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The Hobbit?

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Post by Admin on Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:01 am

http://www.my-best-films.co.uk/the-hobbit-in-talks-with-david-tennant/

The Hobbit in talks with David Tennant

Gandalf

The Hobbit movie adaptation has been through a real baptism by fire this year.

But with Peter Jackson finally officially confirmed as director, and the two-part project gifted a green light despite MGM’s crippling financial situation, the ball can really get rolling.

Thanks to all of the stops and starts the films have had to dodge all year, it’s been a long, long time since we first started talking about who might be jumping for a part in the Lord Of The Rings prequels.

Now, though, Deadline have confirmed that Martin Freeman is officially in talks to play Bilbo Baggins – an older version of whom was portrayed by Ian Holmes in the LOTR films. It seems his casting generally depends on the film’s shoot dates.

Meanwhile, other actors on the menu are former Who David Tennant, who is talking with the studio about an undisclosed role, and James Nesbitt, who has also been offered yet another undisclosed part. Rounding out a potentially very European cast is Michael Fassbender, who is apparently high up on the producers’ wish list.

Of course, the only confirmed returnees are currently Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum. Jury’s still out on how fire-breather Smaug will get up there on the screen – though we’re sure Serkis is chomping on his mo-cap hat to have a go…
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Post by Admin on Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:37 pm

http://www.irishcentral.com/ent/Michael-Fassbender-tipped-to-star-in-Peter-Jacksons-The-Hobbit-105339543.html

Michael Fassbender tipped to star in Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit'
By
MOLLY MULDOON
,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 9:12 AM
Updated Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 9:18 AM

Irish actor Michael Fassbender has been tipped to star in “The Hobbit” which is due to start filming next February. The Irishman is reportedly on the producers wish list for the upcoming production. “The Inglorious Bastards” star was raised in Killarney, Co. Kerry but is now based in LA.

Other actors in the running for major roles include Cold Feet star James Nesbitt and former Doctor Who star David Tennant. Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to return to play the roles of Gandalf and Gollum.

A spokesman for New Line cinema said that "nothing is finalised", but added that an announcement was expected shortly.

The Hobbit follows the journey of the Bilbo Baggins from the Shire in his search for treasure guarded by a dragon named Smaug. It tells the story of the discovery of the ring which Baggins later passes on to his adopted son Frodo.

Film production for the JRR Tolkien classic ran into financial difficulty last year and had to be suspended due to union issues in New Zealand where they blockbuster is being filmed.
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Post by MissL on Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:27 pm

is he based in LA lol!


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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:59 pm

Michael? No, not anymore. He was only in L.A. when he was with the last ex.

But he does have an L.A. agent, or rather there's an L.A agency and a London agency for Michael now.
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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:00 pm

http://www.deadline.com/2010/10/acting-guilds-settle-beefs-with-the-hobbit/

Actor Guilds Settle With 'The Hobbit' But Ire In The Shire Could Still Push Back-To-Back Peter Jackson Pics Out Of New Zealand
By MIKE FLEMING | Wednesday October 20, 2010 @ 8:58pm

UPDATE: There's still unease even though SAG and AFTRA rescinded the order to stop its actor members from working on The Hobbit because of a request from sister union New Zealand Actors Equity. The labor settlement doesn't mean Peter Jackson will move the pictures back to the New Zealand locations that are home to Mordor, Minas Tirith, Isengard, and other Middle Earth locales. Because of all the hard feelings that the local unions created, Warner Bros has been exploring other options, and while Jackson will have a say, the studio could decide to make a move if it gets a better deal someplace else. Now New Zealand prime minister John Key is reaching out for a meeting with Warner Bros to try and keep the films from shooting in another country.

Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh were clearly furious about the aggressive tactics used by the New Zealand Actors Equity and the Australian Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. Yesterday, between 1,000 and 15,000 technicians and actors opposed to Equity's actions picketed Equity headquarters last night, and moved that protest to Parliament. Polls conducted by local TV stations and newspapers in New Zealand showed little support for the union tactic, and high level ministers in government came out in support of Jackson. I'd say it's unlikely that the films actually leave New Zealand. Jackson's visual effects headquarters and stages were built there using Lord Of The Rings trilogy money. But clearly this is serious stuff. He and Walsh issued this incendiary release last night, before the unions tried to bring the agitation to a halt:

WELLINGTON – Thursday, 21 October 2010: The lifting of the blacklist on The Hobbit does nothing to help the films stay in New Zealand. The damage inflicted on our film industry by NZ Equity/MEAA is long since done.

