Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Hobbit's spiders are designed to make not only arachnophobes squirm

the-hobbit-the-desolation-of-smaug-spiderThe latest box office-topping instalment in The Hobbit trilogy is likely to make arachnophobes squirm. That's the hope of director Peter Jackson, whose fear of spiders helped infuse some important scenes in The Desolation of Smaug with creepy, crawly discomfort.

The spiders lurking in the forest of Mirkwood are among the perils Bilbo Baggins and his companions encounter on their journey to reclaim the dwarf kingdom of Erebor.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Benedict's 'Hobbit Immersion'

benedict-cumberbatch-hobbit-dos-premiereBenedict Cumberbatch says The Hobbit was once a “bedtime treat”.

The 37-year-old actor portrays The Necromancer in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit franchise, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novels.

And Benedict has fond memories of when he was first exposed to the magic of Tolkien’s mystic realms.

"My father read me the books when I was young - around six or seven because I went to boarding school when I was eight,” he recalled to Latinos Post.

Orlando Bloom Took 'Refresher' Training To Reprise Role Of Legolas For The Hobbit

orlando-bloom-red-carpet-germanyThe actor needed to brush up on his bow and arrow skills

Orlando Bloom has revealed that he felt it was necessary to undergo training to reprise his role as Prince Legolas in The Hobbit.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star admitted that to help ease himself back into his Lord of the Rings character he embarked on some "refresher" training ahead of filming for The Hobbit trilogy, paying close attention to his rusty bow and arrow skills.

''I went back and did some training with the bow and arrow, as well as movement training and horse riding," the British actor is quoted by Bang Showbiz as saying.

''I did all the things that I did the first time around. I spent four or five weeks doing that, maybe even six weeks, which was great because it was a refresher and a reminder of what we had done.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Hobbit journey thus far

the-hobbit-poster-collageIn “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), is convinced by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to leave the Shire and join Thorin (Richard Armitage) and his Company of 12 dwarves. Their quest is to venture to the Lonely Mountain to help defeat the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) and reclaim the Dwarven empire.

After an encounter with three trolls, the Company is pursued by orcs and meets Radagast (Sylvester McCoy) before escaping to Rivendell, the Elvish homeland. Here, Gandalf meets with elder elves Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) to discuss the rumor of an evil Necromancer. The Company continues its quest sans Gandalf, trekking into the Misty Mountains, only to be captured by goblins in their underground lair. Bilbo gets separated and stumbles into Gollum (Andy Serkis). Winning a riddle game, Bilbo steals Gollum’s magic “precious” ring that makes him invisible. His feat of trickery makes him, at last, a true “burglar.”

Meanwhile, Gandalf returns to help the dwarves escape the goblins and their disgusting king. Our heroes reunite on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains. They are attacked by wargs (giant wolves) and orcs, as well as Thorin’s sworn enemy, Azog the Defiler. To escape, they climb pine trees that are set on fire, and are finally rescued by eagles. “An Unexpected Journey” ends with the party resting on a giant stone outcrop called Carrock, looking onward to the distant Erebor (the Lonely Mountain), the former Dwarvish homeland now occupied by that fearsome dragon — and the objective for the next stage of their journey.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

‘Lord Of The Rings’ Climate Mapped By Scientist, Did Peter Jackson Make A Mistake?

hobbit-shire-pictureThe Lord Of The Rings has a specific climate, described in J.R.R. Tolkien, novels and a scientist claims he has mapped it with the help of a computer and discovered that director Peter Jackson may have made a mistake in choosing the location for his films.

According to reporter Adam Vaugh, of the British publication The Guardian, a scientist at Bristol University programmed his computer to determine the climate of the fictional world of Middle Earth, where Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and now The Hobbit trilogies take place.

Dr. Dan Lunt is an expert in historical climate change and decided to explore the area in which hobbits, dwarves, orcs, and wizards roam.

Hobbit elves and courting controversy

evangeline-lilly-as-taurielWhen the second Hobbit film opens next week, you’ll meet an Evangeline Lilly you’ve never seen before, playing a character Tolkien never wrote about. During an exclusive on-set visit,Tom Cardy got to watch her in splendid elfin action.

