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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

Warner Bros., New Line deny animal abuse on 'The Hobbit,' note allegations from wranglers fired 'for cause'

Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema have released a strongly worded statement denying recent accusations that many animals were abused during production of the films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The statement pointedly notes that the “primary source of these new allegations can be traced to freelance animal wranglers who were dismissed by the production over a year ago for cause.” (Warner Bros. and New Line, like Entertainment Weekly, are owned by Time Warner.)

On Monday, director Peter Jackson issued his own statement, along with the rest of The Hobbit‘s producers, rejecting the accusations. It also noted that the wranglers in question were “dismissed from the film over a year ago.”

Read the full statement below:

READ FULL STORY

'Man of Steel' trailer to play before 'The Hobbit'

If you weren’t able to make it to Comic-Con this year, don’t worry: Your local showing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (opening Dec. 14) will recreate roughly 70 percent of the experience.

Director Zack Snyder told MTV News on Tuesday that the first full trailer for his Superman movie Man of Steel (out June 14, 2013) will unspool before Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth. 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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Wranglers say 'Hobbit' animals died on unsafe farm

Animal wranglers involved in the making of The Hobbit movie trilogy say the production company is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals, largely because they were kept at a farm filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other “death traps.”

The American Humane Association, which is overseeing animal welfare on the films, says no animals were harmed during the actual filming. But it also says the wranglers’ complaints highlight shortcomings in its oversight system, which monitors film sets but not the facilities where the animals are housed and trained.

A spokesman for trilogy director Peter Jackson on Monday acknowledged that horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at the farm near Wellington where about 150 animals were housed for the movies, but he said some of the deaths were from natural causes.

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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.

Read More
‘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’

'The Hobbit' advance tickets going on sale Nov. 7, but that's not all...

Tolkien fanatics, ready your browsers! Advance tickets for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — which opens Dec. 14 — will be available for purchase on Wednesday, Nov. 7 starting at 12 p.m. ET.

But if snagging the earliest seats for the first of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel just isn’t enough Middle Earth for you, you’re in luck. READ FULL STORY

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

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