Archive of posts tagged Ian McKellen

Official Hobbit line-up for Comic-Con 2012

Warner Bros. has announced the line-up of the panel for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to be held at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con.

Present will be director Peter Jackson, producer and co-screenwriter Phillpa Boyens, along with actor/director Andy Serkis, and actors Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and Richard Armitage

The panel, which is one of three that Warner Bros. will have at Comic-Con, will be held in Hall H on Saturday July 14th from 2:30 to 5:00pm.

Prior to the Hobbit panel in Hall H will be an autograph session with Hobbit cast members Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, and Richard Armitage. The autograph session will be held at the Warner Bros. booth from 11:15am to 12:00pm.

Entertainment Weekly covers ‘The Hobbit’

Entertainment Weekly Hobbit coverThis week US publication Entertainment Weekly focuses on The Hobbit!

The cover features wizard Gandalf and hobbit Bilbo Baggins played by actors Sir Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman. Inside the magazine readers are taken behind the set on the first of the two-part movie and features some never before seen images as well as interviews with Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and director Peter Jackson.

Some characters who are not present in the book The Hobbit but are in The Lord of the Rings will be making appearances in the movie version. Most notably will be Orlando Bloom and Cate Blanchett reprising their roles as elves Legolas and Lady Galadriel.

“In the movie we want these characters to have story lines and a little more substance than they do in the book,” Jackson explains. “Almost everything we’re doing is from Tolkien somewhere, whether it’s in the book or the subsequent development that wasn’t published in The Hobbit itself.”

Another actor who will be reprising his role and who’s character has an active part in the book, is Hugo Weaving as wise elf lord Elrond. An exclusive on the set image from EW shows Elrond at Imladris (Rivendell).

Hugo Weaving reprises his role as wise elf lord Elrond.

The special Hobbit issue of Entertainment Weekly is on sale now. Fans can check out some exclusive photos online at EW’s website.

Hobbit Production Video #7

The seventh production video from the set of The Hobbit was released today from director Peter Jackson. This entry is chock full of goodies as Jackson takes us all along for a never before seen look inside Stone Street Studios, Miramar, New Zealand where they are filming The Hobbit.

Map of Stone Street Studios

The Studio is a renovated paint factory and it’s where Jackson and Co. have filmed The Lord of the Rings trilogy films, King Kong, and now The Hobbit films. In fact, each of the films just mentioned were so massive that entire sound stages were built for each.

Sound Street Studios is where the cast have been living during shooting, there are 21 trailers for them all. It’s at these trailers that we are given glimpses of all the actors playing the dwarves, some in costume and some not.

Throughout the vlog, viewers are whisked around the various production departments housed at Stone Street. Jackson shows us Stage A where the Council of Elrond scene was shot, and tells us that Stage B was where Bag End was shot, and Stage K (named after King Kong for which it was built) is currently being used to shoot scenes for Mirkwood.

In the art department we are shown all sorts of goodies that come out of the collective brainstorming of the multitude of artist they have working for them. It is here we are also greeted by Tolkien artists Alan Lee and John Howe! Howe remarks that they have been drawing for The Hobbit for 3 years and still having fun.

Artists Alan Lee and John Howe

Viewers also briefly get introduced to Calligrapher Daniel Reeve who is responsible for creating all the documents and texts used in the film.

Calligrapher Daniel Reeve

Very quickly we are then whisked away to Weta Workshop. Here, Richard Taylor takes over the tour and we are shown prosthetics and props that have been made for the films.

Back to Stone Street Studio we get to meet the scale doubles used for the dwarves and the hobbit Bilbo. Fans may recognize Kiran Shah who plays the scale double for Bilbo and was a double for Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shah takes over the tour from here, taking us back to Peter Jackson where we are surprised by who is behind the video camera, filming the blog. It’s none other than Orlando Bloom dressed as Legolas!

Orlando Bloom (Legolas) filming the latest blog entry

The vlog ends with a funny little clip of Shah dressed as Legolas taking on some Orcs!

To watch the vlog, visit Peter Jackson’s Facebook page: THE HOBBIT, Production Video #7.

Be on the look out for brief glimpses of Richard Armitage, Ian McKellan, and Martin Freeman. Sadly, we do not get to see Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel or Lee Pace as King Thranduil, not even Benedict Cumberbatch in any way, shape, or form. Guess Jackson and crew are keeping them tightly under wraps!

