All of Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies have pushed the boundaries of the PG-13 rating, but it looks like the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies may be the Halfling that breaks the Oliphaunt’s back. It seems that the longer version of the trilogy capper, which is returning to theaters this October, has been slapped with an R-rating by the MPAA.
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Remember the Hobbit movies? Your butt certainly does. Although they weren’t as long as the Lord of the Rings movies, Peter Jackson’s second series of films set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth felt much longer. Each film could have stood to lose at least 30 minutes from its running time. Heck, the trilogy should’ve been two movies but that’s a conversation for another day. The point is that these already long movies have extended cuts and these extended cuts are returning to theaters this October.
Before Peter Jackson took the reigns of the franchise, Guillermo del Toro was supposed to direct The Hobbit, and planned to bring his friend and longtime collaborator Ron Perlman to voice the dragon Smaug. But financial problems and delays at MGM eventually forced del Toro from the project; after Peter Jackson, king of The Lord of the Rings, signed on to direct in his place, he replaced Perlman with Benedict Cumberbatch. That’s just one of the facts packed into the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies, which takes you on an unexpected journey behind the scenes of the first film in The Hobbit trilogy!
If you have a basement, chances are you keep things like boxes of old stuff, disintegrating furniture and various household items in it. If you have a cool basement, you might have some pinball machines or something down there. But Peter Jackson has the coolest basement of all: the director had Bag End, the home of Bilbo Baggins, installed beneath his home.
The film world lost one of its great artists on Monday when Andrew Lesnie, the cinematographer on all six of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies passed away following a sudden heart attack. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lesnie was 59 years old.
Nicolas Cage in a Lord of the Rings film? It almost happened, if you can believe that. Cage was offered the role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson's trilogy but eventually turned it down. He would later explain, “[It] shot for a great quantity of time. I had family obligations, so I’m glad I stayed and had those experiences with my family.” This is just one of the facts packed into the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies, which travels to Middle-earth for The Lord of the Rings trilogy!
Today in “surely you jest” news, ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise director Peter Jackson has officially revealed where he stands on film franchises, blockbusters, and superhero movies. Although he’s been behind the wheel of two wildly successful film franchises for over a decade, it turns out that Jackson isn’t really a fan of the franchise mentality. And you definitely shouldn’t count on him to direct a Marvel movie anytime soon—or ever.
There seem to be two paths for monumentally popular pieces of art and entertainment once the initial excitement around them begins to wear off. Either they become a cultural touchstone, and become a part of the fabric of everyday communication, or they become a footnote, a piece of trivia relevant only as nostalgia and an occasional answer at bar trivia. I revisit Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy every few years, because I desperately want it to be the former and not the latter.
Having gone on an unexpected journey and endured the desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson’s bloated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ finally comes to ‘The Battle of the Five Armies,’ which is less of a climax to this trilogy than a distended epilogue. After spending two movies and 330 minutes building up the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) as the ultimate antagonist, he’s eliminated from the story completely in the first ten minutes. He’s literally gone before the title appears onscreen.
Before interviewing Lee Pace—who returns to Middle-earth as the Elvenking, Thranduil, in the upcoming ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’—I conducted a completely scientific poll (it was not scientific at all, I randomly asked my friends), asking “Where do you think Lee Pace is from?” Of the seven people I asked, only one knew that Pace was born in the United States. (This particular person guessed Nebraska, the correct answer is Oklahoma and/or Texas.) What’s most remarkable about this is just how shocked people look when they find out that Pace went to high school in Houston. (Honestly, this all seems like a compliment. An “actor from England” seems to have more prestige than “an actor from Houston.”)