If you plan on flying Air New Zealand in the near future, you may notice a safety video with some better production values than you’re used to.
Tag: Peter Jackson (1-10 of 32)
The Comic-Con panel for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies went online today, making this Monday especially delightful for those unable to attend the madness in San Diego over the weekend. “Huzzah!” Tolkien fans everywhere shouted.
The panel saw numerous cast and crew—including Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis—dole out trivia, make shocking confessions, and laugh with a costumed Stephen Colbert (seriously). Here are the highlights:
1. Stephen Colbert as moderator: Colbert is a J.R.R. Tolkien super-fan (see: the full Hobbit costume he wore during the panel). The late-night host admitted having reservations about Peter Jackson & Co. tackling The Lord of the Rings series, the original works in the franchise, but he ultimately loved the films. Still, he did find a flaw: “The only problem I saw was at a total of 11 1/2 hours, they were too damn short.” Throughout the panel, Colbert popped in and out, offering humorous commentary on the actors, the films, and most importantly, the narrative, which he is extremely knowledgable about, bringing us to…
2. Philippa Boyens admitting she lost a trivia contest to Colbert: Boyens, one of the writers of the series, knows her material backward and forward. Hell, she adapted the books. In a fateful trivia contest, however, she was no match for Colbert. Boyens recalled Colbert’s wife approaching her after the match, saying, “I think this is the greatest night of his life.” Colbert likened his Tolkien aptitude to being “an athlete who’s been training his entire life for a race he never knew was coming.” Jackson joked that Colbert isn’t a modest winner.
3. Peter Jackson updating fans on the Hobbit finale: Jackson began working on the first LOTR movie around 1995, meaning he’s dedicated about 20 years of his life to adapting Tolkien’s work for the screen. “It’s a commitment I’ve really enjoyed taking,” Jackson explained. That being said, the work isn’t over yet. To offer an update, the director said they’re still shooting, and are currently in the middle of filming the Battle of Five Armies. The film will hit theaters December 17.
4. Elijah Wood admitting he never read LOTR (again): Wood was met by boos from the crowd when he confessed, again, that he has never read the LOTR books. A shocked Colbert asked Wood if he knows how to read. In Wood’s defense, he had a pretty convincing explanation: “I read The Hobbit when I was a child and it was a big, big book for me. I had The Lord of the Rings on my shelf and it was one of those things that was very daunting and was kind of always there. I thought, ‘I’ll get to that one day,’ and then these movies came about. I felt like I was living it and experiencing it in such a profoundly deep way that I never really consulted the books. I imagine it’s something that I will go back to but it was such an experience over the course of such a long period of time.”
5. Andy Serkis discussing his process, progress: Serkis is one of the most versatile screen actors around, capable of manipulating technology to bring various forms to the screen. “As an actor, [technology] breaks down barriers,” Serkis explained. “Whatever you are, it doesn’t matter. You can play anything.” After playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, Serkis found the lead role as King Kong. “I thought my life was going to go back to normality to play normal films in a normal traditional way. The idea hit me overnight: ‘Hold on a minute: I’ve just played this three-and-a-half foot ring junkie. Now I’m going to play a 25-foot gorilla. This means typecasting is not more.'” Today, Serkis can be seen onscreen as Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in theaters now. One more bonus: Serkis treated a delighted audience to his Gollum voice.
For the Tolkien-obsessed, check out the full panel here:
Thirteen years since the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, star Viggo Mortensen isn’t holding back in expressing his true feelings for the Peter Jackson trilogy. In a candid interview with The Telegraph, the 55-year-old actor calls the process of making the epic films an epic disaster.
Mortensen, who portrayed Aragorn in the trilogy, says Jackson and producers “were in a lot of trouble” before the first film proved to be a massive hit with both critics and moviegoers. “Officially, [Jackson] could say that he was finished in December 2000 — he’d shot all three films in the trilogy — but really the second and third ones were a mess,” Mortensen says. “It was very sloppy — it just wasn’t done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year. But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn’t been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video.”
All three LOTR films were nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards, with the final installment, The Return of the King, taking that top prize, as well as a best director statue for Jackson. But Mortensen has a decidedly different take on the quality of the films. He believes The Fellowship of the Ring is the best movie in the franchise, in part because Jackson relied less on special effects for that outing. READ FULL STORY
Congratulations are in order, sorta, for Peter Jackson and his Hobbit team. According to TorrentFreak’s annual list, the first film in their trilogy was downloaded well over eight million times in 2013, making it the year’s most pirated movie.