Sir Ian McKellen to raise funds for Christchurch theatre

Ian McKellen in front of the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch, New Zealand

Ian McKellen in front of the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch, New Zealand

Our favorite wizard is at it again. Sir Ian McKellen, who recently helped support The Hobbit pub in Southampton, UK with fellow Hobbit cast member Stephen Fry, is now lending is wizarding talents in support of Christchurch’s historic Isaac Theatre Royal.

Christchurch in New Zealand has been hit hard by a series of earthquakes since September 2010, the worst being the February 2011 quake that was 6.3 in magnitude. The quake caused extensive damage in the area as well as claiming the lives of about 185 people.

The Isaac Theatre Royal is just one of the many buildings in Christchurch that was damaged by the quake. McKellen had performed Waiting for Godot there in July 2010 and said he would like to see the building restored. “I love this beautiful old theatre and want to help restore it as soon as possible.”

Starting in May, McKellen will be performing a series of shows around New Zealand, with the proceeds going to support the Isaac Theatre Royal’s repair costs and policy excess which total around NZ$6 million. The one-man show will feature McKellen talking to the audience about his involvement in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, and the other films and plays he’s been in over the years. There will be a question-and-answer session with the audience, as well as a chance for some audience members to participate in the closing act in which they would play dead French soldiers.

A list of the 14 shows is available below via TVNZ’s website, along with a video of Sir Ian McKellen talking about the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Hobbit star performing to raise money for Christchurch

More information about the Isaac Theatre Royal, as well as Sir Ian McKellen’s shows is available at the Isacc Theatre Royal’s website.

Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch, New Zealand


Sir Ian McKellen backs The Hobbit Pub

Veteran actor Sir Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf in both The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and the upcoming The Hobbit film, has added his voice to the growing copyright war started by the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC).

SZC, who controls the licensing of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit under their division Middle-earth Enterprises (formerly Tolkien Enterprises), has been going after establishments/companies that in anyway refer to events, characters, places, or names mentioned in either Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or ‘The Hobbit’.

One such place is the The Hobbit Pub in Southampton, England which received papers from SZC’s lawyers telling them that they are in violation of copyright laws and that they cannot use the name ‘The Hobbit Pub’ nor the likenesses of any of the characters in their establishment. Word of this has spread worldwide with help from social media sites Facebook and Twitter. Many have expressed outrage over SZC’s intents. Actor Stephen Fry, currently working on The Hobbit in New Zealand, even tweeted his displeasure of the Hollywood ‘bullying’ The Hobbit Pub was receiving.

Now fellow Hobbit actor Ian McKellen has added his voice, posting an entry on his Hobbit blog:

‘…In the past the Tolkien estate has forbidden any commercialisation of the works. So no Tolkien museums.  No Tolkien rides at Universal. No theme park. That doesn’t worry New Zealand overmuch.  The country itself has become the Middle-earth ride.

But it worries Middle-earth Enterprises of Los Angeles. With no apparent explanation they are  insisting that The Hobbit pub stop trading under that name.   As if it were possible to control the way Tolkien and his characters have entered the culture. Did anyone try to ban “Gandalf for President” buttons?  I wear mine with pride…

…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.’

Will other Lord of the Rings or Hobbit actors lend their support against SZC? Only time will tell.

Other places feeling the heat from SZC include:

  • The Hungry Hobbit Café in Birmingham – contacted by SZC Nov 2011.
  • Microlodge UK (also contacted by SZC in Nov 2011, they removed the word ‘hobbit’ from their website in reference to their lodges).

Related post: Save ‘The Hobbit’…Pub, that is

Support The Hobbit Pub via Facebook and Twitter.

Empire Magazine’s Exclusive Look At The Hobbit!

Empire Magazine is officially the first magazine to have The Hobbit as their cover image. The cover features Sir Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, as a slightly younger version than we are accustomed to seeing in The Lord of the Rings trilogy — the difference is subtle! Also gracing the cover is Martin Freeman in his role as hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Inside the mag is a lengthy report from the film set, as well as exclusive stills from the film. You can get a look at the cover and two stills at Empire’s website.

(Hobbit Cover, Exclusive Stills ).