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Old 11-02-2011, 08:37 AM  
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The Hobbit

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51787

An Unexpected Journey: Quint on the set of The Hobbit! Part 1 - Concerning Hobbiton

Published at: Oct 31, 2011 6:13:46 AM CDT

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here currently writing from the overgrown wilds of New Zealand’s North Island. I’ve been rather secretive about my trip to the southern hemisphere and for that I apologize, but it had to be done.

Here’s the deal. I’m kicking off a new, temporary, regular column that I’m calling An Unexpected Journey because that’s exactly what it is. A little over a month ago an email arrived asking of my interest in embedding myself on the set of The Hobbit for the entirety of their location shoot, spending over 2 months in New Zealand rolled in with the crew and writing up their adventures, hassles, triumphs and tribulations as they traveled all over the country shooting bits and pieces from the upcoming two-parter prequel to Lord of the Rings. As Winston Zeddemore taught us all, the answer to this kind of question is always YES!

Calling The Hobbit a prequel doesn’t exactly feel right, though. This isn’t a film cooked up to cash in on an absurdly successful franchise. As most Tolkien readers and human beings over the age of 7 know, The Hobbit burst forth from the pen of JRR Tolkien first. There are many Middle Earth stories, but The Hobbit is the natural choice. It’s high adventure and lets us revisit some of our favorite locations and characters within its own, unique story.

Case in point, the very first location visited on this trip: Matamata, Waikato, New Zealand – North Island, also known as Hobbiton.









Gorgeous, isn’t it? As amazing as it looks in those pictures or in the movies there’s something incredibly surreal and humbling to stand ON TOP of Bag End and overlook The Shire. I love (good) CGI, I have a lot of respect for the digital artists that toil away for hours and days and weeks and months in a dark room so we can go to Ancient Greece or Pandora or spend some time with Jurassic Park dinosaurs or Gollum or Caesar or those fookin’ prawns, but if there was ever a shred of doubt that real wins it was obliterated as the sheep bayed, horses neighed, wind blew and smoke started pouring out of hobbit hole chimneys dotting the lush green landscape in the valley below me.





And when I say green I mean GREEN. The grass in this North Island New Zealand farmland is like Wizard of Oz Technicolor. It’s so bright it almost hurts the eyes.

But we all know New Zealand is beautiful. That’s a given at this point. By the end of December you’ll be given your fill of unbelievable scenery images as I travel from location to location (especially when I hit the South Island). Let’s get into what was actually happening in Hobbiton.

Wake up time was 5:15am, which barely gave me enough time to get showered and presentable before making the 40+ minute drive from my Hamilton hotel to the location deep in the rolling green hills of Matamata.

Once past security I found myself driving along a small dirt and gravel road following signs to crew parking. Sure enough, the countryside was beautiful and Tolkeinesque, but it wasn’t until I made a turn and saw the incredibly iconic stone bridge leading to The Green Dragon that it really struck me where I was.

That feeling intensified standing at base camp, perched on top of Bag End, looking over Hobbiton with dozens of Hobbit holes laid out over acres of green hills and the massive party tree anchored in the middle of everything.

The crew was setting up a crane out on the narrow walkway in front of Bag End for their first shot actually in Hobbiton in over 10 years. Because of the narrow and steep path down, the crew had to bring crane parts down and assemble much of it there. It took a little while, but before too long the familiar circular green front door of Bag End cracked open and out stepped an even more familiar face.

Munching on jellied toast, Frodo Baggins sauntered out and hopped down the steps leading to the mailbox, grabbed some mail and headed back inside.





What’s Frodo doing in The Hobbit? I don’t want to spoil too much, but I can say that Frodo is part of the connecting tissue between The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring.

In fact, the next shot was an over the shoulder on Elijah Wood hammering a sign up on Bag End’s front gate: “No Admittance Except On Party Business.” You guys should have an idea where that puts this moment in the timeline.

