arontius: (Default)
.....You know, I was cautiously optimistic on the prospects for Peter Jackson's interpretation of 'The Hobbit'. The scope is much narrower than 'The Lord of the Rings'. The amount of emotional territory it covers is much less than LotR. The prospects for creative imagery greater in scope (think Smaug or Beorn). Morgan Freeman makes an excellent Bilbo. The Dwarves look great in their roles.

.....Then...I read this article tonight on a report someone wrote after watching the latest trailer for 'The Hobbit'. All of a sudden all the anxieties returned. There is potential for another travesty in the making.

.....Here is an excerpt:

....."So when it comes to the Hobbit trailer, I don’t mind Galadriel showing up. We knew they were going to make The Hobbit into two movies, which meant we were likely to see Gandalf be Gandalf and take on the Necromancer. Nice! I like epic wizard battles, and I like the idea of the white counsel placed on film. But …

.....I can imagine no reason the Galadriel I know from the books would ever touch Gandalf like that. More than that, I can imagine no reason the maia (demi-god) Gandalf would ever, ever look at any elf with the kind of need you can see in that clip. Uh-oh!

.....My friends, Peter, Fran, Phillipa, I beg you, please don’t make Gandalf needy! Please do not wreck his nobility. You have already done so with two other of my favorite characters. I just ask you, don’t mess with Gandalf’s motivations. Don’t make him unsure of himself, and don’t let Galadriel be his guide or his girlfriend: partner, yes; girlfriend or guide, no. Just don’t do it! If you already have done it, you can still save it. You have a year. A quick one day re-shoot, and I bet it will be all better — OK, now I am begging, I will stop. But after the flaws in the LotR adaptations, I am concerned. Trust is easily broken and difficult to repair. Getting this right would go a long way — I hope you do."

.....Read the entire article and prepare to be frightened. It is located here: <>.

.....Already making arrangements to see one of the first showings on December 14th, but now I'm a little worried. Oh, well, I'm sure the pendulum will swing the other way, at least for a while. :-)

.....It was rather a long week, coming off of Twelfth Night like it was, with its own long drive. But the traveling was not so bad. The hours on the road went by fairly quickly with TBT, myself, Madrun, Gwen and Tsuruko all sharing the drive. The only time the drive started seeming long was when we were almost home and we were all just DONE with the weekend. :-)

.....Lots of good things at Twelfth Night itself. And even managed to get some work done. Made progress on September Crown site location there. Supported an event for a member of the Dragon's Laire Populace who has a good idea on running a Kingdom Level Feast. Looks like it is almost in the bag as the Kingdom was willing to actually sponsor after reviewing the numbers. I'm looking forward to seeing the concept come into fruition. It's one of those events that is almost as fun to plan as it is to execute. Interesting without being huge and overbloatedly complex. He should have a good time with it I am thinking.

.....The work week was all about getting the Team ready and out the door to go back to Norfolk the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Which it looks like is going to happen fairly easily. Looks like my travel to site will happen sometime in February. If I can time it just right I should be able to avoid traveling over Candlemas, Madrone A&S, and Kingdom KAS / KBC, or at least I'm hoping so.

.....Government keeps getting leaner and meaner. I wrote up an award for the crew who performed an installation this last summer, way under cost and ahead of schedule. Which is saying a lot considering the size and complexity of the work done. When my award write-up went upstairs, we were given the bitter truth. All awards budgets were stripped almost dry before the Fiscal Year had even started. The Mid-Level Boss and I had to reduce the group award down to an award for just a few of the very best performances. Who'll receive only a few hundred dollars for all their efforts. It was rather agonizing trying to pare down that list.

.....But I continue to count myself as relatively lucky. News reached me this week of someone I knew at work who had been stripped of his security clearance. Told to report to security where he was asked for his badge, and then escorted to the gate. He's in the process of hiring a lawyer now, but DoD does not mess around with these things. Unless and until he can prove his absolute innocence, he is out of a job.

.....Tuesday was the first June Faire Board meeting of this year. It was rather pleasant actually. Everyone on the Board was engaged and had good ideas to present. They all worked well together. There was still the Dragon's Laire tendency to talk over each other in their excitement. But it was a pleasant excitement versus the frenetic type of excitement we sometimes see. This bodes well for what we'll see in June.

.....Wednesday was Fight Practice at the OSSC. Brighid and I argued over Pelican notes. :-) But it was still a good conversation.

