'The Hobbit' Movies Behind the Scenes & Controversial Peter Jackson-Produced Documentary Acquired

The Hobbit Frodo Elijah WoodThe Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' movies are prequels to TLotR trilogy.

'The Hobbit' movies: Behind the scenes with Peter Jackson

In one of The Hobbit movies' video blog/vlog, Peter Jackson explains that location shooting on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and its sequel The Hobbit: There and Back Again has been just about completed.

When Jackson is asked why it took him and his crew 127 days to shoot two The Hobbit movies, while the three The Lord of the Rings movies were shot in 133 days, Jackson came up with some sound reasoning: “We're all ten years older, so we're going a little slower.”

Below is Jackson's first The Hobbit behind the scenes video blog of 2012.

'The Hobbit' movies: Behind the scenes with filmmaker Peter Jackson.

Post-'The Lord of the Rings' dwindling box office

About ten years ago, Peter Jackson had three consecutive blockbusters with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and Best Picture and Best Director Academy Award winner The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

Since then, Jackson's box office performance has been considerably less successful:

'The Hobbit' movies cast

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, Peter Jackson's two The Hobbit movies feature:

Martin Freeman. Elijah Wood. Orlando Bloom. Christopher Lee. Stephen Fry. Richard Armitage. Lee Pace.

Evangeline Lilly. Luke Evans. Andy Serkis. Hugo Weaving. Barry Humphries. Mikael Persbrandt. Benedict Cumberbatch.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Ian McKellen (Best Actor for Gods and Monsters, 1998; Best Supporting Actor for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001).

Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, 2004).

Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Ian Holm (Chariots of Fire, 1981).

The first of the two The Hobbit movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in the U.S. and Canada on Dec. 14, '12.

Christopher Nolan leaves CAA after agent gets fired

In other blockbuster-to-be news, Christopher Nolan, whose The Dark Knight Rises opens this summer, left talent agency CAA after his agent, Dan Aloni, was fired. According to TheWrap, following Aloni's dismissal yesterday (Feb. 29, '12), he was escorted out of the CAA building.

TheWrap adds that a(n unnamed) former colleague “said that Aloni had a 'bullying' style that won him enemies among fellow agents, even if it was effective for his clients.”

Besides Christopher Nolan, among Aloni's other clients are Mars Needs Moms' Robert Zemeckis, Meet the Fockers' Jay Roach, Wedding Crashers' David Dobkin, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry and male lead Jim Carrey.

'The Dark Knight Rises' cast

The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan's latest (and apparently last) Batman movie, features:

Christian Bale. Anne Hathaway. Marion Cotillard. Michael Caine. Gary Oldman. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tom Conti.

Matthew Modine. Morgan Freeman. Juno Temple. Josh Pence. Daniel Sunjata. Nestor Carbonell. Joey King.

Brett Cullen. Chris Ellis. Josh Stewart. Christopher Judge. Adam Rodriguez. Rob Brown.

The Dark Knight Rises opens in North America on July 20.

West of Memphis documentary The Hobbit movies Peter Jackson one of the producers'West of Memphis' documentary: 'The Hobbit' movies' Peter Jackson one of the producers.

Sony Pictures Classics acquires West Memphis Three documentary

And now we (more or less) return to The Hobbit movies' filmmaker Peter Jackson: EW.com reports that Amy Berg's documentary West of Memphis, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival, has been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.

The film depicts the efforts to exonerate the West Memphis Three – Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. – who were convicted of the murder of three boys in Arkansas. All three were recently released from prison after having served nearly two decades behind bars.

Now, what does that have to do with Peter Jackson?

Well, keep on reading…

Controversy and 'name' filmmakers

In addition to good reviews and the continuing controversy surrounding the case – some insist the men are guilty; others call their conviction a gross miscarriage of justice and an indictment against the American justice system – West of Memphis had a couple of other good selling points:

  • It was produced by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson and frequent partner Fran Walsh.
  • Maybe it doesn't hurt that another documentary on the West Memphis Three, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, received an Academy Award nomination this year.

'First-rate' investigative documentary

In Variety, John Anderson begins his West of Memphis review with the following:

Whether the state of Arkansas can ignore West of Memphis seems to be the only remaining question surrounding this first-rate investigative docu on the notorious West Memphis Three case, its questionable prosecution and its dubious resolution. Following on the heels of the celebrated Paradise Lost trilogy, Amy Berg's clear, captivating, indignant film carves out its own significant place in criminal-justice cinema, makes new and startling revelations into the triple-murder mystery, and is visually spectacular to boot.


Image of Elijah Wood as the hobbit Frodo in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: New Line Cinema.

The Hobbit movies' behind the scenes video: Warner Bros.

West of Memphis documentary poster: Sony Pictures Classics.

'The Hobbit' Movies Behind the Scenes & Controversial Peter Jackson-Produced Documentary Acquired © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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