Though many fans are still getting over the CG disappointment that was the Hobbit Trilogy, a recent announcement concerning the BluRay/ DVD release might just bring some back into the fold. The extended version of the epic finale, will include a R rated version of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.
Top Trumps is a game that celebrates the versatility of fandom.
Almost exactly a year since the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the follow-up is set to debut. Once again directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug picks up immediately after its predecessor, continuing the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who reluctantly teams up with a group of Dwarves and the great wizard Gandalf to retrieve their gold from the vicious dragon Smaug.
The majority of the cast from the first film returns, Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Ian McKellen (X-Men), and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) to name a few, but the more exciting news is the additions to the cast that include Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, Sherlock), returning LOTR’s star Orlando Bloom, and Fast & Furious 6 villain Luke Evans. The trailer’s a bit long, coming in around 3 minutes, but it does a pretty stellar job of showcasing the scale of this film. While I wasn’t that excited before, this trailer’s finally convinced me. Check it out:
This trailer is pretty awesome, but what scares me is the trailer for the first Hobbit was pretty damn good too. Going into that knowing this series was set up for a trilogy, I found I was able to simply enjoy it and have fun, without looking for an actually fulfilling story. That worked cause it was simply setting up the characters, but at the same time, it led on that it’d be this epic journey, when in actuality it was a small adventure. This again looks to be an epic journey, and hopefully it can skip the exposition of teaching us the characters, and move past seceding the story to preserve for the third film. Also, the addition of Cumberbatch is always welcomed. Even in voice alone, he is a force to reckon with, and makes me that much more excited for the film.
Lastly, it’ll be interesting to see the ticket sales this time around for the HFR (48 Frames per a second) because last year people were selecting to see it that way to check out this “new form of cinema”, but this time they most likely have an opinion on it (and most likely negative). To me, I didn’t mind it too much, I thought the scenes of character’s faces and of the landscape were beautiful, but the special effects stood out like a sour thumb, and the majority of people I’ve talked to really disliked it.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due out December 13th.
As CBS will tell you themselves, quite often and with a bit of smugness, they are “America’s Most Watched Network”. I struggle to see how that is possible given that all their shows seem to be the same – either a predictable crime procedural or a predictable sitcom – but apparently people like predictability because CBS sits on top of ratings and has done so for years. They have a lot of pilots in production, a lot is typical CBS fare (I wonder if Chuck Lorre has naked pictures of Les Moonves somewhere, or he’s just made a deal with the devil that somehow the free world will love his crappy shows) but there are a few that look to be somewhat promising.
I’m choosing to believe that this one will be better than the typical crime procedural. I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I am. After NBC decided not to go forward with a Dwight centered spin-off of The Office, Rainn Wilson has found himself on CBS playing an “overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior.”
Based on a Swedish series of crime novels, THR has said that the show would take place in Portland which will be interesting to see if they make the city a character itself. Hart Hanson, creator of Bones, is behind this project which is promising. No matter how crappy Bones has become, it started off quite strong and was also based on a series of novels so he’s in familiar territory. Not only that but any show that has Dennis Haysbert is one I will watch.
[tab title=”Super Clyde & Unnamed project”]
If you aren’t watching Raising Hope on Fox, well then you need to remedy that, immediately. Greg Garcia’s show about a man who finds himself a single dad raising his daughter while living with his parents is easily one of my favorites. Add in My Name is Earl and Yes, Dear and it’s safe to say I’m a Greg Garcia fan. So you can only imagine my excitement when I saw he was developing not one, but two pilots this year. They both have potential and some pretty big names attached.
The premise of the unnamed project looks to have similar plot points as Garcia’s Raising Hope given that it’s a grown man living with his parents. This time, however, it’s Margo Martindale (who is perhaps one of the greatest character actresses ever) moving in with her recently divorced son, Will Arnett while her husband, Beau Bridges, moves in with their daughter Mary Elizabeth Ellis who you probably know as the Waitress from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Add in Michael Rapaport and this is a great looking cast.
One has to imagine that Will Arnett is primed to have a commercially successful show. We all know that Arrested Development is a genius show, but his 2010 sitcom, Running Wilde, was also really good but sadly was canceled after one season. Up All Night had potential but has crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. Is this Will Arnett’s time? We’ll have to wait and see.
If Super Clyde doesn’t get picked up and CBS instead opts for another mindless crappy formulaic sitcom, I might cry. I have a feeling I’ll be joined by quite a few Anglophiles and Potterheads.
Ron Weasley is possibly coming to TV and I couldn’t be happier. Rupert Grint stars in the title role of Garcia’s Super Clyde playing the fast-food worker who decides to become a superhero. Everything in that sentence sounds awesome. If I needed more reason to want this show to make it to air, I’d find it in Stephen Fry. Yes, Stephen Fry. That Stephen Fry.