The first time we meet Evangeline Lilly it takes a few moments to realise who we are looking at. This comes as a surprise because the Canadian actor was a familiar face on New Zealand television for six years playing Kate Austen in the drama Lost.

The Lilly of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has not only been transformed by a costume, makeup and subtle prosthetics into a feisty wood elf, but she’s in the midst of battling a gang of orcs.

Stephen Colbert is in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

stephen-colbert-hobbit-laketown-spyStephen Colbert -- both host of the Colbert Report and expert of Middle-earth knowledge -- is listed on IMDB's page of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as "Laketown Spy."

Colbert's knowledge of J.R.R. Tolkien's works are well-documented. He's the ultimate Tolkien fan. On numerous occasions, he's flexed his Tolkien brain power against the likes of James Franco and Peter Jackson. He's such a Tolkien fanboy that his wife and his two sons -- Evelyn, Peter and John -- are also listed in the cast for Laketown Spy.

To see how much of a Tolkien fan Colbert is, check out the two clips below:

Friday, 6 December 2013

Cool Hobbit Fan Art #2

About a week ago I posted some cool Hobbit-themed fan art. I'm going to do that again in this post. There are a lot of really talented artists out there and I think it's only proper to give them some exposure. So, without further ado, here are ten more awesome Hobbit fan art pictures.

10 Things You Didn't Know About The Hobbit

Here's a pretty cool video I found that shows ten facts that you may not have known about The Hobbit (both the book and the movies). The description of the video says: "What do Israeli pilots and Russian ballet dancers have to do with Middle Earth? Find out with 10 things you didn't know about The Hobbit." Check it out, it's pretty neat:

5 New Clips from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Five new clips have been released for TDoS and I have them for you below. To be honest, I haven't even watched all of them because I don't want to spoil too much of the movie (even though I don't think these clips would give too much away). I've only seen the barrel scene and the Legolas and Tauriel scene out of the 5 below and they didn't really give anything away as far as I remember. Anyway, I have them for you guys below in case you want to watch them.

Luke Evans puts his Welsh stamp on dragon fighter Bard in The Hobbit

luke-evansGrowing up in the Rhymney Valley in south Wales, Luke Evans was not allowed to read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings or indeed any other fantasy literature.

His parents, David and Yvonne, were religious and allowed their son no truck with swords and sorcery. Quite how they would have reacted to news that their son would go on to take a starring role in one of JRR Tolkien's best-loved stories is anyone's guess.

"I had no interest in fantasy at all as a child," begins Evans, 34, who plays the dragon-fighter Bard in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second instalment in director Peter Jackson's latest fantasy film trilogy. "Tolkien didn't really form part of my youth.

"I was brought up in a household where the magical world was not something that we delved into."

As he matured and teenage rebellion loomed into view, Evans did eventually turn to Tolkien. "I read The Hobbit," he says. "The Lord of the Rings terrified me too much, just because of the sheer size of it."

Thursday, 5 December 2013

New Video Blog for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson has recently posted a new video blog for the upcoming Hobbit film. This is the 13th blog that Jackson has released. Check it out below:

Welcome to Erebor: Hobbit kingdom is recreated by two teenage fans using 80,000 pieces of LEGO

Blake Baer, 17 and Jack Bittner, 18, from Pennsylvania U.S. have recreated Erebor, one of the locations described in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel.

Their model took 400 hours to build, weighs 200 pounds and is 56 inches tall.

Many people can reminisce about the amazing worlds they built with Lego as children, but few creations could be as impressive as the mountainous home of dwarves crafted by two teenagers.

Blake Baer, 17 and Jack Bittner, 18, from Pennsylvania U.S. have recreated one of the locations described in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, The Hobbit in painstaking detail, using a staggering 80,000 Lego bricks.

The duo chose to replicate Erebor using the small colour bricks, which is the home of the dwarves in the novel.

