Tag Archive: The Hobbit

A day behind the rest of the planet but here goes.

Looks great, and slots nicely into the look and feel of the Lord Of The Rings films. Some good scenes, dwarves, elves, wargs and Gollum. I like the look of the goblins, bit like Orcs but different.

As an added bonus, if you go over to the main movie site, there is a choice of five different endings.






The Hobbit Trilogy Confirmed

Over on his Facebook page Peter Jackson has confirmed that The Hobbit is now a trilogy.


To quote:

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life.  All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’  

 We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance.  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, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.

 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.  

 It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, “a tale that grew in the telling.”


 Peter J

Happy dance time!

Deadline reported yesterday that it would appear that Peter Jackson, New Line and Warner Bros are now seriously considering adding a third film to The Hobbit franchise. For those interested here is a link to the article.


Naturally when this piece of news broke the internet exploded. I’ve seen comments on a few of sites bemoaning Jackson, New Line and Warners for “cashing in” on the success of the three Lord Of The Rings films (NOTE: of course they’re cashing in, they wouldn’t be making them if the first three hadn’t been a success!), and of “bloating a short book” into first two and now possibly three films. A lot of comparisons have been made with another set of prequels that basically pooped all over accepted mythology and turned their director into a byword for tat.

On a personal note I welcome this news, hell I’d watch a dozen films provided they were done correctly, and done by the same crew and production company.

But I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here to talk about peoples seeming inability to read something in its entirety before making snap judgments and running off to Facebook or Twitter to announce their thoughts to the world. Now I’m assuming by now you’ve been and read the article in the link above – if you haven’t then please do – so can anyone guess why I’m grinding my axe?

It is clearly stated in the article the reasons behind the possible third film, anyone who’s read Tolkien will know that there is a mine of off the page action that was cut, or thought of after that never made it into the finished books. Anyone that knows anything about Tolkien will know that he intended – at some point but unfortunately never got round to it – to re-visit The Hobbit and (to use a modern term) re-image it, adding in all the stuff he left out first time round. It is because of this extra material that when Jackson came to make the film, he knew he would need to do it over two, as it wouldn’t fit into one.

Jackson has the rights to The Hobbit and the 125 odd pages of appendices that appear at the end of Return Of The King. That is what he is filming, he’s not just filming “a short book”, he is filling in the blank spaces (like where did Gandalf go for two or three chapters and what was he up to) so what appears on screen is nearer to what Tolkien intended – albeit after he’d originally written the books and finished Lord Of The Rings some 16 years later.

The third film will cover some of this missing material, it will also possible fill in the gaps (some 70+ years) between the end of The Hobbit and the start of Fellowship Of The Ring. The end product will be one long story, starting with The Hobbit and ending with Return Of The King. All filmed in the same way, all with the same production values, and in some parts, all with the same cast.

Now all of this can be taken from what Peter Jackson says in the linked to article above.

But a lot of people, those that don’t read what’s in front of them, have only seen the headline and are knee-jerking all over the internet making a lot of noise for nothing.


San Diego Comic-Con 2012

For the past few days San Diego Comic-Con has been host to thousands of SF & Fantasy fans eager for the latest news on their top shows and movies. I collated some of the news here for shows and films I’m interested in.

First up…

Marvel – Phase Two

With Marvel Avengers Assemble the studio announced the end of their Phase One releases. Phase Two would contain Iron Man III, Thor II and Captain America II. The plan is the second phase will lead up to the second Avengers film. Over the course of Comic-Con more information has been released.

Thor: The Dark World is the title for the God of Thunder’s second outing and has a release date of November 8th 2013. As yet no further details are known regarding plot and casting, Chris Helmsworth will be reprising the role of Thor.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the title for Steve Rogers second outing and has a release date of April 4th 2014. No further details are known, but in the comics The Winter Soldier storyline was about “Bucky” Barnes who was Steve Rogers sidekick during WWII. It was a Cold War tale with “Bucky” revived without his memory and brainwashed by the Russians as an assassin. I’m not sure if they will use the same storyline or update it maybe with “Bucky” being radicalised.