Martin Freeman stood in for Ian Holm, who shot all of his scenes and close-ups in London. They would sometimes play footage they’ve already shot to remind themselves of what they had done previously and to help them match up shots. Peter and crew did that for these reverse shots on Elijah and I got to see Ian as Bilbo once again. It was quite extraordinary, actually. Seeing Ian in close up, wearing the wig, the vest and the pointy ears just put a smile on my face.

While I didn’t talk to Elijah about it, I bet it meant the world to him to have Martin there actually giving a performance for him to act off of. Freeman even adopted a little bit of Ian Holm’s speech patterns for these scenes and was so good at impersonating Ian Holm that more than once I wondered if the voice I was hearing over the coms was Ian’s on playback or Martin’s in real life. Usually in these situations they’ll have the script girl or one of the dialect coaches read the lines and while that works a charm, there’s something extra special about a performer giving a performance. Like I said, I didn’t talk to Elijah about it, but I bet he appreciated Martin doing that for him.

Their conversation is about Gandalf and if Bilbo thinks Gandalf will show up. Bilbo says “He wouldn’t miss a chance to let off his whiz-poppers. He’ll put on quite a show, you’ll see,” and Frodo grins, saying he’s going to go surprise him and bounds off down the path like a kid at Christmas. When I say he bounds down the path that’s not an exaggeration for illustrative purposes. He was damn near skipping, a glimpse of that pre-ring Frodo we meet in Fellowship.

After Frodo leaves the frame is very wide featuring The Shire in all its glory; The Green Dragon and mill smack dab in the middle.





It’s my understanding this shot will transition to “60 Years Earlier” with Young Bilbo sitting in front of Bag End contently smoking a pipe and casually blowing smoke rings as Gandalf comes along and presents him with his adventure.

At lunch I caught up with Elijah who was wide-eyed and smiling, obviously enjoying being back in Hobbiton with the furry feet on. He ran off and I said, “Where do you think you’re going?” His reply: “Back to Bag End, my friend!”

I had to run over to wardrobe to get fitted for my cameo the next day, but soon made my way back to set. We had the same scene going and this time they had the camera tight on Frodo. While it was a tighter shot than before, it still captured the landscape behind him. I mean, that’s the whole reason we were out there in the first place, so I wasn’t going to see a whole lot of close-ups and insert shots being filmed. In this case, it was a full on front shot of Frodo, the massive Party Tree behind him.

Seeing the footage of Ian as Old Bilbo was crazy, but nothing compared to seeing Elijah as Frodo in the furry-footed flesh. I’ve gotten to know Elijah pretty well over the last 13 years and it was the very definition of surreal talking to Frodo. Not Elijah. Frodo. I was literally not talking to a friend, but a fictional character, not to mention the magnifier of actually seeing him in Hobbiton.





I have to talk about the livestock. This will be the first time I’ve traveled internationally where I will have to check off the Yes box when asked if I’ve been near livestock on the arrival card. All forms of livestock were on set. There was even a runaway cow who decided she didn’t like the film business on the first take and bolted right the hell out of Hobbiton.

It was quite funny, actually. I feel bad for the production having to pause, but from my high-up point of view (remember I was standing on top of the hill overlooking Hobbiton this whole day) it was very entertaining watching this cow haul ass along the path between the hobbit holes with a poor A.D. running about 20 feet behind her, desperately trying to catch up.

There were all manner of animals on the set ranging from goats to roosters, pigs, oxen, horses and all of them had handlers there to make sure they were fed, watered and safely munching on the lush green grass of Matamata. They would quickly duck out of frame whenever shots would go up.

Shortly after getting the shot on Frodo the unmistakable sound of chopper blades hit our ears. It was circling us. Obviously someone had hired it to fly above and take photos of the set.

An hour or two later a small, single-engine prop plane did the same thing, flying low and circling. Photos hit the net shortly after, I noticed. The crew was quite annoyed, not because Hobbiton was being exposed to the world, but because the choppers and planes were constantly getting in the shot and the sound of the engines was either ruining takes or making the production halt until they got out of earshot… which could be a long while if they are circling.

So, it was an unwanted intrusion, especially frustrating when you consider they were already waiting for the light to be right, to get behind a cloud or peak out from behind a cloud depending on the previous shot.

