LOTR fans, check it: To celebrate the ultimate Blu-ray release of Peter Jackson’s masterpiece, AMC is going to screen all three Director’s Cuts of the Lord of the Rings films this summer! They will be release chronologically over the course of three weeks leading up to the Blu-ray collection release date that is June 28. Here’s the plan. Each movie will be see new life in theatres for one night only. Fellowship of the Ring will play on June 14th, The Two Towers June 21st, and the trilogy will conclude with the screening of The Return of the King on June 28th. Tickets can be ordered today. Head over to AMC’s website and see if the extended cuts will be playing near you. And if you’re curious, the twice aforementioned LOTR ultimate Blu-ray collection is up for preorder at Amazon; it’ll cost you $83.99. So worth it! Should hold you over until Jackson’s next journey to the Shire.
It’s (finally) official: Peter Jackson will direct ‘The Hobbit’ [Update: Martin Freeman cast as Bilbo]
Peter Jackson, the man who helmed the Lord of the Rings trilogy movie adaptations will be back to direct the two-part prequel series The Hobbit. Originally Jackson was going to serve as executive producer with Guillermo del Toro as director. But when MGM’s financial woes forced production delays del Toro decided to back out of the project leaving the director spot open for some time. Since the beginning of last summer it had been rumored that Jackson would take control of the reigns again, and today Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, and MGM finally confirmed it. In a statement Jackson said, “Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience. It’s an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We’re looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo – and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM”.
The Hobbit will be cut up into two parts (as originally planned by del Toro) and will be shot in 3D. Principal photography begins in February 2011. Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving are locked in to reprise their roles as Gandalf, Gollum and Elrond, respectively. It has not been confirmed whether or not Ian Holm will return to star as Bilbo Baggins.
Update (10/21): Casting news! Martin Freeman (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hot Fuzz) is Bilbo Baggins. The following actors comprise Bilbo’s Company of Dwarves who set forth to reclaim a treasure from a dangerous dragon: Richard Armitage (MI-5, Captain America: The First Avenger) is Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Company of Dwarves; Aidan Turner (Being Human) and Rob Kazinsky (EastEnders) will play Kili and Fili; Graham McTavish (Secretariat) is Dwalin, John Callen (Power Rangers Jungle Fury) is Oin; Stephen Hunter (All Saints) is Bombur, Mark Hadlow (King Kong) is Dori, and Peter Hambleton (The Strip) is Gloin.
Peter Jackson on Freeman as Baggins: “Despite the various rumors and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us. 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.”