Ant-Man was announced but no release date yet. He is a superhero who was at one time a member of The Avengers,  in the comics various characters have assumed the name, the original was Henry Pym, a brilliant scientist who invented a formula to alter his size.

Iron Man III is filming now, and footage shown confirms that Sir Ben Kingsley is playing The Mandarin, a long time enemy of Tony Stark.

Guardians of the Galaxy are another superhero group like The Avengers, except they are from the far future alternative time-line. Marvel have announced this film as a bridge between the three sequels and Ant-Man film and the second Avengers outing. In the after credits clip of the Avengers we saw the main adversary behind the attacks on Earth, this was a character called Thannos, it is believed both superhero teams maybe involved in battling him.

The Walking Dead S3

The trailer for season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead was shown. This series covers events in the town of Woodbury and introduces a character known as the Governor.

Game Of Thrones S3

Season 3 of HBO’s Game Of Thrones began filming last week. Unlike the first two seasons casting announcements have been scarce as it seems the producers have saved them all for Comic-Con. Season 3 will air on March 31st 2013.

A brief breakdown as to who is who.

Mackenzie Crook has been cast as Orell, a wildling who is a close advisor to the King-Beyond-The-Wall Mance Rayder. Crook is probably best known to UK viewers as Gareth from The Office, he also stared as one-eyed Ragetti in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Paul Kaye has been cast as Thoros of Myr, Thoros is a Red Priest like Melisandre. But unlike her Thoros likes to drink and fight. He is a one-time drinking partner of Robert Baratheon. In the books he went with Lord Benric Dondarrion to bring Ser Gregor Clegane to justice on Ned Stark’s orders (S1). Kaye shot to fame in the UK as “Dennis Pennis” a “shock-interviewer” who insulted celebrities whilst interviewing them. He stared in many shows throughout the early 2000s.

Richard Dormer has been cast as Lord Beric Dondarrion of Blackraven. The character did appear briefly in S1 when he was despatched by Ned Stark to bring Ser Gregor Clegane to justice, the producers decided to recast for S3. Dormer is an actor and playwright.

Clive Russell has been cast as Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully, the uncle of Catelyn , Lysa and Edmure. In the books Brynden was introduced in The Game Of Thrones, but because of the trimming down of the Riverrun/Tully storyline it has been delayed until S3. Russell is a well known actor and has appeared in countless films and TV shows.

Tobias Menzies has been cast as Edmure Tully, he is the younger brother of Catelyn and Lysa, and nephew of Brynden. Edmure is not a great warrior and lacks Catelyn’s political skills. Menzies played Brutus in Rome.

Tara Fitzgerald has been cast as Selyse Baratheon, the wife of Stannis Baratheon. She is a devotee of the Red God had staunch supporter of Melisandre. Fitzgerald is a star of stage, screen and TV, most recently as Dr. Eve Lockhart in BBCs Waking The Dead.

Ellie Kendrick has been cast as Meera Reed.

And Thomas Brodie-Sangster has been cast as Jojen Reed. Meera and Jojen are the children of Lord Howland Reed, a staunch ally of Ned Stark and one of his closest friends. In the books they are sent to Winterfell to pledge allegence to Robb Stark after Ned’s death, they are there when Theon and the Ironborn take the fortress, then they escape North with Bran Stark. Brodie-Sangster is most famous for staring alongside Liam Neeson in Love Actually, Kendrick recently stared in BBCs Upstairs Downstairs.

The Hobbit

With principle photography complete on both Hobbit films, some of the cast and director Peter Jackson were at Comic-Con promoting the first release. During an interview with TheOneRing.net Jackson admitted the posibility that there could be a third film in the offing.



An interesting year or three ahead, and come this time next year we’ll have Comic-con 2013.


Peter Jackson has posted a new production blog for The Hobbit. This one covers the location shooting that has been going on and is full of some fantastic shots of the scenery we will be seeing in a little over 9 months time.

Some great insights into what goes into the making of a movie. And interesting that halfway point of filming the two Hobbit films is day 127, but halfway for the three Rings films was day 133. Is 3D filming more demanding, are they fitting a lot more into two films than they did previously into three?