It got to the point that producer Zane Weiner asked me to take a photo of the plane so we can try to get its tail number. I had the 18mm-55mm lens on my camera (which means it’s a shorter lens and doesn’t zoom in too far), so I ran back to my bag, grabbed my 200mm lens and popped it on, but I was too late. The plane had already gone. Zane wanted me to let you guys know I failed at that particular task. And on my first day of location reporting, too.

That was one day of location shooting on The Hobbit. One day down, two months to go! Before I conclude this article, I’d like to set up a little space where I’ll be featuring a member of the crew. God willing I’ll be able to do this with each of my pieces, introducing you to the fine folks who I spend my days with. These guys are the unsung heroes of filmmaking, so I feel they should be represented.

Kicking things off will be Kiran Shah.





If you’ve watched the appendices on the Extended Editions of the Lord of the Rings films you should recognize Kiran’s name. He’s a much loved character around the set. He’s an actor, stunt man and scale double. On Rings he doubled Elijah Wood, but before Lord of the Rings he had a massive career.

For instance, he’s in Raiders of the Lost Ark… he’s the guy who brings the poisoned dates into Indy and Sallah. He doubled Short Round in Temple of Doom, he was a character in Ridley Scott’s Legend (Blunder) and even knew Stanley Kubrick.

The story he told me was that he got to know Kubrick a little bit, but even being on friendly terms with the maestro didn’t save him when he popped in for a visit on the set of Eyes Wide Shut. Stanley spotted him and said, “Kiran, out!” We all know the stories about how Kubrick didn’t like a lot of crew around and that was Kiran’s little tale about it.

He also mentioned that LOTR and Hobbit illustrator/designer Alan Lee did the character designs for Legend and even drew the character that Shah ended up playing to look just like him. Shah attributes getting the role to Lee because he remembered auditioning for it and seeing Ridley Scott do a double take when Shah entered the room, looking back at the character design and up at him again.

In The Hobbit, Shah is up to his usual shenanigans, making the crew (and visiting movie geek reporters) crack up in-between takes and doubling hobbits. In the above picture he’s waiting to double Martin Freeman’s Bilbo, which is why his eyes are reverse raccooned in his picture. There’s an eerie silicone mask of Bilbo’s face that he’ll put on when Bilbo is needed to be seen in a close to correct proportion.

Shah will also be a Goblin in the film and is just an overall joy to be around and as such he is this column’s inaugural featured crew member.

The next report will cover my cameo appearance during a Hobbit market in front of The Green Dragon. There is a particular actor in this scene named Leroy that I’m especially excited to tell you about. He has huge talents and that’s even an understatement. I expect that report to land in a few days, but taking my own pictures means a bit of a clearance process.

I know the watermarks are annoying. I hate them, you hate them, so I made them as unintrusive as possible. If I see a bunch of sites take these images without credit and a linkback future pictures will have bigger watermarks. So, don’t be a dick. I don’t care if you use the image, just give a link back here, will ya’? Don’t ruin it for everybody.





More soon! This is going to be a crazy couple of months! Oh, and Happy Birthday to Peter Jackson! Thanks for letting me join the circus for a spell, sir!

-Eric Vespe
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:24 AM   #46
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I guess theres been some discussion over the way Jackson shot this. He shot it at 48 frames per second which is a new process. Apparently it gives it an ultra realistic look which some fans didn't like. Not like traditional film. More like HD video. JD could probably expand on this.
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Apparently the first footage in 48 fps was not finished, Peter Jackson talks a bit about it here, in this article from late April:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...nemacon-317755


Can't wait to see it...if it takes four or five viewings to get used to 48 fps, then that is a sacrifice that I will just have to make....
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:27 AM   #47
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Here is another editorial about Jackson's filming style, and it discusses the future of digital film fps...apparently James Cameron wants to do his Avatar sequels at 60 fps. Interesting stuff.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/28/e...h-frame-rates/
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:35 AM   #48
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One more article, this one from Entertainment Weekly:

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/05/0...t-frame-speed/
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:57 AM   #49
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Alright, I gotta ask...

