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I've heard they are going to turn it into a two-parter and we have must guess where they will split it. I'm currently trying to decide if it will be:

(1)When Bilbo is dropped in the tunnel and knocked unconscious while the company is running away from the Orcs. And then will continue when he comes to himself and finds the Ring.

(2) When he escapes through the Orcs' back door and loses his buttons and finds he is all alone on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains.

(3) When Gandalf leaves for Dol Guldur and they are getting ready to enter Mirkwood.

The latter seems most plausible to me, but it all depends on how much of the history they tell prior to Bilbo's unexpected tea party and into which half the place the White Council's Dol Guldur Expedition. What do you think?
You are right, Grondy. The first movie might leave off almost anywhere deemed midplot to a story which has more in it than the main plotline of The Hobbit.

For myself, I think a good place to stop would be "Barrels Out of Bond," that is, if this is even included. After all, the longest chapter in the book is "Flies and Spiders." But most of the action in that chapter is in the last part when Bilbo and the dwarves battle the spiders and afterward discover Thorin missing. I rather think that hopefully we shall see the inside of the Elvenking's caves. Maybe we will even see Legolas--looking (how shall we say?) younger, if that's possible for an elf. So if the story goes that far, I think a good point to stop would be when Bilbo finds the means of escape, the dwarves are packed in barrels, and they are all flung into the Forest River. We might even follow them out (during end-credits) to where they are lashed together, and maybe even to the bay of Laketown.

In other words, the first movie would be concerned with getting from Hobbiton to within hailing distance of the Mountain. The second movie would be concerned with immediate preparations to arrive at the Mountain, what happened there, and what happened as a result. The climax, as in the book, would be the Battle of the Five Armies. But of course, even if this sounds logical to others here, it will not necessarily be the "logic" chosen by the movies' producers and directors. Still, with the penchant movie-makers have for depicting war and the more gruesome side of Tolkien's subcreation, I suspect this division might offer some possibilities.

Gandalf
Ian McKellen, who will be donning Gandalf's gray robes in the upcoming Hobbit movies, says he's finally read the script for the films.

You can read more about it over at SCI FI Wire.
Heres a few tidbits about the movie straight from the horses mouth as it were.

Concerning any delays...

Well, it's not really been delayed, because we've never announced the date. I mean it's sort of interesting because the studio [MGM] has never greenlit The Hobbit, so therefore The Hobbit has never been officially announced as a 'go' project, nor have we ever announced a date. But there's so much interest that people — newspapers and magazines, of their own account, say, ah, it's likely to film in May, it's likely to film in June, it's likely to film in September. People make this stuff up. And then if it's not filming in June, you get a story saying, "The Hobbit's been delayed." But it's never actually been announced.

Concerning returning actors....

We haven't signed any actors up yet, because we couldn't do that until they greenlight the movie. But I would imagine that if we get a green light within the next month or two, we would be hopefully making some casting announcements by, I guess, the middle of the year. We've done a little bit of auditioning, but we haven't really done any meetings with actors or anything yet. We've just been totally committed to the scripts. Everything's a little bit later than what people assume it is. I think people think we've been sort of doing secret casting
I mean, any character that's returning from The Lord of the Rings, we obviously would love the same actors to play. But even those actors haven't been approached yet, or there [haven't] been any deals done. And the studio wouldn't organically do any of that until they've greenlit the film.


And finally, concerning shooting........

We've just delivered the script. Literally last week, we delivered the second of the two screenplays—the first draft. So the studio's got both scripts now, which is a milestone; and if anything was holding it up, it was us doing the screenplays, because we'd just been writing as fast as we can, but it took us this long to get them finished. So we take whatever responsibility there is for the speed. And we're now in the process of budgeting the films, and then hopefully we'll get to a budget the studio [people] are happy with, and they'll greenlight the movies and we'll announce the shooting dates. I'd be pretty optimistic that we'll be shooting before the end of the year. I would imagine October, November, we'd be shooting by. I'm not announcing it, though.

So we're a while off yet but overall good news...it still all happening.
I just read that little thing on our homepage about making the Hobbit like Avatar... Made me shudder. MGM will be burned to the ground by angry Tolkien fans if that happens Smile Smilie
Well, it is not the place here, but just to make a starter: I think Avatar was not bad, but really they've spent fife times more money on commercial than on the movie and it was a waste...