.....I started seriously playing in the SCA in 1991. I received my Pelican in 2005. A span of fourteen years. Which I'm told is just a little longer than average. I'm not entirely sure on that and probably should do some research. But where I was headed was that someone told me at one time that I might have been delayed for a little because of my weight, that I was maybe viewed negatively in an unconscious way because of my being grossly overweight. I don't know whether that was true or not, and there is certainly no way of ever proving it (nor would I want to do so), but I read an interesting article today on how being overweight affects your chances of landing jobs or job promotions. I have a feeling there is some truth to the article as I noticed that my promotions at work came more quickly after my gastric bypass surgery. I was also wondering about that connection in the SCA as well.

.....Take a look if you are interested: <>

.....Thursday was cleaning up and catching up at home. With a run at the new episode of 'Project Runway'. I'm not sure just why I'm a fan. I don't sew. I am certainly not a fashion snob by any means. But for some reason the show has struck a chord with me as it is the only regularly scheduled show (other than the news) that I actually watch on the Tele these days. Last night's episode was all about clothing for the Opera. With only one or two exceptions, everything created actually looked interesting.

.....Next week's episode could either be interesting and funny, or rather weird, as it looks like the challenge is to create fashion for Miss Piggy of the Muppets. Hmm.....

.....A whole three days of a weekend upcoming. With nowhere we have to be! Huzzah. I need to finish the Doomsday Report for The Crier. Need to finish my overhaul of the Western Region Pelican Notes. Have some e-mails to send out and some September Crown stuff to organize. So, it'll be a fairly busy weekend. But not frenetic, which is good. I'm sooooo looking forward to sleeping in for a while tomorrow morning. :-)

.....I think I'll go and read something for a while before bed. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Hmmmm, neither the dwarves nor Bilbo look exactly as they do in my dreams. But then again, I'm not exactly normal. :-) Seeing Kate Blanchett in Rivendell was interesting as well. But I'm still 'cautiously optimistic'. :-)

.....Can't believe we're going to have to wait an entire year before we see this thought! Hope they have something more to show at NORWESCON!!!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Morgan Freeman as Bilbo!? The One Ring reported that MGM is really courting Mr. Freeman to play Bilbo in the upcoming movie version of 'The Hobbit'. Don't get me wrong, I actually LIKE Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption is a favorite of mine), but I just can't picture him as Bilbo Baggins. I can't get my mind to go there. Hmmmm....

.....Starting to see some incredible pictures from Burning Man in Nevada. The living artwork displays were the biggest and most sensational ever. It was the most attended Burning Man ever as well. Organizers are starting to worry about the lasting damage to the Playa itself from all that humanity making a home there for even that short a time in the summer. In the desert environment it takes much longer for the land to absorb the human 'presence' and go back to its original condition. The thought is that attendance may have to be limited to an even greater degree next year. I'm actually in agreement as the commercialism is starting to bleed into various aspects of the event this year. The first time I see Coca Cola sponsoring the painted body bicycle ride is the year I stop even thinking I want to go there.

.....Seeing all the pictures made me miss the desert a LOT. We have a week in October to explore. I was thinking that we go through Sequoia National Park and then buzz through Death Valley. National Geographic did an interesting story of the moving rocks of the racetrack. Rocks that seemingly move across the playa there with no visible signs of how. Scientists are theorizing that ice forms from moisture runoff from the surrounding mountain range and the rocks 'slide' across the frozen dry lake bed.

.....Sigh! I was again reminded tonight of the Barony's missing heraldic files. When THL Maryn Grey passed the office on at the end of her tenure, I helped her pack three boxes of reference books, a file box of devices from Shire and Baronial members that had passed the gauntlet, and a box of miscellaneous supplies. The Barony has none of it now. The Herald's Office is not the only office to suffer this fate (Gads! I still remember the really nice looking Elizabethan Garb a former Golk Key officer 'sold' to raise money for her office). Just makes me sad and frustrated. Her Excellency gets frustrated with me when she has to argue with me on even getting rid of really BAD Gold Key garb. In reality I know this stuff is not worth using as polishing rags on the workbench. But every time I think of what we've lost in the past I find it difficult beyond reason to give up ANYTHING and store it like a bad pack-rat. Need to find some balance I guess.