I've read The Hobbit as well as FotR, TTT & RotK (although the last 3 have been awhile ago, re-reading them now) and have heard those names before, but don't know much about them.

Basically, what the hell is Appendix A and where can I get more of my LOTR fix? TIA.

I'm sorry, I hadn't seen this post until now.

After Return of the King there are a number of appendices. Some of them are boring stuff that you'd not likely want to read (proper pronounciation of Elvish words is for the hard-core Tolkien fan indeed), but some actually provide additional details/background for the characters and races. One of them goes into substantial detail regarding how the orcs mightily offended the dwarves and what ensued. I dont' want to spoil it for you, so I'll end it there.

Bottom line -- go to Return of the King, go to Appendices, and start reading whatever interests you.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:33 PM   #50
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:47 PM   #51
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One book, three films?

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,2208206.story
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:54 PM   #52
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Well, a bit more than one book, really, as it seems they're incorporating a number of the pre-LoTR events from the appendices to the Return of the King, including Azog/Thror/Thrain etc., stuff.

I'd agree that three films from just the Hobbit would be pushing it, but at this point I think Peter Jackson deserves more than a little bit of the benefit of the doubt that he will do things right. I at least will give him that.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:17 PM   #53
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:29 PM   #54
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #55
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This movie looks horrible.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:14 PM   #56
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As long as the book is mostly done in the first two, I'm completely down with using all the extras from the LOTR to go deeper and further for another movie.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #57
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This movie looks horrible.
It's going to be great.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:22 PM   #58
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This movie looks horrible.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:50 PM   #59
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Third ‘Hobbit’ movie: How? What? When? Why?

July 26th, 2012 by MrCere 53 Comments and 0 Reactions

I admit, when I first heard talk of “a third ‘Hobbit’ movie” from the floor of Comic-Con, I was skeptical. Reporters Quickbeam and Justin brought back footage from a press conference (that you can watch right here) breaking the story that additional shooting was a possibility, directly from Peter Jackson’s mouth. I downplayed it because from a five-week set visit I knew the team was going to return to shooting right after Comic-Con. I thought the media was being its usual bombastic self by calling a little more shooting “a third “Hobbit” movie. They absolutely had it posted first, breaking the story so kudos to them, but I dismissed it. How quickly things change.

Now it seems inevitable that this will happen. Jackson clearly has the will or he wouldn’t have spoken about it so fully. The studio clearly has the will because they are talking about it instead of dismissing it. So what would this mean besides another year of happy blood sweat and tears at TheOneRing.net? Lets look at all the facts and see if we can’t come to some conclusions educated guesses.

ON THE RECORD, WHAT WAS SAID:

Jackson spoke about this, very likely not by accident, from the television press line meet-and-greet at Comic-Con that took place before the famous Hall H event for fans. (Watch the first two or three minutes of Jackson’s own production diary #8 for the best account of Hall H.) He did it in front of a lot of websites with video and cameras. He knew it would get out to fans and he responded to a question will a full answer instead of a dismissal or a quick comment. The reaction on Twitter has been very interesting, as detailed in the story below.

So if you didn’t follow the link above, to get up to speed, watch it below:

Then he did the Hall H thing and it didn’t hurt matters than he delivered 12 minutes of “Hobbit” footage that viewers went bananas for. But, rumors kept on churning and a Warner Bros. spokesperson said there were “. . . no planned or surprise announcements involving a third film. The plan was always for two.” Venturing a guess, the conversation about extra footage had started, the studio wasn’t ready to deliver an announcement but the rumor was out there and Jackson seized the chance to energize the influential fans. It worked.

No matter what happens in the conversations and the logistics, I gathered from my stint on “The Hobbit” set that there will be significant filming next year anyway. The production seemed to be working at a fast, efficient clip but there was always going to be significant shooting in 2013, or so I thought. To me, this sounded like more stuff for extended editions of the films, which is why I scoffed at reports of “three ‘Hobbit’ films.” I think I rolled my eyes at headlines.

