July232012
July92011

spacehitchhiker:

SECOND Production Video from the set of THE HOBBIT, 8 July 2011!

Not sure how long before it gets pulled, but here it is embedded on YouTube! To watch the official on Facebook, click here!

(via fuckyeahraaarmitage)

1AM
June12011
Congratulations, Dear Watson
The cat is out of the bag.  The actor is named.  The latest recruit to the Jackson troops is the superb Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock Holmes to Bilbo’s Watson.  Martin Freeman let it slip when he picked up his BAFTA.
Martin told me he was “chuffed” about the prize.  So was the entire crew back here in Wellington; and about Benedict.  Now, what can he be playing in The Hobbit?
Philippa Boyens showed me a snippet of his screen-test, played in close-up into the camera.  It was electrifying, vocally and facially.  Yes, what can he be playing?
I worked with Timothy Cumberbatch in a Shaw double-bill in 1966. Perhaps he thought his surname might be a hindrance, because his stage-name was/is Timothy Carlton — a dextrous light comedian with charm and long legs. (Not as long as those of Sian Phillips who was en travestie in the same play, Man of Destiny.)
More recently, in Asylum, I worked with Mrs Cumberbatch, Wanda Ventham, one of UK television’s most popular stars. Now I get to work with the son  — or do I? Depends, of course, what he’s playing.
The sleuths are the third double-act in The Hobbit.
The current Sydney Theatre Company production of Uncle Vanya, couples Galadriel and Elrond as Yelena and Astrov.  I wish I could see them at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC in August.  But then they will both miss The Syndicate.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s King Lear came to Wellington in 2007, when I introduced Sylvester McCoy to one of his Dr. Who fans, Peter Jackson.  Now Lear and his Fool are a couple of wizards.

— Ian McKellen, Wellington,  31 May 2011

On the Queen Charlotte Track, South Island, New Zealand

Congratulations, Dear Watson

The cat is out of the bag.  The actor is named.  The latest recruit to the Jackson troops is the superb Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock Holmes to Bilbo’s Watson.  Martin Freeman let it slip when he picked up his BAFTA.

Martin told me he was “chuffed” about the prize.  So was the entire crew back here in Wellington; and about Benedict.  Now, what can he be playing in The Hobbit?

Philippa Boyens showed me a snippet of his screen-test, played in close-up into the camera.  It was electrifying, vocally and facially.  Yes, what can he be playing?

I worked with Timothy Cumberbatch in a Shaw double-bill in 1966. Perhaps he thought his surname might be a hindrance, because his stage-name was/is Timothy Carlton — a dextrous light comedian with charm and long legs. (Not as long as those of Sian Phillips who was en travestie in the same play, Man of Destiny.)

More recently, in Asylum, I worked with Mrs Cumberbatch, Wanda Ventham, one of UK television’s most popular stars. Now I get to work with the son  — or do I? Depends, of course, what he’s playing.

The sleuths are the third double-act in The Hobbit.

The current Sydney Theatre Company production of Uncle Vanya, couples Galadriel and Elrond as Yelena and Astrov.  I wish I could see them at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC in August.  But then they will both miss The Syndicate.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s King Lear came to Wellington in 2007, when I introduced Sylvester McCoy to one of his Dr. Who fans, Peter Jackson.  Now Lear and his Fool are a couple of wizards.

