Remember when the estate for author J.R.R. Tolkien filed suit against Warner Bros over a Lord Of The Rings-themed online gambling game? Well, it seems that Warner Bros has won the first round.
Warner Bros (and Saul Zentz, the longtime rights holder) filed a countersuit in March against the estate, claiming that the initial lawsuit “hurt financially and had its rights to the author’s properties undermined,” and that it had to cancel the licensing agreement with Microgaming because of the suit, and that the estate has been receiving royalties from the agreement that was re-worked in 2010 already.
Today, a federal judge dismissed the motion by the plaintiffs to have the counterclaims dismissed, allowing the countersuit to move forward.
Peter Jackson has released his video production diary for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, which you can see below…but sadly, he says there will be no presentation at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con due to time constraints while they finish pick-up shooting.
The trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, part two of The Hobbit trilogy, is out and you can see it right here!
Although people who purchased The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were able to watch Peter Jackson’s presentation and preview of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug live (and if you missed it and have an Ultraviolet code, you can still watch it), you can watch an excerpt of the question and answer section right here…and you might recognize a couple of the people asking questions…
Tomorrow is the big day – the first installment of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow. And while we have to wait until December for part 2, The Desolation of Smaug, we can now journey back to Middle-earth to our heart’s content to see how the journey began…(don’t forget…you can use your Ultraviolet code from either version to access the Peter Jackson Q&A session and get the first sneak peek at The Desolation of Smaug on 3/24!)
(And I’ve discovered that I’ve probably been pronouncing Smaug wrong for many, many years…I’ve always just said “Smog”, but it seems it should be two syllables, something approximating “Sma-oohg”.)
First, let’s talk a bit about the feature…An Unexpected Journey covers approximately the first third of the book, up through the Gollum and goblin fights. From my own memory I thought it covered a lot more of the book, but it really is about a third. And it holds pretty true, at least from my memories of the book, which are probably about 15 years removed. It does start with a link-in to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in the form of the older Bilbo (played Ian Holm again) writing in the Red Book, while explaining to Frodo (Elijah Wood) about his big adventure, showing events that took place just prior to his birthday party but weren’t shown in the The Fellowship of the Ring. This serves as a gateway in to the story using the familiar characters, and then flashes back to the younger Bilbo (now played by Martin Freeman), just before he is about to receive quite a few unexpected visitors.
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson will host a live first look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, on Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern/12pm Pacific at www.hobbit.com/sneak. Just added: The live event will now include a Q&A with Jackson and fans! Video questions can be submitted beginning March 12 through March 19 on “The Hobbit” Facebook page, or through the Vine mobile app using the hashtag #askPeterJackson. Fans can also Tweet links to video questions using the hashtag #askPeterJackson. The live event will be limited to holders of an UltraViolet™ code, available by purchasing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 2-disc DVD Special Edition on March 19. Visit thehobbit.com/sneak for more information.
Warner Bros has said that that they are pushing back the release date for Part 3 of The Hobbit to December 17th, 2014 from its original July 18th date. This puts it in to the same holiday timeframe as the first two installments, and away from X-Men: Days of Future Past.
We still have to wait until December for the next part of The Hobbit – but we don’t have to wait that long to watch Part 1 at home. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be release on Blu-Ray and DVD in three weeks, on March 19th. Pre-order now!
A full 13-minute making of featurette for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is now available online, and you can watch it right here! Enjoy!
Check out the latest TV spot for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – and get a quick glimpse of Smaug the Dragon!