When news of Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — J.R.R. Tolkien's child-friendly Middle-earthen odyssey — first reached my ears, the fantasy-loving reader inside of me cried out with joy. Huzzah! More dwarves and hobbits, orcs and trolls, Gandalf and Gollum! More questing, more magic, more adventure! But then the cynic in me took over — I began wondering whether, with the exception of rabid Tolkien fans and library dwellers, anyone would want to see the movie. Because, while dwarves and hobbits and trolls may abound, this installment would have no Aragorn, no Legolas, no Liv Tyler, and only the briefest of appearances by Elijah Wood. In short, no sex appeal.
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Let's face it — hard bodies and beautiful faces do invite audiences to the theaters. Without the promise of Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, and Miranda Otto, of burly men wielding longswords and ladies with luscious locks staring wistfully into the vast unknown, who would want to brave the movie theater's sticky floor and sickly sweet smell of burned popcorn to subject themselves to three long hours of hobbit viewing? How will this film, filled with hairy feet and smelly trolls, draw in those who only shell out for Nicholas Sparks' latest piece of romantic drivel or Vin Diesel's fastest and most furious venture yet?
But then, The Hobbit's dwarf poster was released and everything changed. For staring out from the top row, second from the left, was the hottest dwarf I'd ever seen. You up there, where is your bulbous nose? Your bushy beard? Your unkempt, wiry nest of hair? Who taught you the appropriate amount of facial scruff and the correct eyebrow diameter? You, with the brooding scowl and chocolatey eyes, what is your name? And have you come to save us all?
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His name is Kili (played by Aidan Turner), and he and his brother Fili (who is also not your typical homely dwarf) are the youngest in Bilbo's posse. They have the keenest eyesight, and are therefore often sent to scout ahead of the band of merry travelers. According to a Tolkien wiki page, Warner Bros. describes Kili by saying, "Handsome and physically able, Kili possesses the invincible courage of youth. He is a skilled fighter and expert archer, having been trained with weapons from an early age. As one of the youngest in The Company of Dwarves, Kili is determined to make his mark and prove his worth." He's also determined to get a lot of screen time. Aside from Richard Armitage's Thorin Oakenshield, we see Kili more than any of the other dwarves — but hey, why would you waste precious film on an old, balding, or bulging dwarf? Jackson knows what audiences want: More of the hot one, please!
As is to be expected, I was hardly the only one to notice the incongruousness of Kili. There are tumblr pages dedicated to Kili appreciation, the likes of which are filled with such squeeful proclamations as, "Hot dwarves, okay? I’m not even sorry," and "AH! I can’t even, he was just AMAZING." And, surely inspired by Kili, Fili, and lead dwarf Thorin, Buzzfeed ranked the dwarves in order of hotness (they, however, wrongly placed Fili in the No. 1 position — there's no way this big-nosed dude is more attractive than his smoldering brother).
And so we find ourselves here. In the face of an adventure-filled quest, a story of gallantry and heart, we are arguing about which dwarf is the hottest. It's just as I thought — every film has got to have a heartthrob. And while Bilbo is brave and Thorin strong, it is Kili (oh Kili!) who acts as The Hobbit's eye candy. As once happened with Orlando Bloom's Legolas, it is Kili who will prompt teenagers to ask, "Is it okay that I'm like, obsessed with a mythological being?" To which we all answer yes, yes it is. Because, goddamn it, Kili is one hot dwarf.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]
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The two Brits discovered they had a similar sense of humour on the New Zealand set of Peter Jackson's epic and producer Barry Osbourne was so impressed with the friends' film ideas he offered to help fund their debut as screenwriters.
The busy pair have reunited for writing sessions whenever their schedules permit and Monaghan tells WENN that one recent creative spurt has given them both the confidence to take their project back to Osbourne.
He says, "Billy just stayed with me for the last few weeks. He and I have been writing a script for a long time, since we spent the best part of nine months in a tree together making Lord of the Rings. We found each other very funny and we wanted to work together.
"The producer of Lord of the Rings, Barry Osbourne said to us, 'You guys should come up with an idea for a script and I'll produce it.' We both love quality comedy, like Life of Brian and Dumb & Dumber and Spinal Tap and Being There and Pink Panther and we're circling around a couple of things right now that we've co-written with some actors.
"Hopefully, in the next six months or so, we'll have something real."
And Monaghan reveals Boyd isn't the only lifelong friend he made while shooting the Lord of the Rings trilogy - he often hangs out with Elijah Wood and his other co-stars.
He adds, "I see Viggo (Mortensen) whenever I can and Orlando (Bloom) and Ian McKellen and Pete Jackson. We've all remained really close friends."
Daryl Hannah had a interesting Thursday night. The famed 51-year-old Splash star was arrested on Thursday for criminal trespassing and resisting arrest, a Wood County Texas Jail official tells Hollywood.com. While she did have to spend some time behind bars, Hannah bonded out around midnight. In order to be released, Hannah had to pay a $1,500 bond on the criminal trespass charge and $3,000 for resisting arrest.