If the Hobit is meant to be done the "Avatar-way" I will still watch it more times than I did Avatar (which was twice, because I did it once with my friends and once with my wife). Anyway, the LoTR style will be more appreciated where I am standing. Animation should support the real shots, not substitute.

I am proposing and "angry mob" movement of Tolkien fans against making the Hobbit look like a Futuristic Sci-Fi.
I liked avatar but not too sure about the hobbit being done in 3d, I feel it would lose some of its character.

Also, seems Del Toro isnt going to direct The Hobbit, but will finish off writing the script
http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2010/05/30/36920-guillermo-del-toro-departs-the-hobbit/
I was first quite shocked by this news, as I had grown used to the idea, and had been content with it since del Toro is a Tolkien fan himself.
All I can hope now is that the vacant position is filled by someone with real talent and a passion for Tolkien (though of course, the ultimate dream would be seeing PJ steering this ship again).
Any thoughts?
I thought that Jackson and Del Toro were doing it together, Fornad.

Would you be happy to wait 17 more years for this to be finished, or This.
I hope everyone who reads our Frontpage News item to which the above link points read all the way through, especially the last line. Elf Winking Smilie
I skimmed that, and believed it all. I read through it again, and I had missed out the Smaug bit. Then I went to the bottom of it.

Grondy!!! *Shakes Fist*
I was taking it seriously until the Smaug bit Smile Smilie You had me goin' Grondy!
Seems like all the in-house hollywood politics is going to kill these movies......
Two pieces of good news:

1. The genius who composed, orchestrated and conducted the soundtrack for the LotR films, Howard Shore, is going to do it again for the Hobbit.

And (even better, in my opinion):

2. Peter Jackson is now in talks to direct the Hobbit after del Toro's departure.
This is news Fornad because at Arwen-undomiel they are quite sure PJ is not directing.And Howard Shore is a genius right from titanic.did he also compose music for the LotR stage adaptation? but i will be glad if PJ directs.i want to see the dragon more than anything else.i read the book long back so i got very vague memories but there was a part when bilbo and the dwarves borrowed horses from someone but this person was secretly following them to check on his horses.it was very magical.the imagery stuck.and also the memory erasing river.it was insanely pictorial and other worldly for me.i love the book.
Well, that news from Arwen-Undomiel might be old - PJ was not going to direct the Hobbit, until del Toro left - and right now, accroding to various sources including theOneRing.net, Jackson is having talks with the producers and studio over whether he should step in or not.
I for one do not want PJ directing these movies. Yes, he did many epic things with LotR. But he also changed many things arbitrarily, as though he knew better than Tolkien. Very sorry, but having Gandalf the White's staff broken by the Witch King is not my idea of a good grasp of what Tolkien is all about. Let's have someone else, maybe the director of the Narnia movies?

Gandalf
You have a point yes but of i found PJs LotR much closer to the book than any of the Harry Potter movies.cinematically presenting i guess you need to make certain changes but distortion of facts is not right.i just hope whoever makes Hobbit does not chop out important stuff.
Because it's a reasonably short book I'd say it's likely they will make less changes.
Movies are just about making as much money as possible nowadays. Imho, the only possible way to try to stick as close to the source material as possible, is a mini-series. There is an upcoming one about Game of Thrones, for instance.

Many scenes of PJ's movies were close to the books in anything but tone and spirit. The only thing in the movies that felt really Tolkien were the beginning scenes in the Shire until the Long Expected Party, and the ending. Everything in between was highly erratic, to say the least.
I have been trying to add at least two new rumor articles about The Hobbit Movie every three days on our Front Page News List found on our home page. Usually by the next day the last rumor has been debunked. But with all the delays the bloggers have nothing else to add, but the current rumor.

If Peter Jackson and fellow conspirators can keep from making it into two Arwen/Aragorn love stories, he has enough material to flesh-out both movies. Okay he can have their meeting in the first movie and becoming serious in the second, as long as Bilbo's tale is told basically verbatim; and the hunt for Gollum is fleshed out a little more than is told in the books.