December seems a long way away, but hopefully between now and then we will have  a few more of these blogs, and at least a couple of trailers. My guess is San Diego Comic Con for a big promotional push.


I’ve read The Lord Of The Rings at least a half dozen times, I’ve read The Silmarillion twice, but I’ve never read The Hobbit. At least I’ve never read all of it.

When it was first announced that Peter Jackson and New Line intended to film the book I decided I should get it and find out what it was like. I struggled, I’ll be honest and say I never got beyond Bilbo and the Dwarves going into the goblin caves. It was just so unlike the other books and so I gave up. I have now finally read it – all the way from start to finish – and I really surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

For anyone who has read it, they will know it is nothing like The Lord Of The Rings, this is very definitely a children’s story, and it is told in the style of an adult telling the story to a child. This was part of my problem the first time round – that and all the songs. If you were to compare the style of this and the later books, you would think it had been penned by different authors.

Its not only the style that is different, the characters are nothing like what follows. The Dwarves come across as cowardly and lazy, they leave all the dangerous work up to Bilbo. I know they come good in the end, and do prove themselves during the Battle of the Five Armies, but up until that point they don’t come across very well.

I was amazed that how much I already knew that happened during the book, didn’t actually seem to take very long to get through. Bilbo and Gollum barely covered a couple of chapters, the trolls and the battle with the spiders in Mirkwood just sort of happened.

But it’s what was missed out that amazed me. I know from reading the appendex to Lord Of The Rings all about the White Council and the fight to drive the Necromancer from Mirkwood. But this isn’t even mentioned, except a few lines maybe in passing and the but that’s a story for another day line.

I will be honest though, for a children’s story it is very dark, so I believe Tolkien wrote it for his own children as a bedtime story. Not sure if it the sort of story I’d want to read to a child of mine.



Looking Forward To 2012

There is a lot to look forward to in 2012; it seems every year the range of genre on offer just gets stronger and stronger. So here is my list of what I’m looking forward to in the coming 12 months.


The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King – A new novel set during King’s Dark Tower sequence, said to cover events between Wizard And Glass and Wolves Of The Calla. I have some trepidation about this, for me the series went downhill after Wizard and lost its way. But King is still a fantastic writer and so this is on my list. Due out in April.

The Great North Road by Peter F Hamilton – A standalone epic set on a colony world. This is said to be Hamilton’s biggest book in a long while (an estimated 250,000+ words), and with it being nearly two years since Temporal Void it should be worth the wait. Comments he has made on his website hint that his next project is a return to the Void, with a new trilogy but set on a different planet and not including any previously seen characters. Due out in October.

Republic Of Thieves by Scott Lynch – The third title in The Gentlemen Bastard sequence. This book has been a long time coming – Red Seas Under Red Skies came out five years ago – due to Lynch’s health problems affecting his ability to write. At the end of the second book readers were left on a cliffhanger, with Locke Lamora having ingested a poison and the only antidote gone to the grave with its creator. Due out in October.

A Red Country by Joe Abercrombie – The third standalone set in the universe created with The First Law trilogy. According to posts on Abercrombie’s blog this novel will have the feel of the Old West, leading some commentators to speculate that this tale will be either set in the far south and feature Ferro – last seen at the end of Last Argument Of Kings demon possessed and bent on revenge against the Gurkish, or possibly set in the Old Empire with its frontier-like towns. No firm release date has been put out yet, Gollancz say late 2012.

The World Of Ice And Fire by George RR Martin, Elio Garcia and Linda Atonsson – Garcia and Atonsson run the popular Westeros.org website, and they have been working on this companion book the Martins A Song Of Ice And Fire series for some years. Martin himself has given a lot of input and time to this project; and the book is said to include extensive histories of the Seven Kingdoms, new maps – including a World Map, that may not include not yet seen regions around Asshai and the Jade Sea – and exclusive artwork by Ted Nasmith. Due out late 2012.

Dangerous Women edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozios – A new collection of short fantasy from some of the biggest names in the genre. Highlight for me will be the fourth Dunk & Egg story called The She-Wolves (or possibly The She-Wolves Of Winterfell), detailing Ser Duncan and Egg’s adventures in the Stark stronghold some eighty years before A Game Of Thrones. Due out late 2012.