Next week Warners are coming down to NZ to make arrangements to move the production off-shore. It appears we now cannot make films in our own country - even when substantial financing is available.

The spectacle of NZ Actors’ Equity suddenly cancelling their Wellington meeting, because film workers wanted to express to them their concern at losing The Hobbit, exemplifies the pure gutlessness of this small, self-centred group. They don’t appear to care about the repurcussions of their actions on others, nor are they prepared to take responsibility for decisions made in their name. NZ Equity constantly refer to ‘good faith’ discussions but they have never acted in good faith towards our film.

Four weeks ago NZ Equity, represented by the Australian trade union, the MEAA, urged several international actor's unions to gang up on our production in an attempt to bully us into illegal collective bargaining. MEAA's representative, Simon Whipp, admitted in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, that it was his intention to use The Hobbit as a way to 'unionise other productions' in the New Zealand film industry - presumably whether we want it or not. This unilateral decision, made by an off shore union, we assume with Equity's blessing, is the reason why our film industry is now in dire jeopardy.

NZ Equity's unjustified industrial action against The Hobbit has undermined Warner Bro’s confidence in New Zealand as a stable employment environment, and they are now, quite rightly, very concerned about the security of their $500m investment. Unfortunately lifting the blacklist does nothing to help the situation. This will be the start of a domino effect, as word of NZ's unstable employment environment, registers with film investors and studios, world-wide.

Nobody denies Equity's right to represent their group of actors, but incredibly, this industrial action was taken without consultiation with their own membership. These clumsy, heavy-handed tactics have put at risk the livelihoods of thousands of workers and jeapardized a potential investment of a billion plus dollars into the NZ economy.

Seemingly overnight, NZ Actors’ Equity shredded the reputation of a burgeoning industry, which has been over forty years in the making.

Remarks on television by Helen Kelly of the CTU, demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the film industry. Nothing she had to say about The Hobbit and film financing was remotely factual. Why she has suddenly become the NZ Equity spokesperson is unclear, it appears to be a case of the blind being lead by the even-more-blind.

We will continue the fight to keep the film in NZ, but ultimately this decision belongs to Warner Bro’s. We are however, hugely heartened by the incredible show of support from Wellington actors, technicians and crew. It is a reflection of the terrific pride NZ film workers have in their industry and their very real fear of losing their jobs.

EARLIER: SAG and AFTRA have rescinded their order that guild-repped actors shouldn't work on what they called the "non-union" production of The Hobbit, the $500 million two-part film that Peter Jackson will begin directing in February for Warner Bros and MGM for distribution in December 2012 and 2013. The unions issued the warning as a show of solidarity after complaints were lodged by New Zealand Actors' Equity and its Australia-based umbrella The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. Those entities demanded that Jackson and the film's backers negotiate a contract providing minimum guarantees on wages and working conditions, residual payments and cancellation payments to actors engaged on the production. Jackson responded angrily to the grandstanding order, charging that the Australian labor union was using his film as a way to widen its membership and galvanize power within the New Zealand film industry. "As a New Zealand filmmaker, who has nothing to hide or be ashamed about, I'm not going to see this threatening behaviour continue without some form of sensible discussion about the 'facts' and 'truth' behind their various allegations," Jackson wrote in response. Jackson, who inferred that the stand was an agenda based on money and power, threatened to move production of the Hobbit films outside New Zealand, where he shot the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

None of that will be necessary, as both guilds have called off the dogs. That wasn't unexpected, as work continued on the film. Warner Bros and MGM committed the production funding last week, and Jackson has been casting the key roles. I'm told that Martin Freeman will soon be set to play Bilbo Baggins, that Jimmy Nesbitt has been offered a role and that Michael Fassbender is being pursued for another as is David Tennant. Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to reprise Gandalf and Gollum.

