back to article Hobbit cameras start rolling in July

Filming on the two Lord of the Rings prequels will kick off in July, according to Sir Ian McKellen, with helmsman Guillermo del Toro already in New Zealand while the script "proceeds". The first film will be an adaptation of The Hobbit, the second an "original story" bridging the 60-year gap between Tolkien's first Middle …


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  1. Pirate Dave

    The "original story" movie

    don't they realize we Tolkien fans will know that their "story" to bridge between the Hobbit and the LOTR is entirely all made up and not the real history of ME?

    oh, wait...

    1. Clarissa

      Um, the appendices?

      I think you may be forgetting that the appendices give some details as to how history of ME plays out between the two dates in question. I assume (maybe foolishly) that those will form the basis for the 'bridging' film.

    2. Ryan 7

      There's material in the appendixes of various works

      that describes Saruman's downfall, and Sauron's move from Mirkwood back to Mordor, and Gandalf clicking on what's happening.

      1. Pirate Dave

        yes but

        wasn't it rather sparse? Perhaps not. It's been 20 years since I read all that, and honestly can't remember there being much about this "between" time, but my memories are rather vague on the whole thing.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What about The Silmarillion?

      What about The Silmarillion? They could make a fantastic movie out of that book of Tales.

  2. bolccg

    Original story

    does not sound like a good idea!

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      on the bright side...

      at least it won't be yet ANOTHER remake/reimagining/reclusterfuck.

      That being said, I agree that it's a very bad idea - much in the same way that the "final first three" Star Wars movies in general and JarJar in particular were very bad ideas.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Stop the presses!

        An orignal story?


        out of hollywood?


        Peter Jackson wouldn't know an original story if I beat him over the head with it.

        1. Anton Ivanov

          Guillermo de Torro however may know it...

          Hmm... The director of Pan's Labyrinth... This may prove to be interesting...

  3. The Indomitable Gall

    When the pot is boiling....

    ...just keep throwing stuff in.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    a title

    i hope they set it in wizards school! with vampires and sparkle!

    1. MinionZero

      @set it in wizards school

      Just hope Disney don't buy any more companies, or we could end up with a musical. :(

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Save us from Jackson's Meddling with Middle Earth

    As if it wasn't bad enough that he damaged a significant chunk of the otherwise excellent LotR movies which his utterly pointless (pure vanity on his part) butchering of plots and rewriting sections for no good reason, he is now going to write an entire new story.

    Sod off!

    If we just had a proper, faithful adaptation of LotR and The Hobbit, that'd be grand.

    1. Rattus Rattus


      I'm a big fan of Tolkien's books myself, but I'm really getting fed up with people (still!) complaining that the movies didn't follow the books in every little detail. It's really quite hard to make a movie from a book and keep it even roughly similar due to time constraints and the fact that the kinds of storytelling that work well in a book do not work very well in film. Besides, if the movies followed the books exactly, each one would have been three days long rather than three hours. And the whole lot would've been a damn musical!

      I really enjoyed the films and thought Peter Jackson did pretty well at a bloody hard task. I did not think they were completely faithful adaptations of the books and I would have preferred some things to have been done a little differently, but on the whole they were good. In the same vein, I am really looking forward to seeing what del Toro can do with The Hobbit, and I don't plan on whinging that Ori's cloak was the wrong shade of grey, or the tassel on Thorin's cloak looks more blue than silver.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge


        With a franchise that has a licence to print money, there was no reason why he couldnt have finished the films properly for a future DVD release. It would have resold as a "special cinema edition" as there are that many fans.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Save us from Jackson's Meddling with Middle Earth

      The LoTR books were long, boring and in many places just crap.

      I'm glad he made the changes he did!

    3. Steve Crook

      Couldn't agree more

      The first three were painful to watch. What grieved me wasn't the fact that changes were made, just that they all seemed so... pointless. I will never forgive Jackson for the suit of armour falling down the well in Moria. What was he thinking?

      I probably won't bother with the Hobbit at all...

      If you haven't already listened to the BBC adaptation, please get it. It's actually rather good, and they let the story talk for itself.

  6. Andrew James


    the second prequel...

    Middle Earth. The Abba Years.

    Sing along fun for everyone*

    1. Allan George Dyer


      I'm trying to fit "Dol Guldor" into the rhythm of "Waterloo".

      You might have permanently damaged my brain!

  7. fishman

    Sounds good to me

    I like the idea of ten foot tall blue women in thongs in the middle earth. Sounds like a great movie.