.....Tomorrow Night is the Baronial Polling. The Polling itself will be on one side of the VFW Hall starting at 6PM. I'll start the September Business Meeting on the other side starting at 6PM, and see if it is possible to make it a record breakingly short meeting. So as to give people as much time as possible for writing remarks on the polling form. It'll all be over by 8PM.

.....With THL Rycheza taking over as Chronicler this month, I'm looking forward to seeing The Flames again. She has made it a personal mission to solicit for articles and 'stuff' to fill the pages. I have an essay on being a protege that will be done in time to go into the October issue. But I'm hearing of other stuff being written that sounds like it will be good. I'm supposed to do some heraldry consultation later this month, so maybe I'll do an essay on heraldry. Supposed to do some dance instruction as well and can think of a few things I can write on that subject as well.

.....Lady Adelheid is promoting a German food Social for this month that will take place during the polling. It'll be interesting to see what foods show up. TBT and I need to figure out what we want to bring.

.....TBT is headed to Dragon's Mist this Saturday to teach a metal smithing class. I currently have nothing on the agenda. Although there are probably things I should be doing. Must consult the list. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....No freakin' way!!! Hahahahahahahaha! Read this story from SciFi Wire...

"And Bilbo is . . . Tom Cruise?
August 26th, 2009 by MrCere | Discuss
With MGM involved in financing “The Hobbit,” and Tom Cruise heading its United Artists division, its been a TORn staff hobby to joke about Tom Cruise playing Bilbo. Far fetched? Perhaps, but, he just flew to Wellington to meet with Peter Jackson. No joke.

The pair could be talking about anything. Jackson could be giving Cruise advice on New Zealand real estate, they could be talking about “Dam Busters,” or the speculated-on “District 10,” that would serve as a sequel for the Jackson-produced hit “District 9.” Maybe he wants the juicy role of The Necromancer. Nobody really knows the reason behind the meeting but we do know everybody will be talking about it. You can read the article right here or you can read on for some more story.
The article mentions the “Halo,” project that Jackson was producing with then first-time director Neill Blomkamp, but when the pair was doing press for “District 9,” they spoke openly about “Halo,” and it sounded unlikely they would embark on that journey again.

They said the two studios involved in financing the film developed a disagreement after Blomkamp, Weta and Jackson had invested considerable energy and time in the project. Weta managed to build a fully-functional warthog from the video game and they were allowed to make some shorts, but the rights are now owned solely by Microsoft (according to Jackson) and they felt as burned as Jackson and company. “It was horrible, just horrible,” Jackson said.

Blomkamp indicated that the experience was so devastating that he felt it was unlikely he would tackle the task again and Jackson agreed.

Cruise likely has nothing to do with “Halo,” but he wields enough influence in Hollywood that he might get Microsoft to budge on the project. Jackson has the rights to the “Temeraire” fantasy novels and is working on “TinTin” and “Dam Busters” and Cruise might be involved in any of them or a completely different project. Or, Tom Cruise could be Bilbo Baggins.

Do we think this is even a remote possibility? Not really. But the Interwebs are filled with stories that link Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) to the project only because his named showed up in an Online poll along with David Tennant’s name. From there they became sourceless rumors that lack even the credibility Cruise’s name carries and yet they are still being reported. Now even the denials to the non-sourced, non-rumors are being reported as news. Cruise has at least spoken to Jackson, has been to Wellington and hey, the guy has been nominated for three Oscars."

.....Well, Tom has done Epic Fantasy before. Anyone remember 'Legend'? Hahahahahahahahahaha.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Some good stuff from SciFi Wire on The Hobbit. Some of it I already guessed (I KNEW that they were going to include more of The White Council and the attack on Dol Guldur and the Necromancer :-)). Some of it is a relief (I was not looking forward to a 'bridge' move between The Hobbit and LotR).

.....I'm not a big fan of Peter Jackson, but this gives me a little hope.

"Today producer/director Peter Jackson talks about The Hobbit films, updates us on their status, debunks a few rumors and talks about what the two movies will actually encompass and why.

Among the highlights: The script for the first film is about three weeks away; no casting has been decided; the two movies will encompass the story in the book and won't be one movie about the book and a second to bridge the period between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, as has been speculated; and the films will draw in narratives from the same era as told in other writings.

Jackson first talked about his decision to hire Guillermo del Toro to direct the two movies, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy book and precursor to The Lord of the Rings.

