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Tag: Peter Jackson (11-20 of 29)

Lee Pace cast in 'The Hobbit.' Our hopes for his comeback grow

It looks like the part of me that’s been hoping to see Lee Pace back on TV soon might be waiting quite a while. This weekend, Peter Jackson announced via Facebook that the Pushing Daisies alum had been cast as Elven King Thranduil in The Hobbit. “Casting these Tolkien stories is very difficult, especially the Elven characters, and Lee has always been our first choice for Thranduil,” Jackson wrote. “We loved his performance in a movie called The Fall a few years ago, and have been hoping to work with him since.” READ FULL STORY

Elijah Wood in 'The Hobbit': How would that work?

Elijah-Wood-King-bookIt’s official: EW has confirmed that Elijah Wood will reprise his role as Frodo Baggins in the upcoming bigscreen version of The Hobbit. If you’re a J.R.R. Tolkien fan, the initial response is probably: “How?” For one thing, Frodo doesn’t appear in The Hobbit novel, for a very good reason: It takes place sixty years before the events in Lord of the Rings, before Frodo was even born. Well, official Rings and Hobbit fansite TheOneRing.net has an answer (SPOILER ALERT): READ FULL STORY

'Adventures of Tintin': First look at the Spielberg-Jackson collaboration

tin-tin-empireTaking a break from any Hobbit drama, producer Peter Jackson teamed up with director Steven Spielberg to give Empire magazine the first look at their upcoming 3-D, motion-capture Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Based on the books by Belgian writer-illustrator Hergé, the story revolves around young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell), Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), and the nefarious pirate Red Rackham (Daniel Craig). Spielberg and Jackson wanted to stay true to Hergé’s artwork, while drawing inspiration from film noir and the German Brechtian theater. Empire has shots of Tintin (with his dog Snowy) and Captain Haddock online. It also quotes Jackson admitting that some people thought he and Spielberg had gone mad when they cast Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz cohorts Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as the detective twins Thompson and Thomson. Spielberg notes how well they actually complement each other as foils and that when they argue over whose sidekick is whose in the film, it’s a highlight.

Is this collaboration all you had hoped for? (If Empire has a shot of Craig in his motion-capture suit, I will definitely be picking up this issue.)

Read more:
Spielberg, Jackson Team, for ‘Tintin’

'Hobbit' director Peter Jackson talks about casting a 'heartthrob' dwarf (Exclusive)

Richard-ArmitageImage Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage.comIt’s been a long time coming, but there was finally cause for rejoicing in Middle-earth last week when director Peter Jackson announced he’d cast several key roles in his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel, The Hobbit. The casting of Martin Freeman of the UK Office fame as Bilbo Baggins was widely expected, but some Tolkien fans were surprised and slightly befuddled to see English actor Richard Armitage, best known for the BBC series MI-5, cast as Thorin Oakenshield, the gruff leader of a company of dwarves. What was Jackson doing hiring a hunky actor to play a character most often depicted in illustrations — and in the 1977 animated Hobbit movie — as a squat, crabby, Wilford Brimley-ish old dwarf with a long white beard? In an interview (after the jump), Jackson tells EW the choice is actually right in line with the casting of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. READ FULL STORY

Peter Jackson vents his frustration over the bitter 'Hobbit' labor dispute: 'I'm out of my depth.'

Peter Jackson has staged some epic, humdinger battles on-screen, but the battle royale taking place off-screen over The Hobbit — with actors’ unions feuding with the production and Warner Bros. threatening to relocate filming out of New Zealand — clearly has left him deeply exasperated. In an interview with a New Zealand television reporter (see part of the interview embedded below), the director vents his frustration at the ongoing labor dispute, which is just the latest in a series of difficult hurdles he has had to overcome to bring The Hobbit to the screen.

Appearing with co-writer Philippa Boyens on a soundstage built for The Hobbit, he frets that the unions’ boycott — which he says had “no validity” — has done great harm to the reputation of the New Zealand film industry, so much so that he doesn’t know how he can persuade Warner Bros. that it should spend hundreds of millions of dollars to make the two Hobbit films there. “I don’t know what to say,” he says. “This is where I’m out of my depth … I can talk my way around the movie. But to tell the studio why investing $500 million in our country is a good idea when they’ve just seen the disgusting, frivolous action that’s happened … I literally don’t know what to say to them.” Taking aim at Helen Kelly, the president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, who has been critical of his handling of the dispute, Jackson’s anger boils over: “How dare you. You are choosing an Australian union over the workers of our country. Stuff her. I don’t care what the hell she says.”

READ FULL STORY

'The Hobbit' will shoot in New Zealand after all. Well, maybe. Hopefully. We'll see.

Peter-Jackson-GandalfImage Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR PhotosSome day, someone is going to make a movie about the attempt to make a movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but instead of wizards and swordplay and stirring derring-do, it’ll be filled with lawyers and picket signs and angry e-mails. Today alone, director Peter Jackson and producing-and-life partner Fran Walsh reportedly issued a blistering statement condemning the local New Zealand actors’ union, NZ Actors’ Equity, which last month had called on fellow international actors unions (including SAG) to boycott The Hobbit to pressure the production for a new contract for local actors. Jackson and Walsh called the union leadership “gutless” and “self-centered,” and noted ominously that next week execs from Warner Bros. “are coming down to NZ to make arrangements to move the production off-shore.”

