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There And Back Again: A Geek's Adventure In Middle Earth!!! CHAPTER EIGHT!!! Now with a Pic!!!

Twas the morning of the last day of the shooting of the most ambitious film shoot in all of film history.

Three movies, each one larger in scope than the one preceding it. Each story greater in dramatics than the preceding… A story that though fiction has become part of history for those that read it.

This day… Friday the 22nd of December in the Year 2000… In the Tower Hall inside the Aragorn looks into the palantir and reveals himself unto the lord of Mordor… Sauron, and the chess pieces are firmly in place..

The first scene is a two shot of Gandalf and Aragorn… The scene lays out the situation… Things are dark, and the progress of Frodo and Sam are completely unknown. The feeling is that Sauron hasn’t yet captured the ring, they feel that Frodo and Sam may still have a chance, but not with an Army of orcs between Frodo and Mt Doom…. Thus the ruse is conceived by Aragorn. Gandalf says, "Sauron will suspect a trap and not take the bait." To which Aragorn says, "Oh… I think he will." I believe in this scene we Eomer, Aragorn, Legolas and Gandalf the White. Here is where much blood and the next stage of the story takes flight… the final play of events is all birthed from this moment… the last moment shot by Peter for THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Oh what a precipice to be observing.

Watching Viggo here, I am watching a King in Strider’s clothes… You can tell there is a nobility and certainty to his movements. His lines are delivered with a purpose that only the son of Arathorn would possess. When he says, "Then we empty Sauron’s lands… gather all our strength, March on Mordor, and draw his army to the Black Gates." The look in Viggo’s eye… there is a spark, whether it be some bit of reflected light or an inherent spark from within I can not say… but I feel a shiver… That line carries much sacrifice for such a small fellow, but is the absolute necessary move in order for Frodo to succeed. At this moment, Frodo and Sam have a Smeagol/Gollum with them… and times are toughening for them. Yet here, in this clean pure hall in Minas Tirith…. This is the moment where the good of the many is placed in peril for the fewest of few… two hobbits.

I love being here… this is history, the moment of great courage and determination.

Meanwhile a documentary crew is here filming everything that is going on… hell even I am on camera… being captured behind Peter… sitting in the HARRY CHAIR typing away… The idea that a scene like this one is the last one… Oh… the joy of experience.

A really solid take has just been shot… and Peter shouts out from our location behind this statue of a King of Gondor… The direction, "Alright, let’s pick of the pace on this one… have more FUN with it… be excited by this idea!" I believe that is the perfect idea.

They nailed it….. That was the last shot of GANDALF THE WHITE….. "Sauron will suspect a trap and not take the trap!" YES! Quite a moment! This is also Legolas’ last moment before Peter’s Cameras. At this moment, two more of the Fellowship bid Peter farewell… Can you believe it… One more scene to be shot…. But for now…. LUNCH.

Lunch was an emotional time this time out. I grabbed my slice of Beef Wellington (how apropo), a tad of Salmon… roasted new potatoes and a delicious… delicious steamed tomatoes and cheese and asparagus dish that was heavenly. Certainly no set around the world has beet catering. The Award goes to these magical cooks.

Before the ‘school lunchroom’ cafeteria

Aragorn reveals his presence to Sauron… reveals Narsil reforged into Anduril before him… and inflames the anger of the dark lord through the Palantir….

Alright… on set magic here…. The Palantir is to be a black stone that begins to glow…. For the film, Viggo holds a white glowing orb… Peter tells me that the Palantir is the Black Stone as described in the book, but that for the CG artists to clearly see the outline of the globe.… it glows white here…. While watching playback, I mention to Peter….

"I bet this is where a few thousand dollars of sound effects and score come to full hilt eh?"

To which Peter smiled and said, "I do believe yer right on that one."

Heheheh….

The look on Viggo’s face is that of one gazing upon an insanity of evil…. I do not know what he is imagining to get this expression… but whatever private demon Viggo has summoned, it looks to me as though he is staring into the flaming eye of Sauron, whether or not we ever see that.

I’ve just seen a take where Viggo hit a moment of dispair that was a GREAT shot…. After he says his peace to Sauron…. Sauron shows him… well, you know, and it strikes fear into him like nothing you can imagine… Looking into Sauron, I take it, is not a healthy move. Heh.

People are taking turns with Anduril between takes…. Various crew members are wearing feathered boas… Cups of chips and malt vinegar… this breaded sausage thing… and the most amazing dispenser of tomato sauce (note not ketchup) and b y the time we are set to take in the shot of Viggo picking up the Palantir… then dropping it…. Well, everyone is joking about finishing on Monday (Christmas day… hehehe)….

Peter has presents from various crew members and cast…. Orlando Bloom gave him a Weta Bug preserved… others have presented him with chocolates and t-shirts… Viggo brought him a series of books he’s been hunting down here in Wellington one by one on the history of New Zealand’s activities in World War I. Peter was delighted… Then Ian gave Peter this amazing print of him and the Frankenstein Monster from GODS & MONSTER… this was a beautiful photo!

Now we are beginning the series of shots to end the principal photography… THE SHOTS ARE:

Aragorn being dressed into his Kingly armor before riding off. Viggo is in a deep rich red tunic… lovely garment… They do a rehearsal run through… Peter goading everyone the entire way… crew laughing as the two Weta Armor experts do their best to quickly get Viggo into the armor without blocking the camera…

Final make up is being down, Viggo’s hair is being straightened out… We are almost ready to shoot, when suddenly Peter says, "Harry… come my boy, your time has arrived…"

I’m like, ‘what the fuck?’

"You are to do the clacker board for the next to the last shot of principal photography… Somebody come teach Harry how to fulfill his duties!!!"

Suddenly this lovely lady wraps a pink feathered boa about my shoulders… I like the feel of it. I’m extremely nervous…. I’m shaking…. Emotionally I am not prepared for this….

I’m told… "Just say, ‘Five fifty Echo Take 1 a/b’ and on Mark… click it down."

Alright I can do this… I’m relatively intelligent…. Ohmygod, this is like so fucking cool, I mean… shit… This is … tears begin… I’m looking about… two cameras…. 10 minutes before principal photography is over… I’m like, what am I doing here… where’s Austin… Christmas… what’s that? When is it? Eeeeek, flash bulbs go off… documentary crew shooting me… Peter giggling in the sidelines… Evil devil!

Suddenly a chap says "ROLLING"

I say perfectly, "Ummm uh, Take 1 a/ um Fire thirty, Um, I mean…. Five Fifty Echo Take uh 1 a/b" and then got the hell out of dodge in my pink boa…. I see Peter… giggling into a clutched fist… I’m beaming… I did something on the film… I took part… In a cool little way, I was here, I started the shot… I was a part. I’m really really emotional about this right now back at the hotel… I have such hopes for these films… as do all of fandom… and when I clicked that clack board and moved out of the way…. When you see the shot… 3 years from now… when Aragorn, son of Arathorn… is having his chainmail skirt and armor placed on… from behind. I started that shot…. Somewhere is film footage of me…. Calling that shot into play….

I stand in the sidelines… watching the Weta folks strapping on the gauntlets of the King of Gondor… the armor, the tunic with the Tree of Gondor… Here before his white throne… in front of the black marble chair of the Lord Denethor… Steward of Minas Tirith…

The take goes smoothly… then the camera crew switches sides…. For the final shot. The last shot of LORD OF THE RINGS on Peter’s unit… and Peter takes the Pink boa… the clapper board… and does a schtick where he gets his finger caught in the board… Viggo slaps the board…. Peter asks him to do it again… and when it finally clicks….

Peter moves off…. The Weta armor guys in full Gondorian glory… dress their king from the front… and when it comes to the over-Tunic… it isn’t smooth… so Peter calls for a new final shot….

Just then…as if by fate… Sean Astin and Elijah Wood…. Sam and Frodo… arrive and take the honors… Sean has the pink boa and his daughter around his neck…. Elijah joins from the other side… they do the job, and move out of way… and the final shot is taken.

Now folks… I must go to the wrap party… I am wearing the shirt that Dorothy Parker gave me for my birthday with the special buttons she put on it for me… and I’m wearing my sparkly shoes… All in all… I’m ready to get pissed as Peter tells me.

Folks… I will write you back in the states… I will be in no shape to run a computer tonight when I get back… I promise though… there is ONE MORE REPORT! One more installment from THERE AND BACK AGAIN…. It will be delivered on Christmas Morning by Santa Claus….

Take care… be well… The shooting of principal photography is OVER… and my friends… it has been emotional. Tears flowed… Elijah shook… Orlando smiled so much tears flowed… and tonight, after 18 months of filming… the party to end all wrap parties will get underway… in about 12 minutes… I’ve got to go… sorry for the no spell check… no grammar check… I’ve got to go…

Cheers mate

P.S. Watching Aragorn eating Cotton Candy… strange thing to see…

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:02 a.m. CST

    First, I'm first, I'm first, I'm first, I'm first

    by lester_long

    Aragorn rules

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Geek no more????

    by scortch

    Could this be the time when the geek gets to do something so cool, something so awesome, that he begins to trancend geekdom?? Like when Speilberg made Jaws, when Gates made his first billion, when... I dunno, there has to be others. Could this be the time for Harry??? Naw. He's still a geek. But he's our geek.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Harry, my envy of you is limitless.

    by vroom socko

    You sir, are a God among geeks, you lucky duck. I have the shakes so bad, man, we have to wait a whole year to see what you spent a year living. Forget the "honorary" status, You are now a full fledged official member of the Screaming Retina's. Just let me know where to send the crew badge(vroomsocko@hotmail.com.)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Just to mention it again...

    by vroom socko

    Go read Bored of the Rings. It is without a doubt the funniest book of all time. Has anyone other than myself and Buzz Maverick read this? Should Peter get the original cast back to film it? Am I insane? Well, I am insane, so the other questions must have yes answers also.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Greatness

    by Ibsen

    I have no doubt that these movies will be more spectacular and inspired than we can even imagine. Harry, thanks so much for sharing this past week's experience with all of us. It has been a fantastic read. It is almost mind numbing to think that ever scene you have described is three years away. I reread the trilogy and will most likely read it again just before the first movie debuts next Christmas. At the very least I will read Fellowship. I'm sure that J.R.R. Tolkien would be proud. Ibsen

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:27 a.m. CST

    I know, I know.

    by vroom socko

    You've been there a week, not a year. It's fucking late at night, OK!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Congratz

    by Hobbit_Toe

    A year from now, the world will know how to spot NZ on the map. I believe, nobody, not NewLine, not PJ and his crew, Harry, me or any other geek in the world realizes how BIG this movies are going to be. These movie WILL be cultural phenomena, events that will be a part of western culture as much for example Woodstock is. Events that ar so big and so special, because most of us, didn't see it coming. Worry not, fellow fans, LotR will break all the records it will be a huge succes, but that is not even the best part. The best part is, that after this, millions and zillions of people all over the world will have fallen in love with Tolkien's work. That is what it's all about.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Words fail me..

    by maestrino

    I'll try my best though, bear with me.. I'm yet another newly registered user coming out of the woodwork for the sole purpose of enthusing about the wonderful stuff you've been churning out, Harry - I resisted for the past 7 chapters, everyone else was saying perfectly what I was thinking (well, all the good bits anyhoo.. ;) ) .. but after waking up this morning and realising that at this exact moment across a little sea the last scenes *sob* were being shot, the temptation to add my exactly-the-same-bit was too strong! What can I say. Man. There is more meaning in your numerous dotdotdots and bad grammar Harry than there would be in perfectly placed adjectives and flowery language describing the epic nature of these movies, cos its clear you're lost for words about it too. And it seems to have had the same effect with everybody on set, or in the editing room, or in the caterer's kitchen, or in that knitting club working on the chain mail.. and all.. :) And I am SO happy to hear that everyone making this movie are being real people, instead of being Hollywoody.. not having bitchy selfish fights on set and all that, because I imagine the majority of the crew are NOT bitchy self-obsessed people wanting to make yards of money or fame. That is SO COOL. Its so hard not to be envious of being a part of that kind of atmosphere!!! The collective cloud of fandom envy created in the past week should be harnessed in some way methinks, before it clumps together and takes a dangerous turn.. ;) Anyway, I've said my say, I'm very much looking forward to report nine a.k.a. most-anticipated-Christmas-present-ever, and you guys - Harry, cast, crew, PJ, everybody - make sure you rip it up at that wrap party, you absolutely deserve it. have a good one :)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Viggo is king

    by viggo_mortensen

    I just have to say that Viggo Mortensen is now officially The Coolest. When I first heard that he had landed the role of Aragorn I was ecstatic. Now some people did doubt the casting of him for this role, but I think Harry's reports have helped to disprove these claims. I have been a huge fan of Viggo's ever since I saw him play Satan in The Prophecy. Viggo is Aragorn! So, well done Viggo! Well done Harry! And a very big WELL DONE to Peter Jackon!! These films are going to be the greatest. John H. (Head of the Viggo Appreciation Society)

