Lifesize Minas Tirith

Much to the chagrin of fantasy fans, Middle Earth is not a real location. While you can visit certain areas of New Zealand where shooting locations from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies have been turned into tourist attractions, it’s just not the same, and a lot of fans can’t afford to fly over there.

But what if Middle Earth, or part of it, could be realized in the United Kingdom? That’s what a group of J.R.R. Tolkien fans and architects is hoping to do with a new croundfunded project that hopes to build a lifesize Minas Tirith replica somewhere in the south of England. Read More »

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Lord of the Rings theme park

Many groups of fantasy fans have places they can visit in order to play in their preferred world. Harry Potter fans have theme parks and museums. DC fans can go to Six Flags. Marvel and Star Wars are owned by Disney, so those will eventually be covered. But what about Lord of the Rings fans? Sure, they can go to New Zealand where Peter Jackson’s movies were filmed, but that’s more of a sightseeing trip. Where’s the action?

They action may be coming to Spain. The town of Rincon de la Victoria recently announced it will be building a theme part called “La Comarca,” which is a rough translation of The Shire. Read more about the Lord of the Rings theme park below. Read More »

Peter Jackson Isn’t Ruling Out More Tolkien Movies

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Peter Jackson has now spent six films and most of the past 15 years in Middle-earth, but he’s still not ruling out another return. The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit director says he’d “probably” be up for another journey into J.R.R. Tolkien‘s world.

If you’ve been entranced by his Hobbit trilogy, this is great news. If, on the other hand, you’re more inclined to agree with the weary Honest Trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, you’re probably groaning at the news.

In any case, Jackson isn’t planning his return trip just yet. First, he plans to spend some time making films about the parts of New Zealand that haven’t been turned into hobbit holes. Read Jackson’s comments on more Tolkien movies, and watch the Smaug Honest Trailer, after the jump. Read More »

Peter Jackson in The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Production Diary 14

Peter Jackson has never quite been sure how many movies based on the world of J.R.R. Tolkien he was going to make. In his initial pitch, he combined the three Lord of the Rings novels into two movies. He then ended up making three. And even though those movies were long, he released extended editions of each. He then decided he didn’t want to tackle The Hobbit, and passed the job to Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro dropped though and Jackson jumped back into the directors chair to make two movies based on the one book. As he was shooting though, he realized he had enough for three movies, and now we have both a Lord of the Rings Trilogy and a Hobbit Trilogy.

Both of those trilogies used information from Appendices Tolkien wrote later to add meat to the bone and that begs the question, is he really done? Well, at the press junket for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies that point was discussed. One actor seems to think more Lord of the Rings movies are possible but logistically, it’s probably not. Read the quotes below. Read More »

Dueling J.R.R. Tolkien Biopics Are in Development

Tolkien biopics

This winter brings us the final installment of Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit trilogy, which means we’re done with trips to Middle-earth for the time being. (Well, at least until Warner Bros. figures out how to adapt The Silmarillion or deems it time to remake the Lord of the Rings series.) It does not, however, mean we’re done with J.R.R. Tolkien.

Two separate Tolkien biopics are in the works at the moment: the faith-based Tolkien & Lewis, which explores the fantasy author’s relationship with Narnia creator C.S. Lewis, and the more straightforward Tolkien, which is set up at Fox Searchlight. More details on both after the jump.

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Fox Searchlight Developing a J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic

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Warner Bros. is the lucky studio behind three Lord of Rings movies and another three Hobbit films, but Fox Searchlight will be the one who finally brings the genius behind those fantasy epics to the big screen. And no, I don’t mean Peter Jackson.

The studio has just set David Gleeson to script a biopic of author J.R.R. Tolkien, which for now is simply being called Tolkien. Peter Chernin (The Heat) will produce. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Dying to set foot in Middle-earth, but don’t have the cash to shell out for a ticket to New Zealand’s Hobbiton? If a new rumor is to be believed, Universal Studios could be planning a new Middle-earth theme park that’d presumably be much closer to home for American fans. According to an anonymous source, Universal and Warner Bros. have approached the Tolkien estate about the possibility of building a new attraction, and Universal has gotten as far as presenting its ideas to the Tolkiens. Read more after the jump.

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It’s a sad fact for geeks that there’s still no way to actually become a hobbit or a wizard. But thanks to two new spots, we can at least pretend for a little while.

The King’s Cross station in London has opened a new souvenir shop at Platform 9 3/4, which Harry Potter fans know is where Hogwarts students catch the train to school. Meanwhile, Hobbiton in New Zealand has transformed the Green Dragon Inn set into a working pub. Read more and check out some photos and video after the jump.

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When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is good, it’s really good. Throughout Peter Jackson‘s first film in the Hobbit trilogy, his camera sweeps through an epic battle, and Howard Shore’s score crescendos through the speakers as thirteen dwarves, one wizard and a hobbit fight for their lives. That’s what most audiences are paying to see, and the film provides that on a grand scale, again and again.

“Again and again” is also the film’s biggest issue. On a consistent basis, it’s almost as if Jackson forgets he has two more films to release and is forced to pump the brakes. Tangents pop out of nowhere, dialogue scenes are stretched into infinity, and a familiar structure of capture followed by rousing escape, is consistently repeated. Much of the film feels like it’s purposely attempting to stall the dwarves’ quest from progressing.

What we’re left with is a huge, beautiful piece of entertainment, the lows of which are slightly outweighed by its adrenaline pumping highs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey works, but feels bloated, derived from the fact that it’s based on a child’s book, only stuffed and stretched beyond the bounds of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s original narrative.  Still, its flaws and fun work hand in hand to provide a suitably rousing first act to the Hobbit trilogy. Read More »