The Hobbit Movie: Article and Documentary

Here   is the article. Below are the  two parts of the documentary, A Long Expected Autopsy and The Battle of the Five Studios. 

Much of what is covered in in this documentary has been  analyzed, discussed, complained about and defended when the films were released, such as the difficulty in transforming what is essentially a children’s book and turning it into a tonal match to LOTR. Still, as someone who was not a Tolkien fan and had no stake in the filming of The Hobbit, aside from Richard Armitage, I think the documentary maker echoed many of the criticisms I found in the trilogy. There are some good interviews ( especially with Guillermo Del Toro), scenes from the films ( including LOTR), behind the scenes Vlogs and even some of the snark which ( lots of Legolas bashing and Tauriel questions) are fun as well as illuminating.

Near the end of part 2, there’s a neat discussion about the structuring of the relationship between Thorin and Bilbo, how the two ending death scenes were perhaps, in the wrong order, and an homage to Baggenshield.

The documentary maker, Lindsay Ellis, knows LOTR well, is a prolific You Tuber offering criticism of genre movies, and has done her research.

The only real mention of Richard Armitage is subsumed in a statement that The Hobbit had a brilliant cast  ( aside from the returning cast fro LOTR)

Degrees of Separation: Ashley Judd as Tauriel?

I think it definite that many Richard Armitage fans have been following the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal if for no other reason, than because Berlin Station co-star, Ashley Judd, is one of Weinstein’s most vocal accusers. Circumstantial evidence supports Ashley Judd’s claims, and she was featured as one of the Silence Breakers  on the Time Person of the Year, cover for 2017.


Yesterday, the news became a little more personal for Peter Jackson fans, and by extension, many Richard Armitage fans. It started at about mid-morning yesterday – I found a link on  Servetus’s post.

In the wake of some specific statements that Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino and other Weinstein victims suffered real career damage through adverse action, director Peter Jackson conceded he blackballed Judd and Sorvino for roles in The Lord of the Rings, because Weinstein badmouthed them. Here. The Hollywood Reporter and Vulture have been updating their posts as responses and replies fly back and forth between Jackson and Weinstein. Mira Sorvino has tweeted about it.

It’s a fact that Peter Jackson pursued both actresses (perhaps with no specific role in mind). He says that he and Fran Walsh were very enthusiastic about Ashley Judd, but Weinstein warned him off.

Weinstein denies it, claiming inter alia that he didn’t have the power because,

“no one could have blacklisted or derailed the career of Ms. Sorvino, who had recently won both an Academy and a Golden Globe award and was being courted for leading roles by all seven studios and every major broadcast network,” and further claimed that Jackson was so “powerful” following the success of Rings that “he could have cast anyone he wanted in the Hobbit. Neither Ms. Judd nor Ms. Sorvino had roles in the film.”

The first part seems like a good argument, except Mira Sorvino won her awards in 2005, probably 5 years before Peter Jackson started casting for The Lord of the Rings and her career went basically nowhere. (Correction: Sorvino won an Oscar in 1995 as well as Golden Globe in 2005)

The second part is also ridiculous. It’s facetious, even.

As we know, there were no female characters in The Hobbit until Peter Jackson put one there. That would be Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly who was 33 at the time of casting, 2012.

In 2012, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino were 44 and 45 respectively. Thus, even if there were no blackball issue, Peter Jackson could not really have given either actress a key  part in The Hobbit because there was none.

Trust it that Harvey Weinstein, who sued Peter Jackson over profits from The Hobbit trilogy,  is well aware of the plot and characters. He would’ve followed entertainment news as part of his job and was likely aware of the controversy over the inclusion of Tauriel, a non-Tolkien character. When he issued the above statement, Weinstein knew that there were no female roles in The Hobbit for Judd or Sorvino and the suggestion 5 years later that one could have been offered, is false and facetious.

Like a lot of other crap out there, it doesn’t survive even a simple fact-check.
























 Weinstein replies

Pithy New Den of Geek #RichardArmitage Interview


Lots of new take-aways from this interview.

While the interview was a promo for Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde, the conversation touched a number of subjects and projects.

Of interest to me was the hint that Richard Armitage might have a substantial role in promoting Ocean’s 8 along with the all star female cast.It was also good to hear ( even if not completely true) that he has learned to enjoy the promotional aspects of a big film.