New Interviews with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Cast

TODAY recently interviewed a few cast members of the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Below you can see the interviews with Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch and Luke Evans.

Enter the dragon - An insider's guide to the new Hobbit film

martin-freeman-as-bilbo-bagginsPLUCKY Bilbo Baggins's unexpected journey continues next week as the new Hobbit film, The Desolation Of Smaug, hits cinema screens nationwide.

And if that sentence makes as much sense to you as an Elvish love poem, check out our great guide to the blockbuster.

It's the second in the trilogy made by New Zealand director Peter Jackson based on JRR Tolkien's novel The Hobbit.

In the first film, the wizard Gandalf and a gang of 13 dwarves descended on homeloving hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sylvester McCoy chats about playing a doctor and a wizard in Dr. Who, and the stories people never tire of hearing

sylvester-mccoy-hobbit-premiere-2012Sylvester McCoy is a veteran character actor who has appeared on stage and screen over a lengthy career. He’s best known as the seventh and last Dr. Who of the original series that ended in 1989.

He is best known these days as Radagast the Brown, the wacky wizard who consumes too many mushrooms in the Peter Jackson movie version of The Hobbit. McCoy appears in the first two movies of the trio of films that Jackson has prepared — and may also be in the third. Interestingly, McCoy and Ian McKellen (Gandalf) have acted together on the stage, with McKellen playing King Lear and McCoy playing his Fool.

Evangeline Lilly "bullied" on Hobbit set says Martin Freeman

evangeline-lilly-hobbit-premiere-photoEvangeline Lilly was "bullied" on The Hobbit set, jokes Martin Freeman.

The actress has joined the franchise for new instalment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, portraying feisty elf Tauriel. Martin, who plays Bilbo Baggins, claims the male-dominated cast made it tough for Evangeline to settle in.

"We bullied her. She kind of came along and ruined it, because it was a sort of manly band of brothers, and then she came along and insisted on being all girly and all that," he told ET Online at the Los Angeles premiere for the film last night.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

5 Awesome Hobbit Gift Ideas

5-awesome-hobbit-gift-ideasWell it's that time of year again and the holidays are approaching quickly. Maybe you've already started looking for some gifts and maybe you haven't. Today, I'm going to try and help you by suggesting 5 really cool gift ideas (Hobbit-themed of course).

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Feature: Cool Hobbit Fan Art #1

I'm going to be starting a new feature on this blog called Cool Hobbit Fan Art. I've seen a lot of amazing artwork done by Tolkien fans in the past little while and I think it would be cool to showcase it here. I'll try to make this into a weekly series. Feel free to comment below about what you think about this idea and about the artwork.

Here are the pictures for the first round of Cool Hobbit Fan Art:

The Hobbit: DoS Google Hangout with Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman and Evangeline Lilly

It was recently announced that there will be a Google hangout for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on December 4th with Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman and Evangeline Lilly. New footage of the upcoming film will be shown and fans can ask questions via Twitter that the three hosts will answer. A few lucky fans will be able to ask their questions on the actual hangout through video. If you want to be in the video chat you can sign up here: If you want to attend the event sign up here:


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Fox Searchlight Is Developing A J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic

That’s right: bouncing off the box office success of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and no doubt in anticipation of the records that Peter Jackson’s follow-ups will smash, Fox Searchlight Pictures are developing a J.R.R. Tolkien biopic simply titled, Tolkien.

The LA Times is reporting that David Gleeson, a “Tolkien superfan and scholar of sorts about the author” is currently writing the script, with Peter Chernin (Oblivion, Planet of the Apes, The Heat) and his company Chernin Entertainment set to produce the piece.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Why did Ian McKellen nearly quit acting during production on 'The Hobbit?'

Sir Ian McKellen
A few days ago, a video of an on-set disagreement between Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis made the rounds. It was said to be a special feature for the extended edition release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. At first, I thought little of it, but apparently the frustration demonstrated by McKellen in that moment is symptomatic of a much larger distress he felt during production.