  • And again, even though words like these may be repeated, I thank you deeply. Truly it was like being there. How in the world you ever got such access to the set is beyond me, but I'm glad... Merry Xmas head geek...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 1:46 a.m. CST

    outstanding

    by Y282

    I can't express how enthusiastic, excited and generally pleased I am about this. I've been telling everyone who'll listen (and a few who won't) about this for as long as I can remember and the one sentiment I've been trying to convey to them is that no-one is prepared for how big this is going to be. Thank God it looks as though I may be proved right. It's incredible to think that this genre of film has been ridiculed and devalued for so long (and in some cases appropriately so!) and yet when a piece finally worthy of being watched by all, regardless of interest, background, etc, is made it goes so far off the chart that it is undeniable. Wouldn't it be fantastic validation if a so-called "Geek" film could finally win major recognition and awards for areas other than just costume and effects. I await with great interest and offer Harry, all the cast and crew and all true enthusiasts of the Professors works, once again, my sincerest thanks.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:02 a.m. CST

    holy crap

    by daeron23

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you anyone who is at all involved in these movies (this would of course include Harry) for making them, and for making them so great. Whether or not it agrees with my ideas about LOTR (or anyone else's, for that mattter), it will be an amazing astonishing fantastic [insert your own adjective] piece of art. Harry, you are a hero to more people than you know. To any cast/crew/etc reading these posts, you are the envy of literally millions of people. Congrats all-- as if you haven't heard that enough... :)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Right on, my man!

    by Nocturnaloner

    Way to go, Harry! This is the first time in my life I've ever applauded a computer monitor!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:05 a.m. CST

    !!! A*M*A*Z*I*N*G !!! G*E*E*K*L*O*R*E !!!

    by Roger U. Roundly

    Harry, you kill me eight times,man. You Kill Me eight times!!! When YOU Feel it, WE Feel it!. Your tales of Cameraderie and GeekJoyDelight Have given me a connection to this movie which wouldn't be there if I had just merely devoured those fantastic books. I was too young for Star Wars but you can be damned sure that I consider myself to have been in on the ground floor for this new era in terms of Geek-lore. In twenty years time, I'll be the one telling people "Yeah, I read Harry's reports, I was in the 'There and back again' TalkBacks". Cuz That's how Geek-Lore works. Gotta respect the Geek-lore, or there would be no Geeks. waiting with baited scroll-bars for the final installment. Knock yerself out Harry!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:20 a.m. CST

    yeah!

    by Eriol

    me too!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:20 a.m. CST

    wow

    by Y282

    You guys talk back bloody fast, I was only in here five minutes ago. Anyone would think this was a popular subject, especially with so long to go until the official "Real World" publicity machine gets going ;-)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Thank you Harry

    by Sauronette

    I guess there's nothing more to say... Thank you for your reports. At least we get to know a bit of what's going on in New Zealand, and gee! things are going on over there :-) I've seen many ennemies of PJ's get sweeter reading your reports. It's great for PJ and the movies, but I must say it's sad for me, because I don't have anyone to try to persuade anymore.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Lord of the Rings, or how to sink a TITANIC

    by Frenchnick

    The Blockbuster god has just decided upon a new avatar and boy can we see it coming... 'Nuff said gang... Patience is a godly virtue. And man, is my card collection gonna skyrocket...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 4:42 a.m. CST

    gawd...

    by Steamfish

    Humanity NEED to see this movie on an evolutionary level.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 5 a.m. CST

    Geekdom

    by yummyfur

    Harry, you really have made us all proud of you and ourselves. Being a geek is cool. Do you think that Peter has finished principle shooting under budget or over budget? I think these films are going to turn Hollywood on it's head. Peter Jackson is GOD. Get the Feebles and Heavenly Creatures out on video today.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 5:08 a.m. CST

    Arghhhhhh!!!

    by Snulle

    great reoprts Harry. It's been a hell of a ride this last week ... Great reading! Oh and yes guys ... we have to get us one of these babies. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1400585985

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Party On!

    by anothervoice

    Thank you! And by you, I mean everyone from Tolkien, to you fans for keeping it alive, to the actors giving it their best shot, all the crews, Harry and his reports...! The geeks of the world have united! Party on! Now we wait for the editing, music score...etc...One more year...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:03 a.m. CST

    by MTXX

    Thanks for the great reports Harry! These films can't possibly fail. The "worst" possible scenario I can think of is that they'll be remembered as "just" an enjoyable and succesful (if slightly flawed) trilogy on the same level as "Back To The Future". And IF the magic that Harry can sense will make it to the screen, then they'll be so much more. Oh, and please note that Peter Jacksons "Forgotten Silver" 'mockumentary' has been released on DVD in the US this week. Essential geek viewing - go and buy it now!!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Merry X-Mass you lucky bastard. . .

    by RenoNevada2000

    Well Harry, it looks like you got your X-mass present early. And yes Vroom Socko, I, too have read the wonderful "Bored of the Rings." I'm giggling thinking back to Gimlet's favorite phrase before a battle- "Bets?" "Bored" holds a special place on my bookshelf alongside the brilliant Michael O'Donoughue (Spelling, I know) bio and "Lampoon's This Side of Parodies." As for PJ and Co reuniting to film "Bored" I can only think of one thing to say "MERV GRIFFIN!" (Dorkin fans like Vroom will get it. All others- go buy Milk and Cheese now to be enlightened.)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Big Mistake?

    by scatha

    Harry, is there any possibility that the scene of Aragorn looking into the palantir takes place in Helm's Deep and NOT Minas Tirith? If he does it at Minas Tirith it is a rather significant departure from the book, and I can't think of any good reason to justify changing up the order of events, because it will require them to screw around with a bunch of other things. Please tell us it was a blue screen shot meant to be used properly at Helm's Deep instead of Minas Tirith. Also, the strategy of marching on the Black Gate was Gandalf's idea, not Aragorn's. Yikes! Why is PJ doing stuff like this? There's no need. Can you ask him?

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:38 a.m. CST

    THANK YOU ALL!

    by Roger Mortis

    I can't believe that The shooting is finally over! This has been so very, very cool, that I just had to say thank you Harry! You've made an otherwise dismal time of year (not christmas it self, but rather the days leading up to it) to joyous and truly jolly time for me this year! I salute you and the minions of people who keep at making this place worthy of my attention ( I'm not this stuck up, really, but it had a nice ring to it). I SALUTE YOU ALL!! HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS AND A MERRY NEW YEAR!!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Oh, and oh yeah...

    by Roger Mortis

    A very special Thank you to: Peter Jackson, the Cast and Crew of this (hopefully) very cool film! Cheers Ya'll!!!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:50 a.m. CST

    OH Harry!!!

    by s-miller

    I'm breathless with anticipation of your Christmas gift to us, and echoing fellow geeks everywhere, thank you!! Harry, you were not alone in New Zealand...millions of us were with you, in awe of the amazing, wonderful work of PJ and crew...giggling and geeking at your getting to start one of the last shots...this has been perfect!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Gandalf bless us, every one.

    by Delsi

    I've checked this site at least once a week for a long time now, and nothing ever warrented a response. In fact, I even managed to stifle the impulse for all of the previous chapters - but I can hold it no more. Aaaaaaaargh! I know it's been said, but you deserve to hear it again Harry: thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou! THIS is what this site should be. Merry Christmas to all!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Re: Big Mistake

    by Southron

    From Harry's description I would assume that what he is filming is a second use of the Palantir by Aragorn, not accounted for in the book. So maybe PJ has Aragorn peek at it once at the mountain retreat of the Rohan (can't remember the name offhand, but NOT Helm's Deep), and has him get away with using it there without being caught by Sauron. This would be enough to clinch Aragorn's decision to take the Paths of the Dead per the book. A second viewing at Minis Tirith where Aragorn unveils Anduril and antagonizes Sauron isn't too bad a departure to me. In the book Aragorn somehow prompts Sauron to move on Minis Tirith prematurely by confronting him in the Palantir, and yet the forces converging on the Pelennor Fields are already fully in motion and it is hard to define how the Palantir encounter changes them much. The main purpose of this Palantir session is for Aragorn to see the forces approaching Gondor from the south and thus force him to take the Paths of the Dead. If I remember correctly the strategy session where the plan to march on the gates of Mordor is not described directly in the book but is related second hand by one of the players (maybe Gandalf) after the fact. On film it makes more sense to play out the strategy talks directly. Having Aragorn get caught peeking in the Palantir here and having him waggle his sword at Sauron here works OK for me.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:26 a.m. CST

    off to the gates

    by semuta

    I do believe the part people are referring to is when Aragorn holds a council of the Lords of Gondor on the fields of the Pellenor (immediately after the unsuccessful seige of Gondor). Gandalf presides at the meeting, and makes the recommendation to all to march at once against the remaining hosts of Mordor, to 'draw out Sauron's hidden strength' and keep his attention away from the ringbearer and Cirith Ungol. As somebody said, I do believe it is Gandalf who recommends the course of action, and not Aragorn. Some post the text! I'm at work and don't have it in front of me.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:30 a.m. CST

    hope it doesn't suck...

    by BriscoCountyJr

    ...like every other movie Harry's involved with. Besides, too much goodwill in these talkbacks lately. where's the skepticism we're known for? Come on people!!!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:40 a.m. CST

    my pointed ears are turning green with envy

    by Liltwened

    Oh, you are so very lucky! Do you realize just how many of us out here would give an arm to be where you have been in the last week?! It sounds like the movie will really be quite accurate...I am so glad! (I was worried at first, but you've calmed my fears) Good job on the reports, and thank you so much! Crew, if any of you read this, be prepared to be worshiped! Namarie! --Liltwened

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Happiness is LOTR

    by Darth Tater

    I've read articles at this site for a while now, but I've never felt compelled to talk back, until now that is. I know it's all been said before, but I have to say it again! Harry, what I wouldn't give to be you! (my soul? Hmmm ;)) However, these reports are almost as good. Thank you for the greatest Christmas present yet. I forsee three presents that will be even better though. I've tried not to get too excited about these movies. After all, what if they really aren't incredible? What if they suck? But damn, this makes it way too hard to think that! I know they will rock, I just know it. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and his name is Peter Jackson. PS: PJ, if you want someone to come watch the editing process and let the folks on the web know what's going on, I'm your man! ;)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Bored of the Rings!!!!

    by NathanSloan

    vroom socko: a live version of Bored of the Rings (on DVD) would be one of the best companions to the DVD LOTR, period, especially if directed by Peter and starring the original cast. That book is one of the funniest...um...lemme check here...160 pages I've ever read. It'd be short (or maybe Peter and crew would write up some of their own additions), but it would be freakin' awesome. Peter!! Please! This would make a spectacular DVD extra...the boys at National Lampoon probably wouldn't mind a bit, 'specially since you could get a hold of the original cast. Anyway...I'm already planning my geekiness for these movies...camping out possibly overnight with my copy of The Sacred Text tucked firmly under one arm...buying the soundtrack the instant it hits the shelves...ditto for the DVDs...I can't wait to see what kind of extras that LOTR has. Thank you, Peter, for stating you'd release each movie inbetween the other movie's release. That will definitely make the wait betwixt 'em much easier to bear. I also can't wait to see all of the cut footage, etc, that goes back into it...hehehe...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 9:07 a.m. CST

    A Star Shines at the hour of your Posting

    by Faramyn

    I was thinking of things to write about how exciting this is and how it is wonderful to be part of it while it is unfolding, and I remembered a sparkling little moment while rereading the Two Towers, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol where Sam is talking about adventures: "I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into?" "I wonder" said Frodo. "But I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them too." Find this passage and read it! We are in the story NOW!! FEEL IT!! Thanks JRRT! Thanks Harry! Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Harry, you have seen the light of the trees in Valinor!

    by Gandalf's Mom

    Unbelievably awe-inspiring posts Harry. I am utterly overwhelmed with pure, untainted excitement. You are indeed the rightful Jolly King of Film Geeks. The scepter is yours, and the Havens await you in the end. May Iluvatar bless you with great blessings!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Cynicism? Well, maybe just one little thing

    by moviet00l

    I'll take it from Harry that all is well as far as casting, story, acting, art direction, special effects, etc. But we still have a wildcard: music. Harry, your next mission should definitely be to stake out Howard Shore's studio and see what he's up to. If we get a score that makes me want to jump on a horse, kiss a princess, and ride off to battle a dark lord (Basil Poledouris' "Conan" theme anyone?), then I can't see anything stopping Lord of the Rings.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 9:57 a.m. CST

    LOTR WILL RULE ALL

    by IAmLegolas

    I have spoken

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 10 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and does anyone know if Shelob will be in the movie?

    by IAmLegolas

    Arachnophobes beware!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:11 a.m. CST

