Lord of the Rings
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 […]
July 15, 2012 | 9:50 a.m.
Peter Jackson unveiled more than 12 minutes of footage from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” during his Comic-Con panel Saturday, giving fans a glimpse of Martin Freeman’s performance as Bilbo Baggins, a new female character not from the J.R.R. Tolkien universe and some scenes with familiar characters Gandalf, Gollum and Galadriel. Jackson, who directed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy before taking on Tolkien’s smaller adventure, was joined on the panel by cowriter Philippa Boyens, Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Andy Serkis (second unit director and, of course, Gollum), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) and surprise guest Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the trilogy and did “a bit of work” for “The Hobbit.” The panel was the capstone of the Hall H lineup this year. Thousands of fans — more than a few in Middle-earth garb […]
July 13, 2012 | 7:22 a.m.
David Arnold, clad in medieval armor, ran a leather-gloved hand across the dents in his steel helmet outside the San Diego Convention Center on Thursday. While thousands of attendees sweltered in long lines to see the big-studio presentations in Hall H and Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con — the annual gathering of pop-culture creators and enthusiasts — Arnold and others found their entertainment on the fringes of the event, no badge required. Arnold, whose “game name” is Sir Rhys Crispin, is a knight in the Adrian Empire, a national nonprofit dedicated to the study and re-creation of Western European culture from the High Middle Ages to the early Renaissance. On Thursday afternoon, Arnold, 48, prepared to demonstrate his sword-fighting for a small crowd on the convention center’s Bayside Terrace. “Our daily lives are just kind of ho-hum,” Arnold said. “And in […]
July 11, 2012 | 6:02 p.m.
COMIC-CON: BURNING QUESTIONS As we close in on the 2012 edition of Comic-Con International, we look at some of the burning questions that will be answered in San Diego. Does “The Hobbit” need a magic moment in Hall H? Peter Jackson rarely hears grumbles from Middle-earth fans — just the opposite. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy not enjoyed success in epic proportions, but it was also the rare triple-threat as far as box-office numbers, industry awards and critical acclaim. But in April, at a preview in Las Vegas, reactions were divided about Jackson’s new Tolkien footage; it was screened at 48 frames per second (the norm is 24 frames) and in the view of some the added clarity actually sapped the majesty out of Middle-earth. The first part of the two-film adaptation hits theaters in December, but how is Jackson approaching this […]
Jan. 30, 2012 | 7:15 p.m.
It’s been a bumpy year so far for Lego but the leaders at the Billund, Denmark, company can take solace in the fact that their summer plans have the ring of an epic success. Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The Lego Group already have a partnership that clicks (“Harry Potter” and “Batman” Legos seem to be doing pretty well) and this June they will begin rolling out Lego sets based on Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the upcoming two-film series “The Hobbit.” Here’s a first look at some Middle-earth minifigs. By all appearances, this is a line that will have Lego-lovers talking Tolkien. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey“ arrives Dec. 14, 2012. (Lego) — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED ‘The Hobbit’: An unexpected journey off-screen Serkis: Gollum is ‘printed on my DNA’ ‘Hobbit’ trailer brings back magic Jackson: Fans ‘fed up […]
Jan. 23, 2012 | 12:49 p.m.
With Academy Award nominations looming Tuesday morning, there’s been a lot of buzz about a possible supporting actor Oscar nod for Andy Serkis, the performance-capture pioneer who played the resistance fighter chimpanzee Caesar in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Serkis, who helped put motion-capture technology on the map a decade ago with his portrayal of Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” films, received a Critics’ Choice Movie Award nomination for his Caesar performance, and “Apes” co-star James Franco has been campaigning on his behalf for awards recognition. Hero Complex sat down with Serkis earlier this month in a video chat with readers to talk about “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and his other projects — including Peter Jackson’s upcoming two-part adaptation of “The Hobbit” and Steven Spielberg’s current release, “The Adventures of Tintin” — and what […]
Jan. 14, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
No major release of 2012 arrives at theaters with more baggage or battle scars than “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a title that became a sort of epic inside joke for the cast and his crew, many of whom worked on “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy that made movie history a decade ago. “I think fate has actually been kind to us,” director Peter Jackson said last summer, although he didn’t sound convinced by his own words. “Yes, I think fate was kind but I don’t know that we knew that along the way.” That’s how most quests go, of course, but the journey to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth saga into a lavish two-part movie adventure was especially stormy right from the beginning. Roadblocks included an ugly legal battle with the author’s heirs, a two-year delay that came with […]