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TWO TOWERS and RETURN OF THE KING Info!!! TTT footaged added on March 22nd!!!

Hey folks, Harry here... People ask why there is so much LORD OF THE RINGS stuff on this site... the reason is that so many of the readers of AICN send in reports about Lord of the Rings stuff when they get the chance to send a scoop. You see Star Wars, Matrix, Alamo... whatever stuff... Send it on this way... I'm everybit as excited about those flicks... Films like ADAPTATION and CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND and so on... But right now, the info that most seems to come in, is LORD OF THE RINGS... I wish there was more Star Wars and Spider-Man... or Hulk, but there is either a better job of keeping things quiet right now or a lack of interest by those to share what they've seen.... But for LOTR-fans... they're seeing and telling a lot!!! WAY TO GO!!!! March 22nd is when THE TWO TOWERS footage is tapped onto FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS!!!!! Yippeee!!!!!

Hello Harry!

Elanor here. You have been kind enough to post reports of mine in the past so I thought you might be interested in some great scoop from the Q & A with Peter and Fran et al at the Barnes & Noble Union Square NYC. He let loose with some cool information that LOTR fans will want to hear about. T2T and ROTK SPOILERS I just got back from the NYC Barnes & Noble where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. By sheer luck (and being a clever hobbit-lass) I was able to thank both of them personally for making their movie.

I got there late – at about 4:45 (I do work for a living!) and found the place jammed and buzzing. (This was exactly the same set up as for Sir Ian in November - it was packed then but this was ridiculous!). You couldn’t see the ample seating area for all the standees. I made an attempt to find a spot where I could see over the heads or between shoulders (I am short) but realized it was a lost cause. I wandered back behind the escalator and noticed a corridor being kept guarded and clear. Hmm. This is where Sir Ian entered last time. I decide to stay put. After 15 minutes the entire New Zealand/New Line entourage came forward from their hiding places behind tall bookcases.

A lady in front keeps the way clear. There is Peter Jackson himself. I smile at him and he sees me. I say "Mr. Jackson, thank you for your movie". He smiles more broadly and stops. I say "You know, I haven’t had a single bad day since it opened". He grins and laughs, and says "great" looking back at Fran kind of twinkley-eyed. The handler-lady gently urges him to keep moving and he does. Suddenly I am right next to Fran Walsh. I smile at her and she smiles at me and I say "Thank you, Ms. Walsh, you wrote a beautiful script". She beams and says "thank you". She seems much more shy than Peter but still she seems genuinely pleased. They move on through the corridor and I watch them, not realizing that Howard Shore just passed me.

By this time other fans have caught on that they are all coming out now and suddenly I am surrounded. Striding tall above the throng is Christopher Lee, looking thin but fit and quite friendly. The handlers step around to protect him from the gathering fans. Then the whole room erupts in applause as Peter is seen by those lucky folks in the seats. All the guests make their way to the front and sit at a long table. There is some strange jokey guy who serves as MC who I would have been happier without. I miss a lot of the beginning talk because the room is buzzing so much and I am too far away and I can’t see them at all. Eventually I move to where I can hear better but still never get to see them due to my being so short. HOWEVER – here are the high points of what was said.

Peter reiterated several details we already know about the DVD. August for the Theatrical version, November for the "special edition". This will have 30 minutes of extra footage and it will be integrated into the existing film and will include specifically the Galadriel gift-giving scene as well as others mentioned already. He mentioned "rope" as a gift and I believe he meant that Sam receives rope from Galadriel (as opposed to the soil and seeds box) – more on this in a minute. Peter explained that the gift scene was cut for momentum. That they looked at the movie and knew that they had to get it going again towards its climax. Howard Shore will compose NEW music to go with these scenes, which Peter said he thinks is the first time that will ever have been done –that usually when scenes are "put back in" the music is "lifted " from other sections of the existing score.

He said he found the hardest character to create visually (and that they are STILL working on it) to be Sauron. He said they’ve had many laughs about it and have envisioned many Monty Python-esque moments of a visor being lifted to reveal a giant flaming eyeball.

