News Archive (1999)

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See news from 2000

12/18/99: A test image of an elf has been captured by the spies at Aint-It-Cool News. Depicting a "generic" elf rather than a specific character, what is interesting about the picture is that it has apparently been digitally modified to alter the facial structure of the actor. WETA Digital Effects apparently plans to do this to all the elf characters to give them a uniquely elven look. View the test image or read the article on Aint-It-Cool News.

12/04/99: An eyewitness account from an extra in the Prancing Pony scene provides a fascinating look inside the Rings production. First appearing in the magazine Contact and provided courtesy of The Lord of the Rings Movie Site, read "Confessions of a Hobbit Knocker".

11/21/99: Extensive flooding in New Zealand has been affecting the film crews there, according to numerous reports from the country. Major roads have been cut off, and backcountry access is not available. A river-side set was reportedly swept away. Other weather problems, such as a freak snowstorm (in the middle of New Zealand's summer!) have plagued the film crew recently. For more news on weather troubles, browse through the latest stories on or Imladris.

11/11/99: The New Zealand government has announced that permission has been granted for the Rings production to film on several areas of conservation land in the South Island. Some of the areas mentioned include the Kepler Mire in the Te Anau area, described as "an ancient string bog," and a glaciated karst area near Mt. Owen in Kahurangi National Park, which features "exposed marble... like fragile sculptures." The cast and crew will begin filming at South Island locations on November 15. Read the announcement here.

10/29/99: A Polish newspaper has reported that composer Wojciech Kilar, best known in the U.S. for his music to Bram Stoker's Dracula, is in final negotiations to write music for the Rings trilogy. The article indicates he will begin working on the score in as little as six months. View Kilar's entry in the Internet Movie Database for more information, or read a translation of the original article.

10/15/99: In a surprising move, actor Stuart Townsend, slated to play the role of Strider/Aragorn, has been replaced with actor Viggo Mortensen. It is not known whether Townsend quit or was fired, though the reason for his sudden departure seems to be "creative differences." No scenes with Towsend were believed to have been shot; however, the future shooting schedule might have to be adjusted to give Mortensen time to prepare for the role. View Mortensen's entry on the Cast page.

10/7/99: New Line has finally released a press release announcing the start of filming. In addition to officially confirming most of the rumored cast members, a few new additions have been made, including Brad Dourif as Wormtongue. Visit our new Javascript cast page here or read the press release here.

10/4/99: The entire crew list for Lord of the Rings has been released in the latest issue of OnFilm, a New Zealand film magazine. From carpenters to model makers, focus pullers to caterers, animal wranglers to animators, this page on lets you see the names of the hundreds of crew members who will make the Rings films a reality. Visit the full crew listing here.

9/21/99: Sir Ian McKellen has posted some interesting thoughts on his web site about his role as Gandalf in the Rings films. It makes for some very interesting reading. Read the entire article here, or view McKellen's entry on our Cast Page.

9/6/99: The last two members of the Fellowship have been cast, with the latest reports confirming that John Rhys-Davies will be playing Gimli the dwarf, and Orlando Bloom will be playing the elf Legolas. For more information on either actor, visit the the newly-redesigned Cast page.

9/2/99: Casting information has been flying lately: the latest two rumors are that Sean Bean, perhaps most well known to American audiences for his role as the villain in Goldeneye, is heavily rumored to be negotiating for the role of Boromir, and that unknown British actor Dominic Monaghan has been cast as the hobbit Merry. Get more information about Sean Bean or Dominic Monaghan on the newly-redesigned Cast page.

8/27/99: Actress Liv Tyler (Armageddon) has been confirmed in major media sources to have been cast in Lord of the Rings as "Queen of the Fairies." Since there is no such character in the books, fans have speculated she will be playing the Elvish princess Arwen.

8/23/99: Variety has released a short news blurb revealing that character actor Christopher Lee, best known for his role as "Dracula" in dozens of low budget horror films from the Hammer studio, is in final negotiations to play the corrupt wizard Saruman.

8/07/99: Ain't-It-Cool News has posted a script review for the old two-film version that would have been produced at Miramax. Though the screenplay has doubtless gone through many changes since then, Moriarty feels "the material is in the right hands. It's obvious from the first page of the script." Read the entire article here.

7/30/99: broke the story that Irish actor Stuart Townsend will be playing the important part of Aragorn (a.k.a. Strider), the title character of the third book of the trilogy, "Return of the King." For more information on Townsend, visit the cast page.

7/27/99:: A recent article in the Scottish daily record, while containing little new information, offers some nice insight into the current state of the Rings production. It suggests the first film will come out in December 2000, after all, and that shooting will begin in October. Click here to read it.

7/24/99: Ain't-It-Cool News broke the story that the role of Gandalf has been given to Ian McKellen, and that Bilbo will be played by Ian Holm. AICN has been right on every officially confirmed cast member so far, and a multitude of other sources have since verified the story, so this information is very likely to be true. Visit the cast page for more information on the two actors.

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