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 »It’s been a long time coming, but there was finally cause for rejoicing in Middle-earth last week when director Peter Jackson
Tag: Peter Jackson (11-20 of 26)
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.”
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.”Some 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
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.”
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?We 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
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 »
in negotiations to return to Middle Earth and direct the two-part film himself makes me think there’s no reason to cry after all.Let’s face it, Guillermo del Toro was a perfect choice to direct The Hobbit. Boundlessly creative and visually distinctive, del Toro would have been able to give the Lord of the Rings prequel a different tone from the epic triptych, while remaining true to its spirit. But it was just not to be. He left the project two years into a five-year sentence, and the best thing for us to do was to move on and not cry over spilt mead. And now, news that producer Peter Jackson is
When they say that he’s “in talks,” I can really only picture Jackson alone in a conference room, occasionally switching chairs, an argument brewing between his director-self and producer-self over remuneration and percentage of profits. Personally, I hope the two of them come to an agreement soon, because it would absolutely be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Producer Jackson gets one of the best fantasy directors around, one not only with an intimate knowledge of the LOTR universe but also of this particular production, and Director Jackson gets a chance to return to his Academy Award-sweeping roots after the hiccup that was The Lovely Bones. Everybody wins.
Including the audience. With Jackson replacing del Toro, and not some unknown interloper, we at least have a sense of what to expect. There’s no slinking fear that the final product might end up something like this. The real question is how much of del Toro’s two years of design and pre-production work Jackson will incorporate into his Hobbit, should he take the job. It would be fascinating to see a melding of these two different styles of fantasy film-making: Del Toro’s bulbous, inventive menagerie inhabiting Jackson’s epic, sweeping vistas.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Excited at the prospect of Jackson retaking the reins? Is there anyone out there who actually thinks that this isn’t great news?
he was stepping down from directing The Hobbit, the filmmaker has returned to Lord of the Rings fansite TheOneRing.net to provide a longer explanation for why he left the crazy-high-anticipated project. The problem is that his explanation leaned more on you-gotta-read-between-the-lines vagueness than here’s-what’s-going-down specifics, and like the finale of Lost, it’s left me with as many questions as satisfying answers.A week after Guillermo Del Toro’s announcement that
“I’ve developed films for years and I have shot many a movie on location,” Del Toro posted to TheOneRing’s message boards yesterday, “but rarely do you relocate for such a massive amount of time, especially when you have to do major ironclad agreements to put in deep freeze other contractual obligations with multiple studios….So — while the cited delays, contractual complexities or obstacles, cannot be attributed to a single event or entity — you will simply have to believe that they were of sufficient complexity and severity to lead to the current situation. Trust me on this…leaving [New Zealand] and the Hobbit crew is extremely painful.”
While it’s clear that Del Toro became frustrated with having to put all of his other projects “in deep freeze” while working on The Hobbit, I’m left to wonder when he realized that was going to be a problem. READ FULL STORY »
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