He talked of CHANGES TO T2T. He said there is more character development and stuff we won’t expect. He mentioned several newsworthy bits: Shelob is NOT in the second film but in the third. This of course means that T2T cannot end on the "cliffhanger" as in the book. Also that the bulk of T2T is focused on Frodo/Sam/Gollum; that the Slinker/Stinker scene is IN, that Faramir’s role is expanded in some way and that he will indeed cut between three story lines: Frodo’s, The Three Hunters and Hobbits/Ents. He says that’s very cinematic anyway and sort of a no-brainer. He said it may include a scene that Fran directed and shot with Andy Serkis showing how Smeagol became Gollum. Fran said Peter isn't finished editing T2T yet. lThere were several questions that I could not hear and a few times I could not hear the answer and twice these got laughs. I hope someone else will report on them. One of the questions involved Isengard.

ROTK - BIG SHOCKER – Peter was asked how he plans to deal with the ending of the story…since the SOTS is sort of a downbeat ending how do they plan to deal with that? PJ: "There won’t be a downbeat ending because it’s not there". A bit of stunned silence in the room. I find myself still in denial. Peter goes on to explain how he knows that the SOTS was important to Tolkien, that seeing the English countryside destroyed was a big theme but that they did not plan to end the film this way. He said that’s why they paid a sort of homage to it in the mirror of Galadriel scene. He also said he found it the most awkward chapter personally. But he stressed that in order to make a film like this of Frodo and The Ring and his journey to Mordor, you "just couldn’t do it". I called out "yes you can!" but was only heard by those near me.

I will have to ponder this awhile and, I suppose, get used to it as I got used to the several other changes. I don’t know HOW he plans to end the movie, but I see plenty of indication that he will not let us down.

Christopher Lee spoke a bit and let me tell you how fantastic it was to hear that VOICE! Lord you could just be so lulled by that voice. He has a wicked wit, too, and such delectable diction. I was in heaven. I love PJ’s voice too but it’s very different. His is more about the lovely Kiki accent where Lee’s is all about the timbre and melody. Anyway Lee praised the cast, New Line, Peter and Fran, Ian McKellen and the crew. He said the "rivalry" between SW and LOTR was ridiculous because the films are not comparable at all and he should know since he is in both! Then he went on to tease us by making wicked comparisons anyway, all in LOTR’s favor. Peter chimed in saying the rivalry was all made up – that he and GL have great respect for each other’s work, that the productions were supportive of each other and shared information frequently.

PJ explained the non-relationship with the Tolkien estate in a most gracious way (this has already appeared in print) and re-iterated that he does not know if Christopher Tolkien has seen the film or not. They were asked if they plan to publish their scripts and they said not at the moment as there seems to be a problem with legal rights to do so, but lawyers are working on it.

Peter said there will be a one minute teaser for the general public at some point before the release of T2T but MARCH 22nd is the day when the new final reels with the 3 ? minute PREVIEW will be shown in theatres worldwide. He said he convinced the studio to do it FOR THE FANS.

They were friendly and gracious throughout. Peter and Fran stayed a while to sign autographs and I snapped some pictures with a crappy flash camera. I am so glad I went. After all, we New Yorkers are entitled to some perks this year!


Hello Harry!

Here's o_ayalon....

Hi Harry,

I went to see the LotR panel this afternoon in the Union Square Barns & Noble in NYC. I got there about 3 hrs early to get a good seat but was surprised to find the place almost empty. By the time the panel started it was full "what a shock".

Peter, Frances, Howard and Christopher Lee "THE MAN" were very cool and talked about how they had done some of the effects, about how the "Two towers" had the most changes from the book (although have no fear Treebeard is in it!), and how Golum was the coolest. But other than that, and Lee's very funny comments about SW ep II (food wasn't as good as LotR), the most interesting bit was that the "Two Towers" preview will be 3.5 min long and will be attached to FotR on March 22.

Hope this will send people to see the movie again.


And now for Dumbo's exhaustive report....

Hey Harry, long time reader, first time contributor.

Today I was lucky enough to snag a seat at the Lord of the Rings discussion on Union Square here in New York City. In attendance were Fran Walsh, Howard Shore (along with personal fan club...), and the Mr. Hobbit himself, Peter Jackson.