Here is SAG's missive:

Statement Regarding the Feature Film Production The Hobbit

Los Angeles (October 20, 2010) - Screen Actors Guild today released the following statement regarding the feature film production The Hobbit:

“Today, our sister union New Zealand Actors Equity issued a statement recommending all international performer unions rescind their member advisories on the feature film production The Hobbit. In light of this recommendation, Screen Actors Guild will be alerting its members that they are now free to accept engagements, under Screen Actors Guild contract terms and conditions, on The Hobbit.”

Here is AFTRA's statement:

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO AFTRA MEMBERS

AFTRA Members May Now Accept Work on The Hobbit

NZ Actors Equity today recommended that the international performer unions of FIA withdraw their respective member advisories prohibiting members from accepting employment on the theatrical motion picture The Hobbit.

In light of this advisory and the recommendation from NZ Actors Equity, AFTRA hereby notifies all members that they may now accept employment on The Hobbit, under Screen Actors Guild contract terms and conditions.

We thank you for your show of solidarity with our international brothers and sisters.

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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:24 pm

http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/10/20/actors-unions-boycott-hobbit-peter-jackson-film-zealand/

Actors’ Unions End Boycott of ‘The Hobbit’; Peter Jackson to Film in New Zealand After All?

Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 by Adam Quigley

Looks like the Australian trade union MEAA (Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance) lost this game of chicken. After garnering support from SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) in ordering their members to not take jobs on The Hobbit unless director Peter Jackson and co. drew up a new contract “providing minimum guarantees on wages and working conditions, residual payments, and cancellation payments to actors engaged on the production,” Jackson issued his own response declaring their move “a grab for power”. Then came the clincher: “Because the ‘demands’ of MEAA cannot be agreed to, or even considered – by law – and therefore the only options that remain involve closing the Hobbit down, or more likely shifting the production to Europe.” More troubling, Jackson seemed to be making good on his promise when it was announced that production would be moved to Eastern Europe.

It isn’t clear what’s transpired since then, but good news: SAG and AFTRA have dropped the boycott.

Deadline reports the news, saying there’s no longer a need for The Hobbit to move production outside of New Zealand.

This is a relief, as one of the greatest strengths of the Lord of the Rings films was the gorgeous New Zealand landscapes used to represent Middle-earth. Who knows the degree to which the look of The Hobbit might’ve been compromised had it been forced to shoot elsewhere. No official statement has been made revoking the announced plans to move production to Eastern Europe, but who knows if that was more than a threat to begin with, as pre-production didn’t seem to be halted by the change. Fingers crossed: Peter Jackson will likely film in New Zealand as originally intended.

With the labor issues resolved, the films can finally move ahead as planned, meaning we can expect to see The Hobbit in front of cameras by February of 2011. Hooray for that.

Martin Freeman is starring as Bilbo Baggins, and Jimmy Nesbitt, Michael Fassbender, and David Tennant are also up for roles. And if all goes as expected, Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis will be reprising their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively. The films are planned for release December 2012 and 2013.

Here’s the statement issued by SAG:

Statement Regarding the Feature Film Production The Hobbit

Los Angeles (October 20, 2010) – Screen Actors Guild today released the following statement regarding the feature film production The Hobbit:

“Today, our sister union New Zealand Actors Equity issued a statement recommending all international performer unions rescind their member advisories on the feature film production The Hobbit. In light of this recommendation, Screen Actors Guild will be alerting its members that they are now free to accept engagements, under Screen Actors Guild contract terms and conditions, on The Hobbit.”

And here’s the statement issued by AFTRA:

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO AFTRA MEMBERS

AFTRA Members May Now Accept Work on The Hobbit

NZ Actors Equity today recommended that the international performer unions of FIA withdraw their respective member advisories prohibiting members from accepting employment on the theatrical motion picture The Hobbit.

In light of this advisory and the recommendation from NZ Actors Equity, AFTRA hereby notifies all members that they may now accept employment on The Hobbit, under Screen Actors Guild contract terms and conditions.

We thank you for your show of solidarity with our international brothers and sisters.
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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:25 pm

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/MAP/news/?a=24242

The Hobbit Actor Boycott Ended

All Best Sellers Stuff
All obstacles have been overcome, and Peter Jackson is about the drop the One Ring into the depths of Mt. Doom
After weeks of nasty comments, threats and strenuous negotiation, the actors' union boycott of "The Hobbit" films was called off late on Wednesday. At this point, the films have officially been greenlit, casting can now commence, and (seemingly), nothing else stands in the way of the films' February start-date.

