, “Hobbit” productions. Warner Bros. executives were so excited after seeing a rough cut of Dec. 14′s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” that they ordered one more movie, forcing Jackson to reassemble his cast and […]
Oct. 31, 2012 | 2:54 p.m.
Peter Jackson has more to celebrate than just his birthday — the director is 51 Wednesday — as the countdown to the release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” continues. As marketing ramps up for the film, the first in what is to be a trilogy based on the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, ahead of its Dec. 14 release date, New Zealand post has released “Hobbit”-themed currency and stamps, the Wellington Airport installed an enormous Gollum sculpture, and Air New Zealand on Wednesday unveiled a new in-flight briefing video that takes a page from Middle-earth. The video (watch it below), which instructs passengers to buckle up, turn off their electronic devices and properly stow their luggage, features cameos by a host of characters from the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit,” both of which were […]
Oct. 10, 2012 | 5:58 p.m.
Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey are getting their own coins as New Zealand puts its money where its movies are. New Zealand Post, the country’s government-owned mail service, is minting coins and printing stamps featuring characters from Middle-earth to commemorate the upcoming film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” The coins also feature the faces of dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield and three other dwarves, wizard Radagast the Brown, Lord of Rivendell Elrond and Gollum. PHOTOS: Meet the 13 dwarves from ‘The Hobbit’ Though some of the collectible coins will be considered legal tender, the price range means the coins will probably be too … ahem … precious to see much circulation. The coins range from a NZ$1 coin retailing for NZ$29.90 (about $24. 43 in U.S. dollars) to a NZ$10 coin made from pure gold that costs NZ$3,695 (about $3,019.53). […]
Sept. 27, 2012 | 12:34 p.m.
A new poster for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” puts the spotlight on Thorin Oakenshield and his company of dwarves. In the J.R.R. Tolkien book, hobbit Bilbo Baggins is enlisted by wizard Gandalf to join 13 dwarves on their journey to reclaim their ancestors’ gold from the greedy and terrible dragon Smaug. The new poster follows last week’s reveal of a poster featuring Baggins (Martin Freeman) wielding his sword Sting (above, right). Also released last week was a new trailer that offered a more lighthearted sense of the film and revealed glimpses of several Middle-earth characters, including Radagast the Brown. PHOTOS: Meet the 13 dwarves from “The Hobbit” In addition to Freeman, the film stars Richard Armitage as dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield as well as “Lord of the Rings” returnees Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, […]
Sept. 19, 2012 | 12:44 p.m.
In honor of Tolkien Week, Peter Jackson has released a new trailer (below) for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” delving more into Bilbo Baggins’ story and revealing first looks at several beasts of Middle-earth. The trailer, though action-packed, takes a less serious tone than the previous trailer, released some nine months ago, and certainly than “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy — a directorial decision that captures the lighter mood of “The Hobbit” compared to J. R. R. Tolkien’s later work; though we see Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins bravely wielding Sting (his glowing sword) against a goblin, we also see him running barefoot through the Shire, map in hand, bellowing, “I’m going on an adventure!” Even Gollum, reprised beautifully by Andy Serkis‘ motion-capture performance, is more comedic (and even cute) than grotesque. The trailer is more narrative-focused, describing the […]