    This ain't gonna be the books

    by georgeliquor2

    I've definitely been excited by the films for the last couple years, but skeptical every time I hear of a major change in the films from the books. But ya know, the more I hear about why certain changes have been made, I understand the reason behind them. Take elf ears - I have always strongly believed that they didn't have pointy ears (not to mention Hobbits!), but the more I thought about Jackson's motives to clearly differentiate between Elves and Men, I can happily accept the pointy ears. Even the pointy Hobbit ears to (I suppose) help the full-size actors to appear visually 'non-human' and fit into their environments as little Hobbits. And the more I get into that mind set, the less I care about the variances from the books. It seems clear from every word we've heard from the film makers that they are sticking to the books wherever possible, and making changes in the spirit of translating an enormous and relatively complicated story to a movie with as much appeal to non-Tolkienites as possible. At this point I am perfectly willing (and mentally prepared) to go into the theater with the assumption that I am going to see an optimized *adaptation* of the Sacred Text. Unless some TV miniseries is made in the future some day which significantly expands on the 6-7 hours (!) of the movie trilogy, we can not possibly hope to see a cinematic version of TLOTR that is not an adaptation. If I want the original, I'll read the books - nothing will ever replace those. Harry, thanks for the wonderful reports, and for giving me more reason than ever to feel like the production as good a path as I could hope for. Merry Xmas & Happy Solstice, all! PS - Oh yeah, yes, Shelob is in... with organic web shooters, I would assume.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Harry made his own luck

    by Elliot_Kane

    If any of us put as much time and effort into creating something as Harry has (and does) into AICN, we might create our own 'luck' too. *** To the Talkbacker who wondered where our cynicism is: it is hard to maintain it in the face of Harry's optimism. He is a passionate LOTR fan, and he loves what he has seen of the film. That bodes pretty well I'd say. Even the XenArwen fears seem to be groundless. If Aragorn & Arwen's courtship (as told in the appendices) is shown on screen, Arwen's presence in the film is that much greater, hence Liv Tyler's greater time on set than would be necessary for what would amount to a couple of cameos. Aragorn's ONLY personal reason for wanting to be King is so that he can marry Arwen, whilst she is prepared to surrender near-immortality to be with him. Call me an old romantic, but showing some of that on screen cannot be a bad thing. XenArwen would diminish both Arwen and Eowyn. Eowyn should be a young woman who stands up for what she believes in in the face of the whole world, but if female warriors are common in Middle Earth, her great courage in riding to war against the customs of her people and the wishes of her family become no more than an act of defiance by a spoilt and petulant child. Does anyone think Peter Jackson would miss something as obvious as that? Or act to destroy the character of Eowyn so thoroughly? Arwen is a mythic archetype with a twist. She is the Princess Who Waits for her hero to prove worthy of her, but she is also a goddess who must give up immortality for the sake of love. Put a sword in her hand and she loses it all. Her mortal, killable side becomes predominant, and far from being an archetypal princess, she becomes just another blade babe. I don't think Peter Jackson would have missed that either. From Harry's descriptions, I think everything is going to be OK, so roll on December next year!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:37 a.m. CST

    thank you

    by Sirelle

    Harry, your LOTR chapters are the best Christmas presents I've ever received. Can't wait for Monday's! To the cast and crew of LOTR, everything I've seen so far indicate that the films will be, (to quote C.S. Lewis), "good beyond hope". Thank you.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Lucky Bastard

    by KAmnell

    Harry, thank you for the wonderful gift you've given us all. Reading these reports over the last week or so has been an absolute delight. Your enthusiasim has only confirmed my sense that films are destined to classics of the highest quality. This peek behind the scenes has only wheted the appetite of fans around the world. Any chance or Moriarty lending all of us his time machine? It's going to be a long year! Safe travels home and I look forward to reading your Christmas morning report.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Once again I must say that these films will rule the universe in

    by brokentusk

    I'm getting tired of saying that, but it's true. If you don't know it by know - I pity you. By the way - by the time you read this Harry you will be a.) drunk as all hell b.) hungover or c.) semi-unconscious. Don't party too hard. Your reports were amazing. Thanks.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:01 p.m. CST

    LOTR and STAR WARS

    by MOSDEF

    Why is Harry and the rest of AICN ignoring those interesting "George Lucas Select" pics on Starwars.com??? The latest one looks REALLY interesting...Jango Fett fighting a Jedi in the rain. There is some sort of bias on this site when comes to Star Wars in the recent months. Why must we choose between Ep. II and LOTR? Can't we just bask in the fanboy nirvana? Harry has already chose his stance...bash Ep.II praise LOTR. Personally I've never read the books so I can't get too excited, right now it looks like a mixture of Krull and Legend, with a little Willow thrown in for good measure Don't getme wrong it looks great, but it WON'T be the greatest fantasy film of all time and IT WON't be the highest grossing film of all time. STOP setting yourself up for a big DISSAPPOINTMENT. Also, is it me or does this movie look like a "foreign" film...I don't know it just doesn't have that AMERICAN/Modern touch to it... i feel like I'm watching A&E when I see pictures from the movie. Well i can understand the excitement, i was excited when my favorite book, Toni Morrison's BELOVED was being made (I loved the movie, but was slightly dissappointed.) Just lower your expectations guys, or it will be The Phantom Menace all over again.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:06 p.m. CST

    George Lucas vs. Peter Jackson

    by MOSDEF

    Why do you guys feel that Lucas must be dethroned? Thats like saying Coppola dethroned Orson Welles. Without Lucas fantasy films wouldn't be so highly regarded (and well budgeted). Lucas is an innovator, one of the few people who actually CHANGED movie history. Don't bite the hand that fed you, I'm sure even Peter Jackson knows who the Granddaddy is.... And so what if TPM wasn't as good as it could've been (even though it still is very good), Lucas has earned his keep in Hollywood...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:10 p.m. CST

    once again I try to pretend to be resonable

    by Isidore

    I must first join in the ever growing majority of people praising what is, or rather has taken place. This will be cooler than I could ever hope. But I want to say to all those nit-picking Fans to chill out. I know it hurts to see a word changed from the story, but that can't be the only focus. I personally am boycoting rereading the books until after 2003. That way I go in fresh. I don't care who did what first or how. I just care that the movie preserves the spirit I found when reading the books. This will be hard for me. I found my self just last night picking up one of the books to look at the maps, and found myself an hour later fully immersed in the story. How dare they take so long to make these! I'll be strong but it won't be easy, especially with Harry doing reports like these. Aggghhh!!! A moment of weakness! Well off I go to read...no! I'mmmm...goinggg...tooo..eat!! This is far to difficult for me.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:14 p.m. CST

    one more for the road...

    by MOSDEF

    LOTR will be a blockbuster but probably not a HUGE blockbuster...I predict a replay of X-Men, a huge opening and a sharp decline afterwords. Face it guys, LOTR doesn't have the cross generational appeal of Star Wars or even Titanic (do you really think preteen boys and girls are gonna ruch to box office). Can you imagine LOTR playing well in Compton or South Philadelphia or other predominantly black neighborhoods? (Star Wars ,The Matrix, X-Men, and even Titanic did)... face it guys LOTR appeal is limited, and kids don't really read those books nowadays...I predict $150-$180 million gross. (hey this TB was getting too MUSHY I had to spice it up a little) FLAME ON!!!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Harry murmurs tales of iron wars.

    by Dammit

    Harry, the music of your optimism has soothed the savage beast of the talkback columns. And you've given us stuff to dream about. That's one heck of a holiday gift. Thanks.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Keep this in mind...

    by PoxyVonSinister

    IIRC, the Minas Tirith set was also used as part of the Helm's Deep set (I seem to recall mention of the Rohan sets being redressed to be Minas Tirith). It's entirely possible that the scene Harry saw being filmed, while technically "in" Minas Tirith, may have been set in Rohan. If this is the case, the only real change would be having Aragorn suggest as this point that they march on Mordor, which, aside from moving it up sooner and moving it from Gandalf, isn't too big a deal. It makes Aragorn seem more of a leader, with a far-reaching plan of action. I can live with it.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:33 p.m. CST

    music music music

    by semuta

    I'm also concerned about what Howard Shore is gonna pull outta his ass for this project. To whomever mentioned Basil Poledouris' Conan theme, ROCK ON!! That is a classic piece of stomping fantasy music. I know myself and a few others have ranted about PJ not getting Wojciek Kilar to score the movies. I say somebody needs to keep tabs on what Shore is producing, and if it's just not working out, then steps need to be taken! Like passing it off to Kilar :-D Has Shore been down in New Zealand checking out what's going on with the production? I really hope he gets as involved and excited as what I'm hearing about the rest of the cast & crew. If they are all so drawn up in this, then I would hope the main composer would be as well. The soundtracks will make or break these movies, and I hope Shore is reading this because it's of dire importance that it gets done right. Here's to hoping he gets some inspiration from everything that has gone down so far. Btw, is that Carmina Burana - O Fortuna in the sound mix for the internet preview? If not, somebody tell me what it is, because it fits the LOTR mood well, and is a good starting point for the high fantasy epic drama that is gonna unfold before our eyes.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:35 p.m. CST

    No MOSDEF - Lucas USED to be an innovator - until the money got

    by brokentusk

    It's sad really, but I suppose you are right in saying that Lucas was an innovator. 'Star Wars' was incredible - it took one heck of an imagination to build that universe. There are two Lucass - the good (old) Lucas and the evil (money grabbing) Lucas. Guess which one made 'The Phantom Menace'... Also, 'The Lord of the Rings' will have no problem making money - in fact I'm willing to bet it'll make more (or just as much) as 'Titanic' - have you not seen the response to the release of just the trailer! In fact, most people don't even know of the existence of 'Lord of the Rings' films yet. So - if (lets say) 2 million people downloaded the trailer and are gonna see the film, and another 5 billion don't know about the film yet but will be interested in it, I'd say the film is going to make money. My logic may make no sense, but what I'm getting at is that some people have waited their entire lives for these films and will go and see them. Young kids for the fantasy aspect, adults for the story and book aspect and oldies because, well, they've been waiting for this ages. No, 'The Lord of the Rings' will be bigger than 'X-Men' I can say that right now. The figures are right there -1.7 million or something people downloaded the trailer - 1.7 million want to see the film so far...it's got 'BLOCKBUSTER' written all over it. That's the way I see it...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Oh, and one more thing...

    by brokentusk

    I believe that Lucas did want to make more 'Star Wars' films, as he should. I believe that his films did need a beginning and that his ideas were very cool. I also believe, however, that he wanted to make a lot of money and use 'fancy', 'shiny' stuff to make his films cool. It didn't work. His film (and probably upcoming films) was/were all special effects and no story/script. It's a pity really, as my friend (Dragonfire) and I came up with such better ideas for 'The Phantom Menace' that it would make Lucas cry. If teenagers could come up with better ideas than Lucas himself - the inventor of the figgin' universe then he has lost his 'touch', in fact, I'm beginning to believe that the Original Trilogy (which I worship in a sense) was just a fluke.. Lucas is king no more. He was once king but his crown will now be passed on to Peter Jackson (hopefully).

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 1:12 p.m. CST

    MOSDEF

    by z940912

    For health reasons, I must assume that you are simply trolling. If not, you will certainly need to post under a different name a year from now (perhaps much earlier) unless you enjoy the sort of substantiated worldwide ridicule that can only be experienced by the most accomplished victims of self-loathing. If you concentrate very carefully now -- so still that even the light-sabers in your head quit buzzing -- you can already hear the tsunami wave of scorn from across the world beginning a terrible journey straight towards you and your ilk. Um, you might want to move. Oops, you lost your concentration already? Oh well, I couldn't expect any more than that; could I? Now back to your quickly fading, overwrought, chintzy galaxy far, far, very far the hell away from me. May the Farce be with you Always!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 1:34 p.m. CST

    The last thing Lucas needs...

    by MOSDEF

    Is more money. Come on, whether you like it or not Lucas made TPM for himself. That can even explain its shortcomings. Nevertheless the film itself is visually beautiful. You can say that he concentrated so much on the visuals, that the story was lacking...But you can't really say he's a money grubbing hack. The guy has a corporation to run. He runs it INDEPENDANTLY. no help from corporate backers...so he has to sell Jar Jar coffee mugs...so what? He does this so he continue to make his films on his terms, with no corporate interference. Besides that, He has really brought the film medium forward as far as technology is concerned (THX, ILM, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY) and he does so because he LOVES MOVIES and he's not afraid to to take risks to move the medium forward (shooting Ep.II digitally). And the sweet thing about it is that his innovations will make it easier for independant filmmakers to work outside the studio system... Hey I'm just sick and tired of all the LUCAS bashing, how quickly we forget how we got this far.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 1:44 p.m. CST

    LOTR at the box office

    by MOSDEF

    1.7 million downloads is a little misleading...if you watched the trailers more than once, that counted as a separate download. Anyway, I know you guys are amped for this flick, but the general public isn't. Remember when the "TPM" trailer appeared (I know I hate to keep comparing the two) , it was a news event! Film Critics even reviewed the trailer! EVERYONE was excited. I'm sorry t o say, but this film hasn't ignited the public. It may be an excellent film but I don't see it breaking $200 million. To most people it will look like a pretty cool fantasy movie and thats it. People WON'T be camped out for a month before it's released, the news agencies won't track its box office take like a sport (like TPM), and you know what this may be a GOOD thing. Your movie expierience won't be ruined by overhype. One last thing...wasn't DUNE another hugely popular book that tanked at the box office? A popular book doesn't always equal a popular movie... FLAME ON!!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Do the MATH!

    by MOSDEF

    roughly 2 million downloads? $2 million times 8 bucks is only $16 million...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Oh well.

    by Dammit

    That didn't last very long...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Gifts

    by Steamfish

    Ha. I'm giving my niece "The hobbit" as a xmas gift!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Congrats...and thanks so much!

    by Elendil55

    Harry, I must say that you have done such an incredible job with these articles over the past week, and I want to thank you for that. In addition, you MUST know how LUCKY you are to have started the second to last shot of the Lord of the Rings. Anyway, thank you for a wonderful set of articles, and thanks to everyone who was a part of these movies for making them. They are going to be special.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:23 p.m. CST

    What about Harry Potter?

    by strenge

    I myself have no experience with it, but it seems to be a pretty successful Fantasy "product" to me. Bodes well for LOTR. Shame on the person who mentioned Willow. Those two little Brownies or whatever are (hopefully) in no way like movie Hobbits...