Numerous difficulties have not prevented "The Hobbit" from holding casting sessions over the past year, and now that the boycott of the films has ended, we may see the characters in the two films find their faces very quickly. Already, casting rumors have been leaking online for several months.

Supposedly, Martin Freemain, star of the UK hit TV series "Sherlock" is in negotiations to star as a young Bilbo Baggins, while former Doctor Who David Tennant may be circling a role, and another former Doctor Who, Sylvester McCoy, is reportedly in talks for the Wizard Radagast the Brown. Michael Fassbender may also be in line for a role, (smart money has his character as either Bard the Bowman or the Elf King Thranduil). Jimmy Nesbitt is said to have landed a "major" role, while four other actors possibly in line to play Dwarves include Peter Mullan, Ewan Stewart, Gary Lewis and Gilly Gilchrist.

Brian Cox was once rumored to be playing Thorin Oakenshield, but that was some time ago. British comedian Bill Bailey is said to have auditioned for the role of Gloin, while a little-known American actress may have tried out for the role of the Hobbit lass Primula Brandybuck. Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett are planned to reappear in their respective roles from the Original Trilogy as Gandalf the Grey, Gollum, Elrond and Galadrial. Additionally, Peter Jackson has stated that health permitting, Ian Holm may appear in some capacity as an Older Bilbo Baggins. Saruman the White may have at one point been a part of the new films, but Christopher Lee has stated that he doesn't feel comfortable flying all the way to New Zealand at his age; there's also the little matter of Peter Jackson cutting him out of the theatrical edition of "The Return of the King" entirely. It's unknown whether Lee may still reprise his role, perhaps filming his scenes on a green screen in London, whether Saruman will be recast, or written out entirely.

In any case, barring any more disasters, "The Hobbit" can now fully move forward and start shooting! Play Howard Shore's celebratory piece "Forth Eorlingas" at your discretion.
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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:43 pm

http://www.collider.com/2010/10/21/the-hobbit-martin-freeman-richard-armitage-aidan-turner/

Martin Freeman Confirmed as Bilbo Baggins in THE HOBBIT; Eight More Join the Cast as Dwarves
by Brendan Bettinger Posted:October 21st, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Martin Freeman is officially Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. For a second there, it looked like he would miss out due to prior commitments. Then he was the frontrunner. As recently as last week, he was in negotiations for the role. But once Warner Bros. puts it in a press release, it’s official. Can’t wait to see him in the role, assuming the film eludes derailment.

Director Peter Jackson has recruited eight more members to play various dwarves:

* Richard Armitage (MI-5) as Thorin Oakenshield
* Aidan Turner (Being Human) as Kili
* Rob Kazinsky (EastEnders) Fili
* Graham McTavish (Secretariat) as Dwalin
* John Callen (Power Rangers Jungle Fury) as Oin
* Stephen Hunter (All Saints) as Bombur
* Mark Hadlow (King Kong) as Dori
* Peter Hambleton (The Strip) as Gloin

Hit the jump for a list of other actors under consideration, plus the official casting announcement, including quotes from Jackson about why he chose each actor.

You may recall that David Tennant (Doctor Who), James Nesbit (Match Point), and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) are under consideration for unspecified roles; Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to return as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively. Deadline has thrown the names of Stephen Fry, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Nighy (as the voice of Smaug) into the hat.

Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Rob Kazinsky, Aidan Turner, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow and Peter Hambleton have joined the ensemble cast of the The Hobbit, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema; Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros.; Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., and Peter Jackson.

Since The Hobbit films received a green light on October 15, pre-production has been in full swing. Set for release in December, 2012 and December, 2013, we can confirm that Martin Freeman (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Hot Fuzz) will play Bilbo Baggins, the hero of the story. Richard Armitage (UK TV’s MI-5 and soon to appear in Captain America: The First Avenger) is set to play Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the Company of Dwarves which sets off to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from a thieving dragon.

“Despite the various rumours and speculation surrounding this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” says Peter Jackson. “There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave – exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.”

He adds “Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakensheild. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle-earth is in such good hands.”

