The Hollywood Reporter indicate that Peter Jackson has stated that The Hobbit production are; “shocked and saddened by the earthquake and its devastating aftermath” and they “stand ready” to help in any way they can. The crew of Weta Workshop have made donations to the Earthquake Relief Fund and have given clothing for those who have had to evacuate to Wellington.
I’m sure that our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by this tragic event.
In this interview at EW.com Aidan Turner, talks about his forthcoming role as Kili in The Hobbit.
The production company for The Hobbit has now put out its first casting calls for tall slender men and women to play Elves in the films, which begin filming on March 21st. You can read the details here.
Mount Ngauruhoe, in New Zealand featured in the LotR movies as Mount Doom. However, the mountain range is sacred to the iwi and local Maori are “set to put their foot down” and refuse permission for filming to take place. Peter Jackson may have to move filming to Mount Taranaki and the Southern Alps.
To date only two film locations have been confirmed, Stone Street studios in Wellington, and Hobbiton in the town of Matamata. An application has however been made to film at the Aratiatia Rapids and these may be used as the location for the Forest River. You can read the full story here.
Stars of The Hobbit, including Martin Freeman and James Nesbitt, took part in a press conference in New Zealand where they discussed the forthcoming movies and said that they cannot wait for filming to begin. You can view some footage of the press conference at BBC.co.uk, Stuff.co.nz and at Telegraph.co.uk. There’s a 38 minute video of the press conference at 3news.co.nz.
Peter Jackson was unable to join in, but released a statement saying that he could not attend “because he was under a “medical form of house arrest” while recovering from surgery on a perforated stomach ulcer”.
Stuff.co.nz report that Peter Jackson has entered into a joint partnership with Hobbiton Tours. Their new company, Shire Tours, will feature an identical set to that used in the LotR and The Hobbit movies.
The Independent report that Sir Christopher Lee, who played Saruman in the LotR movies, is to be honored with a Bafta fellowship award.
The Lord of the Rings: War of the North is an action based RPG video game with online, interdependent co-play for up to three players (so you can form your own fellowship!). You’ll need to work together to try to defeat Sauron’s forces. The game is due for release this year for PS3, Xbox 360 and Games for Windows.
You can read more at IGN and you can register at the official game website here.
The Washington Post has an interesting article on “The Tolkien Professor” — Corey Olsen, a Washington College professor who has taken his scholarship online through his website at tolkienprofessor.com.
Christopher Lee is now expected to reprise the role of Saruman for the prequel movie The Hobbit, The Telegraph is reporting. His website states: “Sir Christopher Lee had been in talks to reprise his role as the wizard Saruman and it now looks certain, providing that he is in good health, that he will be appearing in the movie.”