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:29 p.m. CST

    aint you feeling the hype right now???.........and we aint even

    by waynefreak

    hey MOSDEF!!! are you a log or something?? can you no feel the fuckin vibe man.....shit brother you're crashing the party on the wrong drugs.....listen to Harry man.....listen to the world....and stop comparing teaser downloads with box office attendance.....compare the LOTR download figures with those of TPM download figures.....this is not just some fantasy book....go and read it!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 2:43 p.m. CST

    MOSDEF

    by z940912

    Its great that Lucas loves movies and you love Lucas. I don't need a love triangle. Unlike you, I don't need to apologize for my tastes or for the artists that I patronize. When you think your great thoughts about movies, try to conceive that its the STORY that is remembered through millenia, if anything is. Not the author/producer/actor/director/whoever or USA Today or weekend gross or Gene Shalit or long lines of poorly costumed geeks or ranters on message boards. Of the hundreds, even thousands of stories, myths, parables, and whatnot that are woven thoughout our minds, only the most very recent (which are mostly derivative themselves) come attached with any sort of detailed biography of the ambitions and achievements of the creator/producer/whoever. History is littered with the forgotten names of "great" movers and shakers and "artists." I couldn't care less if Lucas is a trillionare or if he was on food stamps. Neither will anyone else 500 years from now. No one will remember anything about his "stories" either. Or that he did things INDEPENDENTLY or for ILM or THX or DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY. He *may* be remembered by someone as a statistic, but not seriously as an artist, and certainly not as a storyteller. LOTR is another story entirely (pun intended.) Maybe you could trouble yourself to read it sometime when you aren't too busy lusting after increasingly obsolete space opera for the masses. Maybe if you actually started to seriously investigate science fiction and fantasy LITERATURE instead of deriving your opinions from video productions, popular media coverage, and your ass, others would take you as seriously as you do. This isn't about Lucas or Jackson or even Tolkien really. Its about humanity having to say something for itself that is worth repeating and remembering long after the last special effect or hidden stage door trick or pretty face fades forever away into the darkness of our past. Remember the story about the great flood? Of course, as many people in many cultures do. Do you know who first "produced" yours? How did they live their life? What other projects did they undertake? Did they come up with any new innovative techniques for telling it? Did they make lots of money off it. Did they present it with the kind of nuance, sensibility, and mannerisms that you prefer? Did people leave everything and travel to distant lands to wait in line to hear it for the first time? Did they have a popular two minute sample of their work? Enjoy your episodes of blue screen puppet theatre; I have a story to believe/escape belief in.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Just to clarify...

    by Sitsonsix

    The 1.7 million downloads was for the first day the teaser was put up on the official site. I recently heard that it had surpassed 100 million downloads.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 3:34 p.m. CST

    I wish i was there. I wish id been part of that..

    by malinky

    This has been my favourite book of all time since i first read it aged 10 (a whole 8 years of Tolkien appreciation). I hope this film works and appeals to everyone - so all the lazy arses out there who i loaned my precious copys of Lord of the Rings to and never bothered to read them can see what they've been missing out on. If only id been blonde... ( I AM EOWYN!!!!)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 3:41 p.m. CST

    For the last @^$%#*& time....

    by Skyway Moaters

    ...IT AIN'T A STINKIN' TRILOGY! IT'S A SINGLE BLOODY NOVEL YOU CRETINS! ... heh. Never get tired of that joke but then I'm an easy to please little Snow Monkey en' I? Weeeeell... Er, umm, I guess PJ's films might KIND of be considered a FILM trilogy (of sorts)... oh who gives flying fart?! THREE CHEERS FOR HARRYLUVATAR!!! Hip Hip... Have a safe trip back to the Lone Star state O geekiest of geeks.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Piss off Eternal...

    by Skyway Moaters

    NT

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 3:55 p.m. CST

    looking good

    by ajudas torch

    this is the first picture i ever saw of you and man you ain't half bad. is it really necessary to show us such a treasure and then take it away for a year?

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Defending MOSDEF

    by z940912

    I will not really care if the movie is a failure at any level, except if it is obvious to me that it failed to convey Tolkien's myth in a way that I can happily remember alongside the text. Robust arguments can be made that it has more potential than any other in cinema history for revenue, for special effect flash, for geek worship, for successful book adaptation, etc. Same for against on each of these points. Does it really matter? No amount of hype, good or ill, at AICN will affect the long-term artistic success of the movie (save but the most outlandish scenarios.) There is no causual relationship between what we say now and if the movie is good. The same goes for the typical metrics used to gauge the success of the movie and whether or not the story survives the harsh memory defect of humanity. The LOTR will stand or fall on the same criteria all stories do. Is it compelling and timeless enough to burn into long-term memory of those who experience it even when the world has moved on to a different age? Not on whether Jackson can unite Tolkien junkies, movie geeks, the movie going public, and South Philadelphia to spend $500M. Not on whether or not posuer amateur cinema pundits can ever hope to distinguish between fanboy flicks, soft sci-fi special effects demonstrations, and an ambitious attempt to give the original Globe Theatre a run for the money.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 4:19 p.m. CST

    LOTR

    by Sith Warrior

    I just had to post something in these TB forums. The messages posted here have been interesting to say the least. I've resisted all this time, but I can resist no more. First of all, thanks Harry for the truly incredible articles you've put up - they have been enthusiastic to say the least! First off, I'd like to say that I think the LOTR films are going to be classics, and I can't wait to see them. BUT, having read through these TB messages, and I think some people are expecting too much from these films. The first film is nearly a whole year away, yet people are already calling this the greatest film ever made, and that it will be the biggest box-office hit ever. Let's not expect so much from them, because doing so would be setting ourselves up for dissapointment - seriously, with these sort of expectations, how can the films possibly deliver?!! Anyone remember The Phantom Menace?? Granted, the film was crap and we all no that LOTR has a classic story already, but still... Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the films will be poor (quite the contrary), but over-expectations will lead to dissapointment. A healthy level of anticipation is probably safer. As for box office, I'd bet globally the first film will take in about $400 million - okay, this is an uneducated, uninformed guess, but let's face it - most people would much rather watch MI2 style 'dumb' action, no matter how good these films are. As for beating Titanic's $1.8 billion - we can only wish. But then again, maybe the world will turn around..... As for the changes in the story. let's face reality - change was inevitable, and we will only know how these changes will affect the story when we see the films for ourselves. I myself don;t have a problem with the changes. To finish off, I'd like to thank Harry once again, as well as the PJ and his cast and crew - I gotta say one thing though, the casting has been inspired, with great actors but no big name Hollywood baggage attached. I'm sure they'll do these characters and their story justice. By the way, why all the Lucas bashing? Give the poor guy a break, and give Episode 2 a chance; if it's crap, then we can declare open season on him. PS Check out the new shots of Galadriel and Frodo at OneRing. Ther's a link at Movieheadlines.net

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 4:49 p.m. CST

    For all you Lucageniuses out there ....

    by Skyway Moaters

    ...arguing that LOTR will not be a box office giant or even be very successful: First: Who cares? As long as PJ and Co. produce works of beauty and power I could care less whether they crack the list of top 10 grossing films or not. Second, having said that: Where have you guys been for the last two years?! There has NEVER been this level of anticipation in the history of film making. The first installment is still a year away and just look at the media coverage this production has already received. Vanity Fair, News Week, Ladies' Home Journal, just to name a few, and literally 1000s of newspaper articles worldwide. And that's not to mention the 100's, yes I said HUNDREDS of web sites devoted exclusively to Tolkien and or these films. Peter Jackson

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 5:11 p.m. CST

    MEA CULPA!!! (sort of)

    by MOSDEF

    First off I'm not bashing LOTR on it's story merits...I don't even know what the damn thing is about! I will be in line opening day Garaunteed! I'm just telling you guys not to hype this thing only to SLAM it when it comes out. Also I'm sick and tired of all this Lucas bashing! I thought TPM was an okay flick, but DAMN when did Lucas become a Pariah in the fanboy community? If this guy produces crap for the rest of his career (like Coppola) he will be forever revered for giving us STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES, just like Scorsese with TAXI DRIVER and Coppola with THE GODFATHER , I also hate this recent Speilberg bashing as well...(say what you will but Spielberg is the BEST director there ever was)...I guess it's cool to be iconoclastic and cynical...but do we have to praise Peter jackson at the expense of George Lucas? And to the guy who said Lucas will be forgotten in time...don't count on it...his films are bonafide classics.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Box Office prediction

    by MOSDEF

    I'm not backing off my prediction for $150-$180 million gross. But listen verrry carefully, THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE QUALITY OF THE FILM!! one my favorite films this year GHOST DOG, barely gross $20 million, but to me its a classic! But LOTR just doesn't have the crossover appeal that Star Wars does. Either way, we're in FANBOY heaven, LOTR, Ep. II, SpiderMan, Matrix 2, Planet of the Apes, it's gonna be an interesting two years.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Story, story, story

    by MOSDEF

    Maybe I should read LOTR, just to see what all the fuss is about, I never really got into fantasy fiction but if I have time I'll give it a try...also do you guys think STAR WARS is popular only because of special effects? Please, anyone can relate to Luke, Han and even Darth Vader...just like LOTR it's all about the story baby.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 5:46 p.m. CST

    OK.......I too was part of the "there and back again" talkback

    by McKenzieFrenzy

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:07 p.m. CST

    LOTR not being read?

    by ZazuYen

    An interesting factoid in response to MOSDEFs comment that the younger generations aren

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:21 p.m. CST

    The EP-II vs. LOTR, Lucas vs. Peter question

    by ZazuYen

    Come on people, apples and oranges. Star Wars opened my eyes to science fiction the way LOTR opened me up to fantasy. Star Wars lead me to Asimov

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Wave bye-bye Titanic

    by Knowoff

    Over 80 million LOTR copies told, over 10 million in 2000 alone with probably 15-20 million next year. Unless the first installment is a complete stinker it will pass Titanic going away; it won't even be close.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:51 p.m. CST

    More on the Neckless Wonder

    by Seepgood

    I'll also pitch in to support MOS', not on his suggestion that Lucas has not lost all talent, integrity, self-respect etc, but as regards the idiocy of the bandwagon-jumping, former Lucas-worshipping obsessional Star Wars fans who feel betrayed by TPM and, embittered and on the rebound, cast around for something, anything, that they can hold up to Lucas and say "There! Whaddya think of that? Huh? Huh? Hah!" or words to that incoherent effect. They seem to have settled on LOTR and are now hyping it to the skies, not because they particularly care whether it's a great set of films (must...not...use...T-word) or a box-office sensation, but because they so desperately want it to be just to spite their ex-idol. Doubtless if it fails to meet any of their stratospheric hopes they'll just turn around and execrate PJ the same way. Maybe I'm attacking a straw man here, but I think there's genuinely a fair bit of that sort of sentiment buubling up on the TBs, and friends like that we don't need. Yes, TPM was a disappointment. Yes, that was grieving to the fanboy heart. Now DEAL WITH IT. Talk to a shrink. Make yourself a life-size Lucas effigy and attack it with a baseball bat. Go out, get drunk, and wind up clutching a friend by the shoulders, weeping into your beer and sobbing out all that heartfelt anguish, how could he DO it to you, the bastard, you loved him SO MUCH and you feel so alone, and he even went and said that you could still be friends. FRIENDS! Do whatever you have to do, just leave your SW baggage at the door and judge this project on its own merits. Transferring TPM's assigned role as geek-championing Deposer of That Chick Flick Which Usurped The Rightful Throne Of Star Wars to LOTR is pretty silly as well. And, since I haven't said these things yet, great reports Harry; Harry you're a lucky bastard; merry Christmas everybody.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 6:52 p.m. CST

    3 films, released over 3 years. The first one will pave the way

    by Roger U. Roundly

    By the Time the Third one is set for release, the Anticipation will be on a par with anything EP:I Created. And that's not to bash the Star Wars series, I love Star Wars. But LOTR will do for fantasy what Star Wars did for Sci-Fi. That is a *Good* thing.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 7:48 p.m. CST

    As proven by the picture, Harry is one disturbed motherfucker...

    by Lenny Nero

    Hope this movie (yes, all three equal one big movie) kicks as much ass as I hope it will.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:01 p.m. CST

    EP.II vs. LOTR

    by vroom socko

    First, let me say I'm glad that so many of you are familiar with Bored of the Rings. If anyone doesn't know this book, go to Amazon and buy it. Damn it's funny. Now as to this Rings versus Star Wars... I'm looking forward to both films, but Fellowship more so than Ep.II. Why? Because Fellowship comes out first. I liked TPM just fine. When it came out on video I... er... "obtained" a letterboxed copy. I probably have only watched it three times, but I'm glad I have it. Lucas is making his own films with his own money. If they suck, don't see them. Don't buy them. As to LOTR, I'll go see it, then tell you if it lives up to the hype. Oh, and one more thing; MERV GRIFFIN!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:01 p.m. CST