  8. Marky W

    A solution

    Do not go and see it.

    This has the twin benefits of leaving you happier and sparing the rest of us from your pointless moaning.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      you cant use a smilie for a title???

      plus its not peter jackson this time. its G del Toro. he is a superb craftsman. just look at some of his spanish work. if yuou havent seen pan's labyrinth i suggest you do.

      i will see them. i loved the hobbit as a kid and would like to visualize it. plus GDT has one hell of an imagination so im guessing it might be a little darker than anything jackson could stump up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Trouble is

        The Hobbit is/was a story for the kiddies.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Someone out there is offended by the truth, that the Hobbit is a really very good (more typical of pre-war 20th century standards in general) bedtime story for children? Brilliant in your teens with an eighth or two of black, or a little older and you're in Led Zep and it's about 1970. But it is a story for the little'uns (specifically, of course, Tolkien's little'uns).

    2. peyton?

      We'll stop our pointless moaning

      When you lot stop going on and on about how closely it follows the original story. Very misleading of you.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    I think an original story would be terrific, especially if it incorporated everything we love about Hollywood. You know perhaps, and this is just an idea so don't shoot it down, they could turn The Hobbit into a romantic comedy, involving some cute tale about children and how we should all get along.

    There's nothing I love more than being told by the film industry of a country that killed and maimed millions of people on a whim across two continents that we should "think of the children" and how much better the world would be if we treated everyone else with respect.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Really?

      Oh shush, you big pompous ass.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Wait, what?

      Millions? Did I miss something somewhere?

      That whole post was a train wreck, start to finish. Maybe AC couldn't find a youtube video to comment on, and El Reg was the fallback position.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        RE: Wait, what?

        "Millions? Did I miss something somewhere?"

        Yep. The US have constantly been at war since 1953.

        They were the ones who sold the chemical weapons to Saddam which he used on the Kurds. They even sent him advisors to tell him the best way to use the weapons.

        (Of course, they also sent weapons to the Iranians at the same time, cos selling weapons to both sides maximises profits!)

        The Iran/Iraq war was made much worse by the US and resulted in thousands of civilian deaths.

        Of course, that's just one example. Napalming Vietnamese vilages would be another. Spreading depleted uranium around the Balkans will probably have repercussions for the health of the locals in years to come... need I go on?

        1. No, I will not fix your computer

          Re: RE: Wait, what?

          While you are accurate in your assessment of the USA being war proffiteers in the worst possible way, the way that you segway'd it into this thread makes you look like a bit of a cock.

          (Oh, to answer your question "need I go on?" no, please don't, not here at least, save it for when it's in context, you're the kind of arse I get stuck next to on a 5 hour plane journey)

    3. Andy 4

      Really really?

      Thanks, I just regurgitated my evening meal.

  10. Graham Bartlett

    Meddling is good, new story is (probably) bad

    Nothing too wrong with what Jackson did to LotR, with the exception of Denethor (B-movie weak villain) and Gimli (comedy relief). Most other stuff was an improvement on Tolkien, who was great at dreaming up worlds but frankly sucked at characters and dialogue.

    But a new story? Surely the whole point of the start of LotR is that not much of significance has happened in the meantime. There's Gondor's continuing campaign against the orcs, of course, but that's just battle after battle with no conclusion. And Sauron's rebuilding of Mordor is LotR territory.

    The only possible book-based scenario is the Necromancer (aka Sauron) being driven out of his stronghold. At the end of The Hobbit, it's a kind of "and in other news" item for where Gandalf has been between leaving the dwarfs at Mirkwood and coming back for the siege. IIRC, it's supposed to be the combined forces of elves and men driving him out of his stronghold, but LotR says that this was a tactical withdrawal to where he actually wanted to be, i.e. Mordor. The trouble here is that we already know what happens next, so it's not exactly a compelling story.

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I think somebody should write...

    "LOTR - the 10th age".

    This will be where there are CCTV cameras on the corners of every shire town to prevent hobbits in hoodies mugging al insundry (but failing due to no budget to staff the monitoring centres) and where the atmosphere is more fucked up than that already surrounding Mordor.

    Would be a bit of a surprise commuting to Rivendell in your high speed train only to find congestion caused by a dragon or a troll on the line.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Naming suggestions for the "original story"

    "Frodo Baggins--The Early Years"

    "My Precious--based on the memoir "Fish" by Smeagol"

    "Separating an Audience From Their Gold While Separating "The Hobbit" From "Lord of the Rings"

    "60 Years Before the Mast(erpiece)"

  13. Anthony Hulse

    Introducing new characters...