This show is a fangirl’s dream come true!
[/tab][tab title=”Second Sight”]
Speaking of My Name is Earl and all things Britain, Jason Lee is returning to network TV in a remake of the British crime drama, Second Sight.
I’ll admit that I really didn’t think anything of this pilot until I saw the logline.
[quote]Based on the British crime drama, the gothic psychological thriller follows a detective who is suddenly afflicted with an autoimmune virus that causes him to hallucinate about subjects in his subconscious. He soon learns that catching killers depends as much on insight as eyesight.[/quote]
I have not seen any of the British version so I can’t attest to how successful this premise is, but it certainly sounds different and promising. Perhaps a bit of Medium mixed with Ghost Whisperer with a bit of Memphis Beat added in for good measure. Set in New Orleans, much like Backstrom I imagine the city will be a star as well.
Michael Cuesta is behind Second Sight and if his work on the re-imagining of the Israeli show Hatufim (Cuesta is an executive producer of Homeland) is any indication, the production value of Second Sight should be rather high. He’s also worked on this little show called Dexter that has a few fans so he’s no stranger to big shows.
[tab title=”The Surgeon General”]
Lie to Me, Awake, Commander-in-Chief, Lord of the Rings, Ringer
That’s just some of the shows and movies people involved both in front of and behind the camera of The Surgeon General have on their resumes. Given how much I like each of those shows and movies, I imagine that my knowledge of the Surgeon General is going to go beyond this episode of West Wing.
We have to hand it to Jason Issacs who resisted the urge to burn NBC to the ground after his show Awake was canceled. I don’t think anyone would have blamed him as it was as close to a crime as you can get without actually committing a crime. Now he’s moved on over to CBS and is in the lead role as the top doctor in the country, the Surgeon General. His chief of staff is being played by one of my favorites, Kathryn Morris. She’s done a few things here or there but has mostly been unheard of since her show Cold Case went off the air in 2010.
Both Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings obviously) and Mike Colter (Ringer) are listed as doctors but their roles aren’t any more specified than that.
From Samuel Baum, who created Lie to Me, The Surgeon General looks to be like most other political shows but instead of the President, it’s the Surgeon General. Will this be enough to make it seem like a fresh and unique show? Well Rod Lurie is directing that pilot and he did a pretty nice job making a show about the President seem new when he was an executive producer of the canceled before it’s time, Commander in Chief, so chances are good.
[tab title=”The Crazy Ones”]
BUFFY IS BACK!!!!!
Okay, well sort of. Sarah Michelle Gellar is back at least. After spending a year over at CW with Ringer (a show people should have stuck with as it got much better as it went on), Gellar is teaming up with a little known actor/comedian named Robin Williams for a workplace comedy about a father/daughter run ad agency.
If Gellar and Williams weren’t enough to pique your interest (seriously?) then some of the other cast will. Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of Old Christine) will play the agency’s art director and James Wolk (Political Animals) has signed on as a copywriter.
Of course having big on-screen names is great, but having TV royalty behind the scenes is even greater. David E. Kelley might not have hit gold with Harry’s Law but one has to imagine that Crazy Ones will find an audience pretty quickly, even if they are people who are just looking to finally have something to fill that Just Shoot Me! void in their lives.
So there we go! A somewhat varied group of prospects that hopefully will see the light of day. If for no other reason than perhaps we can see something else besides Big Bang Theory and NCIS promos on the network. That would be a refreshing change.
Update: As series orders roll in, see how I did across the board!
FOX and The CW
I’m sort of looking forwards to The Hobbit films – I’m not quite sure how it’s going to cope with being three films, but I liked The Lord of The Ring enough (and Peter Jacksons other stuff) to hold off on judgement until they are released.
And now we have some pictures! These are going to be published in a 2013 annual for the first film but they’ve already leaked out (messy) via Uproxx.
There are 13 dwarves in all and I’ve no idea what most of them are called. I do know that the lead dwarf is Thorin Oakenshield – played by Richard Armitage – seen her with Aidan Turner as Kili (the pretty dwarf) and…some other dwarf.
Here is Aidan Turner again looking all mean, moody and, dare I say, sexy. Surely dwarves should not look this hot.
Two more dwarves. I’m pretty sure the one on the right is Scottish actor Ken Stott, so that would make it Balin.
And here are three more battle ready dwarves (Happy, Bashful and Doc…maybe?)
They all look great but what we all want to see is Lee Pace as Elvenking Thranduil ( Legolas’ Dad). And here he is in all his camp, elvish glory.