    MOSDEF, you're just a stupid ignorant yank

    by EmperorCaligula

    First, I agree with you on some points: i don't see the point of bashing SW, or TPM. then, when TPM came, we were all wondering if it would crush Titanic. looks like you cannot avoid such reactions. HOWEVER, I wouldn't be surprised if the movies got 400 mio$ in US, and if one or more go just below Titanic and TPM (current 1st and 2nd of box office record). LOTR has been read since 45 years. Just gives an idea of the very different people who might see it. Then: stop speaking of X-Men. X-Men are nothing compared to LOTR, period. LOTR is known throughout most of the world by a lot of people. X-Men is just another US comics, the kind of thing you would barely find in Europe, for instance, when european libraries are now filled with TOlkien books. * Other point: I'm EXCEPTIONALL happy Hollywod is only a tiny bit directly involved in it, that is it's not made by US people, and not made in US either. You're just to bad at adapt books. There's NO question LOTR will top Matrix by FAR. Matrix is good, but face it, it's a geek stuff. Only people less than 30y-old will see it. To make a hit like Titanic you'll need older people, or younger. and LOTR can be seen by younger people than Matrix (due to the absence of guns, for instance), and will be seen be older ones. If you want my estimations for $$, I'd say 200mio in US for Fellowship, same abroad. at least I'm pretty sure Fellowship will cover the trilogy's cost. I mean come one Gladiator and MI2 did mroe money than 300 mio worldwide. I'd say 1 billion for 3 movies is very likely. 2 is possible. 3 (1 billion each) would place them at 2nd place below Titanic - which won't be beaten for a long time I think. MOSDEF, please, give me a break. 200 mio, LOL. it means 100 mio in USA. Even _crap_ makes 100 mio in USA (American Pie, Scary Movie, etc...). You have to keep in mind that movies usually make as much money outside USA. and LOTR will probably make _more_ money outside USA; Titanic made 600 mio in US and twice (1.2 billion) abroad! Last point: Lucas is a good director indeed, or was. PJ is too, but isn't famous yet, that's the difference. I think both can make great movies. Oh and I think Harry was tired of getting fake reports and wrong rumors on EPisode 2. and the selects are official stuff, so it's less confidential news. * preview donwloads: you're right; i think we go with 500.000 the first day.still a big figure, if less than TPM. Lastly, it'll be the greatest fantasy movie so far. What would you pit first? (assuming SW is SciFi, not fantasy). Now, St buggering: blame the hype around TPM, it's 2nd in box office with 900 mio :P if LOTR has the same hype, PJ will be a rich guy soon. Now, seriously, you shouldn't take Titanic as an example. everyone thought it would sink before its release, and far less people know of the movie than now about LOTR movies. and do you think people were smart enough to know Titanic's story before seeing documentaries about what the fuss was about? I mean, in test screenings the biggest complaing was that the ship sank, and it would be better if it didn't!!! Now, to end this idiocy: most movies will be forgotten in 500 years, and only 2 dozens of directors will be remembered, if any. Can you name 10 english authors of the period 1470/1520? come one, tell:P

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 8:40 p.m. CST

    LOTR should at least make profit

    by Ducati

    Even if the first movie does not produce a profit for New Line, they still have 2 more movies to come. Although a complete flop wouldn't bode well for the next two, but that seems unlikely. Harry, these reports have RULED. Your a lucky bastard. Thanks HEAPS!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 10:07 p.m. CST

    purity

    by Linus

    Here's a thought: What if we didn't watch the movies in order to keep the purity of the books alive inside us? Think about it: we've all lived with these books for many years, have watched and retched at the Rankin-Bass specials, appreciated the Bakshi movie in its own right, but overall, have always gone back to the books as the Gospel. I always said that I would grow up and make the movies myself, but obviously Derek has grown up with that same dream and he seems to be doing a pretty good job of doing it. I am tremendously excited about these films, but at the same time, man, something's going to be lost once Viggo, Ian, Orlando, and Elijah hit the screen. They will be Strider, Gandalf, Legolas, and Frodo to everyone, forever more. There's something kind of heartbreaking in that fact, that millions of people will know these characters as celluloid creations, and not imagined out of their own minds and hearts. I know I cannot wait to see Sam sit down and pull Elanor onto his lap and say, "Well, I'm back." But what a tough situation to be in after that. That's it. There's Lord of the Rings, for everyone to see. And now it's over. I'm pissing in my pants to see this, but I know that it's going to be a bittersweet feeling once the final credits roll. Am I being overly sentimental, or does anyone else know what I'm talking about?

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 10:43 p.m. CST

    more of the same

    by oldTolkienfan

    First: Harry, you rule. I would give both nuts and my right arm to the shoulder to have seen what you've seen. They can hang me after I've seen the final shot. I've waited 27 years for these movies. Second: LOTR vs. SW... No comparison. Lucas did a wonderful thing with EP4. He followed it up with two wonderful sequels. I was in the theater for Starwars, me and 12 other people (a week later you couldn't get into a theatre for the lines), when it opened and I will never forget the awe that I felt when that damed great ship, Leias ship, came across the screen. And then, seconds later, having that awe totally shattered by the Star Destroyer following it. Nothing else in my history of film watching has ever approached that. I'm hoping that TFOTR does just that. Lucas has made is mark and, with luck, will do so again if he will listen to his fans and create a story for the next two films. Even TPM wasn't that bad as it laid some basic groundwork for what must follow. But when it comes down to it, LOTR is classic literature that also happens to be fantasy. SW is fantasy with a SF bent. Finally: $$$ LOTR will make money. How much? God only knows. And really, it doesn't matter. So long as the movies live up to the world that Tolkien created, PJ is forever guarenteed a place in history. Flame away... :)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 10:47 p.m. CST

    LOTR at the Box Office

    by Southron

    Personally I can't even guess how the movies will do at the box office. I'm worried that the plot of The Fellowship... won't grab the audience as well as it could. TFOTR doesn't have a big ending where a villian is overthrown or deathstar is destroyed or whatever. I expect that it will be a visually stunning film with beautiful outdoor and special effects photography. I expect a lot of adult ticket buyers for 1 time viewing early on, but worry that the movie won't grab the teen fanboys well enough for it to generate huge repeat business. So who knows? I wonder if PJ would've been better off doing The Hobbit first? It is a simpler story with a good climax when the dragon is slain. TFOTR could then have been played as a transitional piece like Empire Strikes Back.

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 10:54 p.m. CST

    re: Southron

    by oldTolkienfan

    Good point. As the argument has been going, TLoTR is not truly a triolgy and TFoTR does not have a good, solid 'bad guy is defeated our heros save the day' ending since it is merely the first part of a much longer story. I hope that enough of the movie going public has read the story that they know this but it is a disturbing thought... Great, now you've given me something to worry about. ;-)

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Is it just me...

    by oldTolkienfan

    ...or is this series of movies just begging for a 'marathon' release, all three movies back to back, in theatres Christmas of 2004?

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:23 p.m. CST

    I hope it will..but

    by los rookie

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Lots of thoughts - money, Lucas, Harry

    by MrCere

    George Lucas has not reached the same world-wide renoun as the flood story?!?! Poor guy. All he did was create the cultural identity of a generation, perhaps two. He created world-wide recognized fictional characters and icons. Vader and two robots - pretty famous. However, the real competition for LoTR is NOT the Star Wars franchise and definitely ain't Titanic. A short month or even a few weeks before LoTR, a potentially gigantic film franchise called HARRY POTTER hits the theaters. This flick could post some real problems, in my opinion. Looked at the best-seller list lately? Harry's books at one point held the top four spots on the NYTimes list. Wow. I have read the books and enjoyed them and so has every little kid and most every adult with a little kid hiding inside has too. EVERY little guy and girl will be clamoring for Mom, Dad and uncle Billy to take them to see Harry, again and again. Unless that movie reallly sucks, it will be to next Christmas what The Grinch is to this Christmas; a giant blockbuster. WIll Harry P. steal a lot of LoTR tickets? I think so. Perhaps there will be room for two fantasy blockbusters at the end of next year, but it would be a concern if it were my millions of $$ invested in this risk-taking adventure. Now then, LoTR DOES have a giant pre-made audience, but it definitely needs some crossover. Obviously they will market the hell out of the show so they can make a handsome return on their investment, but nothing is a sure thing. My best guess? No chance at Titanic like numbers, which by the way, was a horrible flick, much much much worse than Pantom M., I liked the $200 million estimation. I thought that was good thinking. My next question is, how in the HELL am I going to pass the next year? I am itching and its painful! Will we get any new news? Talkback might be the best thing for now...8( Since I am sooo far down this list nobody will read this anyway, but let us all get tatoos while we wait!

  • Dec. 22, 2000, 11:38 p.m. CST

    I hope it will..but

    by los rookie

    it probably won't gross more than 200 million domesticly..and I think thats being generous. Unless it recieves good word of mouth and warrants numerous repeat veiwings. I've been a rabid Tolkien fan since '77 and I know only three other people who share my enthusiasm for the books.In my experience most people have not heard of the books or Tolkien.If not for my access to the internet I wouldn't even know the damn things were being made into movies!Of course I try not to let a movies success or failure at the box office determine my opinion of it.For the record I thought Titanic was ok initially and then upon a second veiwing found it almost unbearable.Oh yeah whoever it was that said The Lord of the Rings and failure are an oxymoron...flashback to 1979 and a certain animated effort by Ralph Bakshi. I saw it twice in theaters when I was 10,packed houses and good reactions..it still flopped.I don't think these movies will flop but they sure as shit won't sink Titanic.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 12:38 a.m. CST

    It'll probably be the One Shot in the whole Trilogy that's out o

    by Bari Umenema

    But what the hell, it was nice seeing Knowles holding the clapper board wasn't it. Sheesh I'm gettin' all misty and choked up just thinkin' about the pathos of it all...

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Lines around the friggin block...

    by Isidore

    I think it was mosdef here who said that no one will be in line months in advance. What the hell do you mean?!? I'm there now. I've been sitting in front of Grauman's Chinese theater for 3 weeks now. What you didn't notice me? I was there with my little cup and my 20 year old blue tarp to keep the rain off me. I go to the public library on fridays to check the news and see if they will release the movies any sooner. My new buddy Rusty saves my spot for me on the side walk, he has no teeth so people leave him alone and don't steal my seat. Some time though the police come and try to take my spot away. I tell them that they can't do that! It isn't fair for them to cut in line! When I get back the police have left; I guess they don't have the patience that I do. Only one year left! I hope that I get enough money for tickets by then. The people at the library are staring at me again! I hate that! I can only stay here so long before the lady in charge asks me to leave, so I will have to end this soon. I miss my bed! I do! But for this opportunity I will make whatever sacrifices are neccessary. My mom doesn't understand me. She keeps telling me to stop it with these obsessions. A month ago she threatened to kick me out if I didn't get a job and stop playing around on the net. I thought she was being funny until it happened. So I've been here since. Well, I better get going, they are coming with the ammonia and scrubber pads. I hope the construction crews aren't too loud, I need some sleep.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 1:52 a.m. CST

    All you Box Office Predictionists Miss The Point! LOTR is an AMA

    by Roger U. Roundly

    As long as you trust Peter Jackson, which, as a fan of his, I do, then you don't have to worry about depending on people who know the books. The story will be sold to most people by critics and PR people who won't (shouldn't) be depending solely the name-recognition factor. The Bottom line is that these stories are *Good* stories, and a *good* story sells itself. If they weren't *good* stories, we wouldn't be here debating this, Period. A *Good* story sells itself.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 2:39 a.m. CST

    MY EYES! MY EYES! I'M BLIND!

    by Steamfish

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 3:53 a.m. CST

    One year to go!

    by The Game Master

    Hello, my fello geeks! Ahh, it's a great time to be one, isn't it? These movies are going to be great! I've been checking Tolkien sites every day for 28 months now, and everything I hear has energized me. But nothing outside the first two sets of "20 Questions" has had me dancing on the roof like Harry's "There And Back Again". It's wonderful to hear how friendly the cast and crew are, and how much they have all taken this film to heart. I believe that, above all else, is what will make these films great--they have a heart, like Tolkien's masterpiece. Maybe I'm just too sentimental now. God knows what we'll ALL be like in just less than a year, only days before the opening of Fellowship! And how are we going to survive this next year? Well, I joined a cool website that offers one possibility: A fledging RPG company is producing a fantasy game written in tribute to Professor Tolkien, and they have up a webpage where people are telling pretty cool stories of how they're passing the time. If ya wanna check it out, it's at www.newdimensiongames.com Just go to their "Dreams" section. Cheers, mate! One year to go!