Rounding out the Company of Dwarves are Aidan Turner (TV’s Being Human) and Rob Kazinsky (TVs EastEnders) who play Kili and Fili, respectively. Jackson comments “Rob is an extremely talented young actor with a huge career in front of him, I’m thrilled that he has agreed to take on the role of Fili. Besides his talent as an actor, Rob is also a champion sword fighter; I’m looking forward to seeing the damage he can do to a horde of marauding Goblins!” He continues, “Adian is a wonderfully gifted young actor who hails from Ireland. I’m sure he will bring enormous heart and humor to the role of Kili.”

The remaining dwarves will be played by Graham McTavish (Secretariat and TV’s 24) as Dwalin; John Callen (TV’s Power Rangers Jungle Fury) as Oin; Stephen Hunter (TV’s All Saints) as Bombur; Mark Hadlow (King Kong) as Dori; and Peter Hambleton (TV’s The Strip) as Gloin.

Jackson notes, “Graham is a terrific actor, with a great depth of experience, which I know he will bring to the role of “Dwalin. I have worked with Mark Hadlow on many projects; he is a fantastic actor. I am thrilled to be working with both of them on these movies. He adds, “I am also proud to announce the casting of New Zealand actors as Peter Hambleton, John Callen and Stephen Hunter. Fran and I know that they will bring great depth and talent to our Company of Dwarves.”

The two The Hobbit films are being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros. Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films, with Phillipa Boyens serving as co-producer and Ken Kamins as executive producer.

The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed LOTR trilogy, also from the production team of Jackson, Walsh and Cunningham, grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office. In 2003, Return of the King swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture — the first-ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.
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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:43 pm

http://geeksofdoom.com/2010/10/21/martin-freeman-confirmed-as-bilbo-baggins-many-more-cast-in-the-hobbit/

Martin Freeman Confirmed As Bilbo Baggins; Many More Cast In ‘The Hobbit’

The Movie God Posted by The Movie God | October 21st, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Trackback

Just a few days ago we found out that after so many complications, the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s fabled tale, The Hobbit, had finally received a greenlight by studios, and that Peter Jackson would indeed be returning to direct the two-part film.

At the same time, we heard that one of the front runners for the hotly pursued lead role of Bilbo Baggins, Martin Freeman, was ever so close to nabbing the job. This little dream casting for many is now officially a reality as Jackson has announced a chunk of castings for his film, including the confirmation of Mr. Freeman as Bilbo.

Freeman was one of what seemed to be three top fan choices along with James McAvoy and Doctor Who‘s David Tennant. The actor hasn’t done a ton of stuff to gain recognition here in the States, but you may best recognize him as the lead in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He also was on the original UK version of The Office, and had small roles in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Love, Actually.

Talking about the casting, Jackson made it clear that for them, there was never much choice in the matter, though many rumors we had heard over the past year or so would have you thinking otherwise.
Despite the various rumours and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” Peter Jackson said. There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave — exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.

To add to that, a bunch of supporting roles were also announced. Richard Armitage, who has starred in UK TV series Robin Hood and MI-5, and is also set to appear in Captain America: The First Avenger, will play the leader of the Company of Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield. Graham McTavish, who has been in Rambo and 24, as well as a voice in many video games like Dragon Age: Origins and Uncharted 2: Among Theives, will be playing Dwalin. Being Human and The Clinic star Aidan Turner, as well as EastEnders and George Lucas’s Red Tails star Rob Kazinsky will play Kili and Fili, who are members of the Company of Dwarves. Rounding out the announced cast is John Callen as Oin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Mark Hadlow as Dori, and Peter Hambleton as Gloin.

Some of the cast from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, such as Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are pretty much locks to return, though not official yet. Deadline, who first reported these castings, is also hearing that names like Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta), Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones), and Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead) are all possible for roles, with Nighy being one of the names up to voice Smaug. Aiden Turner (All My Children) is also said to be in the running to play The Elf King.

As for the rumor that David Tennant and James Nesbitt are possible for roles, that still seems possible but not confirmed. The report makes no mention of previously rumored Michael Fassbender, but it’s all still wait and see now.

