28 September 2018

'Lord of the Rings' Gets Rodent Remake

A recent short film by CGMeetup, simply titled 'Mice', pays homage to the Lord of the Rings films using subway mice who find a golden soda cap ring.

It's a cute film and well worth the watch. How many references to Peter Jackson's films can you spot?

05 September 2018

New Lord of the Rings MMO Coming Soon from Athlon Games

According to a recent press release from Leyou Technolgies Holdings Limited (best known as the parent company of Warframe's publisher), a new project is underway in Middle-earth:
Athlon Games is partnering with Middle-earth Enterprises, to develop and publish a free-to- play massively multiplayer online video game based on The Lord of the Rings , the landmark fantasy literary work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Set in the world of Middle-earthTM during the years leading to the events of The Lord of the Rings, the game will provide Middle-earth fans throughout the world with a new, immersive game experience for epic exploration of the Tolkien universe.
Apparently taking place before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, it will follow the standard free-to-play model, in which the game and most (if not all) of its features can be enjoyed for free but microtransactions can provide additional content and benefits. No release date or additional information has been given at this time, but it may be a welcome addition to the Middle-earth video game collection.

Fans can currently immerse themselves in virtual Middle-earth via Standing Stone Games' The Lord of the Rings Online, which debuted in 2007 and has successfully passed the 10-year mark. The game is free-to-play and can be downloaded at lotro.com.

15 April 2018

What We Know So Far About Amazon's Upcoming 'Lord of the Rings' Series

After plenty of rumours and speculation, it was finally announced back in November that Amazon had won the $250 million rights to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novels and would be adapting the story into a five-season "prequel" series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon plans to spend $1 billion on the series (including casting, producers, and visual effects), which would make it the most expensive series in TV history.

There's no word yet on the content of the series, but given that it's been labelled a "prequel" to The Lord of the Rings and Amazon is working with The Tolkien Estate, they certainly have a lot of material to work with.

While The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson played no part in the talks between Amazon and the Tolkien Estate, he is reportedly in talks about his involvement in this series.

Other Lord of the Rings alum, however, are not as enthusiastic.

John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli in The Lord of the Rings films, suggested this was more about money than anything.

"Why we quite need Lord of the Rings as a TV series baffles me slightly," he said. "I mean, poor Tolkien must be spinning in his grave."

Andy Serkis has already said he would pass if approached to reprise his role as Gollum, instead suggesting that a "fresh approach" would be more worthwhile.

"I don’t think they will, and nor should they, because I really do think that it’s a wonderful opportunity to tell Tolkien’s incredible story through a long form. If I was putting myself in their shoes, I’d be wanting to create something completely fresh and see the world in a completely different way."

One actor who isn't quite ready to hand over his role to someone else, however, is Sir Ian McKellen. When asked about the upcoming series on The Graham Norton Show, McKellen made his feelings quite clear:

"I haven't said yes because I haven't been asked," the actor continued. "But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? "Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I'm not too old [yet]."

While there's no scheduled release date yet, part of Amazon's deal requires them to begin production within two years, so it'll be on the way soon!

What do you think of this new series? 
Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me at @TolkienBritta!

14 April 2018

Previously Unseen Tolkien Illustrations to Go on Display This Summer

The Tolkien Trust 2018; Smithsonian.com
A new Tolkien exhibit at Oxford's Bodleian Library will open this summer and feature a variety of manuscripts, letters, maps, and artwork by the author, including three previously unseen works (including Linquë Súrissë (1960s), which from the Elvish language Quenya translates to "grass in the wind").

The library will also release a catalog of more than 300 Tolkien materials which will become available in the US in July.

"The vivid abstract paintings entitled There and Here show Tolkien as a young student at Oxford finding his own artistic voice,” says Catherine McIlwaine, the Bodleian Libraries’ Tolkien archivist and the curator of the exhibition, in a statement. “They indicate that he was beginning to draw, not just what he could see, but what he could imagine.” [From The Art Newspaper]

"Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth" will run from 1 June to 28 October.