Archive of posts filed under the General category.

Architects want to build a real Minas Tirith

Minas Tirith, the White City of GondorArchitects in England have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise around £2 billion GBP so that they can build a life-sized replica of the Gondorian city of Minas Tirith from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

The planned location for Minas Tirith would be one of two places in the south of England. The architects hope to start building by the end of 2016  with an estimated completion date sometime in 2023. Fans of Tolkien’s works would be able to live and work in the city, with any excess money raised from the crowdfunding campaign going towards “maintenance and public services” until 2053.

As of this post date, there have been 551 funders raising £18,010 GBP.

But what if the project does not meet its intended goal? The campaign states specifically on their page “***If we don’t reach our fundraising goal, you won’t be charged any money***.”

If you are interested in supporting this project, pop over to the campaign’s page Realise Minas Tirith.

Mercury crater named in honor of J.R.R. Tolkien

New Zealand tourism campaign to focus on Middle-earth and ‘The Hobbit’

Hobbit house on the Hobbiton set New ZealandComing later this month, Tourism New Zealand will launch their new advertising campaign ‘100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand.’

The advertisements will feature on TV, on-line, and at cinemas world-wide, as well as the website. All of this is set to coincide with all the hype that the upcoming film The Hobbit is generating. By linking up with The Hobbit and middle-earth, Tourism New Zealand is hoping to help push tourism to the country. This is similar to the campaign they ran when The Lord of the Rings films were released.

“International media attention surrounding the films has been growing over the past few months and we have already hosted a number of journalists who are writing specifically about New Zealand as the location for the films,” says Kevin Bowler, Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive. “Consumers visiting will already find a ‘Home of Middle-earth’ section offering a range of experiences and products that are based around the filming of The Lord of the Rings.”

Read more about Tourism New Zealand’s campaign at The Hobbit and 100% Middle-earth.


The Hobbit Pub still needs help – plans fundraiser

The Hobbit Pub in Southampton

The Hobbit Pub in Southampton

Back in March I reported on a Southampton pub called The Hobbit which had come under fire from the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) over use of the word ‘Hobbit’ in their name. SZC in California owns the worldwide rights to brands associated with JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and has been cracking down on what they call ‘infringement rights.’

The Internet erupted with this news and even veteran actors Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry got into the fray offering their support  for the pub, with McKellen posting on his blog ‘…I haven’t yet talked to Stephen Fry about his disapproval of this Hollywood bullying but I’m with him all the way. All the way to The Hobbit pub once filming is over in July.’

After this huge outcry, SZC offered an olive branch of sorts in the form of a $100 [£65] a year licensing fee to allow the pub to continue using the word ‘Hobbit.’

Everything seemed like it was going to work out for the good, but as reported by The Daily Echo, almost four months later that amicable offer from SZC has not been put into writing and presented to the pub’s lawyers. Meanwhile the legal fees have been piling up.

“They said they’d give us this licence, but what does it entail and why is it taking so long?” said landlady Stella Roberts.  “There are three lots of solicitors involved – solicitors for Punch Taverns, solicitors for Saul Zaentz and my own solicitor.  If you think that solicitors cost £100 an hour, 20 hours is already £2,000 and obviously a lot more than that has gone in already.  The economic situation is not helping pubs and if you then get a £15,000 or £20,000 legal bill you’re finished.”

In an effort to help offset these costs, the pub is planning on having a fundraiser.  The event called simply ‘Save the Hobbit’ will feature live music from local bands, Tolkien memorabilia, and various items to be auctioned off – which Stephen Fry has already donated a signed book towards. Author Neil Gaiman is even expected to make an appearance via an Internet video link.

The ‘Save the Hobbit’ fundraiser will take place at the pub on  Saturday, August 11. Ticket are just £10. For more information you can email the pub at or call them at 023 8023 2591.

Related links:

Possible Resolution in Sight for Hobbit Pub Clash

Sir Ian McKellen backs The Hobbit Pub

Save ‘The Hobbit’…Pub, that is

Save The Hobbit, Southampton Facebook page


Air New Zealand partners with ‘The Hobbit’ movies

Official press release:

13 July 2012

Air New Zealand is the official airline of Middle-earth with the announcement of a global two-movie partnership with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, from New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

As part of the two-year partnership, passengers to and from the UK and North America can look forward to flying on two film-branded Boeing 777 aircraft, enjoy a very special edition of the inflight safety video and take part in a wide range of upcoming promotions and experiences.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications, Mike Tod, said, “We are excited at the prospect of so many international visitors travelling to Wellington for the 28 November 2012 world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

“New Zealand is clearly established as the home of Middle-earth and Air New Zealand will bring the magic to life for travellers.

“This partnership follows on naturally from the success of Air New Zealand’s relationship with The Lord of the Rings trilogy in raising New Zealand’s profile as an international travel destination.

“Similarly, we will be putting millions of dollars of marketing behind the two films based on The Hobbit to promote New Zealand in new and innovative ways across the globe.”

Mr Tod confirmed Air New Zealand is working with Weta Workshop to turn a Boeing 777-300 into a flying billboard for the first movie and a Boeing 777-200 for the second movie, and will soon commence filming of a new inflight safety video.

“The use of social media has grown exponentially since The Lord of the Rings trilogy and will play a big part in the way we’ll be connecting fans with both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again and destination Middle-earth over the coming two years, including a series of exclusive competitions and unique fan opportunities,” says Mr Tod.

Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. Pictures’ President, Worldwide Marketing, says Air New Zealand’s involvement is unique.

“Just as Peter Jackson is able to transport audiences to the magical world of Middle-earth, Air New Zealand brings people to the breathtaking landscape that has been home to these epic productions. The promotions planned by Air New Zealand in support of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are both eye-catching and innovative and we look forward to collaborating with them on the campaigns for both films.”



From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of two films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The second film will be “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) – is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh.  Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, British Midland International, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Avianca-TACA, Copa Airlines, EVA Air and Shenzhen Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 20,800 daily flights to 1,300 airports in 189 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit and for more information about Star Alliance visit

Peter Jackson receives royal honor

As Part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, director Peter Jackson, famous for his films King Kong, District 9, The Adventures of TinTin, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the upcoming The Hobbit, was inducted as an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, the highest royal order for the country.

“To be counted in such company is an extraordinary honour and I would like to accept it on behalf of all those who work within the New Zealand film industry,” said Peter Jackson.

The Order of New Zealand is limited to 20 members, but Additional Members can be added that do not count towards the total. Additional Members are added in commemoration of any important royal, state or national occasion.  Peter Jackson can now count himself among them with Prince Philip, Dame Malvina Major and Dame Margaret Bazley being the other current Additional Members.

The honor cites Jackson’s work in the film industry as not only bringing him international fame but it has also widely promoted New Zealand as a “significant” location for film making and as a tourist destination.

Jackson continues to support the film industry locally through his production facility, Park Road Post, which is available to Kiwi film makers and helps to ensure national films adhere to a high international standard, and promotes ventures such as the 48 Hour Film Festival.