All that really matters is that after oh, SO long…we finally have official castings to a movie that is moving forward, even with union disputes still rampant. Whether The Hobbit films in New Zealand or somewhere else, this is happening, folks.
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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:57 am

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/2010/10/27/the_hobbit_will_stay_in_new_zealand

It’s Official: ‘The Hobbit’ Will Stay In New Zealand
Warner Bros. Seems To Have Received The Good End Of The Wizard Stick

New Zealanders looking forward to an economic boost and fans of a homegrown Middle Earth staying put can rejoice. “The Hobbit” is staying in New Zealand. The New Zealand government announced last night that it had reached an agreement between director Peter Jackson, Warner Bros. — who were threatening to take the two films offshore — and the NZ labor unions that the production had been warring with and endangered to derail the picture.

“I am delighted we have achieved this result,” Prime Minister John Key said last night about negotiations that included several government minsters including Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee and the Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister. “Making the two ‘Hobbit’ movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ trilogy in once again promoting NZ on the world stage.”

“The industrial issues that have arisen in the past several weeks have highlighted a significant set of concerns for the way in which the international film industry operates,” Key said. “We will be moving to ensure that New Zealand law in this area is settled to give film producers like Warner Bros the confidence they need to produce their movies in this country.This will guarantee the movies are made in New Zealand.”

Budgeted around $500 million U.S. dollars ($250 million for each film), according to the New Zealand Herald, part of these negotiations means increased tax benefits for Warners, including a rebate which will mean up to an extra saving of $7.5 million per movie for the studio, subject to the success of the movies. The NZ Government has also apparently agreed to offset $10 million of WB’ marketing costs as part of their “strategic partnership.” Sounds like WB had NZ over a barrel, frankly and got what they wanted after the acrimonious labor dispute threatened to make the filming of the picture in New Zealand untenable. With the logistics out of the way it’s pretty much onward an upward for “The Hobbit” and now all about filling the remaining casting spots.

Martin Freeman will star as Bilbo Baggins, Ian Mckellan, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving, are all expected to return as Gandalf The Grey, Gollum and Elrond respectively (Cate Blanchett could return as the Elf Galadriel as well; they’re all immortal), and many of the key Dwarves in the film have also been cast including character actors like Richard Armitage, Stephen Hunter (learn more about who they are here). Now it’s just a matter to see if some of the more established actors, rumored to appear — Saoirse Ronan, Stephen Fry, David Tennant, James Nesbitt, Bill Nighy and Michael Fassbender — turn up in the film or not.
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Post by Admin on Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:39 am

http://www.malextra.com/movies/movie-news/Peter+Jackson+Defends+The+Hobbit+Casting-86532.html

Peter Jackson Defends The Hobbit Casting

Thursday 28th October 2010 - 12:28:58

Peter Jackson has spoke out in defence of his choice to cast Richard Armitage in The Hobbit.

The British actor, who is best known for his roles in Robin Hood and Spooks, has landed the role of Thorin Oakenshield in the film.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly the filmmaker said: "Thorin Oakenshield is a tough, heroic character, and he certainly should give Leggie and Aragorn a run for their money in the heartthrob stakes - despite being four feet tall.

"In Middle-earth, dwarves are a noble race and have a culture and physical appearance which sets them apart from humans. It’s fun to develop these different cultures for the movie, and we are doing much more with dwarves this time around than we did with Gimli in Lord Of The Rings."

He added: "Richard is a powerful actor with a wide range, and we’re very excited to be handing Thorn over to him."

Armitage will be joined by Martin Freeman on the movie as he has been cast as Bilbo Baggins while Turner and Rob Kazinsky have also landed roles.

And there could be roles for more homegrown talent as Michael Fassbender, David Tennant and James Nesbitt had all been linked to the movie.

Filming is expected to get underway in February.
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Post by Admin on Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:38 pm

this is a first mention of Michael actually being cast, but it maybe just writing from different articles.

If true, I'll be happy.

http://networkedblogs.com/aGPoe

The Hobbit: Part 1 Cast 2012
Posted by michael 18 November, 2010

The Hobbit: Part 1 movie will have actor Martin Freeman giving life to lead character of Bilbo Baggins and with a stellar cast The Hobbit: Part 1 movie is most likely to be another finely realized motion picture with a great fusion of adventure and fantasy all in one package. And it sure appears that a star studded cast will be brought together for upcoming flick which suggests a thoroughly entertaining motion picture. Thus Michael Fassbender will also be seen in the movie giving life to a prominent role while talented actress Cate Blanchett is also set to return for the prequel venture reprising her role as Galadriel. Moreover it has been noted that well known and acclaimed actors Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen will also be in for key roles.