    Xena and Hercules. Yeah, sounds great that....

  14. Dan Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    New Story?

    It's not new, it's not entirely made up, it's not the equivalent of the star wars prequels etc. All the material exists in printed form in either the 12 strong "History of Middle Earth" series of books that Christoper Tolkien edited, or Unfinished Tales etc. That which is not already extant in story form, is already part of the canon in reference form, either in timelines or other "reference" forms.

    It'll be no different to the existing trilogy, by which I mean it might not be "pure", but the tonal quality should be enough. Anyone that wants "pure" won't like the film trilogy as it stands, so why please them for these films, they'll already be predisposed to hate them.

    Let's have it, I say, I want to see the Council of the White, and the removal of Sauron from Dol Guldor. I don't care if they are not in the Hobbit book, I know they "happened", and that there is plenty of information kicking around on what happened during the events to make a good stab at filming it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Being who what is left after LOTR and The Hobbit appeals to. A bit like JRR himself, actually. An anorak who synchronised with the majority - spectacularly, it must be said! - briefly, then went back to his ivory tower.

  15. hugo tyson

    @AC: If we just had a proper, faithful adaptation of LotR and The Hobbit, that'd be grand.

    ...and it'd be about 50 hours long... you'd need dwarf bread...

    Now, a faithful screen adaptation of *Bored* of the Rings, that I would pay to watch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Bored of the Rings: Yes Please!

      Also anything by Tom Holt would be good, but especially The Portable Door.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better get McKellen's scenes done early...

    ...or have a good CGI backup available. They did it for the fun-loving, well-lubricated Oliver Reed in "Gladiator". They may find themselves having to do it for the increasingly geriatric McKellen.

  17. Circadian

    Lord of the Rings - the MMO

    OK, this is an advert for someone else's site, but Shamus Young is doing a series of comics about LotR the MMO. Well, it makes me laugh ;-)

    (Best to start from episode one at the bottom of the page.)

    And for those who know that they will never, ever, EVAR, watch the LotR films again, the same guy spliced another comic together from the movies as if it was a bunch of guys roleplaying the plot.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Thanks for pointing that out

      I've read DM of the Rings and really enjoyed it, but I had no idea he was doing this MMO one. It's great.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Huge Tolkein Fan

    I'm a huge Tolkein fan and I found the LotR movies to be very good really. I thought his playing with the structure of the books worked very well - other than making the last movie far too long. For example, dropping the old forest, barrow downs and Tom Bombadil was generally a good thing (doesn't really drive the story). Also things like the warg attack on route from Edoras to Helm's Deep was reasonably well done. Most of the best dialogue in the film was lifted straight from the books (for example, in Moria: "Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise can not see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill…")

    The Hobbit worries me a little because the story is nowhere near as compelling as the LotR story. Nevertheless, it will probably hold up. The original story thing is much more of a concern - but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. However, I personally wish they had ended Return of the King at the point at which the King returned. Then they could have done the Scouring of the Shire as an additional film instead of making stuff up for a 5th film. Oh well...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Huge Tolkein Fan

      "The Hobbit worries me a little because the story is nowhere near as compelling as the LotR story"

      You're kidding, right? I first read the hobbit when I was 8 or 9 and immediately went on to read LoTR.

      I'll tell you which one I liked the best - the Hobbit.

      I've re-read them both in the intervening years (several times) and I still think the Hobbit is better. Tolkien's prose is rotten in both and he sometimes goes on and on about trivialities for page after page. The Hobbit isn't as bad as the LoTR in this respect.

      ...and it's got a dragon!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Bunch of incurable sad little geeks

    ... so predictable - typical 'stupid lotr geek' response, that Peter Jackson 'ruined' LOTR in the movies.

    Look, stupids, there's NO way of directly interpreting such a huge tome in a series of movies unless you make 90 hours worth, instead of 9.

    Go have a little sit down, take a few deep breaths and think about how you would interpret the books, with the same passion, depth and management Jackson managed to do, in the medium of film.

    Hopefully, sanity will return and you'll realise the two mediums - written works and film - are very different beasts.

    Perhaps sanity won't return and you'll keep waving your fists about like a twat.

    Perhaps the proposed 'Original Story' will be a bunch of total Hollywood pants, then again, perhaps Jackson will borrow from 'Farmer Giles of Ham' or 'The Silmarillion'

    Perhaps Jackson will consult Christopher Tolkien in the creation of this original tale.

