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Tag: Peter Jackson (11-20 of 33)

Who should direct new 'Star Wars' movie? Christopher Nolan? Joss Whedon? J.J. Abrams?

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:
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This Week's Cover: 'The Hobbit' -- plus our annual Comic-Con preview

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Nearly a decade after the last of the Lord of the Rings trilogy hit theaters, it’s time to go back to Middle-earth. The Hobbit doesn’t come out until December, but in preparation for Comic-Con (July 12-15 in San Diego) we’ve got exclusive images and on-set scoops from the first of the two movies— An Unexpected Journey — including interviews with Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), and director Peter Jackson.

To expand the classic J.R.R. Tolkien book so that it could support two feature films, Jackson drew from a range of Tolkien’s writings, adding characters not present in the Hobbit book, including Orlando Bloom’s elf Legolas and Cate Blachett’s elven ruler Galadriel. “In the movie we want these characters to have story lines and a little more substance than they do in the book,” Jackson explains. “Almost everything we’re doing is from Tolkien somewhere, whether it’s in the book or the subsequent development that wasn’t published in The Hobbit itself.”

Adds McKellen: “A lot of people weren’t even born when we were filming Lord of the Rings and only know the movies from watching them on DVD…. They’ll see Middle-earth on the big screen in The Hobbit, and I guarantee there will be a lot of minds blown wide apart.”

For even more on The Hobbit, as well as EW’s jam-packed guide to Comic-Con—including sneak peeks of Pacific Rim, Iron Man 3, The Walking Dead, and Arrow—pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Tuesday, July 3.

'Tintin' website to hold Americans over while the world enjoys the real thing

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Americans aren’t used to waiting for anything, but Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin is already playing in Europe and it is expected to open in about 40 countries before it finally opens in the United States on Dec. 21. Put it this way, only Pakistan and Brazil have to wait longer than us Yanks! (Pakistan!!) Let’s not hold a grudge, though. Focus on the positive. The new Tintin website features snippets of John Williams’ new score for the film, and it is positively johnwilliams-y.

Not to belabor the point, but it is fairly unusual for a huge Hollywood film to get a two-month head-start abroad before it finally opens stateside. There’s no denying that Tintin, the creation of the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, has a larger fan-base in Europe, but it’s not winning any new American fans by making us wait. To cheer you up in the interim, watch this behind-the-scene featurette embedded on the new Tintin site: READ FULL STORY

'Hobbit' titles: Tolkien touch or Lifetime drama?

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On the same weekend that the blandly labeled The Hangover Part II was cleaning up at the box office, Peter Jackson revealed the titles for his two Hobbit films: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again. Many Tolkien fans rejoiced, as There and Back Again was the subtitle for the original 1937 novel, and An Unexpected Journey echoes the title of the book’s chapter, “An Unexpected Party.”

But are these epic movie titles, on par with The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Return of the King? Because An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again could also pass as Lifetime movies starring Meredith Baxter.

Did Jackson nail it, or are you crinkling your nose at these titles? Vote below. READ FULL STORY

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.”

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'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.”

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