It wasn’t, however, a runaway victory. An Unexpected Journey was followed closely by Django Unchained, which has an estimated download count of 8.1 million — just 300,000 fewer than The Hobbit, even though The Hobbit‘s worldwide box office take was more than twice what Django made. Two blockbuster sequels — Fast and Furious 6 and Iron Man 3 — plus a surprisingly high-performing Oscar nominee (Silver Linings Playbook) round out the top 5.
Unless you’ve been hiding out in a hobbit-hole or held captive by a cave troll, you’re undoubtedly aware that director Peter Jackson’s long-awaited return to Middle-earth, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is opening next week. And you’re probably also aware that Jackson shot the film in a new format, 48 frames per second, which has kicked up a fair bit of fuss among early reviewers, not all of it positive. But what does 48 frames per second even mean? Is it actually a better way to experience the film? Here are five things you should know before buying your ticket. READ FULL STORY
If you think all of the amped-up anticipation and feverish speculation surrounding Peter Jackson’s long-awaited return to Middle-earth with The Hobbit has been intense — well, just imagine being Martin Freeman. From the moment he was cast as the reluctant hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins in Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s book, the British actor has been doing his best to shut out all of the noise for his sanity’s sake. Going on-line to eavesdrop on the fans’ expectations and armchair-quarterbacking of The Hobbit is “a suicide mission,” he tells EW. “If I read one bad thing about me — it can be one person’s opinion in Idaho — I’m like, ‘Jesus, why does everyone hate me?’ ” he says. “If you read four of those, you think, ‘Everyone in the solar system hates me!’ Then even if you read 80 people saying, ‘I think he’s wonderful and I really want to f— him,’ you’re still thinking, ‘But that person in Idaho…’ ” He pauses and adds drily, “In short, I don’t really seek out the Hobbit stuff.”
With the Dec. 14 release of the first installment, An Unexpected Journey, finally almost here, this week’s issue of EW goes deep into “the Hobbit stuff,” exploring the film’s long, difficult road to the big screen and the critical, sometimes controversial creative decisions Jackson has made along the way — most notably, his surprising decision to turn the planned two-film adaptation into a full trilogy. That decision took even Freeman aback at first. “At first, I must say, I was like, ‘Why?’ ” the actor says, adding that he quickly came around. “You kind of think, ‘I’ve already put this much of my life into two movies. What am I going to do now — not put it into three?’ In for a penny, in for a pound.” READ FULL STORY
Forget giant eagles. Citizens of Middle Earth have stepped into the future and are now flying aboard 777s. Or at least they are in Air New Zealand’s new in-flight safety video, “An Unexpected Briefing.” The video, which was created in anticipation of the December release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, starts screening on Air New Zealand flights this week.
In the video, the elven flight attendant starts with a message we’re used to hearing in safety videos (“Even if you flight with us often, be sure to keep a sharp eye on the briefing”) but aren’t used to obeying. But this video is different — orcs, hobbits, Ringwraiths, dwarves, and elves have a way of boosting entertainment value.
Check out the video below to see Peter Jackson put on the one ring, some gorgeous Aragorn-like hair whip back in the breeze, a Gollum cameo courtesy of Weta, and an obligatory quoting of Gandalf’s most airplane-applicable line. Dean O’Gorman, who plays Fili in The Hobbit, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s great-grandsons Mike and Royd also make an appearance. READ FULL STORY
Breathe, Star Wars fans, breathe. Maybe lie down a minute.
Following Tuesday’s nerd-shattering announcement that the Walt Disney Company is buying Lucasfilm, and the plan includes Star Wars: Episode VII, in early development and hoping for a 2015 release, the speculative race is on for who should direct.
Should it be Christopher Nolan, who exploded open the Batman franchise? Or Star Trek reboot master J.J. Abrams? Or Joss Whedon, riding the superhero tidal wave of this year’s The Avengers? Lucasfilm founder George Lucas, who wrote and directed the 1977 Star Wars original and the later prequels, will work as a creative consultant on Star Wars: Episode VII, so love him or hate him, he won’t be returning to helm the next film.
Here are our potential picks:
READ FULL STORY
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