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Tag: Peter Jackson (11-20 of 83)

Evangeline Lilly on playing new 'Hobbit' elf Tauriel: 'I did have to hesitate and go, 'Whoa, people are going to hate me'

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The Dec. 13 opening of part two in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, is still weeks away, but some die-hard J.R.R. Tolkien devotees have already been grumbling for more than a year about the invention of a brand-new character for the film: a female elf warrior named Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly. At least one person involved in the film totally understands how they feel: Lilly herself.

As a kid growing up in Canada, Lilly tells EW in this week’s cover story on Smaug, she fell in love with Tolkien’s classic 1937 novel The Hobbit (the elves were her favorite characters) and became a true-blue Tolkien purist. In fact, she was such a hard-core fan of Tolkien’s books that when the first film in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy opened in 2001, she refused to even see it at first. “I was like, ‘Nobody is going to bring to life the books that I read in the way they came to life in my mind so I don’t want them touched,’ ” she says.
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'The Hobbit' fan event: Meet Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, director Peter Jackson, and more

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Those poor elves in Middle-earth are finally getting a decent Wi-Fi connection.

They’ll need it for Nov. 4, when fans can meet and greet director Peter Jackson and the cast of the second film in the Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, via satellite-linked cinemas all over the world. Hobbit stars will be scattered throughout movie theaters in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Wellington, New Zealand. Each theater will be connected by satellite, so audiences in each theater can participate in a simultaneous Q&A and get a first look at extended footage from the film.

Your Middle-earth guide? CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will host the entire event from New York, joined by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas). Evangeline Lilly, who joins the cast as Elf warrior, Tauriel, will log on from Los Angeles. London will host other cast additions Lee Pace (who plays Elf King Thranduil), Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman) and Andy Serkis, who previously played Gollum. Director Peter Jackson will join from Wellington. Other select theaters around the world will also allow fans to watch the event.

Can’t make the trek to a Hobbit host city? Watch from your computer screen, as it will also be streamed online.

For more details on participating theaters and how to sign up, check out the official movie website, The Hobbit Facebook page, and official Twitter under hashtag #hobbitfanevent.

The fan event will take place Nov. 4, at 5 p.m. ET. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug arrives in theaters Dec. 13.

'The Hobbit' Blu-ray: How the filmmakers restored dwarfish dignity -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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In Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, dwarves were a mysterious race. Sure, there was Gimli, a loyal soldier of the Fellowship, but his kind were a scattered, weakened tribe symbolized by the remnants and relics found in the dark caves of Moria. One of the delights of The Hobbit, then, was the rehabilitation of dwarves, in the Tolkien universe and pop culture, in general. Bilbo Baggins is a mere hobbit, but the 13 dwarves who recruit him as a burglar on their quest are a diverse collection of characters — whom Jackson playfully referred to as “the little bastards” — led by the dashing Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage).

In the new Extended Edition Blu-ray for the film, which arrives in stores on Nov. 5, fans can revel in dwarfish delights, just as the film’s creators did. Before the movie, dwarves were still widely perceived as Snow White’s supporting characters, but that wouldn’t do for Jackson’s epic adventure that sends them to face a dragon. In one of the new extras, “Durin’s Folk: Creating the Dwarves,” the creative artists explain how they researched and revised the image of the dwarf from comic sideshow to courageous warrior. “I honestly believe that Peter is going to do for dwarves what Tolkien did for elves, removing what nursery rhyme and folktale has done, which is to diminish them,” says conceptual designer John Howe.

Click below to see the exclusive Extended Edition Blu-ray clip. READ FULL STORY

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' not heading to Comic-Con -- VIDEO

For fans heading to Comic-Con hoping to catch some clips and sneak previews of the newest Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug: Try to contain your disappointment.

The film will not have anything to show J.R.R. Tolkien fans, because the film is still in production and cannot spare its cast or crew. Rather than spend hours on a fabulous sizzle reel, director Peter Jackson explained (on Facebook) that he wanted to focus on making a great film.

See Jackson’s explanation below:
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'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' trailer: Here be dragons, or at least one -- VIDEO

The one thing that might make you yearn for the end of summer blockbuster season?

That would be the first trailer for Peter Jackson’s second Hobbit film, a clip that’s chock-full of action, pounding music, mid-air leaps, imposing CGI beasties, Evangeline Lilly as an elf warrior maiden, Orlando Bloom as your onetime crush object Legolas, Ian McKellen’s beard, Martin Freeman’s scared face, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular fire-breathing dragon. The sooner the sun-filled months are over, the sooner it will hit theaters — The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premieres Dec. 13.