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Stop with this idiocy on box office, and stop with shitty Hollyw

    by EmperorCaligula

    Now, when we speak about mio$$$, first I'd like you to precise if you mean total worldwide or just US. As I said, US will barely count for 40% of the total earnings imho, perhaps lower. 120 mio for Fellowship is imho impossible. It would mean 50 mio in US and 70 mio abroad. Come one, every crappy Hollywood flick do this. Seriously, Fellwoship could well make 40 mio or 50 in US the first weekend, and as much abroad. There'll be enough hype and marketing, + hardcore fans that will gonna see it. Next week, if the movies are any good, there won't be such an important decrease in earnings (it'll be holidays, so it'll be good for having a lot of audience), so a decrease of 20% would be fair. We're already in the 200 mio$ in 2 weeks. At least, 300 mio worldwide _is_ a sure thing for me. I mean, 6th Sense (which had no hype before and no fan base) is n.9 in box office, with 290 mioo US + 370 mio abroad. And it was NOT a kid/teen/scifi-geek movie. Neither was Titanic. On another hand, D/D was exactly that and wasn't this successful (SFX, plot and dialogue seem to be problematic, which won't be the case in LOTR). I don't say LOTr will make as much money as Star Wars or Titanic; just that they could well come as 3rd. Top 10 is in IMDB.com: Titanic / TPM / Jurassic Park / Independance Day / SW 4 A new Hope / Lion King / ET / Forrest Gump / 6th Sense / Lost World. Apart from TPM and possibly Lost World, none had a big fan base before release, though some had a huge marketing. Now, about Harry Potter: Come on, it's Chris Columbus who directs it. Don't compare it to Jackson. What would you do if I compared Columbus to Lucas, Welles or Spielberg;) It will be a hit probably, but won't last for months; as most blockbusters, it'll earn a lot the first 2 or 3 weeks, and when the next big flick (here Fellowship) will come, it'll let it take 1st place. Seriously, Harry Potter is still less famous than Tolkien's books; the demographics are less wide. And about the Grinch: how dare you compare Tolkien to this? This is mostly an american stuff, that is mostly ignored by the wide world, when Tolkien is read by hordes of people in America, Europe, Asia, etc... Sure, LOTR is not as mainstream as Star Wars, so far, as more people saw SW than read LOTR. However, if many people didn't read it, the big majority heard of it, and most seem to have a very good opinion of it, from what they were told. Now, and again, don't look at USA to guess the success of the movie. Don't look at USA to estimate the success of any movie, except when it's obviously a US-centered theme, like Bring it on, Waterboy, Grinch,w here obviously most of the money will be made in US.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Quite the contrary - Lucas THINKS that we all like 'Star Wars' f

    by brokentusk

    Lucas is trying to win us over with fancy visual effects and digital technology. All I want is a story. I cannot belive that he is making these new films for himself. That's crap. Maybe long ago he wanted to, but now he wants to show off his tools and to make money (by attracting kids to his films). Lucas wants money -that's the only way to explain his recent actions. Everything he does is marketing. I could not care less about flashy SFX or digital shit in his films. In fact, and I've felt this for a long time, ILM's effects for 'The Phantom Menace' were so good that they actually look...like special effects. They look like expensive visual effects - they don't look real. I hope WETA can blend their effects into 'The Lord of the Rings' so as to make them look real - like they really exist. I don't hate Lucas - I hate what he's become :)

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 4:30 a.m. CST

    Looking Good So Far

    by Goodgulf

    Harry's posts are, I must hesitatingly agree, are about the best he's written. I don't give him much usually when it comes to writing - especially those blasted spelling errors - NOT typos, but ERRORS, like using "knot" for "not" or "weight" for "wait". But still, I'm not much of a speller either and if I had a deadline I suppose I'd forego checking the dictionary. Enough picking at nits. Harry's description of the sets makes me want to see the films even more. As for the mini-debate about Star Wars and LOTR - I will stay out. I like both and hope they are each successful. The comments made to Harry by Ian McKellen, Peter Jackson, and the others makes the whole thing worth reading, though if Harry had only visited empty sets and described them I'm sure we'd all be happy. I've rarely seen a project so much discussed with so little revealed. And VERY little has been revealed. The bits of dialogue that Harry has quoted aren't in the book (per se), so it's difficult to know what scene is happening when. Ah well, so be it.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 4:39 a.m. CST

    Merry Christmas To All

    by Goodgulf

    Happy Holidays to ALL. I hope the best for you in the coming New Year and New Millenium. In four years we'll be debating/discussing this film from a slightly different perspective. I wonder what our hindsight will see differently than our current foresight?

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Whoa

    by CrapHole

    Whoa...Harry looks like that guy from that mask movie!

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 6:04 a.m. CST

    ewoks instead of wookies.....

    by waynefreak

    Yeah starwars was great, but it turned into a kiddie franchise pretty quickly, I saw TPM at the fliks and was blown away by the effects (the city was beautiful), but the boy winning a pod race malarky and the army of hoovers were just bollocks. The character transformations and story accellerations of Lord of the Rings are by far more powerful than any of the plots within starwars which was probably heavily influenced by what tolkien had achieved. Hats off to Lucas. Respect!. But... Lord of the Rings has been the sleeping beast waiting for the movie world to yield, the only story to have the epic scale and depth of everything to outweigh starwars in the fantasy/sci-fi realms, oh.. and at it's helm is Peter Jackson who I believe has a greater atmoshpheric vision . P J should do Conan!!!! Wachowskis' should make a 'bobba-fett' movie!!!

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Christmas

    by ame_no_heisei

    *Laughs* I can just see people running to the internet instead of the tree first thing on Christmas morning :) Me included.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 6:32 a.m. CST

    It's all in Peter's Hands, Really

    by BrianM

    Yes, the story as written by JRR is deep, yes the sets and props and costumes look amazing, and yes, Harry sounds like he's about to blow a gasket. However, everyone knows at least one great book that got turned into a mediocre movie (that's practically a cliche these days), "What Dreams May Come" and "Krull" had neat costumes and sets as well, and Harry's taste is very personal. None of these by themselves guarantee repeat audiences. Only if Peter can milk the essence of Tolkien's story out of the actors, the sets and props, the camera work, and the script will we have a winner. Right now, LotR has the greatest *potential* of any fantasy film out there or planned. It's up to PJ to realize this potential. This movie could still be miserably campy (if you don't believe me, try reading the dialogue as written in the book out loud in front of other people) or, even worse, could end up being and almostcouldabeen. It's all in Peter's hands. No pressure, right? ;)

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Analysis of Howard Shore...

    by wasp

    ...as Composer of the Rings. Coming Soon to Myrkr.com

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 7:35 a.m. CST

    LOTR & SW stuff

    by Elliot_Kane

    First off, the reason so many people dislike Phantom Menace is that they expected a life changing experience, not just a film. Too much Jar Jar, not enough Darth Maul - but otherwise a pretty good film - was not enough. We wanted perfection. It is ludicrous to pretend that there is some kind of war going on between Ep2 and LOTR. I'll be seeing both of them, and I'll bet most of you will too. On the official LOTR site it says "It has been called the greatest book of the 20th century." By numerous polls of book readers it has actually been voted not just the best book of the last century, but also the best book ever written. Every time genuine book readers vote here in England, it wins by a large margin. Throughout the world, LOTR sells millions of copies every year. I have read a lot of posts in this Talkback that are extremely insulting to Americans, saying that most of them will never have heard of LOTR. You are effectively saying that most Americans cannot read. I do not believe that for an instant, and nor should you. LOTR is to books what Star Wars is to films, and it has been around longer. Don't forget that the LOTR trailer was downloaded more on its first day than the Phantom Menace trailer was in its first six weeks. LOTR is NOT a cult book with only a relatively small following. FOTR will hit the cinemas with around 90% of people on the planet knowing what it is, whether they have read the books or not. Tolkien is one of the best writers in world history, and his cross-generational appeal is immense. FOTR will be a hit even if it is only a reasonable adaptation. If the film is as good as we all hope (not a certainty) and if it attracts a male AND female audience (never a certainty) it should sink Titanic without trace.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Harry Vs Frodo: The Battle Continues

    by Bobossboy

    Harry: Release Date: 11/16/2001 Frodo: Release Date: 12/19/2001 Okay, so Harry's a popular kid but so is Frodo. Remember, Harry has four and a half weeks to reign supreme (worldwide) before he's hit by another super-fanbase. It seems to me that young Mr Potter has plenty of time to run out of steam! Not only that, many of the fans who support Harry will also have an affiliation for LotR's subject matter. It may transpire that HPatPS will actually add more fuel to LotR's fire, having prepared a cultural shift in the direction of all things fantasy. Of course, all this is predicated on the assumption that FotR will be a good movie! Oh yeah, Shelob'll be in there, that's official.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 7:48 a.m. CST

    About Titanic comparisons...

    by JTylor

    Something everyone is forgetting about: nobody saw either the first Star Wars or Titanic coming. What were the assumptions about both? The reason why Lucas only had 10 million dollars to spend on SW, and 20th Century Fox sold the merchandising rights to him was because market wisdom said it would tank! Only two months before Titanic was released, given the length of the shoot and how long the F/X shots were taking to complete (and the fact that half of them had to be handed over to Blue Sky/VIFX because Digital Domain was overbooked) and the fact that Cameron is a bit hard to work with (he knows what he wants and doesn't compromise), pointed to everyone doubting Titanic's success. And, remember, Titanic's box office run was based on making 20-30 million a week for about FOUR MONTHS straight! And nobody saw it coming... The biggest blockbusters, nobody sees coming...

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 7:55 a.m. CST

    And, about scores...

    by JTylor

    I saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon last night. Man, oh man. That is a film score. That, and the movie had me with tears streaming from my eyes just because everything was so damn beautiful... even the fight scenes. And, yes, I've seen Swordsman and other historical/wire-fu stuff... and the rhythms in the editing, the music, everything in CTHD just blows them off the map. Just goes to show what can happen when you have a complete script, a director with a solid grounding in both HK and Hollywood traditions, and no triad involvement... ;) I'm really just kidding about that last bit.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 9:02 a.m. CST

    LotR's Exposure

    by Bobossboy

    Well one thing's for certain, we're going to see LotR coming. Let's add it up: one preview, one teaser, two full trailers, a Cannes extravaganza and one of the most successful books in history. If you haven't heard of LotR now, then you sure will have before the year is out. As for the most successful films being those that "we don't see coming", a little thought - and perhaps a little research - should be all that's necessary to see that this is far from a rule.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Goblin-Lord in a boa...

    by Xfonhe

    Actually, you kinda look like a Hobbit; perhaps a dwarf (I think it's the beard sans moustache...) LOL - nice pic anyway, you lucky, lucky bastidge! Be sure to tell PJ Bad Taste was f'ing brilliant... greatest splatter-gorefest, upchuck-swilling, alien-skull drop-kicking film of all time!!

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 10:21 a.m. CST

    appeal of LOTR

    by Mel

    If you think LOTR has a limited cross generational appeal then frankly you're ignorant. LOTR has been consistently voted the most popular book of our time. A true LOTR movie is going to reach demographics that no previous movie EVER has. My father hasn't been to thr cinema in 20 years, and as someone who read the books as a child even he would be interested in seeing a movie version. Tens of millions of people have around the world have read LOTR over decades, and let's face it, who didn't put that book down and think to him/herself, boy what a film that could make. So you can take your Star Wars and your gay lover George Lucas (who, I always argued was never great, merely surrounded by great people). More people will care about LOTR than Star Wars. If you're too much of a 20-something geek to see it, that's no one else's problem,

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 11:11 a.m. CST

    No offence Dolphin44, but...

    by vroom socko

    you are seriously underestimating the general public. Here, let me use as a comparison another "genre" novel, Dune. I know many people who don't like Science Fiction, but they love Dune. The recent miniseries on the Sci-Fi channell was that network's highest rated show ever. I hadn't even read Dune until I saw the mini. Now Lord of the Rings is 10 times the novel that Dune is(relax Dune fans, that's like saying Citizen Kane is ten times the film that Casablanca is, both are classic.) Not only that, but these films are being made with 1,000 times the love and affection than the afformentioned Dune mini. Dolphin44, go ahead and doubt the skill of PJ and co. Doubt their dedication. But don't doubt the appeal of this book. I don't expect a Titanic topper, but these films will be a cultural marking point. Do not doubt that.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Retort

    by Bobossboy

    I just love this Talkback! "Other than fellow movie geeks how many people do you all know are LOTR fans??" Lots and lots and lots. My mother sure ain't no movie geek. "Sure LOTR has cross generational appeal but it doesn't have mass appeal." The books have sold over fifty million copies and have, therefore, been read by many millions more. "Not many people are into Fantasy films although there are notable exceptions." I think you must mean that hardcore fantasy films have never been too popular. This is a statement about how things have been rather than how they might be. Fantasy has never had much of a chance to establish itself in the popular imagination. Hardcore fantasy films are generally under budgeted and poorly written - not to mention badly advertised. If anything has a chance to set a new precedent it's LotR. "I can't guess how well the films will do overseas but here in the States. The combined gross will probably not exceed $360 million" Pure speculation. Remember that no one thought a certain sci-fi movie would do very well either. I suspect that the studios were thinking in a very similar manner to my pessimistic friend. Substitute sci-fi for LotR in all the above quotes and you'll see what I mean. Just for the record, I'm not saying that LotR will trounce Titanic, just that has a good chance of making a huge amount of money.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Harry, you magnificent bastard.

    by IAmTheFool

    Just reread all the There & Back Again posts. I'm in absolute awe. Harry, I know you've heard it a million times already, but I gotta add my voice... you are the greatest of them all. I would literally give an arm and a leg to have seen what you've seen. Who would have thought that this geeky little website you started could have led to this? My heartiest congratulations, man, you deserve it. I swear, if I ever meet you, I'm gonna kiss you right in the center of your fat, sweaty forehead. Now go have a good Christmas... and look forward to the next one! Cheers!