Supernatural S7 – The last half of season 7 started airing on January 6th in the US. The CW has ordered an additional episode making this season 23 episodes long. Whether the plan is to go out with a bang – there is as yet no news if there will be an 8th season – or they plan something extra special. This season has been a rough ride for fans, with the Winchester’s facing a threat that is seemingly unstoppable, the loss of Castiel and death of father-figure Bobby Singer.

The Walking Dead S2 – The second season is halfway through its run in the US and scheduled for Channel 5 in the UK during the summer. This was the breakout hit of 2011 with its premier breaking cable TV records.

Game of Thrones S2 – Due to be aired in April in the US – with a next day airing in the UK – the second season covers events in the second book of George RR Martin’s series, war has erupted in Westeros and five kings lay claim to the Iron Throne. Season 2 has an even bigger cast than the first and a lot more ground to cover for the writers in ten episodes. Highlight for me, episode nine called Blackwater written by Martin himself.

Downton Abbey S3 – Yes you’re reading that right, the third season of this brilliant period drama is scheduled for the autumn. Said to be set in the early 1920s – and said to be the last series as writer Julian Fellows only ever envisaged three – it will probably cover the slow demise of the aristocracy in England, and hopefully tie up what happens to Bates.



John Carter – Pixar releases its first live action film. This is a lavish film version of Tarzan creators Edgar Rich Burroughs Barsoom books. The trailer looks great, with plenty of action and a heroic looking hero, stars Taylor Kitsch as John Carter. Due out in March.

Wrath Of The Titans – This sequel to Clash Of The Titans sees the hero Perseus embark on a quest to the underworld to rescue Zeus from his brother Hades. Sam Wothington stars as Perseus. Due out in March.

The Avengers – Joss Weadon writes and directs what must be the most ambitious project of the year. Bringing together the superhero team of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow and the Hulk to do battle against Loki and an as yet un-known threat to Earth (though most people think it’s the Skrulls). Due out in May.

Snow White And The Huntsman – Based only on the trailer I’m giving this a go. It looks dark and moody, and has no singing animals. Due out in June.

Prometheus – Ridley Scott returns to the genre he defined with his Alien/not-Alien prequel. Due out in June.

The Dark Knight Rises – The third, and last, in Christopher Nolan’s re-booting of the Batman legend. Going on the trailer and teaser poster I’m hedging my bets that this will end with Bruce Wayne/Batman broken and in traction. Due out in July.

Expendables 2 – Stallone, Swarzenegger & Willis on screen together. What else does any red blooded man want? Due out in August.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – This needs no introduction, Peter Jackson back where he belongs in Middle Earth. Gandalf, Elrond and Golem return for this tale of lost treasure, a dragon, a battle between five armies, Oh… and a ring. Due out in December.

Peter Jackson has posted another behind the scenes production blog, this one focuses on location shooting.

Showing the monumental logistics job it is in making sure hundreds of crew, cast, equipment and trucks arrive on time and in the right place.


The Hobbit – First Full Trailer

Forget The Dark Knight Rises, forget The Avengers, forget Prometheous. This is the trailer I’ve been waiting for.

Totally and utterly fantastic, takes you right back to Middle Earth, you get Gandalf, Bilbo (old and young) and the Dwarves, and oh that Dwarf singing!!

But right at the last we get… precious


Here Be More Dwarves # 2

The promotional shots of the remaining Dwarves from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have been posted online.

Dwalin and Balin are brothers, and Lords in their own right. Balin is on the left and played by Ken Stott, Dwalin is played by Graham McTavish.

The last image is of Thorin, the leader of the Dwarf company, played by Richard Armitage. This has to be the most disappointing visualization of the lot. I’ve seen several comments online that this does not look like how people imagined Thorin to look, or that he even looks like a Dwarf.

I agree with several commentators who have suggested he would look better with forehead ridges and a Bat’leth in his hand. I agree, and go one step further, I think he’s the spitting image of Gowron.

Here are all the Dwarves, minus Thorin, together.