Lord of the Rings
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 […]
Jan. 11, 2012 | 5:23 p.m.
In the cutting-edge and ever-expanding world of performance-capture roles on film, Andy Serkis remains the man to go to. He’s almost single-handedly turned an aspect of acting once thought to be fit only for stuntmen and tech geeks into a respected and (dare we say it) Oscar-worthy avenue of performance. Last year, Serkis saved a mostly humdrum summer with his showstopping performance as Caesar, the Spartacus-like simian of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and he can currently be seen in director Steven Spielberg’s performance-capture feature “The Adventures of Tintin” as the seafaring Capt. Haddock. In December, Serkis will step back into his decade-old digital costume as Gollum in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Join us on Friday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Pacific for a live chat with Serkis as he discusses his most famous film roles on […]
Jan. 03, 2012 | 4:42 p.m.
Bob Anderson, the Olympic fencing coach who doubled as Darth Vader during lightsaber duels in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” died on New Year’s Day. He was 89. Anderson, who competed in the 1952 Olympic Games as part of the British fencing team and went on to coach future fencing teams, began his side career as a sword-fight trainer to the big screen’s swashbucklers after coaching Errol Flynn in “The Master of Ballantrae.” His Hollywood handiwork spans five decades and multiple genres, with credits including “Star Wars,” “The Mask of Zorro,” “Highlander,” “The Phantom,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” several James Bond films and many more. “The sword is the ultimate weapon,” he said in a 1995 Los Angeles Times interview. “It’s not so threatening shooting at someone at 20 or 30 paces away or while hiding […]
Dec. 20, 2011 | 7:32 p.m.
Middle-earth just got closer. The first trailer for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” arrived Tuesday and while it was all too fleeting there was enough in it to stir the hearts of fans. The movie arrives next December and will be followed a year later by “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” Both films are being directed by Peter Jackson, and for the filmmaker that is in itself an unexpected journey – he stepped in when Guillermo del Toro left the project amid financial delays and the MGM corporate crisis. Jackson, of course, directed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, one of the most celebrated and successful film franchises of all time. The excitement about the trailer’s release went beyond just fans. Down in New Zealand, at Jackson’s headquarters, there were tingles and grins, according to Philippa Boyens, the Oscar-winning screenwriter […]
Nov. 01, 2011 | 9:16 p.m.
The new video game Lord of the Rings: War in the North takes its cue from a line in the “Lord of the Rings” books (specifically, “The Return of the King”), then expands on the work that J.R.R. Tolkien started years ago. The launching point for the Warner Bros. Interactive title, released Tuesday, is delivered by Gandalf the White: “With his far reaching rich hand Sauron might have done great evil in the North. Yet all that has been averted because a handful of heroes stood in his path.” Despite its pedigree, War in the North is not receiving the promotional blitz that other recent or upcoming video games like Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception or even the latest Assassin’s Creed are getting. But fans of the “Rings” series have been waiting for the game, which was developed by […]