Talking to Radio Times, the 74-year-old thespian admitted that working within the confines of the film’s many post-production effects was nearly too much for him to bear. He referred to the production as “green screen land,” and admitted to being “pretty miserable” during shooting to the point that he considered giving up on acting altogether. Apparently much of the trouble stemmed from the new methods by which Gandalf is made to appear larger than his dwarf co-stars. The simple force perspective used to make him so much taller than the hobbits in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy was no longer an option given the 3D cameras used for The Hobbit trilogy.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Seven New Hobbit Posters Released

Seven new images have been released for The Hobbit: DoS via the official Facebook page. The pictures feature seven of the main characters of the upcoming film. See them below:

New Deleted Scene for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition

A new deleted scene that will appear on the extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been released recently. Without saying too much, it involves the dwarves at Rivendell. It's a wonderful scene and you can see it below. You can get the extended edition of the first Hobbit film here.

Here is another deleted scene (released a few days ago) about a young Bilbo.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

There and back again: An Interview with Shane Rangi

Often enough, stuntmen and stuntwomen play a vital part in some of the most iconic scenes in films. Yet, stuntmen and stuntwomen are invisible to the audience due to the magic of movie making. Unknown to many, Shane Rangi is an experienced actor, stunt man, and motion capture performer from New Zealand with an impressive filmography. He worked on projects such as The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Wolverine, Spartacus, and The Hobbit.

Returning to Middle-earth as an orc in The Hobbit, Shane first set foot into Middle-earth a Harad leader or as one of the Nazguls in LOTR. Middle-earth News had the opportunity to talk with Shane about The Hobbit, conventions, and his work as a stuntman and motion capture performer.

Shane Rangi in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Question: The Book First or The Movie First?

movie-imageHello everyone. I want to ask you guys a question that I've been thinking about recently. This question can be applied to any movie that is based on a book, but I'm applying it to The Hobbit in this case since this is a blog about The Hobbit. The question is are you choosing to watch all of The Hobbit movies before reading the Tolkien novel or are you choosing to read The Hobbit before watching Peter Jackson's films?

My own personal choice is to watch the films before reading the book. The reason for this is because I've always preferred watching movies to reading books. I find movies to be much more visceral and real than books are. Moreover, I don't want to spoil the plot for myself by reading the book first because then I'll know what happens in the films and it will lessen the movie experience for me. I know that you can argue it the other way as well and say that watching the movie will spoil the book. But as I said, I generally prefer movies to books which is why I'm doing it this way. I mean no offense to those who think the opposite, this is just my own perspective. Also, I have to include the fact that I just went to see the first Hobbit movie without even thinking about this issue, so I was kind of forced into watching the films first. But, I'm still not going to read the book before I see the following two films for the reasons I mentioned above.

book-imageHow about you? Do you prefer books to movies and, if so, are you choosing (or have you already chosen) to read The Hobbit before watching The Hobbit? Let me know in the comments because I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of other Hobbit fans on this.

Also, I want to wish a happy birthday to Peter Jackson. I know it's November 1 in New Zealand, but it's October 31 here in Canada so I think I can still say it.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

New International Movie Posters for The Desolation of Smaug Released

A few new international movie posters have been released for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. A few of the images may have been used elsewhere for other posters, but I haven't seen them before so I'm posting them here. See them below:

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Film Length for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Reported to be Around 160 Minutes

the-hobbit-desolation-of-smaug-film-lengthAccording to TheOneRing, UK movie theatres are reporting that they are "working with a runtime of 160 minutes."

This is 9 minutes shorter than the theatrical version (i.e. non-extended edition) of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The source from the UK also noted that "last year’s estimate when we went on sale (an estimate given to us directly from Warners) was 170 minutes which turned out to be just a minute off from the final 169 minute runtime of An Unexpected Journey."

So 160 minutes should only be taken as an approximation, but it should probably be pretty close to the actual run time.

Empire Magazine Releases Its Hobbit-Themed December Cover Art

Empire magazine has recently released five new cover photos for December. The images are shown below and they feature Bard, Thorin, Bilbo, Gandalf and all of them together for the subscriber version of the magazine. The art is very well done in my opinion.