"Guillermo's there not because I'm a mentor of him, but I just thought he would do a terrific job with that film," Jackson said. "It wasn't the type of movie I [wanted] to give to a young, novice filmmaker and have them sort of godfather it through. I wanted someone who ... was established, who I could trust with it. ... With The Hobbit, I really don't want to ... be too involved in looking over the shoulder of the director."

Jackson added that he chose not to direct the films himself for a specific reason: "So I didn't have to compete against myself," he said. "Because with the Lord of the Rings movies I did make, those were the very best films that I could make, given the circumstances and everything else. ... I poured my heart and soul into those films, and I just thought that I'd given everything I could to The Lord of the Rings, and now, with The Hobbit, I'd have to go there again, and now I'd be competing against myself. And how did I shoot Hobbiton the first time around? And how did I shoot Gandalf coming through the door? Now I'd have to look back at what I did the first time and do something different. Or not. And suddenly I could just imagine myself having this rather weird year or two where I was relating to my own work in a way in which I didn't feel comfortable. So I thought that the best thing—and honestly the best thing for the project and the fans of Tolkien and everything else—was to find another filmmaker who would do a really great job, and let them shoot Gandalf coming in the door, and let's all enjoy what they do with it and give somebody else a chance to do something fresh and original with it."

Jackson remains heavily involved, writing the scripts with longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, as well as del Toro.

Following is an edited version of our conversation about The Hobbit, which is in preproduction in New Zealand.

Can you update us on the status of The Hobbit?

Jackson: ... We're about three weeks, I would say—give or take a little tailwind—about three weeks from turning over the first script for the first Hobbit movie to the studio. The process that we've been through so far is we wrote—and when I say "we," it's the four of us, it's Guillermo, Philippa, Fran and myself—we wrote an extensive treatment of the two films, which we pitched to the studio on a long conference call, and that was, I guess, about three or four months ago. And that was good, that went well, and they liked the idea. Because no one was really [in disagreement about] "Should it be one film? Should it be two films?"

There was talk about doing The Hobbit as one movie and doing an in-between-The Hobbit-and-The Lord of the Rings [movie], a bridge movie. ... We worked through the storyline, and we thought, "Well, obviously, we could squeeze The Hobbit into one movie," but even, like, a three-hour movie, you'd be amazed at how much of that story you'd have to lose. It's weird. I mean, the book ... is what the book is, and we just worked through a process of including all the events that we'd like to see in a film, and it was clear [that] it wasn't going to fit. Plus, the fact that we want to embellish a few things and put a little bit of extra ... narrative in for Gandalf and what he's doing in Dol Guldur and the Necromancer and various sort of side ... stories that are happening. And so we decided really that the two movies we were doing should be The Hobbit part one and part two.

So we devised this treatment, we pitched it to the studio, and they were happy with it. So then we set about, about three months ago we started in earnest to write the screenplay, which we're now about three weeks from delivering the first film.

And we haven't done any casting yet. I mean, that's the truth. There's all these rumors about people, but we haven't offered a single role to any actor yet, because everything's a process, and we haven't got a green light, and we haven't got a budget. And when you make an offer to an actor, one of the things that you have to obviously expect is they're going to ask to see a script, so we have to wait until we have a script. The other thing that you also need when you offer the role to an actor is you need dates. You need to be able to tell them when you want to start work and when they're going to finish work and how long they're going to work for. Because, obviously, an actor's deal is very much tied to the commitment of work. And so it's not until we deliver the script that we can break the script down, that we can get a budget, and then once we've got a budget we have to get a green light, which we haven't got.

I mean, we've been talking about releasing the first movie in December '11 and the second in December '12, and that's what we're aiming for. But we've only ever been aiming for it, and the studio obviously are not going to sign off on the films until they see a script and the budgets that are budgeting to that script.

So we're three weeks away from the first movie, the first script going in, and we haven't started working on the second script yet. We're just doing one at a time. But we'll start work with that as soon as we're done with the first script. And as soon as we do the first script, there'll be a breakdown of that done. We'll work out the needs of the cast. We'll do some extrapolating. We're not going to wait for the second script before we do a budget, so we'll use the first script, and we'll kind of do a guesstimate based on that how much we think the two films are going to cost. We'll be able to block out the actors' times that we think we're going to need. When we're going to start, when we're going to finish. What the duration of the [shoot is]. And then at that point we can actually go and talk to their agents and offer them a role. So there really isn't any casting news that I can report, and that's the reason why.