By the afternoon press conference, it was a red hot topic. This is what Jackson had to say:

It’s all very premature. We have got incredible source material with the appendices. The Hobbit is obviously the novel, but we also have the rights to use this 125 pages of additional notes that Tolkien expanded the world of “The Hobbit” that’s published at the end of “Return of the King.” We’ve used some of that so far, just in the last few weeks as we’ve been prepping out the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story. Eventually Philippa [Boyens] and Fran [Walsh] and I have been talking to the studio about other things that we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting. It’ll be more than a few weeks actually, a bit of shooting, additional shooting next year. What form that will end up taking, the discussions are pretty early so there isn’t anything to report. But certainly there’s other parts of the story that we’d like to tell that we haven’t had a chance to tell yet. So we’re just trying to have those conversations with the studio at the moment.

CLUES FROM WHAT WE KNOW

Jackson wasn’t backing away from the possibility, but he did say that it was early, that there “isn’t anything to report,” perhaps relieving the studio from pressure if things didn’t work out. An actual third “Hobbit” film seemed pretty far fetched to me. Not everybody noticed, but we all received a very clear indication of where the first film was going to end when Entertainment Weekly released a montage of “Hobbit” images. The whole thing laid out “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” film rather nicely. Look just below for the whole, split sequentially in two parts.

So a quick glance provides audiences with many of the events of the films including the final scene, a Dwarven escape out of bonds into floating barrels. We know where “Unexpected Journey,” film ends.

So is this third film talk actually valid? Can two more films be pieced together out of what is left in the story plus what is contained in the appendicies after we already know the content of film one? Or could that actually change as well? Recent stories by the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter indicate that a third film definitely is a strong possibility.

This, from the HR piece, was particularly telling:


. . .the filmmaker has concluded that he wants to turn his upcoming two-film adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien epic into a trilogy.

That, to me, came from people in the know, meshes better than any story out there with what TheOneRing knows. It says shooting would be for about two months next summer (North America’s summer presumably). It seems Jackson thought about it, mentioned it to the studio, floated the idea at Comic-Con and is energized and now wants to do it, or at least that is how I read it.

I trust that Hollywood Reporter story for the best accuracy and fans who want to read it carefully might find further clues.

Reports in New Zealand are that he was at the top of his game during “The Hobbit,” shoot. It seemingly went well and actors seem happy despite the length of the shoot. The team seems creative and energized and ready to keep telling the story of Middle-earth. But, shooting movies, especially big ones with a big crew and big logistical needs costs big money. So WB is into two films for something like $500 million. For another, say $100 million or less, they now have three films to collect box office from, three different home video sales items to ring up. Instead of grossing $2 billion for a $500 million investment, they get to dream of $3 billion for $600 million. Seems like smart finances. It also fills a hole in the 2014 schedule, which will please stock holders and best of all, the desire to make the film didn’t come from marketing or merchandising, it came from the creative team involved. It also seems the only time to do this is now and not try to start the whole thing up from scratch in two years. The right people, the big movie-making machine that helps Jackson realize his vision, is in place.

OBSTACLES

One big challenge, probably the biggest after somebody says “yes” for the money is convincing, paying and scheduling on-screen talent. It will be a logistical challenge to align all the planets stars to make this happen. And, smart actors with smart agents will get a pay raise. Still, the return on investment will probably be big enough for the studio that they are willing to over pay a little.

WHAT MATERIAL?

So what material is this that Jackson is talking about? Most book readers are aware that at the end of the “Lord of the Rings,” author J.R.R. Tolkien included about 100 pages (in my copy) of extra material in the Appendix. Film-only fans need to know that Tolkien had a much larger vision of Middle-earth than LOTR or the films could showcase and he used these pages to flesh out some history culture, languages and legends. So what is in them? Glad you asked.

A complete list of the content is down the page but there seems to be a few obvious possibilities of what might be incorporated into Middle-earth cinema. This isn’t a guess of what Jackson’s team is doing or thinking about, just what is available to them.

APPENDIX A

Besides some overlap of “The Silmarillion,” here is a history of kings and rulers and that includes familiar characters like Denathor, Boromir and Faramir. There is also a rough and tough guy called Aragorn who has some wild adventures including the very specific “Tale of Aragorn and Arwen.” Think cinema audiences would like that?