Check out the trailer below:
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'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' teaser poster: Where there's smoke...

…there’s Benedict Cumberbatch as a big, bad, dwarf-hating dragon.

The motion-capture character himself doesn’t actually appear on this new poster for the second film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit series, which trades goofy dwarf portraits for something moodier. Look at the entrance to the Lonely Mountain in the center of the image, though, and you’ll spy a veil of mist covering a tantalizing golden gleam, which could represent either the treasures within the mountain or Smaug’s fire breath. Good luck, little Bilbo (Martin Freeman) — you’re gonna need it.

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First look: Evangeline Lilly's elf warrior in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' -- EXCLUSIVE

When The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters on Dec. 13, there will be a fresh face among the residents of Middle-earth: Tauriel, an elf warrior played by Evangeline Lilly of Lost fame. “She’s slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill,” says Lilly. She’s also not found anywhere in J.R.R. Tolkien’s original fantasy novel, or in any of Tolkien’s other writings for that matter.

Director Peter Jackson and his co-writers on the Hobbit trilogy, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, invented the character to expand the world of the elves of Mirkwood Forest — and to bring some more female energy to the otherwise male-dominated Hobbit narrative. “Tauriel is the head of the Elven Guard,” Lilly explains. “She’s a Sylvan Elf, which means she’s of a much lower order than the elves we all became acquainted with in The Lord of the Rings. She doesn’t hold the same kind of status that Arwen or Galadriel or Elrond or Legolas do — she’s much more lowly. She sort of goes against the social order of the elves a little bit.”
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Peter Jackson and others weigh in on Hollywood's F/X crisis

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Visual effects artists routinely work miracles onscreen, helping Hollywood generate billions of dollars every year at the box office. Still, the VFX industry is now in a state of crisis. In the past seven months, two leading F/X houses, Digital Domain and Rhythm & Hues, have gone into bankruptcy, and several other companies have had to lay off workers. “Right now it’s near rock bottom,” says Peter Oberdorfer, a former VFX artist who now runs a digital-technology consulting firm. “The pressure is building to a point where it could get volatile for everybody involved.”

In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, The Hobbit director Peter Jackson, a digital effects pioneer who co-founded the F/X company Weta Digital, says studios are taking advantage of an oversupply of F/X houses to drive down prices. “Competition between VFX houses, which the studios obviously use to their advantage, has resulted in VFX houses operating on tiny profit margins,” Jackson says. “And when we talk ‘profit,’ it’s not about the owners buying a Porsche at the end of a big movie — it’s about having a nest egg to ride out the slow periods.” READ FULL STORY

James Cameron provides update on 'Avatar' sequels, says Peter Jackson 'had it easy'

The eternal wait for a return journey to Pandora continues. But Avatar fans, just know that James Cameron is hard at work on the script that will follow up his 2009 sci-fi mega-blockbuster.

Cameron, the writer-director-producer of reigning box office champion Avatar, recently talked with the website Play Goes Strong, revealing that he’s currently in New Zealand working on writing Avatar 2 and Avatar 3. “I’m writing on a little farm. When you live in a special world like Pandora, you have to live in that world,” he said. READ FULL STORY

Still Bakshi after all these years: Iconoclastic 'Fritz the Cat' director has another tale to tell -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

“Hey people, Ralphie needs money to draw. Let’s give him some so he can make a fool of himself again.” — Ralph Bakshi’s Miss America, in the Kickstarter campaign video for his new animated project

Making films has never been easy for Ralph Bakshi. The maverick cartoonist and filmmaker, who became famous — and infamous — after 1972’s smash X-rated ‘toon, Fritz the Cat, never liked to color within the lines, so to speak. He was the anti-Disney back then, filling his stories with provocative themes, raunchy humor, and curvacious broads that would make Russ Meyer blush. His bold 1975 blaxploitation satire Coonskin was driven from some theaters by critics who deemed its racial elements offensive, but filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino adored the film, and Bakshi’s artistic style and spirit lived on in the work of admirers who went on to make cartoons like The Simpsons, Ren & Stimpy, and Rango.

Now 74 years old, Bakshi has been in exile for more than a decade, focusing on his painting at his New Mexico home after one-too-many frustrating and disappointing Hollywood experiences. He hasn’t made a feature film since 1992’s Cool World, and he seemed to call it quits for good after his short-lived HBO series Spicy City went belly-up in 1997. But he still has a story to tell — a great one, he says, that will “push the boundaries of 2-D animation.” READ FULL STORY

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