Have you talked about casting among yourselves? Are there people in mind that you can think of?

Jackson: ... There are some, yeah, which I wouldn't [want to say]. Obviously, there, ... the thing that we want to do is, any characters that were seen in The Lord of the Rings, we obviously want the actors that originated the characters to come back and play them again. So that obviously goes without saying.

And in terms of new characters, in some regards we are talking about people as ideas, but ... obviously it would be wrong of me to talk about that here, because we should talk to the actors themselves first before we talk about it over the 'net.

And in other ways we're waiting until we finish the script, because ... a key bit of casting are the dwarves, and the dwarves are ... important characters in the sense that they're a variety of personalities. And we're developing up those personalities as we write the script. And it's very fluid, and we don't ... even want to start thinking about who would play those roles of the dwarves until we really nail the scripts. Because, you know, is this Happy or Sleepy or Dopey or Grumpy or Doc? We need to know who's who. ... We need to know the personality of the particular character and what their function in the story is before we really can figure out what actor would be suitable for that role. So ... we're not really thinking too much about that at the moment."

.....Like I said, I'm not a fan of Peter Jackson and I've hated his 're-writes' of Middle Earth, but he's got a fairly decent eye towards how the movies should look overall, so we'll give it a shot. It certainly will not be the Rankin-Bass version of The Hobbit! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....While I find this extremely amusing, it makes me a little trepidatious about what exactly to expect from the upcoming 'Hobbit' films...

.....It seems that possible voices for the spiders of Mirkwood Forest includes the following possibilities: Cindy Lauper and Fran Drescher.

.....Hmmm, who is going to be cast as Bilbo? It makes me scared. :-)

.....Back to your regular Monday programming...

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Oooooo, the fact that there was even a consideration of putting Arwen into the storyline of The Hobbit is gonna make TBT livid. :-) I should buy some popcorn to watch the show when I get home and ask her about it. :-)

.....Taken from

"Frosty from wrote us with a little Liv Tyler tidbit. She is of course basking in the success of “The Strangers” and opening “The Incredible Hulk” today. In the video interview by Frosty, Tyler reveals that she has not yet been talked to about showing up in the Guillermo del Toro-helmed Hobbit films. What could this mean? Well, a lot of things.

Possible explanations for why Tyler (Arwen) hasn’t been contacted:
* The script isn’t finished (definitely true) and the second movie is only planned in broad strokes and the status of her character isn’t yet known.
* Arwen doesn’t fit into the ideas that Peter Jackson and company have for the film formerly-known-as-the-bridge film and will not be in the films.
* Film will not roll until 2010, there is still time.
* She is busy promoting films and the Jackson camp is waiting for a quiet moment.
* Turns out Tyer is a goddess (as I always suspected) and you don’t contact her, you pray to her.

Whatever the reason, thanks to Frosty for getting us that juicy, newsy morsel."

.....Hey, I think that the Arwen storyline has potential myself. Especially if you add the part of her two brothers rescuing her mother from the Misty Mountain orcs. But still, we are talking Peter Jackson here, and I'm still queasy when I think about what he did with the character of Faramir. Ick! Ack! Now I have to run to the bathroom. Argh!

.....Have a Zombie filled weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
From the LotR blog-feed on Live Journal...


from TORN:




Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”

“Peter Jackson has proven himself as the filmmaker who can bring the extraordinary imagination of Tolkien to life and we full heartedly agree with the fans worldwide who know he should be making ‘The Hobbit,’” said Sloan, MGM’s Chairman and CEO. “Now that we are all in agreement on ‘The Hobbit,’ we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film.”

Bob Shaye, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO comments, “We are very pleased we have been able to resolve our differences, and that Peter and Fran will be actively and creatively involved with ‘The Hobbit’ movies. We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.”

“Peter is a visionary filmmaker, and he broke new ground with ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” notes Michael Lynne, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO. “We’re delighted he’s back for ‘The Hobbit’ films and that the Tolkien saga will continue with his imprint. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Harry Sloan, who has been instrumental in helping us reach our new accord.”

The two “Hobbit” films – “The Hobbit” and its sequel – are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of “The Hobbit” release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.

The Oscar-winning, critically-acclaimed LOTR Trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box-office. In 2003, “Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the eleven 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.

For more information about “The Hobbit” films, please visit


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