Overall they were very courteus and respectful of even the most rabid fans. They answered all the questions with great insight, and dropped a few interesting tidbits about Two Towers which I'll get into in a second. In fact the only thing wrong with the discussion was the hack comedian they got to modorate the thing. I don't know why B&N thought it would be a good idea to get a guy like this, he seemed a lot more interested in his ridiculous excuses for 'jokes' about than our questions. But enough of that, here's what we found out:

As we all know by now, Peter Jackson had made a cut of fotr with 30 minutes of extra footage, including Galardriel's gift giving scene (he mentioned that he really wanted to do this because the gifts will be used in the next movies and hopefully this will clear up some of impending confusion). He said the theatrical cut will be out on DVD in August, and the extended cut in November. However, as we all know such cuts aren't usually accompanied by original scoring, rather bits and pieces of scoring from other scenes will be included. Well Peter jackson will have none of that, and stated very proudly that Howard Shore would actually go back and write new music just for the added scenes!

Later on, our spunky moderator made his one real contribution to the conversation by asking him about the trailer for Two Towers (he clearly didn't know about the preview coming in March). Well this happened to give Jackson an opportunity to say that the preview was finished, and would be released in theaters March 22nd. He went on to say it would depict things we, "are not expecting so see." I assure you he meant that in a very good way...

When someone asked Jackson about Christopher Tolkien, he said that the Tolkien's, despite what some have read, had absolutley nothing to do with the movie's production, and he has not spoken to him about the movie. The reason being was that the Tolkien's were worried about being exploited, and the movie being portrayed as something they endorsed for advertising purposes. Since they had absolutely no say in what was happening with the production, they wanted no part in it, understandably, so there was no confusion.

Then someone asked Christopher Lee about the differences between working on Star Wars and LotR. Christopher Lee's responce was an emphatic, "Star Wars is in no way comparable to Lord of the Rings." He went on to explain how the settings were different and whatnot, always eager to point out how no comparison could be drawn between them. It was my impression that Christopher Lee was did not particularly enjoy working on Episode II, especially compared to LotR. Take that with a grain of salt of course, I could be wrong, but he was extremely emphatic about how "No comparison's could be drawn between Star Wars and Lord of the Rings."

Once Lee was through, Jackson took up the topic so he could dismiss rumours of any rivalry between his production and Lucas'. In fact, the Lucasfilm effects team came down to visit them in New Zealand in very early stages of production (Lucas was still working on Episode I) and invited Jackson's fx team to come up to Skywalker ranch where they received some "very valuable suggestions." Pretty cool.

Ok, then the conversation turned to the next movies, and some very specific questions were asked. Be forewarned, there are some light spoilers in the next section.

It started with a question about Gollum. Jackson went on and on about how motion capture was used extremely heavily in creating Gollum, and how wonderful Andy Smerkis was at bringing Gollum to life. This led him into saying that Two Towers would focus a lot on Gollum, Sam, and Frodo, and that they've 'fleshed out' their relationship which took them in some 'very interesting directions, and some very cool moments.' He went on to say that Faramir would also be playing a very big part in Two Towers and that the Sam, Frodo, Faramir relationship would be very 'fleshed out' as well. Jackson explained that Two Towers, as it stands alone, is not enough material to make a movie with. So apparently there will be a lot of this 'fleshing out' of plot lines going on. Also it would be cut very much like FotR was, switching back and forth between storylines and so on.

The big surprise for most of the people in the audience was the revelation that the Shelob would not be in Two Towers, but rather in Return of the King. There wasn't much explanation as to why he did this, but he wanted it to be known so there wouldn't be tons of disappointed fans come next december, and of course he assured as that Shelob would really be something to look forward to in 2003.

Jackson then, probably because she wasn't being asked very many questions, went on to say that Fran Walsh directed a scene in Two Towers depicting Shmeagol's descent into the creature Gollum. Sounds very cool, Jackson seemed very excited about it.