I think the split between the two movies could come either with Gandalf leaving Thorin's Company on the edge of Mirkwood, or possibly with the capture of the Company, sans Bilbo, by the Elfking's warriors. And the first movie ends with the gate to the Elfking's cavern come crashing closed in Bilbo's face, like happened to Sam at the end of LotR Book 4.

So some more news/rumours!

 

There was some work on extras in wellington this weekend http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4159006/If-you-re-tall-or-short-try-out-for-The-Hobbit

Though not being short enough I didn't get to go and play 

 

and this article this morning http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4169335/Jackson-fights-to-save-Hobbit about some union issues - though I'm not too sure exactly what's wrong, I'd assume people can sign either a union contract or an individual one depending on what they think is to their advantage 

Okay, so it's a bit better clarified in these articles, or I just didn't read it properly the first time! Contract workers can't have union representation, so are on individual contracts.

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4175633/Hobbit-producers-considering-other-options

 

and

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4172672/Urban-backs-unions-over-Hobbit

Yeah, which I must say is freaking ridiculous. I hate SAG with a furious passion. I think Team America did an excellent job of replacing SAG with FAG (film-actors guild). Whatever happened to actors wanting to act in a movie because they want to act? Not to mention please millions of fans. When did it all become solely about union contracts and money (I'm thinking mid-80s). UGH!! IT MAKES ME SICK!!!

Some more news!

Location still unsure, PJ says he will fight to keep it in NZ, and is blaming the unions for stuffing this up and the unions are saying that they are being made into the bad guys, when it's not their fault. Apparently there will be a meeting on Monday. Which is rather ironic with all the union trouble as that's labour day here in NZ.

Warner Bros  has confirmed that another location is a possibility http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/4261375/Studio-confirms-Hobbit-moves.

 

There was a march here in Wellington last week by technical workers and others and apparently they had a few angry words with some union members. http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4261379/Peter-Jackson-vows-to-keep-Hobbit-in-NZ

 

There are NZ wide rallies being organised via facebook for around next Wednesday, which is in support of the hobbit in general. Not sure if there are links from the PT facebook page. I would go to the one in Welly, but I'm at work in another suburb that day.

 

3D confirmed! Sad Smilie

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4241119/Jackson-to-direct-The-Hobbit-in-3-D

 

Casting news!

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4264520/Martin-Freeman-to-play-Bilbo-Baggins

 

Other interesting things- there was a bad fire at one of the miniatures studios that did LoTR a while ago. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4188825/Fire-damages-Wellington-movie-studio I actually lived about 3 minutes walk from here until a year ago, never knew it was there!

Correction! The rally is on Monday, so I can go Smile Smilie Is there anyone else here in Wellington?

Here are the details:

 

Time
Monday, October 25 · 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Location Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Matamata, Queenstown & anywhere else you are!
Created By
D. Mark Harrison
More Info RALLIES FOR ALL NEW ZEALANDERS, Industry & public on Labour Day Monday, 12.30-2pm!
 
Actual date, time and locations to be advised but likely the usual venues for mass rallies.
 
These POSITIVE rallies of support are timed to coincide with the visit of Warner Bros. movie executives to discuss moving The Hobbit away from NZ. We're going to show them that we like them, we want The Hobbit filmed here and we SUPPORT Sir Peter.
 
These rallies will also emphasize the points other groups like film techs intend to make in the national media to influence Warners.
 
They are NOT protests against certain groups. 
 
Rally locations will be announced shortly but will likely be the usual spots for such activities.
 
Invite ALL of your friends!!!
 
"Is the movie going to come or go? We don't know. Warners are coming here next Monday and we've got to fight like hell," 
Sir Peter Jackson.
 
Promoted by:
http://www.facebook.com/hobbitnz

Good luck 42, I'd go to the Auckland one but I'm having a few employment issues at the moment myself.

New Zealanders as a whole are furious with Helen Kelly, lets hope Sir Peter, along with the ralliers, can convince Warner Bros to change their minds!

It's official

Martain Freeman as Bilbo

Richard Armitage as Thorin

Thanks, 42 and Rho for the updates!