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 1:19 p.m. CST

    In My Defence

    by Bobossboy

    I hope you're not referring to me. I am certainly not a simple-minded fanboy. I just think that LotR has the potential to be huge - whether it lives up to its potential has yet to be seen. As for "a second TPM" - putting the fact that TPM is one of the biggest grossing films of all time to one side for the moment -, there is no universal law that says that a film that looks like the bollocks can't be the bollocks. Just because TPM was a highly anticipated failure (in the eyes of some) doesn't mean that LotR will be.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 1:51 p.m. CST

    A lot of misconceptions here

    by Xhen

    Reading through these messages I'm struck by the lack of knowledge and misconceptions there are about movie box office. Here's a little Box Office 101 for some of you: 1. It's not hard at all to break $100 million domestic box office gross these days. 17 movies (with Cast Away and What Women Want sure to join the list) so far this year have done it and 21 did last year. Even modestly successful movies these days make more than that. A movie with a huge potential built-in audience like LOTR will easily break that. $200 million is a more realistic estimate at minimum. 2. In today's worldwide economy films generally earn more internationally than they do in the US. If FOTR earns $200M domestically it will probably earn at least $300M internationally. That will put New Line at the break-even point without even considering video sales and rentals and cable TV royalties. And they will have two more movies already in the can without any more additional filming costs. 3. LOTR doesn't have to do Star Wars or Titanic-type box office to be financially successful. Even a routine special effects film like Twister has earned almost $500M worldwide so it's tough to imagine three LOTR films doing less than that under even the worst of circumstances. 4. The myth that Titanic made as much as it did only because of repeat business by teenage girls is just that...a myth. You don't earn $1.8 billion by appealing to only one small demographic group. Repeat business for Titanic was remarkably high across-the-board demographically. And no Leonardo di Caprio film before or since has made even a small fraction of the money that Titanic did. 5. If all three LOTR combined earned more than Titanic they wouldn't be considered the box office champs since they were released as three separate movies. One of the three films would have to exceed Titanic's gross alone to be considered the box office champ...highly unlikely. 6. LOTR has sold more than 50 million books worldwide and has been voted the best novel of the 20th century in several polls. Most educated people have heard of the books even if they haven't read them and the name Tolkien is well known outside of the fantasy genre. LOTR transcends it's genre and will draw an audience far beyond the usual fantasy crowd. This will be an "event" movie which will draw movie-goers from across the spectrum. Unless the films turn out to be awful (and there is no indication so far that this will be the case) it's hard to imagine these films not doing well at the box office.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 2:04 p.m. CST

    i've got just as much right to post as the rest of you

    by kojiro

    ...in the vain belief that it may be read I suppose. Well, most of the arguements I had supporting LOTR's appeal against those few who think it will bomb have already been posted but as I'm quite bored lets see what I have left. First, go to any bookstore, you will likely see three versions of LOTR on the shelves and multiple copies of each. Those don't get reprinted if they're not being bought, and it sure as hell ain't repeat buyers. I had something else, but I've forgotten it. Oh well, may as well address those who asay there has been a backlash against TPM because people feel betrayed by it. First, why would someone feel betrayed, well because they thought it was shit, a pretty good reason to feel that way in my opinion. But who are these people who feel betrayed, I've certainly never met one though I've heard they are out there. No one I know was shaped by the trilogy, we all liked it (jock and geek alike), yet only a handful of us felt that TPM was anything other than crap (aside from the last fight). Myself, I think it's horrible movie, as with Armageddon there were too many simple inconsistencies with the story for my suspension of disbelief to last. The directing was horrible and the CGI was overused and gave the movie a computer game look. for me it is one of the few movies that physically nauseates me when watching it. Well, perhaps a little out of place but I just wanted to get that off my chest. Ahh, but I've remembered my last arguement for wht LOTR shall do extremely well at the BO. Remember Gladiator? For all it's violence the battle scenes make up a very small portion of the movie as it is quite long and two of them are quite short. The majority of Gladiator is drama and political intrigue, yet here in DC it had no trouble at all raking in the cash from all sectors of society.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 2:06 p.m. CST

    my,

    by kojiro

    that was perhaps a tad long. Too late now I suppose.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I am so excited...

    by Roosterbooster

    if a time-traveller offered me my weight in gold or a boxed set of the LOTR dvds from three years in the future I'd go for the dvds. Most of the casting looks superb, I'm not sure about Aragorn, never having seen Viggo Mortensen but reports seem good and this is obviously a labour of love for all of New Zealand. I like the fact that this will be a "realistic" world instead of a fey, D&D atmosphere to appeal to morons. Imagine the battle scene from Gladiator with 100,000 orcs instead of barbarians and Men of Gondor instead of Romans, showing ancient warfare as it really was - muddy, shit-spattered armour and cold, frightened men hacking each other to death in the mud.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 2:45 p.m. CST

    MOSDEF

    by Dragonfire

    No offence, but if you had read lord of the rings, I'd think you a complete an utter idiot, but seeing as you havn't read lord of the rings, I can forgive your ignorance. First of all, you didn't need to point out that you hadn't read the lord of the rings, because the fact that you said it looked like a mixture between legend and krull would have immediately let us know that you hadn't read it, because it is so fucking far above legend and krull you have no idea. lord of the rings is not a mixture of anything, lord of the rings is THE definitive fantasy works, everything else stems from Lord of the rings, even star wars. George Lucas said once that the lord of the rings was one of his inspirations for the star wars trilogy, so George Lucas is definitely not the grandaddy of fantasy, nor is Peter Jackson. J.R.R Tolkein is the granddaddy of fantasy. As for Lord of the rings chances of making money, besides the fact that there were 1.7 million downloads of the preview worldwide in the first 24 hours, Lord of the rings was recently voted the most popular novel of the twentieth century, more popular than the bible even, so if that doesn't mean its a certain block buster I don't know what does. Don't get me wrong here I fucking worship star wars, its a religeon to me, but its the original trilogy that I love, not the phantom menace. I try very hard to pretend the phantom menace doesn't exist cause as far as I'm concerned it desecrates the original star wars trilogy, and I really, really hope episode 2 and 3 are as brilliant as they should be and do the star wars universe justice. Obviously this websites is more hyped up about The lord of the rings than star wars because frankly, The lord of the rings looks far more promising than star wars ep

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 3:03 p.m. CST

    and another thing

    by Dragonfire

    you (MOSDEF) said that The lord of the rings movies look like they dont have that america\modern look to it or something. THANK GOD! THANK GOD it doesn't have an america\modern look to it. All we need is another domb ass hollywoodized\Americinized fantasy movie with the actors speaking american accents and saying stupid things like 'what the heck.' Thats what screws up the dungeons and dragons movie, thats what screws up the phantom menace, is stupid modernizations ruining everything and lessening the world's believibility. I can just imagine Frodo watching the black rider come out of the mist "What the hell is that" and then Peregrin saying something like "I dont know, but if we stay around to find out we're gonna end up black cloaked rider food" or something stupid like that. I'd bloody well cringe. Maybe if you'd read The lord of the rings you'd know how bad it would be for the ultimate fantasy movie to have an 'America\modern' look to it.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 5:02 p.m. CST

    About all this competition and silly allegations

    by EmperorCaligula

    Speaking of competition between Potter, SW, Titanic and LOTR is rather pointless and silly for me. I mean, most of the people would be able to see all. Most of the LOTR fans like SW, and the reverse is highly probable. Now, about mass appeal: LOTR was HUGE in USA in the 60s. it's still well-known there. It's huge in UK, and is well-known in Europe as wide, and probably in Japan and other countries. To the utter moron who mentioned only geeks know LOTR, well, I know very few geeks in real life. I know many people that _know_ LOTR, some having read it, and almost NONE of them are geeks. I'd rather say LOTR is for non-geeks first, which would make a far bigger audience than the geek one. SW and Titanic finally succeeded because they came out of the geek ghetto. If you want geek movies, take Matrix, which is a good and successful one, but would never go as big as SW, or as big as LOTR potentially can. * 360 mio in USA, for the 3, it makes 120 mio$ each and it be decent earnings, assuming you could bet on more than 400 mio$ worldwide. Not a big earning though, and it's what I would think as the absolute minimum box office personally. As said before, before SW in 77, everyone thought SciFi was for some kind of geek ghetto. Fantasy is pretty in a ghetto too, nowadays. The thing not to forget is that in fact LOTR is _not_ meant to be Fantasy. It's epic, legend, myth, that's what Tolkien intended. For fantasy, read Howard's Conan. All the cheap rip-off (Eddings, Jordan, ...) are fantasy for geeks, clearly, rip-off of the true Master, combined with others older authors of fantasy. LOTR is not Wheel of Time, LOTR is simply one of the hugest books of 20th century. That means that if it's named the best book of 20th century, it's probably because people would put it closer to Homer, Shakespeare, Dickens than Jordan or Piers Anthony. Weirdly, the hype isn't here where I live, however there are piles od dozens (literally) of Tolkien books in the main library here, apparently only a very tiny bit less than Hary potter, which last book just got released, so indeed the guys there thought Tolkien would be nice for kids who want to read something close to Potter and have to wait for the next one. * Titanic: you can think there was a Leo-effect. Well Leo wasn't famous before, the hype came after the movie's release. LOTR has no big star like Leo so far, but I bet some actors (Viggo, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler and possibly Cate Blanchett) could experience some similar (but less huge probably) hype once the Fellowship is released; which would only add more audience. * last comment: nice to see knowledgeable people, Xhen in this case, that know the real _facts_ and _figures_. / Side-note for SW fans and bashers: McGregor said the 1st movie had a bad script, and the 2nd one was way better. * Now again, time to pay my respect to Harry, and to the LOTR cast and crew for their apparently great work (well, I'll let the "apparently" down in 1 year for sure). And Merry Christmas to all of you :=)

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 5:05 p.m. CST

    dragonfire

    by Brian 2000

    I have indeed read LOTR. I know of its greatness. Yet no matter what we think of the movies we cant assume as everyone here is doing that they are gonna kick ass. Thank you Harry for these nice essays. They are well written and fun, but that doesnt mean I feel any better about this project. Frankly this is the same thing that happened with TPM. Every day there was somebody assuring us that TPM would kick ass. Now dont get me wrong, I love it for what it is, but it is nothing to what AICN (yes you guys are guilty) and all else hyped it to be. Now we have LOTR this is the same EXACT situation. I cant believe you people dont realise it. The only thing good is that its detracting from EP.2 hype. These reports can be compared to the gushing EP1 script reviews. I mean they are nice but they mean nothing. Dont get so hyped up until after you see it. By the way, your 1.7 million downloads in 24 hours means nothing...it was that high because the same 20,000 people could not save it to their computers for a while and had to keep downloading it to view it again. Also you said LOTR one best novel of the century beating the Bible...um...the Bible was not written in the 20th century. One last thing...fear Harry Potter. Dont tell me hes no threat because of Colombus and the rediculous assumption that HP fans are not as numerous as LOTR fans. Potter has sooo many more fans right now because it appeals to a broader audience. If Colombus does an OK job Potter could kill LOTR. I have read the books, anyone who has knows what Im talking about. They really are great. In fact if I had the choice to see Potter or LOTR I'd choose Potter. It's more adaptable and Id be less crushed if they screwed it up. So LOTR fans dont rejoice...there is a LOT that could go wrong.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 5:45 p.m. CST

    to add to what Xhen said

    by Roger U. Roundly

    Studios all engage in "Creative" accountancy. The fact is, a movie has to be universally hated and reviled in order to make no money. 90 percent of studio movies make money. WaterWorld? huge international box office, turned a profit. End of Days? over 200 mil internationally. Studios love it when a movie starts makin money internationally whilst percieved as a flop at home, Cuz then they can defer taxes on that movies revenue for years because of the complicated way the revenues are collected. A perfect Example is FOX's "The Beach", which was widely perceived as a flop in the U.S, but was actually their most successfull movie in the year from it's release, takink in a sweet $250 mil internationally, and thats before you even begin to think about DVD Video rental and retail and of course TV rights. All areas where most movies make their money back plus change. A movie has to really suck to not make any money, and if people think a movie is a failure when it's still making Moolah, then thats fine with Johnny Paramount and his band of merry moguls, cuz they're guffawing all the way to the Caymans...

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Tolkien - Dragonfire

    by ShaneP

    Dragonfire, wait just a minute. First off, Tolkien based Gandalf,Saruman, and Saurons' powers on the Norse god Odin. Second, the battle in Moria was based on Ragnarok from Nordic myth. He also used a slight variation on the Journey of the Hero. That goes back all the way to Homer. He used a aeperable soul like Homer and Ovid did as well. LOTR used an interlaced narrative with multiple plots; however so did Shakespeare in Midsummer Nights Dream and Malory's Le Morte D' Arthur. He used the Atlantis legend for the basis of Numenor. And, he was heavily influenced by H. Rider Haggard who wrote She and King Solomon's Mines. Tolkien also used a pastoral setting like that of Simak, E. E. Smith, and Shakespeare before him. There's no doubt Lucas was influenced by Tolkien(and many others); however, Tolkien was just as 'influenced' by those writers and dreamers who went before him. That's the way it works. Everything old is new again. ShaneP

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 6:52 p.m. CST

    RE: Dragonfire, TPM and Potter

    by ZazuYen

    We

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 8:27 p.m. CST

    In response

    by Brian 2000

    "But TPM started life with something of an identity crisis and never had much depth, being something of an toy for Lucas with an epic overlay rather than an epic story waiting to be brought to film" - that is completely inconsequential. Even if that were true...which is your opinion the point is YOU and EVERYONE else did not realize that until you saw the movie. From our points of view prior to 5/19/99 Star Wars was coming back it would kick fucking ass and Lucas was God. Now post 5/19/99 the only thing you find on AICN is posts with the heading of "Fucking Lucas!". I mean who are we kidding? There is 0 difference to our perception of the coming of TPM to LOTR and there is little difference to the way this website has covered both projects. Even Harry while declaring himself a TPM fan has been mindlessly criticizing the film instead of giving us good ep 2 news. I mean the last story Harry wrote on SW was about how annoying Ahmed Best was in "On Location". I have this feeling in the back of my head that this will happen to LOTR, I dont want it to happen but somehow I know it will. Again though...the best part of this whole thing is that if Harry keeps hyping up LOTR and forgeting SW...then in 12/2001 if we hate LOTR then well have a virtually hype free SW movie coming out 5 months from than. I guess I'd be willing to ruin the LOTR movie franchise future for the salvage of Star Wars...