Within hours of that statement, NZ Actors’ Equity, along with the larger Screen Production and Development Association, issued their own statement announcing that they would not boycott The Hobbit, and they were imploring all other actors unions to follow suit.

Which would be great news, if the first line of Jackson and Walsh’s earlier statement did not start with this declaration: “The lifting of the blacklist [i.e. boycott] on The Hobbit does nothing to help the films stay in New Zealand.”

READ FULL STORY

'The Hobbit' in 3-D: Good idea? Or terrible idea?

Peter-JacksonImage Credit: Fotonoticias/WireImage.comWe all knew that The Hobbit was going to be made eventually. Destiny (and the promise of money bins filled with box-office cash) demanded it. But the long-expected news that Peter Jackson will direct the Hobbit duology comes with a new wrinkle: The films will be shot in 3-D. This would be incredible news … if we had heard it nine months ago, when Avatar was still in theaters. But barely a year post-Na’vi, 3-D has been applied to seemingly every new blockbuster film with incredibly mixed results. So it’s worth asking: Will 3-D ruin The Hobbit for you?

Since the movies will actually be shot in the 3-D format, they’re already one step up from the mediocre post-production conversions seen in Clash of the Titans, Alice in Wonderland, and Piranha 3D. Also, Peter Jackson is a brilliant filmmaker. (Sure, sure, Lovely Bones, but nobody’s perfect.) And Jackson’s Middle-Earth is such a lush, rich onscreen universe. You could argue that this is exactly the sort of film 3-D was created for.

You could also argue that 3-D was created for one thing: a justification for increased ticket prices. Speaking as someone who just paid $15 for one ticket to Jackass 3D, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be willing to fork over huge wads of cash in return for murky visuals and a migraine headache. I’m still excited about upcoming 3-D bonanzas like Tron Legacy, but am I the only one who’s actually more excited about the next Harry Potter now that it’s back in old-fashioned 2-D? Vote and be counted, after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Guillermo del Toro really loves 'The Haunted Mansion' and really wants 'The Hobbit' to get made

Guillermo-del-ToroImage Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesAt Comic-Con last week, Guillermo del Toro announced he will produce, co-write, and possibly direct a new feature film based on the Disneyland attraction The Haunted Mansion. But that is just the latest meal stacked high on top of the filmmaker’s already crowded plate: He’s also working on feature films of (deep inhale) Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Slaughterhouse Five, Drood, and At the Mountains of Madness, as well as the vampire literary trilogy he’s co-writing with Chuck Hogan The Strain. (Deep exhale.)

With all those projects now happily humming along, perhaps it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise that Del Toro dropped out of directing The Hobbit in May. Last week at Comic-Con, Del Toro sat down with me and gamely talked about his reasons for leaving that most high profile of projects, as well as his abiding obsession with the Haunted Mansion, and the status of the rest of his coterie of cinema undertakings — including whether we’ll ever get to see Hellboy III. Check it out after the jump: READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con: Got a question for [big time celeb]? Tweet it to us!

Comic-con-Peter-JacksonOf the many wondrous things about San Diego Comic-Con — imaginative costumes, drool-inducing glimpses at upcoming movies and TV shows, swag — one of the absolute best begins thusly: “Okay, let’s open it up to questions.” Rarely do fans get such a direct opportunity to interrogate their pop-culture idols, and for those of you who won’t be able to make it to San Diego this week, EW is doing the next best thing.

Both myself and the illustrious Michael Ausiello will be on hand to talk to the cavalcade of famous faces visiting the EW photo studio and video suite at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, and this year, we’re asking you – yes, you! — to tweet us your questions for those actors and directors. So if you want to get in on all the Comic-Con action, follow EW on Twitter (our highly imaginative handle is @EW), and starting tomorrow, I’ll be soliciting tweeted questions for the movies guests of that day. (Mr. Ausiello will be handling questions for TV stars via @michaelausiello.) Be sure to include the hashtag #comicconew, so we can see your questions!

To get an idea of what goes on at our EW video suite, after the jump, check out my three-part interview last year with Peter Jackson about several of his upcoming projects. I should stress that this interview was last year — Guillermo Del Toro was still a year away from dropping out of directing The Hobbit, so Jackson’s answers about that project are during far happier times.  READ FULL STORY

'King Kong 360 3-D': On the scene of Universal Studios' newest ride

King-Kong-3dIt think it was the giant 3-D spider that put me over the top.

On Tuesday, I joined a small gaggle of invited press and VIPs at the official unveiling of Universal Studios Hollywood’s King Kong 360 3-D, the replacement for the old, animatronic studio tour Kong attraction, which was decimated in a fire two years ago. The brainchild of director Peter Jackson, the new Kong experience unfolds on two massive parabolic 3-D screens that wrap around either side of the Universal Studios Tour tram cars, inside a custom-built soundstage. Before you enter, Jackson appears on the TVs mounted inside each of the tram cars and tells you to put on your 3-D glasses (which you hopefully haven’t dropped somewhere along the line of the studio tour up until that point). Then your tour guide rolls the tram cars inside, and after plunging into eerie almost-total darkness, the screens suddenly light up, and boom, you’re back on Skull Island — i.e. the Skull Island from Jackson’s 2005 King Kong. READ FULL STORY

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