    Just be positive - if you didn't like Jacksons LOTR movies, your obviously a bottle short of a party or an incurable loser - or worse still, someone who struggles to tie shoelaces and drools a lot, but has a degree in nuclear physics. (and owns lots of strange shaped dice)

  20. mafoo
    IT Angle

    IT angle?

    Maybe... Hobb-IT?

    I'll get my coat.

  21. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Musical Theatre?

    Just as long as Leonard Nimoy won't be singing in it.

    PH because shes got dirty hobbits.

  22. Jolyon Smith

    Get the facts right - Yes, 2 movies, but NO original "bridging" story

    That was the original thinking back when they didn't have concrete script ideas, but some time ago Peter Jackson said that once they started working on the script they realised they had more than enough material to make two movies from The Hobbit, without needing to invent anything.

    They may embellish a little, expanding on things that are only alluded to in The Hobbit narrative itself, working in some of Tolkien's extensive notes and background material, in much the same way that they did with Lord of the Rings and material contained only in the appendices.

  23. Stuart Duel
    Thumb Up

    Can't wait!

    And as for an 'original story' being penned for the second movie, I imagine this will be appropriately and sympathetically pieced together from all the untouched and barely touched upon material in The LoTR books and appendices and any relevant cross referenced bits which appear, are mentioned, touched upon and/or alluded to which also appear in some form in the other books for which Jackson doesn't have the rights to (i.e. The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales).

    I've read both The Hobbit and LoTR several times each, and I agree that some important sections were left out of the movies, abridged or altered and transferred to other characters to maintain important content, spoken lines and concepts, fit with a movie timeline (and time limit) - I was desperately disappointed that "The scouring of the Shire" was completely butchered and lost forever. I understand in movie making, sacrifices have to be made.

    Where will the first movie break, and what will the second movie comprise of? We shall see, but I have confidence that Peter Jackson will get it mostly right and honour JRR Tolkien's magnificent work.

  24. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Up

    Oh calm down! These are the movie versions

    ...not the books. No one is rewriting history here. There are people (like me ) who love the movie versions but have no interest in the books. There is nothing wrong with adding more to the movie versions.

    Also, it's not out of Hollywood really, is it? It's out of Wellington, NZ.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Guillermo del Toro, good? perhaps bad

    Allow me to explain, I think Guillermo del Toro is a brilliant director, Pan's was a superb movie rich in colour and played out beautifully. I am just wary of the crossover; it’s been tried before with famous cult directors being roped in to do a Hollywood movie and it becomes more art than entertainment.

    Its difficult to be critical of an arty movie though because they push boundaries and whilst on some level you enjoy them and they have cult appeal for a number of arty fantasists but lets face it this needs to be entertaining not arty.


  26. Graham Bartlett

    GdT good!

    Check out both Hellboy films. They're a lesson for all of Hollywood in how to make a blockbuster movie with believable characters, good acting, good plots, good dialogue, and plenty of stuff blowing up. Michael Bay should be strapped down and forced to watch them on repeat play, until either he figures out how to do it right, or realises he sucks and should quit.

  27. Barracoder

    Following the book closely

    Well I for one hope they don't insist on having "Hey fiddledy dee, twelve dwarves in a tree!" moments every f****g chapter. Somehow, the sight of orcs singing might just put me off the whole thing. Ditto for singing to distract spiders, elves singing to welcome you to Rivendell, forest elves singing when throwing barrels around and dwarves singing at any time. In fact, the complete removal of all songs from the story would suit me just fine.

    There's a reason why they pay someone to adapt the book for the screen so could all of you pedants please just shut up and let the rest of us enjoy the bloody thing?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    potter rules

    I was in the hills in north wales the other week and can just imagine how Tolkien adapted a days hiking into a massive overlong 'epic' snorefest.

    If I remember right The Hobbit is also full of stuff like the journey through the 'windy woods or the dodgy mountains' .

    hope I dont get a fatwa off the crazed Tolkien mob......

  29. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Simply Connect,....

    Prequels, Sarah Bee's moderation, Book-to-Movie adaptions, Taxes.

    Give up? They are alll in-evitabilities that comes with some visible drawbacks but far more benefits in the end.

    I for one am dreading the "hey, look at us, aren't we still so amazing / edgy / world-beating?" tripe that NZ as a nation will trot out to accompany these movies. PJ seems a cool guy, who doesn't buy too much into the hype but the kiwi media and joe public get a little carried away with all this attention.

  30. Triggerfish


    Ta for that.

    Not seen before. :D

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