It could be that Jackson’s writing team wants to fill in the blanks and tie the two “Hobbit” films right into the “Lord of the Rings,” films. Once upon a time this was called the bridge movie which was abandoned so “The Hobbit” could get the royal, two-movie treatment but we know at least the thought was there at one time.

There is a section on Durin’s Folk, or Dwarves, who we alredy know will be making a big showing in the already filmed “Hobbit” movies. The writings include exciting details about a great battle with goblins and we already have clues that some of this history will be in the two planned films because of the presence of bad guys named Azog and Bolg (Conan Stevens). These characters come directly from Appendix A. Called The Battle of Azanulbizar, there is some great dramatic and hate-filled motivating material here, that I suspect and fervently hope is already in “The Hobbit” films.

In the same section we also learn more about Dain Ironfoot, played by Billy Connolly and this drips with potential but might be somewhat confusing in the complicated Dwarven shuffle. Fingers crossed that this is in already or will be with added shooting time.

Also here, the rise of the Witch King of Angmar and his decimation of the kings of men and his showdown against Glorfindel and the famous prophecy “and not by the hand of man will he fall.” This reference to Eowyn would also be a nice tie to the LOTR trilogy, although it seems unlikely. (But really, really cool!) Weathertop could also figure in here and then have more meaning in the LOTR films because it was a featured great tower that housed a palantir and was the center of a real estate dispute (war) that obviously left a memorable ruin in the LOTR films.

APPENDIX B

Taking place at the same time as some of the oldest flashbacks in LOTR, we have Thranduil and the establishing of the Silvan Elves. More Lee Pace? Yes please. Would PJ want to tackle the glory of Numenor? Seems a bit complex.

If Jackson wanted, he could depict the whole battle that was happening in the north while the siege of Minas Tirith was happening in “The Lord of the Rings,” in the south. The events are very related and it would be a strong, powerful tie to link the sets of films together. There is powerful heroism and friendship that would play great on the big screen. Related events happening at the same time that is also thick with drama is pretty good stuff.

Here too are mentions of post-LOTR events, especially with Hobbits and the final entry explains the final fates of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli but that seems unlikely.

APPENDIX C, D, F

If Jackson can make a good film from family trees, explanations of calendars, languages and spelling will George Lucas promise to never make another film again?

THE APPENDIX INDEX
APPENDIX A – ANNALS OF THE KINGS AND RULERS
Annals of the Kings and Rulers
I The Númenórean Kings
II The House of Eorl
III Durin’s Folk
APPENDIX B – THE TALE OF YEARS (CHRONOLOGY OF THE WESTLANDS)
APPENDIX C – FAMILY TREES (HOBBITS)
APPENDIX D – CALENDARS
Shire Calendar for use in all years
The Calendars
APPENDIX E – WRITING AND SPELLING
I Pronunciation of Words and Names
II Writing
APPENDIX F
I The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age
II On Translation

REARRANGE THE CONTENT?

Jackson specifically mentioned the appendicies, which is why we thumb through them above, but what if he only wants to add some background (like a fleshed out Battle of Azanulbizar please!) and put off the end of “The Hobbit,” until the third film. Is it possible? Could it be done effectively?


Could film two, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” end and still leave plenty of story for a third film that genuinely is “The Hobbit,” and not a bridge film? Maybe. It would probably need a new title though as there wouldn’t be a “going back again” happening just yet. Smaug The Golden, Smaug the Magnificent and his battle with Bard and Laketown could be the climax of the film. In the previously scheduled second film, Jackson has the challenge of making that magnificent event happen and then giving viewers another climactic action with the massive Battle of Five Armies that must seem even more grand. These events distinctly do not happen at the same time, so they can’t be tied together in a film’s structure as happening concurrently without major, fundamental changes to plot and character of the base story. Jackson did manage an epic battle with a balrog and still managed an emotional ending in FOTR, so it may not be as tricky as suspected at first blush.