Multiple academy awards winner director Peter Jackson will come up helming The Hobbit: Part 1 movie which will be the prequel to successful Lord of the Rings series talks about movie had been going on for sometime. There have been many speculations about development of flick and it had been pit back due to some unexpected scenarios over time. However according to latest developments it seems that now the movie is ready to hit it off in full swing which suggests that fans who had enjoyed the above mentioned fantasy adventure are most likely to have their fingers crossed for a highly entertaining theatrical feature for sure. And rest assured that with a fascinatingly wonderful cast audience will be allowed to get transported into heart of happening events.

The Hobbit: Part 1 movie which has been given a release date set on sometime in December in 2012 looks like it is going to provide a one of a kind motion picture increasing excitement and enjoyment to be felt in a top level. Protagonist in movie plot will be Bilbo Baggins who is made to go on a perilous journey where he will have to face many dangerous creatures including dragons elves wolves and elves. The purpose of this dangerous and perilous mission is to get back something precious. With many possibilities of bringing out the best of fantasy and adventure in generous amounts it sure looks like fans will found themselves taken by surprise.
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Post by Admin on Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:01 pm

http://once-upon-a-hobbit.blogspot.com/2010/11/pick-me-pick-me-michael-fassbender-in.html

Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Pick Me ! Pick Me ! Michael Fassbender in The Hobbit (maybe)

Irish/German actor Michael Fassbender has been strongly linked for a role in The Hobbit movie which is due to start filming in February 2011. Michael is on the producers wish list for the upcoming production and best known to international audiences for playing Lt. Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Currently Michael is filming A Dangerous Method , alongside Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley and Vincent Cassel. Will we see him in Middle-earth ? What role could Michael play in The Hobbit ? An Elf ? Or maybe Bard the Bowman ? Smile
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Post by Admin on Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:44 am

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/motion-captured/posts/hobbit-casting-rumors-kick-into-high-gear-with-martin-freeman-michael-fassbender-and-more

'Hobbit' casting rumors kick into high gear with Martin Freeman, Michael Fassbender and more
By Drew McWeeny - At least one former 'Doctor Who' may join the cast as well

Sunday, Oct 17, 2010 5:10 PM

'Hobbit' casting rumors kick into high gear with Martin Freeman, Michael Fassbender and more

Martin Freeman

Now's when things start getting interesting.

Until this point, any and all conversation about casting for "The Hobbit" has been little more than a game of hypotheticals for fans. Now, with the announcement having been made officially that Peter Jackson will direct both films in 3D, casting is underway for the film's February start date.

Obviously the biggest question regarding "The Hobbit" has to be "Who will play Bilbo Baggins?" In my article about the greenlight being given, I stated my preference, one I've been saying in public for a few years now. Imagine my joy at the idea that Martin Freeman, best known as Tim from the original "Office," might actually turn out to be the man they hire for the job. Most recently, he played Watson in the exceptional new BBC series, "Sherlock," and it's a reminder of just what a great combination of open curiosity and wry wit he's capable of given the right material. He's an exceptional choice for the role, and if it's true he's first on the list, I think Jackson and company may have hit a home run.

There are obviously going to have to be returning cast members like Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis, but for the most part, "The Hobbit" offers dozens of new roles, great roles, and it's going to give Jackson a lot of room to put together amazing actors from around the world to help bring this new corner of Middle-earth to life. Right now, we're starting to hear names like David "Dr. Who" Tennant and Jimmy Nesbitt being mentioned, although without any particular character name attached. I'm pleased to see Michael Fassbender also in contention for a role in the film, and if all of these guys end up in one film together, it's going to be an embarrassingly good cast.

Some of these roles will turn out to be voice-only, like whoever ends up signing on as the voice of Smaug, for example, but for the most part, we're going to see some familiar faces playing some great roles, and since we're just a few months away from the start of production, we'll start seeing these names pinned down in the days and weeks ahead. Keep checking back here at HitFix for more on "The Hobbit" as the film takes shape.

