Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema Join With MGM to Produce "The Hobbit"

Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:

MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy...

More (click here)


Adrienne said...

And why is this of interest to me??? Of course, I'm not a LOTR fan so maybe that's why I don't get the importance of this whole post.

But, I am sure you will explain it to me, V

HELP! (See, I'm not too proud to show my abject ignorance)

Vincenzo said...


"Q: What are some of the main religious symbols in Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium?

Birzer: In "The Lord of the Rings," several religious symbols exist.

My personal favorite is the Elvish Lembas, translated as the "way bread" or "life bread." Even one piece of the bread can sustain a person for a day. Tolkien wrote that it "fed the will," and certainly without it, neither Frodo nor Sam would have made the journey across Mordor and up Mount Doom.

For Tolkien, nothing represented a greater gift from God than the actual Body and Blood of Christ. "I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament," Tolkien wrote to his son Michael. "There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity and the true way of all your loves upon earth."

Tolkien once experienced a holy vision while praying before the Blessed Sacrament. "I perceived or thought of the Light of God and in it suspended one small mote (or millions of motes to only one of which was my small mind directed), glittering white because of the individual ray from the Light which both held."

Tolkien also witnessed his guardian angel in the vision, not as a go-between but as the personalization of "God's very attention."

There are other Catholic symbols as well. Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn each represent the different offices of Christ: respectively priest, prophet and king. Each of these characters places himself in harm's way for the greater good; each is willing to lay down his life for his brother.

When Gandalf faces the Balrog, he not only accepts death, but he names his master, the Secret Fire. According to what Tolkien told a friend, the Secret Fire was the Holy Spirit.

There are also several Marian figures throughout "The Lord of the Rings." The most important, I think, is Elbereth, a Vala, or archangel, to whom Sam prays as he thrusts Sting, the Elvish sword, into Shelob.

As Tolkien admitted, the Mother of Christ provided him with all of his understanding of "beauty in majesty and simplicity."

Q: How does Tolkien provide a social and ethical worldview through myth?

Birzer: Because Tolkien touches on timeless truths, it is impossible for his mythology not to provide a social and ethical worldview. Myth, Tolkien believed, touched each person at a very deep level.

One can, therefore, easily abuse myth, using it incorrectly, as, for example, Richard Wagner or Adolf Hitler did. True myth, though, drew its inspiration from the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ. Tolkien wrote in his academic essay, "On Fairy-Stories," that to reject the Christ story is to lead to either sadness or wrath.

Q: In your book, you write that Tolkien's mythical world is essentially truer than the one we think we see around us every day. Briefly, can you explain your argument?

Birzer: Only since the so-called Enlightenment have intellectuals en masse turned to studying primarily the material world at the expense of the spiritual world.

But man is the "metaxy," the "in between." He is flesh and spirit. To ignore one at the expense of the other is to verge very quickly into heresy; the results of such false materialism are all around us: the gulags, the holocaust camps and the killing fields are their unholy monuments.

God did not enter man at the conception of Jesus -- God became flesh. The soul and the flesh became one. Tolkien and the Inklings, following the Catholic and Romantic traditions behind them, rejected the scientistic worldview.

Myth, Tolkien believed, allowed us to see things as they were meant to be, prior to the Fall. When we look at another human person, we should imagine him as he will be in heaven, as a fully sanctified being.

The Eucharist, for example, is a true myth. We could never explain transubstantiation in modern, materialist terms, but we believe and know it to be the real, actual body and blood of Christ. Again, it is the spirit becoming one with the material...."

Adrienne said...

Well, ok then!! Now it's clear.

I suppose I should try, once again, to read LOTR. Sigh!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing blog...