One last thing about the next movies: Someone asked if they were going to depict the Scouring of the Shire in Return of the King. Jackson answered with pretty much a flat out 'no.' As interesting as he thought that part of the book was, he had to admit that it sort of interrupted the flow of the story. Since flow seems to be a very big concern of Jackson's, he decided to just leave it out of the movie all together.He considers the scenes Frodo witnesses in Galadriel's pool as his homage to that part of the book.

The very last question of the night was whether not they would publish the full LotR script. Walsh fielded this one, saying it was very unlikely due to New Line's concerns about infringing on the Tolkie estate.

Well this turned out longer than I thought it would, and I left out some of the goofy antics the panel was pulling throughout the night, perhaps for another time. Personally I would have liked to have heard more from Howard Shore, but our moderator's insistance on calling on those people jumping up and down waving their hands left us with a lot of pretty lame questions. Oh well, what are you going to do?

If you decide to use this Harry, please call me Dumbo.

Here's yet another report from 'the unnamed one'

Thanks for posting the info. Otherwise I would have missed this great opportunity.

Here's some info, maybe new, maybe not.

--Exact date for Two Towers footage on FOTR: March 22.

--Shelob won't appear until ROTK.

--There will be two separate DVD releases of FOTR. First will be the theatrical version, I believe Jackson said August. Then there be the extended version, with about 30 minutes of extra footage, which will be released just before Two Towers hits theatres. He didn't mention whether #2 will include #1, or what features would motivate us to buy the first one (other than sheer impatience).

--Instead of using pieces of the musical score from the existing theatrical version, all new music will be composed and performed for the additional footage. They made quite a deal about this, since it apparently has never been done before.

--Jackson described how they do the CG for Gollum. The actor wears some sort of suit with sensors all over it, so that when he moves the computer generated Gollum mimics his motions exactly. This happens in real-time.

--And just for your amusement, there was a woman there who claimed to have seen the film 31 times. Jackson joked that he was concerned she was missing the 5:30 screening.

Now here's KCM who is also responsible for these wonderful photos you've been seeing throughout this page...

Hey there Harry,

Just got back from seeing Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, and Christopher Lee at the Union Square Barnes & Noble here in NYC. All of them were as charming, witty, and personable as you might imagine. I expect you'll be getting many reports (the Enemy has many spies...), so I'll just cut to the quick with what I thought was the most important stuff:

* The Scouring IS NOT HAPPENING. There's been a bit of back and forth on this on the web, but PJ says it just didn't work for the film version. The scene in Galadriel's mirror in Fellowship is an homage to the Scouring, and that's all there'll be.

* Shelob WILL NOT BE in The Two Towers. Apparently, they've expanded the Frodo-Sam-Gollum-Faramir stuff quite a bit, and as such Shelob has been kicked to the beginning of ROTK. No word on how they'll end TTT. PJ wanted us to know so that "we wouldn't be disappointed." More Arwen too, they said.

* Fran Walsh wrote AND directed Gollum's backstory. So flashbacks of Smeagol and his birthday present will be in TTT.

* March 22 is the day the new last reel goes out to theaters. I assume that means you'll be able to see the 3.5 minutes of footage that night.

* DVD information was repeated (August and November.) Galadriel gift-giving and more Fellowship character development will be included. PJ doesn't like the term "director's cut" so it's an alternate version. It's got an extra half hour and it's been completed, except...

* Howard Shore is composing new music for the 30 minutes of Fellowship footage, which they said was a first.

* PJ and Chris Lee went to great pains to kill "the Internet stuff" about a rivalry between SW and LOTR. PJ said that the Lucasfilm folks were very helpful about suggesting animatics technology, etc., and Mr. Lee (who looked tired of the question) said there is NO comparison between the two films. (As he put it, LOTR happens on Earth and SW happens in Outer Space.)

* PJ was honored to be nominated for the Oscars, but doesn't think LOTR stands much of a shot for anything but the technical awards. But, as he noted, getting nominated is basically as good as winning and "Fellowship got 13 nominations and nobody can take that from us."

They said some other intriguing stuff, but not much in the new news dept. Some photos attached - hope you like 'em blurry. If you need a name, I'll be Ghost in the Machine (


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