"The Hobbit" will reach theaters in two parts, one in December 2012, and one in December 2013.
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Post by Admin on Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:14 pm

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/2010/11/29/news_from_the_shire_peter_jackson_to_shoot_the_hobbit_on_red_cameras_ian_mc#

News From The Shire: Peter Jackson To Shoot ‘The Hobbit’ On 3D RED Cameras, Ian McKellen Confirmed

After something of a rollercoaster year, with an endlessly sliding start date, the bailing of director Guillermo Del Toro, and nearly losing preferred lead Martin Freeman, “The Hobbit” is finally gearing up to shoot in the new year, with Freeman joined by new cast members like Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Aidan Turner, as well, possibly, as the rumored likes of David Tennant, Michael Fassbender and Saoirse Ronan.

As we get closer to production, more and more tidbits will start to leak out, and several broke over the weekend. Firstly, fansite The One Ring pointed out that actor Ian McKellen, who starred as benevolent wizard Gandalf in the original “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has recently updated his website to seemingly confirm that he’ll be involved in the shoot over 2011, which the site says will kick off in February. While McKellen’s involvement was never really in doubt, and we still await an official announcement, it’s good to know that he’s looking locked-in: Michael Gambon can only take over playing so many famous wizards you know…

The more surprising news, on one level at least, is that Jackson will shoot the film on EPIC, the new digital cameras from RED. The company, founded by Oakley millionaire Jim Jannard, has been making waves in recent years with the first ‘affordable’ high-resolution camera—the RED ONE, their first camera, records 4K images at a relatively low cost, and has been championed by the likes of Steven Soderbergh, who shot “The Informant!” and “Haywire” with the cameras, and David Fincher, who used the format exclusively for “The Social Network.”

Jackson has a long history with the cameras, shooting a short with them shortly after their release, “Crossing The Line,” and using them for much of “The Lovely Bones” (and Neil Blomkamp used them also for most of “District 9,” which Jackson produced), so it’s not hugely surprising that he’s turning to the format, particularly with the desire to film in native 3D making it impossible to shoot on film, as the original pictures were.

According to a press release obtained by Engadget, Jackson will actually be the first to use Red’s new cameras, the EPIC, buying up 30 units at a cool fifty grand each. The new cameras are able to shoot up to 120 frames a second at a resolution of 5K, while still being smaller and lighter than the original version, and he seems excited, saying that “The Epic not only has cutting edge technology, incredible resolution and visual quality, but it is also a very practical tool for film makers.” However, as unsurprising as the move is, we’re not convinced it’s the wisest idea.

The results we’ve seen on Red cameras to date are undeniably impressive (although to our eyes, we’ve found the format better suited to the chilly, steely likes of “The Social Network” and “Winter’s Bone” than anything with a warmer color palette), but they’re notoriously tricky to deal with on set—this writer has seen entire takes wiped from existence at random on the format.

We’re not the only ones to be unconvinced—Rian Johnson wrote a lengthy takedown of the format a few years back, while Werner Herzog, who used RED on “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done,” recently told the DGA that “it’s an immature camera created by computer people who do not have a sensibility for the value of high-precision mechanics, which has a 200-year history. It’s terrible: Whenever you have to reboot the camera, it take 4 1/2 minutes or so. It drove me insane.”

Indeed, Soderbergh was meant to be the first to use the new Red format, also shooting in 3D, on “Contagion,” but, as we reported a few months ago, the director was unhappy with some last-minute glitches on the new cameras, and so decided to stick with the RED ONE, ditching the idea of filming in 3D. We imagine the problems have been worked out by now, or Jackson wouldn’t use the Epic, but it’s still a risk, considering the lengthy delays the production has already suffered, to shoot on a brand new system from a company already well-known for technical issues.

In one final tidbit for the film, Australia-based British actor Shane Briant told the Bram Stoker Horror Film Festival Whitby Hammer Convention and Exhibition a few weeks back that he was up for a role in “The Hobbit,” a role which The One Ring suspects is either the Mayor of Michel Delving, or the Mayor of Lake Town. It’s all a bit thin, but we figured we’d pass it on while we were here. With shooting now only a couple of months away, and the release of Part One tentatively planned for December 2012, we’re sure more news will be along shortly.
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