Monday, 28 October 2013

‘The Hobbit’ New TV Spots Released for ‘Desolation of Smaug’ (Video)

the-hobbit-the-desolation-of-smaug-posterYesterday, two new TV Spots for the upcoming sequel to 2012 blockbuster The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey entitled The Desolation of Smaug were released.

When we last left our friends The Dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and the great wizard Gandalf, they had successfully escaped the Misty Mountains, and Bilbo had found the “precious” One Ring.

In Desolation of Smaug, Thorin and the rest of the group will have to find their way to the Lonely Mountain where Bilbo will be tasked with seeking out the secret door that will grant them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug.

Simultaneous worldwide Hobbit preview planned

the-hobbit-desolation-of-smaug-previewFans will be able to get a sneak peek of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug two months ahead of its release at a presentation hitting screens in London, New York, Los Angeles and Wellington simultaneously.

Director Peter Jackson announced the November 5 (NZ time) event on his Facebook page on Saturday, which will see cast members answering questions on the film and ''a few special surprises''.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Wellington recording for The Hobbit soundtrack recording completed

Orchestral recording for The Desolation of Smaug soundtrack in the Wellington Town Hall has concluded. It also seems as though the choral(?) work occurring in London for the soundtrack is almost complete. It’s all very hush-hush though.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Pleasant Grove sculptor creates Hobbit house with 2,600 balloons

Not every wife would be on board if you told her you wanted to clear out the furniture to re-create Bilbo Baggins' hobbit home out of -- no joke -- 2,600 balloons.

But then, not everyone is married to a professional balloon artist.

Jeremy Telford, of Pleasant Grove, has a worldwide reputation for balloon artistry. He has been flown to South America to create a balloon sculpture for a commercial. He has had installations at Thanksgiving Point. Now he is featured in the new book from Ripley's Believe it or Not! called "Dare to Look!"

"I cleared out my living room and spent three days building Bilbo Baggins' house," he said of the famous character of the Hobbit books.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Lord of the Rings fans head to the Higgins Armory in Worcester for Middle-earth day

This weekend, local Lord of the Rings fans have reason to be excited beyond the upcoming release of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:" Middle-earth day at the Higgins Armory in Worcester.

On Saturday Sept. 28th, "the Great Hall will be the site of the last stand of men and elves at Higgins on our final Middle-earth Day," the Higgins event page states. "So dust off your traveling cloaks and study up on your runes, or just comb your feet and join us for a day of fun and fellowship."

For six hours Saturday, Lord of the Rings will be the theme of the Higgins Armory, offering themed classes, Shire sing-a-longs, and Elvish conversation.

Q&A with Richard Armitage and Lee Pace this Saturday

According to ClickOnlineBlog, there is going to be a press meeting in London on Saturday with several of The Hobbit cast members including Lee Pace and Richard Armitage. If you'd like to submit a question to them you can go to and reblog the posts with a note asking a question of either Richard or Lee (or both).



New Hobbit trailer to debut at the start of October

the-hobbit-the-desolation-of-smaug-posterVarious sources are indicating that the next trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will debut in very early October, and that it will be attached to the Warner Bros. film Gravity.

A first-time source of unconfirmed reliability tells that “Hobbit fans would be inclined to see Gravity.”

This correlates with the musings of some of TORn’s staffers, and a number of TORn messageboarders who have pointed out that Gravity is the last Warner Bros. movie to open in cinemas before The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug comes out on December 13. And, unsurprisingly, Hobbit trailers have a history of being attached to WB films. The trail of logic strongly suggests that Gravity is the prime candidate for the next DOS trailer.

Welcome to The Hobbit Movie News

Hello and welcome to The Hobbit Movie News. Here you will find all the news that I can get my hands on pertaining to the Hobbit film series. I'll attempt to post as often as I can and whenever a new story surfaces.

I hope you enjoy your time here and I will attempt to make this site as engaging as I can for you.