So what landed Hannah behind bars in the first place? Hannah was supposedly protesting the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, CBS News reports. Hannah and 78-year-old landowner Eleanor Fairchild were reportedly standing in front of equipment on Fairchild's farm in Winnsboro, Tex. in an attempt to keep the construction from progressing.
This isn't the first time that Hannah has been arrested for protesting the TransCanada pipeline. She was picked up in August 2011 in Washington, where several hundred other individuals were arrested the same month for standing up against the building of the $7 billion pipeline, which will bring crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.
"It is unfortunate Ms. Hannah and other out-of-state activists have chosen to break the law by illegally trespassing on private property," David Dodson, a spokesman for TransCanada, said, of Hannah's recent arrest. He also claimed that the protestors were "putting their own safety and the safety of others at risk."
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
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Martin Freeman, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett and Sir Ian McKellen are among the stars who have jetted out to New Zealand for filming, which began in March last year (11).
And on Friday (06Jul12), Jackson took to his Facebook.com page to share his delight after completing the two blockbusters, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There And Back Again.
He writes, "We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit.
"Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and (fan convention) Comic Con! Cheers, Peter J."
Freeman, McKellan and Jackson are all scheduled to appear at a panel at Comic-Con in San Diego, California later this month (Jul12).
The first Hobbit movie, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel, is due for release in December (12), while the second installment will hit theatres in December 2013.
The Gulliver's Travels actor will tackle the role of Dain Ironfoot and joins Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom in the director's Lord of the Rings prequel.
Jackson tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connelly, the Big Yin himself.
"With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of The Hobbit is now complete. We can't wait to see him on the Battlefield!"
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is scheduled to hit theatres in December (12).
The filmmaker is currently shooting the Lord of the Rings prequel, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel, with stars including Martin Freeman, Hugo Weaving, Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom.
Now Jackson is offering up the chance to visit the set of the film as part of the Stars Come Out Auction, which launched on Trademe.co.nz this week (beg19Dec11) to raise funds for scientist Sir Ray Avery's charity Medicine Mondiale.
Other offers up for auction include a chance to record songs with Crowded House's Neil Finn.
The musician says, "Ray continues his brilliant work to create innovative and low cost solutions to health problems in the developing world which attracts and intrigues me.
"He has recently developed a genius new product for infant nutrition called proteinforte and is raising money to build a factory in Nepal to produce it."
The auction will run until 9 January (12).
The Lost actress' Sylvan elf Tauriel was created especially for director Peter Jackson's upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel The Hobbit.
But Lilly admits she is terrified Tolkien devotees won't respond well when the movie epic is released next year (12).
She says, "The Hobbit didn't include female characters at all. I can see why additional characters were needed to round out the story as an adaptation, especially female characters.
"I am very concerned that people will watch and I'll be the black mark on the film. I know how adamant the purists are and I'm one of them."
Lilly was announced in June (11) as the latest addition to the male-dominated cast, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Hugo Weaving and Lord of the Rings regulars Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom.
The actress, who dated Lord of the Rings star and Lost castmate Dominic Monaghan, will play elf character Tauriel in director Peter Jackson's fantasy epic The Hobbit.
In a post on his Facebook.com page, Jackson writes, "Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing!
"What is not a secret is how talented and compelling an actress Evangeline is; we are thrilled and excited she will be the one to bring our first true Sylvan Elf to life."
Jackson has also added Aussie comedian Barry Humphries and Brits Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberpatch to his cast in the past few days.
They join Martin Freeman, Hugo Weaving and Lord of the Rings regulars Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis and Ian Holm in the film, which will be released in December, 2012.
Cumberpatch will give voice to the villainous dragon Smaug in The Hobbit, which features Freeman as hero Bilbo Baggins and many members of the Lord of The Rings movie trilogy, including Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom.
Clash of the Titans star Luke Evans has also been added to the cast this week (beg13Jun11) - he'll play Bard the Bowman.
Everybody, get your robes, swords and wizard hats ready because on December 14, 2012, it's totally time to nerd out, dress up and go to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey -- and then do it all again one year later! Following next year's premiere, the series' second installment, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will release on December 13, 2013. So far, pretty much everyone is returning from the original LOTR trilogy, including Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and, as of this past Friday, Orlando Bloom. The story follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he fights the dragon Smaug (who's rumored to be voiced by Bill Nighy) and it's directed by Peter Jackson.
For some reason, the picture is being shot in 3D, so it's not really surprising that on top of the exciting news that The Hobbit actually has a release date, there are terrible rumors already floating around that New Line owner, Warner Bros, will convert the original LOTR trilogy to 3D for another theatrical release. Because, you know, we need to see Gandolf yell, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS," in eye-popping 3D!