Tag Archives: lotr

Peter Jackson Won’t Direct The Hobbit

Some backstory: Peter Jackson had been battling Newline in court because he felt he was owed a lot more money for Lord of the Rings. Newline had the rights to The Hobbit, but didn’t want Jackson to direct until the lawsuit was settled. It started to get ugly. Also, their option1 was expiring and would be given to another company. So they were making plans to find another director, which got fans and Jackson upset. It looked like the movie would be made without Jackson directing.

Well, Jackson and Newline made nice. But the bad news is, Jackson is now too busy to direct! Sam Raimi (Spiderman, Army of Darkness) will direct with Jackson producing2. So Jackson will still be involved, and they’ll almost certainly film in New Zealand and use the f/x company Jackson set up for LOTR, preserving the look of LOTR. Overall, I’m expecting it to be a good film, although I’d still rather Jackson direct. But let’s face it: if it was directed by McG or Michael Bay and starred Rob Schneider as Bilbo Baggins, you’d still go see it.

  1. The legal right to film, which has an expiration date. []
  2. In fact, Raimi said he wouldn’t direct if Jackson wasn’t involved []
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DM of the Rings

I’ve been really enjoying the web comic DM of the Rings by Shamus Young. It tells the tale of a dungeon master leading a group of typical players on a Dungeons & Dragons adventure based on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Only the players have never heard of LOTR, much less MERP1.

Yes, a little far fetched considering D&D stole heavily from LOTR, and I can’t imagine a gamer who hasn’t seen the LOTR movies. But no matter, the comic is very funny, and the actions of the players are uncannily similar to every group I’ve ever gamed with.

The real ingenuity is that it’s “illustrated” using only screencaps from the films with some occasional Photoshopping. The looks on the characters’ faces is often priceless. By the time you’re halfway through the series, you’ll be convinced Viggo Mortensen went through the whole trilogy with a blank stare.

  1. I actually owned MERP some years ago, but never got around to playing it, or meeting anyone else who had. []

Movie News

Some interesting bits from Variety. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…

New Line’s option to make The Hobbit is close to expiring, so they’re getting ready to make it… without Peter Jackson. This is because he currently has a lawsuit against them for questionable accounting practices regarding the profits from LOTR. Pretty much everyone, including distributor MGM, is completely freaking out about this. As they should be.

We are getting a Get Smart movie, starring Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart, and Anne Hathaway as a totally hot babe also in the film. Carell also stars in Evan Almighty, the sequel to Bruce Almighty.

Brilliant director Robert Altman passed away. Go watch MASH and The Player in tribute. Actually, I think we’re due for a Classic Movie Night featuring McCabe and Mrs. Miller – Ebert’s described it as Altman’s only perfect film, and I must confess I’ve never seen it.

The Weinstein Company, which is basically the new Miramax, even though Miramax still exists, has entered into an exclusive – and hence very stupid – deal with Blockbuster. In other words, if you’re a Netflix subscriber (as well you should be), you won’t be able to watch School for Scoundrels until Blockbuster goes bankrupt. Fortunately, at the rate they’re going, this will happen sometime next Tuesday. Of course, no worries for the Kevin Smith stuff, because you’re just going to buy that, anyway.

Speaking of Kevin Smith, there’s some way cool Clerks 2 swag at JayAndSilentBob.com.

Letters From Iwo Jima, the companion piece to the previously reviewed Flags of Our Fathers, has had its release date pushed up to 12/20, to make it eligible for awards season. I’m wondering if it’s the obviously better film, or having two good films will make it tough for Clint to get enough votes for either one.

Personal hero Judd Apatow is producing The Pineapple Express, an action-comedy starring Freaks and Geeks alumni Seth Rogen (The 40 Year Old Virgin) and James Franco (Spiderman series).

We’re getting Ocean’s Thirteen next year, even though nobody asked for it.

Did you know you can get a listing of most (over 1600) movies based on comic books at the IMDB? It defaults to sort by rating, but you can switch to date. Of course, many listed are still in development (i.e., the screenplay hasn’t even been written), but you can get a feel for what’s coming up.