— Ian McKellen, Wellington,  31 May 2011

On the Queen Charlotte Track, South Island, New Zealand

May102011
THE HOBBIT, 2 Elves, and another Wizard

Martin Freeman has left The Hobbit.
This is not another April Fool, just a May Fact.  Before signing as Bilbo, Martin had agreed to make three 90-minute TV films in London, again playing Dr Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes.  No worries: he’ll be back in Middle Earth after our first hiatus, during which Peter Jackson will have spare time to edit the scenes already completed.  The rest of the cast remains on duty for another few weeks, working on hobbit-less sections of the film.  These involve dwarves of course but also elves, with Hugo Weaving back for a stretch as Lord Elrond.
Hugo was recently onstage as Astrov in Chekov’s Uncle Vanyafor the Sydney Theatre Company, whose director, Cate Blanchett, played Yelena.  Before she returns as Galadriel, they will reprise their production at Washington DC’sKennedy Center in August.  I shall miss the revival, because of my own play, Eduardo De Filippo’s The Syndicate at Chichester Festival Theatre and a short UK tour.
Another slim-line elf returning from LOTR, is a local: New Zealand’s actor/comedian/singer Bret McKenzie.  Last time, he was an extra at Rivendell, the elven Last Homely House in the East.  Under a tree at the Council of Elrond, he silently witnessed the forming of the Fellowship.  Wordless maybe but not unnoticed by fans of the beautiful, who gave him the acronym F.I.G.W.I.T. (“Frodo Is Great! Who Is That?”)  I confess Gandalf didn’t take much notice, distracted by the main action that involved all the main characters.
I only joined Bret’s fan-base, when he joined up with Jermaine Clement in their hilarious tv seriesFlight of the Conchords.  Now he is briefly back in Rivendell as a senior official at Elrond’s Court and he has a name “Lindir”, which means “singer”.  Tolkien has plenty of songs in The Hobbit but the script doesn’t indicate that Lindir will be singing any of them.  If, as he promises, Bret makes a Conchord feature film ere long, I shall angle for a non-speaking part as BIGWIT.  (“Bret Is…” etc.)
And there’s another wizard in town, preparing to make his appearance as Radagast the Brown, the eccentric friend of Gandalf’s, played by Sylvester McCoy who was last in Wellington in 2007, King Lear's Fool in the Royal Shakespeare production in which I was his nuncle, now Sylvester's nick-name for me.  This week he has been trying out his make-up and costume.  At the prospect of our scenes together, Nuncle couldn't be happier.

— Ian McKellen, Wellington,  10 May 2011

THE HOBBIT, 2 Elves, and another Wizard

Martin Freeman has left The Hobbit.

This is not another April Fool, just a May Fact.  Before signing as Bilbo, Martin had agreed to make three 90-minute TV films in London, again playing Dr Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes.  No worries: he’ll be back in Middle Earth after our first hiatus, during which Peter Jackson will have spare time to edit the scenes already completed.  The rest of the cast remains on duty for another few weeks, working on hobbit-less sections of the film.  These involve dwarves of course but also elves, with Hugo Weaving back for a stretch as Lord Elrond.

Hugo was recently onstage as Astrov in Chekov’s Uncle Vanyafor the Sydney Theatre Company, whose director, Cate Blanchett, played Yelena.  Before she returns as Galadriel, they will reprise their production at Washington DC’sKennedy Center in August.  I shall miss the revival, because of my own play, Eduardo De Filippo’s The Syndicate at Chichester Festival Theatre and a short UK tour.

Another slim-line elf returning from LOTR, is a local: New Zealand’s actor/comedian/singer Bret McKenzie.  Last time, he was an extra at Rivendell, the elven Last Homely House in the East.  Under a tree at the Council of Elrond, he silently witnessed the forming of the Fellowship.  Wordless maybe but not unnoticed by fans of the beautiful, who gave him the acronym F.I.G.W.I.T. (“Frodo Is Great! Who Is That?”)  I confess Gandalf didn’t take much notice, distracted by the main action that involved all the main characters.

I only joined Bret’s fan-base, when he joined up with Jermaine Clement in their hilarious tv seriesFlight of the Conchords.  Now he is briefly back in Rivendell as a senior official at Elrond’s Court and he has a name “Lindir”, which means “singer”.  Tolkien has plenty of songs in The Hobbit but the script doesn’t indicate that Lindir will be singing any of them.  If, as he promises, Bret makes a Conchord feature film ere long, I shall angle for a non-speaking part as BIGWIT.  (“Bret Is…” etc.)

And there’s another wizard in town, preparing to make his appearance as Radagast the Brown, the eccentric friend of Gandalf’s, played by Sylvester McCoy who was last in Wellington in 2007, King Lear's Fool in the Royal Shakespeare production in which I was his nuncle, now Sylvester's nick-name for me.  This week he has been trying out his make-up and costume.  At the prospect of our scenes together, Nuncle couldn't be happier.

— Ian McKellen, Wellington,  10 May 2011

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