Things you should know about The Hobbit by now

Posted on July 20, 2011. Filed under: News, Trivia | Tags: , , , , , |

In the past month or so a lot of news about the eagerly anticipated Hobbit movie has come out.  I’ve been getting over excited by the various updates coming from facebook, twitter and TORN, but for those of you who don’t have a constant supply of Tolkien related news, here is a handy break down of all the gossip from Middle Earth

  1. The movie has been split in half.  Which was just about to annoy me until I realised this meant twice as much hobbitty goodness. The first film is called An Unexpected Journey and will be released on 14th December 2012.  Part two is There And Back Again and will be out the following Christmas. Start getting your sleeping bags ready for Leicester Square 😉
  2. Empire magazine were the first to run a cover, giving us the first look at the new movie:
  3. Martin Freeman looks better as a hobbit than a human.
  4. Benedict Cumberbatch has replaced Bill Nighy as the voice of Smaug. Which means at one point Holmes will be talking to Watson.  That just about makes up for the loss of Nighy.
  5. Christopher Lee (infamously cut from ROTK) will be in the movie.  He is filming his scenes in the UK.
  6. Thanks to some creative tweeting from Derren Brown (of all people) there’s a suggestion that filming has already begun.
  7. Andy Serkis, having already completed a lot of his MoCap work,  is directing the second unit. Which is just cool.
  8. Stephen Fry is playing the Master of Laketown. Which is also pretty damn fantastic
  9. Elijah Wood will have a cameo appearance
  10. So will Orlando Bloom
  11. A flurry of pictures were released last week, giving us a first look at how the cast will look in full dwarf get up:
  12. Basically, it’s going to be awesome.
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Breaking News: The Hobbit!

Posted on June 11, 2010. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , |

Turns out twitter can sometimes be useful for more than just finding out what people had for breakfast.

Here’s the latest from @ianmckellen118:

“Hobbit” sets are ready, script ready and movie is casting this month. Fans are not to worry.

The films will get made. I suspect we’ll start shooting at end of this year.

Fiercely protective of Tolkien as I am, it’s good to know that the right people are getting involved.  Bringing Ian McKellen back was always a must, and with rumours that Andy Serkis is in too, along with  Jackson, Boyens and Walsh writing the screenplay, I’m starting to relax enough to get excited.  The big question now is who will direct, after Guillermo Del Toro was forced to quit earlier this year:

“In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming “The Hobbit,” I am faced with the hardest decision of my life. After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director”.


I really hope this movie lives up to the almost impossible expectations it has riding on it.  The fact that it’s being split into two parts already rankles me, because it seems like a studio that knows it’s onto a good thing trying to get as much money as possible, but that aside, there really is potential for another sensational film here.

All we need now is the casting of the right actor to play Bilbo.  I’m actually campaigning for a relative unknown.  Everyone dismissed Elijah Wood as a child actor who had no chance of carrying a film like LOTR.  Let’s prove them wrong again.

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Movies to see before you die

Posted on January 19, 2009. Filed under: Movies to see before you die | Tags: , , , , |

(Yes, I have that book)

There are movies which always turn up in these lists, and there are movies that should be there. Currently I’m working my way through my 1001 book and I’ll post reviews here as I go. At the same time, I’ll be writing a movies NOT to see section, a collection of what I believe are the most over-rated movies of all time.

So, to get the ball rolling, I’ll start with my favourite film (or rather, trilogy) which should be seen as part of the National Curriculum. I am, of course, talking about the Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

These films have developed a bit of a geek status now, which I hope wont put people off seeing them. It was these films which first got me really interested in movies and how they were made, with much the same effect on my generation as Star Wars had on the previous.

It’s not just the epic plotline which makes Lord of the Rings so special, its the work which went into making the troilogy which means that the story of how the movie came to be is almost as epic as the film itself. Taking nearly two years to film, (I think the longest shoot so far) and a further five years in post production, its no wonder that they came out looking as spectacular as they do. The special effects are simply awesome; especialy in Return of the King where “big” no longer even begins to describe what you are seeing.

Special effects aside, the performances by the ensemble cast are also excellent, most notably Andy Serkis as Gollum, who was robbed of an Oscar on a technicality, and Elijah Wood, who caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst Tolkeinites when he was announced as the lead, but proves himself to be a very good actor. I can’t imagine anyone else as Frodo now.

I think what makes the film so powerful though, is its spectacular score penned by Howard Shore. The music is so perfectly matched to each scene that you almost don’t need the dialogue to understand the plot. The Breaking of the fellowship, the final movement of Fellowship of the Ring, remains the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard, probably just tipping the first of the trilogy ahead of the others as my favourite film of all time.

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