Good luck, 42, at the rally. Let's hope that everyone remembers the reason for the rally and impress Warner Brothers with their peaceful march for support.

Now that things are in motion, I can't wait until all those little spy photos and early teasers from the studio start appearing. Smile Smilie

Soon, my precioussssss, soon!

Freeman and Armitage are both pretty cool, so they have been cast well. But;

The Doctor has been cast as Radagast!

 

Click Here.

If the films are moved, it turns out that they might go to Scotland - suddenly the prospect of becoming an extra doesn't look too far away...

Check out the IMDB page for more confirmed actors...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/fullcredits#cast

A lot of those are currently rumored, but IMDB has a pretty good track record of the "rumored" names being fact.

I'm so happy this is finally going through!! Please don't suck, please don't suck, please don't suck...I mean, being a Tolkien fanboy, I KNOW I'll like it regardless, but Tolkien needs a good new film to revive his name in the mainstream. Can't wait for The Battle of Five Armies scene though...

hehe, Mark Hadlow will make a great Dori, he's a good little Kiwi actor

Wow, 42! The rally in NZ made the national news cast in  Canada. A lot of people! Did you get there?

Yes, I went to the wellington one with a friend who is an animator for Weta- it was great, sunny for a change, and we all got balloons cheeky People were dressed up as Gandalf, hobbits and other tolkienesque beings, there were some cool banners and one lady was walking around playing parts of the soundtrack on her violin. It was really fun! Quite serious too though - Richard Taylor (Weta) read out a speech on behalf of PJ and Fran, the Wellington mayor spoke, the NZ casting director and some other people also talked a bit. There were also lots of people who had written on their T-shirts what they did for LotR like sound, props etc saying how hard this would be if they had to try and find work overseas. I took some photos, but I'm not sure where I can put them without breaching the family friendly policy - though, if facebook is okay, is flickr??

The word now is that the studios are holding out for more monetary incentive to film in NZ, which is hard as our prime minister has already said we can't match overseas offers. So it looks like the union issue may have been an issue - but it's may not be the thing that sends the hobbit overseas. Fingers sooo freaking crossed now, we are meant to find out tomorrow sometime....

I mean, I live in America, a listed option for a filming location, and even I want it filmed in New Zealand!! (Though not gonna lie, it would be pretty amazing to be an extra) Maybe someone should start an international charity where every Tolkien fan donates just a few dollars to a "Film The Hobbit in NZ" fund. If everyone donates just $1 (or the equivalent to whatever your home country is)....the possibilities are limitless!!

Also, 42, that rally sounds amazing, exactly the sort of thing I'd be into. So jealous...

It's staying here!!! Just announced a few minutes ago. The premieres will be here too. So excited!

That's great that it's going to stay in NZ, I think we were all getting a bit worried there.

Also, as to casting, as well as the actors we already know about and who appeared in LOTR (Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving), there's a great link I've found which lists all the official  new actors - quite a lot of the dwarves have already been done, as well as Smaug.

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2010/10/21/39468-meet-your-hobbit-cast/

You know it's serious when the NZ Government changes laws to keep it here!!

Oh I hope it stays in NZ! I was planning on ruining a couple of feet of film by running into the shot with a finnish flag ^^

I hope to travel there soon Smile Smilie Mainly to listen to some fine music Smile Smilie

be sure to pop in for a cuppa on your way through Smile Smilie

And filming which was due to start in a week or two may be delayed due to Peter Jackson having a few health issues.....

 

<http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4589305/Peter-Jackson-stomach-ulcer-scare>

Thank you 42, I've added the story to the front page.

Ar-Edain, you make some brilliant points. It is a lot to think on. Being a writer myself I know I would feel ill if some was made into film and was nothing like I put into my body of work. I would be ill. So, well it is a tough thing really and I wish the Tolkien family always can make serious stops to anything that is not in keeping. I saw that when the Poirot movies were being made, Rosalyn, Agatha Christie's only child I believe, and her husband had a decision on who was chosen to play him. And they met with David Suchet and told him point blank what they expected of him portraying the Belgiun. Also they vetoes even the beloved Captain Hastings and Miss Lemon and Inspector Japp from appearing when they were not in the books. I like that.

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