So, could the political enmity between Dwarves and Elves and Men and Orcs provide enough plot, complete with thick history, to be its own movie? Is the White Council busy in the same time frame giving Gandalf urgent business too? Is Radagast and his legion of bunnies, birds and rodents to make the world safe at the same time? Perhaps the conflict against the Necromancer will also be moved to this time frame.

Is there any chance that Jackson would change film 1, make it shorter, leave film 2 with more stuff? An educated guess only but no.

So far we don’t have the clues needed to figure it all out, or at least I don’t.

THE BEST OPTIONS

Three options seem most viable:
1) Shorten 1 and 2 to give content to 3
2) Flesh out 2 and 3 with history to give depth to armed conflict
3) End “The Hobbit” with 2 films and create the once imagined bridge film

So fans, what should it be and what will it be? I have a hunch it will be option three but Jackson, already in 3D-48fps-uncharted-territory, having just sprung a third film on the world in an unprecedented move and way, all stemming from a 75-year-old children’s book, well, that guy just might do anything.

Some aren’t pleased or are skeptical that this can or will work and many instantly think of people trying to make another pile of money. For me, if I get more Middle-earth and more appendicies on screen (especially Glorfindel or *GASP* Tom Bombadil on a Jackson whim) I am happy for it. I don’t look forward to seeing extensions of new-to-the-film content. If Jackson and WB take this risk and I don’t like the end result, I can already read a book but I believe this is coming from the right (creative) place. It may be a long, long while before we see another Middle-earth film and there are some rich nuggets in the appendicies for Jackson and company to mine.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:47 PM   #60
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In a note posted to Facebook this morning (in the U.S.) Peter Jackson confirmed there will be a third film in the “Hobbit” series:

So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.

TheOneRing.net has confirmed with two independent sources that the third “Hobbit,” film will not follow the schedule of traditional December releases for Middle-earth movies and will hit audiences in Summer of 2014. TORn has also learned that this newly announced film will not serve as a bridge film but continue to tell the story of “The Hobbit,” in three parts. It is believed that the breaking points of the first film has changed. That film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will be released in theaters this December 14. The next film, announced as “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is expected to keep its December 13, 2013 schedule. Its name may change however. The newly announced film, as yet untitled, will follow months later in the summer months of 2014.

The reaction has been swift and strong from film communities and Tolkien fans around the world. Read Peter’s full note here. Join us in our LIVE chatroom Barlimans, on the board, on twitter (@theoneringnet) and on Facebook (facebook.com/theoneringnet) Follow the break for the official press release


New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Warner Bros. Pictures Announce Third Film in The Hobbit Trilogy

BURBANK, CA, JULY 30, 2012 — Peter Jackson will make a third film in his upcoming adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officers, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Jackson, the Academy Award®-winning filmmaker behind the blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, recently wrapped principal photography on what he originally planned to be a two-film adaptation of The Hobbit, which is set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings.

Jackson stated, “Upon recently viewing a cut of the first film, and a chunk of the second, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and I were very pleased with the way the story was coming together. We recognized that the richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, gave rise to a simple question: do we tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as filmmakers and fans was an unreserved ‘yes.’ We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and—lastly, and most importantly—we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure. I’m delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.”

Emmerich stated, “We completely support Peter and his vision for bringing this grand adventure to the screen over the course of three films. Peter, Fran and Philippa’s reverence for the material and understanding of these characters ensure an exciting and expanded journey that is bound to please fans around the world.”

“With the abundance of rich material, we fully endorse the decision to further develop what Peter, Fran and Philippa have already begun. We are confident that, with the great care the filmmakers have taken to faithfully bring this journey to the screen, the film will be welcomed by the legions of fans across the globe,” said Barber and Birnbaum.

Robinov added, “Peter, Fran and Philippa have lived in this world and understand more than anyone its tremendous breadth and scope, and the relationships that bind it together. We strongly support their vision to bring this great work fully to life.”

The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will be released December 14, 2012, with the second film releasing on December 13, 2013, and the third film slated for summer 2014. All three films will be released in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes three films based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The trilogy of films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Returning cast members from “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy also include Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis as “Gollum.” The international ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.

The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

Under Jackson’s direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and its successive installments are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.
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