October 21, 2010

The Hobbit just might make it after all

Do you stalk TheOneRing.net?  If you are fan of Middle Earth, you should.  You can go add them to your RSS feed, etc, now.  I'll wait.

While the Lord of the Rings trilogy was being made, I lived and breathed that site.  I am not one who ever picks up Entertainment Weekly or really follows behind the scenes tidbits or news.  But it's Middle Earth.  It was coming to screen.  I wanted to know if Orlando Bloom thought his wig was itchy (if that was ever discussed, I missed it) and what Edoras looked like.  I wasn't alone.  It's a story near to so many hearts.  We were all clicking obsessively.

And now, we have The Hobbit.  It feels like I've heard vague rumors about Peter Jackson making this film for years.  Right after the Extended Edition of Return of the King was released on DVD actually.  A few years and a lot less sandwiches later, Peter Jackson made it truth instead of rumor.  Guillermo del Toro would direct the epic, and it would be split into two parts.  Somewhere in the timeline, there were legal disputes with the Tolkien family, big kerfuffles with the studios and funding - mostly the selling and restructuring of MGM, and Del Toro had other commitments because the whole mess was taking way too long.  He bowed out.  Then the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) got bitchy.  Fans despaired, hearts sunk, and I think even Jackson got a little frustrated.  This story needs to be told; there is no question that tons of people will go see this movie.  And yet "Hollywood" still makes it incredibly hard to just make the frakking movie.

But.  Finally, there is hope.  The movie has a green light.  We have Peter Jackson back in the director's chair.  This is really as it should be.  Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are set to reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum.  Martin Freeman will play Bilbo Baggins (more casting news here.  Things are moving along.  In theory, filming is set to start in February.  Of course, there is one last, kinda giant hiccup.  It might not work out to film the movie in New Zealand.  New Zealand is Middle Earth.  I'll be impressed if pre-production can recover in enough time to start promptly in an entirely different country.  I mean, they've practically got all of Hobbiton built in New Zealand.  I could be wrong, but I don't think you can just pick up hobbit holes and ship them on the next Fedex plane.

Even though it doesn't look optimistic at this point, I'll keep fingers crossed for New Zealand.


  1. I've been following the Hobbit movie news on various entertainment news sites (EW, Variety, Studio Briefing), but TheOneRing.net looks like a much easier way to stay up to date on everything. They HAVE to do it in New Zealand! I'm very upset by the idea that they might go somewhere else, since it seemed to be such an important part of the LotR movies. The actors unions have all lifted their boycotts, so they should be fine to go ahead there. Anyway, it's all very exciting.

  2. I've been a TORN Ringer for 10 years!!!! I've been on the site all day keeping up with all the updates! The whole union thing is driving me crazy, but I know they'll work it out! They have to! The panel at SDCC this year was so depressing...no good news. But next year's is bound to be packed full of good stuff! Can't wait! Fingers Crossed for New Zealand :-)

  3. Eleni - New Zealand is Middle Earth. It doesn't seem even possible to do it anywhere else. :(

    Trish - It's such a fabulous site, always up to date and reliable. Man, by SDCC time next year there will hopefully be all sorts of awesome things going on. That panel, I'll stand in line for!!

    Budd - I agree.

  4. Looks like it's all settled. The Hobbit will be in New Zealand! Phew!

  5. Sometimes I think fandom in general is never truly happy. The dust has just settled, but already Tolkienites are questioning Jackson's casting of Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield.

    Haven't we been down this road before? It was all doom and gloom when casting news dropped for the LotR trilogy; I even remember fan complaints when Stuart Townsend was sacked and Viggo Mortenson was brought in. Fans of the material need to trust Jackson's instincts, he was right about Mortenson and I'm sure he's on point here. Besides, Armitage is a good actor.

    As an aside, I'm glad PJ is directing the "Hobbit" films, as they will be visually and tonally cohesive with the LotR trilogy, but man I really would have loved to see what Guillermo Del Toro delivered.

  6. Donn - Fans are cranky and way too much for their own good. I mean, Peter Jackson is tried and true. I don't think he'll let us down with casting.

    I feel the same away about Del Toro. I adore Jackson, but a different slant - especially Del Toro's - could be wonderful.

  7. Ah, the Hobbit: what a #@!! bloody, jolly tale, me liege. And so I had an ephipany, too, at the ripe-ol-age of seven, living in KC. Didju see the Hobbit? Gonna. Wanna. Lemme. pant-pant...

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