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 9:56 p.m. CST

    You can't compare Lucas and Tolkien

    by Xhen

    I like the original Star Wars trilogy but no one in their right minds can compare Lucas with Tolkien as writers. Tolkien is one of the great writers of the past century and Middle Earth has far more depth and complexity than the Star Wars universe. In fact, Lucas himself has stated that Tolkien was one of his major inspirations when writing Star Wars. It's pretty easy to see the Tolkien influences in Lucas' tale of wizards (the Jedi) and magic (the Force). Can you really look at Obi Wan Kenobi and not think of Gandalf? Especially after Obi Wan, like Gandalf, apparently dies only to become more powerful in a different form. And the similarities between Darth Vader and Saruman (both originally good wizards turned evil) and the Emperor and Sauron (the ultimate evil sorcerors) are more than coincidental.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 10:11 p.m. CST

    what matters is...

    by w5h

    Even though it would be cool, I don't think it really matters if this triology beats Titatic and the Star Wars movies at the box office. What really matters (in my opinion anyway)is that it will hopefully be an enjoyably memorable series of films that do the book/s justice. From the sound of things so far, it seems that the LOTR ship is set for the right destination. Mr Jackson, full speed ahead! Oh...and I've got this sneaking suspicion that Harry is the Santa Claus of Geekdom.

  • Dec. 23, 2000, 11:27 p.m. CST

    the word on the street

    by Isidore

    Well today was rather quiet, so I thought I would come and check out the bitching and moaning. I see little has changed. I thought I would let you all know how my vigil is going. So far I am still number one in line! And hey! A little kid dropped a candy bar in front of me! He was going to use the five second rule and pick it up, he was only three, but I beat him to it! A kid like that shouldn't be eating off the ground. Rusty asked for a piece, but it was a snickers and with no teeth, he can't chew them very well. So I ate the whole thing. I'm still hungry though. Hey miami! I thought you were coming over with some soup! Oh wait, I know what you were up to. You wanted to lure me away with thoughts of the comforts of home. Well, it didn't work. I will be first! Ha! No one can stop me! Today was a good day.

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 12:23 a.m. CST

    "i'm first!" should be slang for "i'm gay!"

    by black

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Hear Ye

    by MOSDEF

    Damn! My mailbox is full of HATE MAIL...I never said LOTR would suck...not once, I was just commenting as a person on the outside looking in. The defining book in my life was THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY of MALCOM X just as the defining book in most of your lives was LOTR, when I found out Spike was making a Malcom X movie, I was excited by I checked my expectations. A film is a different animal than a book, what works in print may not work on screen...with that line f thinking I thoroughly enjoyed the cinematic version of Malcom X. I'm saying take a wait and see approach.

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Question to LOTR fans

    by MOSDEF

    Does Fellowship of the Rings have a definite ending or a "to be continued" type ending? I really think a "to be continued' approach could really hurt the film. Also, the Harry Potter threat is VERY real. I've read the first Harry Potter and it was great, I immediately said 'ThIS SHOULD BE A MOVIE", if Columbus nails it, this could be a Huge HOME ALONE/THE GRINCH hit. The kids are gonna line up around the block for this one. One more thing, wouldn't it be ironic if LUCAS worked out a deal to debut the Episode II trailer with LOTR?

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 5:34 a.m. CST

    What Dragonfire is trying to say...

    by brokentusk

    Brian 2000 - I think Dragonfire is saying that 'The Lord of the Rings' sold more copies in the 20th Century than the Bible did - thus becoming the most popular book of THE 20th CENTURY. I agree with the people that are saying that Tolkien was also influenced by others, but Dragonfire is quite correct in saying it's the best news in the world that these films are nearly not American at all. I would hate the films to be American. Adding to Dragonfire's thoughts, imagine if, at the end of the 'Fellowship of the Ring', all the charcters came togther and shout out: 'Let's get em!' and proceed to morph into the Green Ranger, the Red Ranger, the Blue Ranger etc. - all while Mortal Kombat music is pumping in the backround, but, instead of the words: 'Mortal Kombat!', the song is going: 'Lord of the Rings!...Aragorn...Gimli...Legolas...with out powers combined we become...THE FELLOWSHIP!!! Okay, so I got a bit carried away, but it's a good thing these films are not straying too close to America -look at 'The Phantom Menace' - Lucas used so many modern day expressions it makes me sick. No, I'm well aware that these films COULD have been bad and I feared for a long time that these films were not going to be good, whenever I heard news of casting, I was like: "Hmmm, not who I would have chosen, oh well, I suppose it's okay..." BUT...after seeing all these pics, after seeing the internet preview, after reading reports...I KNOW that these films are not gonna be like 'The Phantom Menace' - stop trying to protect yourselves in case the films fail to please - they won't - I know that now. Can you not already see...they will be good...the have good source material and a sensible director at the helm...stop kidding yourselves...this is not another 'Phantom Menace' - this is the anti-Menace!!!

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Tolkien, potter, SW, etc...

    by EmperorCaligula

    Potter has a broader audience than Tolkien. Please give me a break. Seriously, Potter will be half-forgotten in 50 years, when Tolkien will still stand. Potter is like the Hobbit, for kids mostly. LOTR is for teens and adults mostly. There is a far bigger audience for LOTR, for sure. Not that I want to criticise Potter, in fact, it looks rather cool books. But if both movies were to compete at the same time, I'm not sure Potter would win, seriously. Releasing it 1 month before is a very wise move, as kids will go see it in late november/december, and then will be totally in fantasy/wizard stuff, making them even potential audience for LOTR, without Potter movie having to really suffer from a LOTR competition. Both will benefit of it (basically, only a very few movies can be in top of box offices for more than 4 weeks, at least in USA, and Potter will give place to Fellowship). Potter is _not_ a threat in USA. In other countries, where both could be released nearly at the same time, there could be a bigger competition imho, but I doubt one of them would really sink against the other. * MOSDEF: yes, if Lucas put Episode 2 trailer before LOTR, it'll be even bigger;) Would be great. A very nice way of putting an end to the competition between both some fans want to make. * Comparison with TPM: TPM had the first trilogy as a reference, so many SW fans were a bit disappointed. LOTR movies have what? Bakshi? There's no movie reference for LOTR, only the books, and you know some changes will be made. Only a tiny part of the audience will be able to blame it for changes (hardcore purists), when most of SW audience could compare it to the previous trilogy, and could blame it easily - which happened. The risk of a disappointment after the hype are a bit lower, for such reasons; though there's a risk obviously. BUT we have the TPM experience so most of the enthusiasts are warned and are aware of the possible backlash; which means that if the movies are great, their success could be even bigger than if there was no hype and fear of disappointment. * Tolkien was inspired by many legends and myths. Lucas was inspired by Tolkien and Campbell. Difference is that Tolkien, like myths, had a whole universe living under the story, when Lucas mostly did a story, and the "behind-the-story" unvierse is really less developed, though you can think there's something. To this respect, Tolkien has a biger achievement, notably because it's written, which allows for far more details, comments, appendices, etc... than movies, which need to be less complex than books. It partly depends on the medium, and on the author, Tolkien having developed his world for longer than Lucas, and mroe in depth. I don't say this to criticise SW, but to show that LOTR is a massive cultural achievement as a book, and potentially as a movie (book needing to be more developed than movies, which can be a resumed version of books), when SW is a massive movie achievement but cannot go farther, because you can hardly develop books from movies, especially if the director isn't involved at all, and for sure you'll never be able to write a book that can withstand centuries from a movie. The only slight exception is 2001, but movie and novel were done in parallel with close contact between Kubrick and Clarke, each feeding the other.

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 7:44 a.m. CST

    by FPWorm

    Thats awesome that you got to take part in the making of a Peter Jackson movie - too bad it's his sell out and wasn't a classic like Bad Taste or some shit.. Who lives in Australia and wasn't an extra in the battle scene a few months ago?

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Okay HA-4, and a little tidbit for MOSDEF (where the heck does t

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... What's the source of your question HA-4? and why does it matter? I am a 21 year old Japanese Snow Monkey, (don't be deceived, 21 Snow Monkey years translates roughly to 41 human years), what exactly do you hope to discern? Personal experience has shown me that age has very little to do with the content of posts on AICN. *** MOSDEF: Read the fricken book. Notice I said book, not books. FOTR does not resolve unto it's self. It ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. To be true to the novel it cannot end any other way. Once again you are completely underestimating the public's knowledge of the tale. IMO knowing that FOTR does not contain an/the end of the story will not adversly affect audience attendance.

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 10:40 a.m. CST

    by ShaneP

    The thing that's really surprising to me is how people constantly compare LOTR to Star Wars. One is based in the literary world, and the latter in the cinematic. Of course LOTR would be more developed than Star Wars, as it is a work of literature. What does box office tally mean by the way? How does it affect the quality of a particular film? Isn't box office really a subject for marketing geeks, not film ones? ShaneP

  • Dec. 24, 2000, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Dolphin you're a total asshole. I mean it. Seriously.

    by EmperorCaligula

    And I don't bother if IanMcKellen, Elijah Wood or someone else reads such insults. * If you do this for fun, you would've stopped now. You post again you total nonsense when you had all the arguments showing this is pure bogus. SO you seriously think thsi crap. Let me tell you YOU are the geek. Seriously, if you want me to name people that love the book, ok: Christopher Lee; Tony Blair. Do you think they're geeks? (especially C Lee) Come on. I personally know 3 or 4 people that love the books + some who read it but I don't know it + 2 I?m in the process of converting to Tolkien, none being a geek. And I'm not a real geek as well, unless your usual geek spends his time reading Homer or Tacitus. _Tolkien_ wasn't a geek and din't write for geeks. If you had any cellbrain left, you could read the books. they stand due to their innate virtues. Like all literary masterpiece, they're universal, ultimately. They're not for kids only, teens only, english people only. It's not a video game, it's a _book_, a notion alien to you. Oh well, if you think SW books are literature, then I can see the misunderstanding. I'm speaking of civilisation's achievements here. * if you want movies for geeks, take SW or Independance Day. And those are pretty successful, too. They made far more than 120 mio in US. THough SW, Independance Day, Titanic, Godzilla, Twister, none of those had a pre-made fanbase of dozens of millions, and all was due to marketing and good reviews and word-of-mouth. If you take a massive base and add a massive marketing campaign, there's no doubt the potential of 200 mio$ in US is there. or even more. I don't say they could stop at 100 mio$. It's possible if they're not good, but there's big chances they'll do more. * Again, about geeks: Do you think the people who went to see Gone with the Wind in the late 30s were geeks too;) Well, let me tell you, LOTR has a demographic appeal as wide as Gone with the Wind. without any doubt. I'd say nearly as wide as Titanic, too. And they have a massive argument outside USA: they're not a US movie, which provides some solid guarantees it won't be the usual Hollywood bastardised crap with good feeling, Political correctness, good guys all live happily without any of them dying. Bad Guys stereotyped, all the plot guessable after 5 minutes. Trust me, those movies were _not_ made to please US public, I have very serious reasons of thinking they weren't giving it a damn. They were doing it for themselves, they were doing it because they wanted to make something magnificent, as was clear from the last reports from Harry. This will provide success outside USA, and could well provide success inside USA, because people even there are getting tired of the usual crap coming. / And don't forget that from end 99 to mid 2001, the movie-goers suffer a famine of great movies, after the exceptional harvest of 99. They'll be eager to see some cool stuff. And to the usual SW fan, LOTR will be a good way of spending time waiting for Episode 2;)

  • Dec. 27, 2000, 3:29 p.m. CST

    reply to brian 2000 and shaneP

    by Dragonfire

    to Brian 2000, I didn't say the bible was written in the 20th century. I dont know what kind of domb ass would think the bible was written in the twentieth century, but as brokentusk said, by popular book means it sold more copies than bible in twentieth century, and it was voted greatest book with the bible in second place. As for your theory about the downloads, the downloads arnt the only factor by which we judge LOTR's imminent success, also by the fact that it is the most popular book of twentieth century., which very definitely means its going to be a success. and to ShaneP, I didn't say Tolkien was completely innovative. I know of tolkiens inspirations, and I wasnt insulting george lucas by saying he was inspired by LOTR. everyone has to have some sort of inspiration obviously. I was answering MOSDEFS point as he said even Peter Jackson must know that Lucas is the grandaddy. You further exemplified my point, so thank you.

  • Dec. 27, 2000, 3:37 p.m. CST

    answer to dolphin44

    by Dragonfire

    In answer to your question: If only geeks love LOTR, then the majority of the world population must be geeks, and seeing as the world is a hell hole, I'm guessing the majority of the world is not geeks, therefore A FUCKING LOT of non-geeks love LOTR, and you think we're blinded, you're bloody well blind if you think that LOTR is not popular. Either you're blind or, frankly, you're an idiot.

  • July 3, 2006, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Holy shit, six years later and here we are.

    by brokentusk

    Just re-read my post from six years ago, before the films were released. So embarrasing, yet, I was right on the money - the films WERE amazing. Nostradamus ain't got shit on me.