 I worked on Ocean’s 8 at the beginning of this year, which will be premiering in June next year, so I’ll be back in that cycle of a big movie junket. It’s interesting because you put as much effort in to working a film, as you do making a film and I used to really dislike that side of it, but I actually love it now, because the time when you actually get out and come face to face with the fans – sometimes with independent movies they go to festivals and they get a limited release and you don’t always get to sort of meet people and talk about the project as much, so in that respect I could talk about The Hobbit for the rest of my life because I had such a good time doing it.

Also, it looks as if Macbeth with Yaël Farber is no longer a consideration because of the swell of Macbeth productions, so, good news ( I think) they are back to considering something based on an ancient Greek play. While working with Farber again seems like a definite plan, details seem vague and unformed as yet.

Also the news that he was seriously up for a role in Peter Jackson’s  production of Mortal Engines.

  I was  very close to working with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh this year on Christian Rivers’ latest movie (Mortal Engines), but I couldn’t quite make it work, because of Berlin Station, but I know that I’ll work with them again in the future and I’ll be back in New Zealand at some point, so The Hobbit has left such a legacy with me, that it’s sort of a little beating heart that I’ll always be grateful for.

Unfortunately ( very) Berlin Station got in the way.

It seems like his Bridget Cleary project is still just a future dream. He also says he’ll be filming in Moscow, though I couldn’t figure out which project to which this referred.

I also wonder whether another Mike Bartlett piece might be in the works. By all accounts, it seems to me that the two have developed a friendship and they have the success of Love,Love,Love to ground them.

In China, Dean O’Gorman Talks Richard Armitage

A fun interview. How Richard Armitage jokes.

Azog and Smaug receive Annie nominations

here ( for animation)

I have no idea how The Hobbit, released in the US in December 2014, is eligible. Maybe someone can figure this out. In the meantime, I contacted the Annies to find out.

Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in a Live Action Production

  • Jurassic World – Indominus Rex – Universal Studios / Legendary Pictures – VFX Animation Supervisor: Glen McIntosh, Associate Animation Supervisor: Kevin Martel, Lead Animator: Kyle Winkelman, Digital Artist: Rodrick Fransham, Creature Supervisor: Kaori Ogino
  • Marvel’s Avengers : Age of Ultron – The Hulk – Marvel Studios – Assoc. Animation Supervisor: Jakub Pistecky, Animator: Gang Trinh, Animator: Craig Penn, Lead Animator: Mickael Coedel, Lead Animator : Yair Gutierrez
  • Marvel’s Avengers : Age of Ultron – Ultron – Marvel Studios – Lead Animator: Peter Tan, Animator: Boon Yik Lim,
    Animator: Sachio Nishiyama, Animator: Byounghee Cho, Animator: Roy Tan
  • The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies – AZOGNew Line Cinema Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) – WingNut Films 3Foot7, Animation Supervisor: Aaron Gilman, Senior Facial Modeller: Howard Sly, Lead Animator: Matthew Riordan, Creature TD: Kevin Kelm, Lead Shader TD: Guillaume Francois
  • The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armies – SMAUGNew Line Cinema Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) – WingNut Films 3Foot7, Animation Supervisor: David Clayton, Creature Supervisor: Gios Johnston, Senior Modeller: Andreja Vuckovic, Lead Shader TD: Guillaume Francois, Senior Animator: Daniel Zettl
  • The Revenant – The Bear – Regency Enterprises, New Regency Pictures, Anonymous Content, M Productions, Appian Way, RatPac-Dune Entertainment – Animation Supervisor: Matthew Shumway, Lead Digital Artist: Adrian Millington, Digital Artist: Blaine Toderian, Digital Artist: Alexander Poei, Digital Artist: Kevin Lan


All Three Hobbit Extended Versions to be Shown as Trilogy in Theaters.

Some lucky ducks are going to see the funeral scene and more of Beorn on the big screen.

the_hobbit_banner_Extended versions on the big screen over three consecutive nights. It’s a great opportunity for fan fun. I also wonder whether box office receipts will be added to the Box Office stats. Probably not.

here   excerpt.

According to the announcement made by FarAwayEntertainment, Fathom Events and Warner Bros. are coming together to release all the three movies in the theaters over three nights. The announcement notes that this will be the first time that the extended editions will be shown in the movie theaters.