Is that not the most fabulous crown you ever did? Coupled with the finest eyebrows in all of Middle Earth. No wonder he’s king.
So, anywho, the first film The Unexpected Journey is out in early December.
You know how when you watch your favorite TV show you only see the actors, celebrities, or contestants’ faces the entire time and you can usually rattle off their names without a sweat? Now try watching all of the credits and recognizing any of those names. Can you do it? Probably not.
For many TV viewers, terms like “boom operator” and “gaffer” are foreign lingo (and when I say “gaffer,” I don’t mean Samwise Gamgee’s papa in The Lord of the Rings). Usually, the people’s names that show up next to these titles receive the same treatment, automatically being disregarded as unimportant and too obscure to be worthy of note. However, it’s people just like boom operators and gaffers that make your favorite shows possible.
This weekend I had the opportunity of being a production assistant for season 12 of American Idol, and I can now officially say I know what it’s like to be one of those workers whose name will not be remembered by anyone watching the show, yet the bus crew who stopped to audition local talent would not have been able to get through the weekend without me. And that is literally the most humble way I can explain the importance of mere “no-namers” in TV production and all that they do.
For example, the first thing I did on Friday was chauffeur several of the Idol crew to the audition location so we could scout out the best areas to park the tour bus and set up the audition tents and tables. I also was in charge of driving the crew back to their hotel every day, toting them around town to run errands, and picking up meals. Normally, driving does not seem like a large task; anyone could do that, right? Wrong.
When you’re an assistant, you are not always just driving yourself. You drive any crew members around and suddenly their lives are in your hands. This is a particularly scary thought at 5 a.m. the next morning when it’s still dark out and you’ve had four hours of sleep and are hopped up on coffee. You pray to the Lord that you won’t drift across lanes, hit a deer, or, worse yet, fall asleep at the wheel. Suddenly I realized why they’d asked for a copy of my official driving record!
Also, can you picture Ryan Seacrest or Simon Cowell running out to get their own lunches when they also have to be getting to hair and makeup in preparation for filming in the evening? Don’t try to picture it because it rarely — if ever — happens. The same situation was true with the tour crew, as well. They were more directly involved with the food selection than they might have been in-studio, but I was the one who ultimately went and picked up the food, paid the restaurant with production money, and made sure to get a receipt so the production manager could claim it as a company expense. You simply can’t have a hungry, grouchy crew or cast on your hands if you hope to get anything filmed every day.
Though most people don’t want to deal with paperwork, this is one of the final and most important elements that goes on behind-the-scenes of TV shows. Thousands of sheets of paper for employees are processed so that they can get paid properly, yet you never see any of these sheets. That’s because it’s the job of assistants, the legal department, and human resources. I, too, had to take care of making sure all the paperwork was properly signed by the other temporary production assistants hired to work this past weekend. Had I not done so, one of my friends would have missed a good chunk of money due him because he did not sign in three different, required places. Imagine how many other people in the industry miss signing and how some worker in the TV company has to catch each error, yet you may never know his or her name.
I haven’t even covered the jobs the other production assistants did, like line control and monitoring, registration table, paperwork for the “winner’s circle,” and more. What you need to remember is anyone who works behind the scenes of a TV show clearly has a purpose, no matter how insignificant it may seem. So the next time your favorite show is on, do the boom operators and gaffers a favor by acknowledging first their existence and second their efforts. Should you ever have an opportunity like mine or theirs, I can assure you that you will appreciate all the positive attention and “thank you’s” that you get.
* All pictures in this story are copyright Woman Friday (Bree Brouwer), with the exception of the header and one indicated photo which are owned by Paragon Videography.
A couple of years ago, some of you may remember that in a startlingly logical move, a studio decided to adapt and release The Lord Of The Rings as a trilogy of films, each as its own movie telling the story originally told in three parts in the novel. After those movies went on to make millions and millions of dollars at the box office, studios were looking to fast track the obvious follow-up to LOTR, which was Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The main difference between the two, being that The Hobbit was a significantly shorter, simpler, and far less densely written story, that was originally written as a children’s book. And then it got shelved, re-planned, re-thought out, and finally years later picked back up again by Peter Jackson, who now, along with the money-grubbing studios that want another million dollar trilogy, is adapting The Hobbit into a movie of its own. Three of them, to be exact, as stated on Peter Jackson’s Facebook. Via [Chicago Tribune]
“We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance,” Jackson wrote.
“So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of ‘The Hobbit’ films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.”
