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'The Hobbit': Peter Jackson on Oscar chances -- INTERVIEW + 6 MOVIE CLIPS

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There’s a scene in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in which our heroes are swarmed by a goblin horde and carried away to face uncertain judgment.

That’s also what happened to Peter Jackson last night at one of the first major awards screenings of the film, with Academy voters, guild members, and press clawing and clamoring for his attention during a pre-movie reception at the Landmark Theater in west Los Angeles.

Soon afterward, the same group would be passing sentence on the film — both in reviews and the awards race.

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'The Hobbit' premiere: New Zealand fans get first peek at Peter Jackson's epic

Wearing elf ears and wizard hats, sitting atop their dad’s shoulders or peering from balconies, tens of thousands of New Zealanders watched their favorite Hobbit actors walk the red carpet Wednesday at the film trilogy’s hometown premiere.

An Air New Zealand plane freshly painted with Hobbit characters flew low over Wellington’s Embassy Theatre, eliciting roars of approval from the crowd.

Sam Rashidmardani, 12, said he came to see Gollum actor Andy Serkis walk the red carpet — and he wasn’t disappointed. “It was amazing,” Rashidmardani said of the evening, adding his Gollum impression: “My precious.”

British actor Martin Freeman, who brings comedic timing to the lead role of Bilbo Baggins, said he thought director Peter Jackson had done a fantastic job on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. “He’s done it again,” Freeman said in an interview on the red carpet. “If it’s possible, it’s probably even better than The Lord of the Rings. I think he’s surpassed it.” READ FULL STORY

'The Hobbit' video blog: Getting silly in the home stretch for 'An Unexpected Journey' -- VIDEO

Less than a week before the Nov. 28 world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington, New Zealand, director Peter Jackson has released his ninth production video diary, this time detailing the painstaking post-production process for the first of the three Hobbit films. We see hard-working teams delivering their final touches on trolls, goblins, sound effects, and dwarf beards — yes, there is apparently something called “the Department on Internal Beard-Hairs” — and the long hours have clearly made everyone a wee bit punchy. It’s understandable. According to Jackson, the deadline for the final delivery of the film is Nov. 26 — i.e. today in New Zealand.

Check out the video below:  READ FULL STORY

J.R.R. Tolkien estate suing Warner Bros. for 'Lord of the Rings' casino games, digital merchandise

Forget orcs. The most fearsome creatures in the Tolkien universe may be lawyers.

The estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien, the man who brought forth all things Middle Earth with the magic tucked inside his pen, has filed suit against Warner Bros., New Line, and the Saul Zaentz Company for copyright infringement and breach of contract, alleging that the studio had gone far beyond the “limited” merchandising rights it holds for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. When the estate sold the film rights to those Tolkien books in 1969, the suit alleges, it only allowed for “the manufacture, sale and distribution of … any and all articles of tangible personal property,” but the suit claims the defendants have “with increasing boldness, engaged in a continuing and escalating pattern of usurping rights to which they are not entitled.”  READ FULL STORY

Peter Jackson denies allegations of animal mistreatment on 'The Hobbit'

Director Peter Jackson has issued a statement denying allegations in an Associated Press article of animal mistreatment during the production of the upcoming fantasy epic The Hobbit. The AP story claims that, according to four wranglers who worked on the film, more than two dozen animals died due to unsafe conditions on a farm near Wellington, New Zealand. But in a joint statement with the film’s producers, Jackson firmly denies the charge that the animals died due to poor treatment on the part of the production. “The producers completely reject the accusations that twenty seven animals died due to mistreatment during the making of the films,” the statement reads. “Extraordinary measures were taken to make sure that animals were not used during action sequences or any other sequence that might create undue stress for the animals involved.”
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'The Hobbit' outsells 'Breaking Dawn,' 'Skyfall' in online ticket sales

Peter Jackson just laid the smackdown on RPatz and James Bond.

Advance tickets for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which doesn’t open in theaters until Dec. 14, went on sale on Wednesday, and if we’re speaking plainly, they crushed it. Sales for the film on Fandango accounted for 33 percent of all tickets sold that day on the ticket website, dethroning Breaking Dawn — Part 2, which had held the top spot since Oct. 1. Skyfall, the latest in the 007 franchise, placed second, with 31 percent of the day’s sales. The Twilight crew came in third, with 28 percent of the day’s take.

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‘The Hobbit’ advance tickets going on sale Nov. 7, but that’s not all…
Familiar faces pop up in latest ‘Hobbit’ TV teaser — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Peter Jackson on a possible Stephen Colbert ‘Hobbit’ cameo: ‘I’ve never met a bigger Tolkien geek in my life’

Familiar faces pop up in latest 'Hobbit' TV teaser -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

With the upcoming Dec. 14 opening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — the first installment in director Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated three-part return to Middle-earth — looming on the horizon, Warner Bros. is stoking the buzz furnace with a new TV spot that brings back some familiar faces from the Lord of the Rings films (Gandalf! Gollum! Galadriel!), showcases some new ones (Bilbo Baggins! Giant trolls! Dwarves throwing plates!), and packs a load of action into its 30 all-too-brief seconds.

Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

Peter Jackson on a possible Stephen Colbert 'Hobbit' cameo: 'I've never met a bigger Tolkien geek in my life'

Stephen Colbert’s massive love of the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien is well established. This is a man who, on an episode of the Colbert Report last year, explained the debt ceiling crisis using Lord of the Rings action figures. Then, if there was still any lingering question exactly how giant a nerd he really is, he whipped out “Aragorn’s sword Anduril, Flame of the West, forged from the shards of Narsil” just to show off to the audience that he had it. In a recent Playboy interview, Colbert gushed fanboy-ishly about his visit to the New Zealand set of The Hobbit and, when asked if he would make some sort of cameo, answered with a coy, “Could be.” Since then, reports citing unnamed sources have circulated suggesting Colbert will indeed have some kind of cameo in one of the later Hobbit movies. But, if so, what will he be? An elf? (He does have that one slightly elvish-looking ear.) A dwarf? A faux-conservative talk-show-hosting hobbit?

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Immersive Dolby sound system to add dimension to 'The Hobbit'

Middle-earth will sound more realistic in The Hobbit.

Dolby Laboratories Inc. and director Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production announced Wednesday that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be mixed and released in Dolby Atmos, the company’s immersive new sound system that features two extra arrays of overhead speakers and the ability to direct sounds to individual speakers inside movie theaters.

“(Jackson) felt it was going to make a big difference in how he tells stories,” said Stuart Bowling, Dolby’s senior technical marketing manager. “He doesn’t want people to just go and observe his movies. He wants you to feel like you’re part of the experience of the stories that’s he’s trying to tell on the screen and allow you to be part of Middle-earth.” READ FULL STORY

'The Hobbit' character poster: Start making dwarf flashcards!

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Are you concerned you won’t be able to tell the dwarves apart in Peter Jackson’s forthcoming Hobbit trilogy? Never fear, for the studios behind the films have released a banner poster to help you learn all their names.

Last week, a full poster featuring the dwarves surfaced on the film’s Facebook page, but it did not do us the courtesy of listing the (very similar) monikers of the 13 dwarves. (And we thought we had it bad with Snow White’s seven dwarves.) So New Line and MGM have released an entirely new banner with all the major players. Check it out below (for a larger photo, click here): READ FULL STORY

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