It’s beginning to look a lot like Middle Earth, everywhere you go. Off in New Zealand, Peter Jackson and crew are back at it filming two films based on The Hobbit. On June 28, the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions are finally coming to Blu-ray and, in anticipation of that, each of those films are coming back to a theater near you for one night only. But that’s not all. Beginning this Fall, each one of the films – in celebration of their ten year anniversary – will be touring with a full, live orchestral accompaniment of Howard Shore‘s award-winning scores.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Live In Concert premiered in New York in 2009 and, this October, will come to the West Coast for several stops. The event is a feature length, digital presentation of the film on a 60 foot screen while the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Chorale and the Phoenix Boys Choir perform the score live. Next year, and the year after that, The Two Towers and The Return of the King will get similar treatments. After the jump, find out if this event is coming to an arena near you. Read More »

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Here’s a very good turn of events for David Cronenberg‘s adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel Cosmopolis, which is now scheduled to shoot in late May.

The film stars Robert Pattinson as a young billionaire, who during the course of one day traveling across Manhattan in his limo, manages to cheat on his wife, deal with protesters and another antagonist or two, and encounter some financial trouble. We don’t know who’ll play his wife (Marion Cotillard was once set, and Keira Knightley was rumored, then debunked) but we do know that Paul Giamatti will be one of the antagonists.

And now Juliette Binoche is in the cast, and Mathieu Almaric may be along for the ride, too. Read More »

Howard Shore Returning to Compose ‘The Hobbit’

Part of what made director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy so beautiful was the epic and lyrical score by composer Howard Shore. Every scene of travel, battle, humor or death was all accompanied by Shore’s wonderful music and he won two Oscars for those scores, Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the King specifically. Now Shore has announced that he will return to Middle Earth with Peter Jackson to score both of his upcoming film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Read his quote and more after the jump. Read More »

Howard Shore to Score The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Say what you will about the Twilight films, but as they go along and prove to be financially successful, they’re able to attract high-profile creative talent. If nothing else, I’m happy to see these films as paycheck gigs for people like Howard Shore, who is now the composer for Eclipse, directed by David Slade. Not that Shore really needs a paycheck gig, I suppose, but I’m happy to see his name in a credits list. Years of appreciation for David Cronenberg’s films (for which Shore has been a mainstay) have led to a real appreciation of his work.

MovieScore Magazine reports that Shore has the gig. He’s the third composer for the series. Carter Burwell scored the first film, and Alexandre Desplat did the deed for New Moon. That’s a pretty killer lineup of composers Summit has assembled. Can’t wait to see who gets the nod for the final film in the series.

Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro

Earlier today, executive producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro answered questions from fans in an online chat about The Hobbit and its announced sequel. We have the entire transcript available after the jump, but have compiled cliff notes for those who don’t have the time to read the full transcript:

Guillermo has already begun sketching design ideas in his notebook. The plan is to write and start early conceptual designs for the rest of the year. 2009 will be dedicated to pre-production on both movies and 2010 will be the year the films are shot back to back “with a small break to breathe and to reconstruct certain sets and have time to reassess”

No casting has commenced and won’t until the scripts are written. Guillermo insists thay “Unequivocally, every single actor that originated a role in the Trilogy will be asked to participate and reprise it. If Health, availability or willigness become obstacles – and only in that case recasting would be considered.” Ian Holm will be utilized “in some fashion for sure but the difficulty of the role will be better assessed after” the screenplays are completed. del Toro revealed that he also has plans for Ron Perlman in the film, but not as the voice of Smog.

Both movies will be PG-13, shot 2:35:1 aspect ration (as was the Trilogy) on film. There are no current plans to release the movies in 3D. Howard Shore is in talks to return to compose the score. Much of the original production team will be brought back supplemented by choices from del Toro.

Middle-earth will be shot on location in New Zealand with real set construction preferred over green screen. They plan on rebuilding Hobbiton “bigger and even better” in the same location.

As for the special effects, del Toro plans “to mix CGI and PHYSICAL in such a way that your eye wonders which is which- keep you mind busy but NEVER allowing for the weaknesses of either tool to take over. … Imagine a physical creature with a radio controlled muscle / facial system but with partial CGI replacement on the head or mouth, etc and you’ll start to get the idea…”

Guillermo del Toro describes his vision: “The book, I believe, in echoing the “loss of innocence” England experienced after WWI, is a passage form innocence to a darker, more somber state- The visual / thematic progression should reflect that in the camera style, color palette, textural choices, etc.” “I hope that Mirkwood can be pretty scary but not graphic, I hope Riddles in the dark has an element of fear and suspense and to be deeply atmospheric but still allow the ingenious, engaging contest to take place. And Smaug should be all shock and awe when he unleashes his anger so, it will be pretty intense but not gorey.” “The world must feel like the same world [as the one showed in Jackson's films]. The aspect ratio, music, essential established costume and production design trademarks but I would love to bring a lot of new flavours to the table. THE HOBBIT is, in essence, an overture to a massive Symphonic work so main themes are reprised but new modulations and new colors are introduced, thematically and texturally.” “I am all for trying to preserve every idiosyncrasy the novel has- the very things that seem “unfilmable” and that – in my mind- will make it thrilling as a film.”

The second film doesn’t have a title yet, and won’t until the script is written. del Toro says “The idea is to find a compelling way to join THE HOBBIT and FELLOWSHIP and enhance the 5 films both visually an in their Cosmology. There’s omissions and material enough in the available, licensed material to attempt this. The agreement is, however, that the second film must be relevant and emotionally strong enough to be brought to life but that we must try and contain the HOBBIT in a single film.” Jackson says “If we wished to write one of the LOTR characters into the narrative of Film Two, we would only do that with that actors blessing, and willingness to take part. Otherwise we’d take the writing in another direction.”

A Blu-ray release of Lord of The Rings is being worked on, but won’t be released this year.

Full transcript after the jump.

Read More »

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