Now while I’m not directly against an adaptation of The Hobbit itself, because it’s an amazing story, It is decidedly NOT enough story to adapt into 2 movies, and streeeettching it into 3 is downright frivolous. It’s a pretty straightforward story. Hobbit joins up with dwarves for adventure. They fight trolls and spiders. They try to steal a dragons treasure. Dragon gets mad. They war against the dragon. War ends. The END. It’s enough story to make a really badass 3 hour movie, with each act reflecting each part of the book. But since making money is paramount over making concise, unbloated, well paced adaptations, we’re going to get 2 unnecessary sequels so as much money as possible can be dragged out of our wallets as we’re forced to pay $16 dollars three times over the course of three years (at least!) , to see it in special LieMax 48fps 3D Digitial Surround sound with bonus cups and collectible glasses! Don’t forget the final showing of the third movie in 2014! Where you can buy a $50 dollar ticket to see all three in one sitting for 12 straight hours, and afterward you can go home and hang yourself because you’ve finally seen Peter Jackson’s ONE TRUE VISION brought to the silver screen.
So yeah. Not a fan of this being split up I guess, is what I’m saying.
Toy Fair 2012 wraps up today in the city that never sleeps and from action figures to high-tech toys to creepy Barbies that take photos and then display them on their stomach there’s something for everyone.
LEGO’s ninja-themed playset NINJAGO Fire Temple was good enough to win Activity Toy of the Year award but makes me glad I don’t have kids yet when I see the $120 price tag. Yikes!
Perhaps one of the weirdest/coolest/most useless items available this year is the opportunity to pre-order an authentic replica Back to the Future hover board! It does disclaim actual hovering but does allow you to release your inner Marty McFly for what is still an undisclosed price until early March.
Film Drunk dropped this still from Prometheus featuring Noomi Rapace gazing awestruck at something out of frame, which is interesting considering the most intriguing part of the photo is the pair of space jockeys behind her:
While the mysterious aliens and the tunnel surrounding them recapture H.R. Giger’s iconic style from the original Alien series, Rapace’s spacesuit looks wildly out of place in the gloomy environment. It could just be my obsessive love for Mass Effect talking, but I think the outfit’s looking very much like something Cerberus might design.
Update: Cinema Blend now reports that actress Kate Dickie supposedly spilled some mildly spoilerish plot details in a UK Tabloid, but as they mention, those types of magazines aren’t exactly the picture of accuracy. Keep that in mind while you read on, but remember there are potential spoilers:
After hearing all of the worrying issues that caused Guillermo del Toro to leave the director’s chair in pursuit of other projects, and the long period of relative silence from production, it’s a relief to find some footage of Peter Jackson’s upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit today, in the form of a gorgeous trailer courtesy Collider.
Kind of nostalgic, isn’t it? It’s really nice to see that budget problems and creative changes don’t appear to have affected Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Middle Earth at all, and it’s a little embarrassing to admit how happy I am to be back in Bag End, and to see some old faces once again.
In addition to the trailer above, Collider also included a beautiful poster, along with the movie’s official synopsis:
“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
The trailer is vague, but if you’ve read the book you’ll know that things look as dedicated and faithful to the source material as all of the Lord of the Rings films before it. Of course, they’ve kept Smaug and the other creatures out of sight for the time being, which is a maddening tease, particularly after reading the massive feature on del Toro that was written in the New Yorker back in February. The interview, in addition to delving into the filmmaker’s fascinating story and older work, eventually went on to describe in detail some of the amazing designs del Toro has come up with for his fantastical creatures, including The Hobbit‘s iconic dragon:
“Smaug’s body, as del Toro had imagined it, was unusually long and thin. The bones of its wings were articulated on the dorsal side, giving the creature a slithery softness across its belly. “It’s a little bit more like a snake,” he said.
Smaug’s front legs looked disproportionately small, like those of a T. Rex. This would allow the dragon to assume a different aspect in closeup; the camera could capture ‘hand’ gestures and facial expressions in one tight frame, avoiding the quivery distractions of wins and tail […] Smaug’s eyes, del Toro added, were “going to be sculpturally very hidden.” This would create a sense of drama when the thieving Bilbo stirs the beast from slumber.”
There’s a lot more about Smaug’s description and concept in the full article, and all of it sounds awesome (The article is a must-read). Obviously the dragon might not feature at all in the upcoming movie, as An Unexpected Journey is only the first half of the story, but it’s a safe bet that del Toro would pour that same dedication and creativity into all of Middle Earth’s inhabitants, and I desperately hope that Peter Jackson is incorporating as much of his designs as possible into the final film.
I’m really excited for The Hobbit films, if you can’t tell. The trilogy is arguably the largest cinematic event of our generation, but even on top of that, I always felt the Hobbit was the best of the novels. The potential for these final Tolkien adaptations is paralleled only by our expectations of them – it’s a lot to overcome, but Jackson has proved before he doesn’t shy away from huge undertakings. 2012 can’t come fast enough.