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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Maxim Baldry Confirmed as a Lead.
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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 4, 2:35am

Post #1 of 62 (2267 views)
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Maxim Baldry Confirmed as a Lead. Can't Post

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports: ‘The Lord Of the Rings’: Maxim Baldry Set As A Lead In Amazon Series




Quote
British actor Maxim Baldry (Years and Years) has signed on for a lead role in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings TV series, I have learned.

Baldry was first linked to LOTR last fall but he didn’t have a deal for the show, which was why Baldry was not part of Amazon’s LOTR cast announcement in January that included 15 other actors.

“We still have a few key roles to cast,” Amazon Co-head of TV Vernon Sanders said at the time. Baldry is believed to be playing one of those key roles, and his deal has just closed, I hear.

* * * * *
In other news, there's a rumor reported by Justin in tonight's TORn Tuesday webcast that the entire writing staff (including Tom Shippey) has been fired and will be replaced for Season 2 of Amazon's Lord of the Rings series. However, I have yet to see anything that confirms the story.

#FidelityToTolkien


Chen G.
Rohan

Mar 4, 1:47pm

Post #2 of 62 (2077 views)
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"a" lead [In reply to] Can't Post

So don't expect him to be THE lead. I believe that part is rumoured to be Aramayo's.


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there's a rumor reported by Justin in tonight's TORn Tuesday webcast that the entire writing staff (including Tom Shippey) has been fired.


If this is true (and I've yet to see more following up on this, which leads me to think its not) that's a much, much more significant piece of news.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Mar 4, 2:00pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 4, 2:22pm

Post #3 of 62 (2073 views)
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TORn Tuesday - 03/03/20) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
there's a rumor reported by Justin in tonight's TORn Tuesday webcast that the entire writing staff (including Tom Shippey) has been fired.


If this is true (and I've yet to see more following up on this, which leads me to think its not) that's a much, much more significant piece of news.


Here's the webcast that brought the rumor of the firing of the writing staff. I'll emphasis that this is just a rumor at this stage and has no named source(s). We've already known that the show was scheduled to take a hiatus after the filming of the first two episodes and this story might be connected to that, perhaps spread by crew members who don't have the whole story.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 4, 2:25pm)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 4, 7:41pm

Post #4 of 62 (1992 views)
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What an irresponsible thing to report [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried to listen to the podcast, but I found them so obnoxious sounding that I had to give up. But there is clearly no basis to the report. For one thing, Tom Shippey isn't even part of the "writing staff" so how can he be fired from the writing staff? I'm sure that just as with any television show there is an ebb and flow to the writing staff, but it simply the worst kind of sensationalism to report something like this as if the original work is so disastrously bad that they have to fire everyone and start over, even including arguably the preeminent living Tolkien scholar.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


The Dude
Bree

Mar 5, 12:09am

Post #5 of 62 (1896 views)
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Difficult to follow and listen to. [In reply to] Can't Post

The rumor about the screenwriters starts around 7:20 of the video (I would recommend watching it at twice the speed):

"As of today, we have heard from multiple, multiple sources - and based on our own research from looking into Twitter accounts, IMDB accounts, and anything like that - Amazon has let go of the entire writer's room for Lord of the Rings. Everyone is gone. Their plan is to bring in a whole new writing team for Season 2."

The guy on the right then goes on to say that "Season 1 is on hiatus" and that the scripts for Season 1 "are in cold storage". One of his main arguments is that the writers have been very active on Twitter for the last 3 months, which (according to him) they would not be if they still had their jobs ("big red flag").

Other points he raises: The two show-runners apparently "are still on" [which would actually mean that not all writers are gone, "just" the secondary writers]; "Shippey is officially off the project" [to be fair, they don't mistake him for being on the writing staff]; "half of them [the people from the creative video] are gone"

The way the hosts present this massive rumor is quite unprofessional, and maybe it would be better not to comment on it at all. But who knows, guy on the right could be right.

If the rumor actually were true, it would prove that Amazon bought the rights for LOTR before coming up with any potential plan for a story whatsoever; i.e., Amazon needed a big licence for their streaming service, so they bought a big license and then asked a heterogeneous group of TV writers to come up with some story to fit that licence. This might sound ludicrous on the surface, but it is important to remember that the history of big business and government is full of foolish ideas and half-baked concepts.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 5, 12:35am

Post #6 of 62 (1875 views)
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Thanks for the clarification // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 5, 1:08am

Post #7 of 62 (1872 views)
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There may be truth to the rumor. [In reply to] Can't Post

I certainly wasn't planning to send this to the homepage's "Got News?" tip line without confirmation, but we do know a thing or two. We do know that there will be a hiatus after the first two episodes are lensed before the show resumes production. That was announced some time ago. Tom Shippey's role in the production might have simply reached its natural conclusion (or not). He might be under an NDA, though, and unable to comment about it.

As for the rest, we'll have to wait and see.

#FidelityToTolkien


Hasuwandil
Rivendell


Mar 5, 8:25am

Post #8 of 62 (1770 views)
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Good news, bad news [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad to hear Maxim Baldry is finally on board.


In Reply To
The guy on the right then goes on to say that "Season 1 is on hiatus" and that the scripts for Season 1 "are in cold storage". One of his main arguments is that the writers have been very active on Twitter for the last 3 months, which (according to him) they would not be if they still had their jobs ("big red flag").


I haven't watched TORn Tuesday for about a month (due to extenuating circumstances), but the last few episodes I watched, Justin and Cliff seemed to be under the impression that the show had already started filming last year and was now on hiatus. Perhaps this idea was largely driven by the report that Amazon had to start filming within two years of the deal, which was announced in November, 2017, but apparently wasn't finalized until mid-2018. I also recall that the TORn Twitter account posted something about filming beginning last July. Nevertheless, at some point it was either announced or rumored that principal photography would begin in February, 2020, and I reset my expectations accordingly.

I wonder if this is still a source of confusion. It shouldn't be, because unless Amazon is participating in an elaborate ruse, they have in fact been filming on the first two episodes for at least a month now. There is a planned hiatus in production, but it will not start until after this phase of filming wraps. There may be a "hiatus" in writing right now, but that would be because right now the focus is on filming.

Which is not to say that the rumor is entirely untrue. However, I would not expect the writing team to be extremely busy once filming starts. Also, it's not uncommon for writing teams to lose and gain members from season to season, but it seems very odd to me that Amazon would fire every single member of the writing team, except for the two show runners, Is there a precedent for that sort of thing (apart from canceled shows)?

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


2ndBreffest
Lorien


Mar 6, 12:38pm

Post #9 of 62 (1507 views)
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wow... [In reply to] Can't Post

hopefully this is not true, as Tom Shippey's involvement is literally the only thing that gave me a single shred of hope that this could possibly have a chance of turning out somewhat decent. The likelihood this series will alienate fans of Tolkien's work who prefer their adaptations with more Tolkien and less "artistic interpretation" is exceptionally high due to current trends in popular mainstream hollywood entertainment, and the firing of the only person with any scholarly understanding of Tolkien's literature will seal the deal. So far, the more I see and hear, the less I want to see this series happen.


Chen G.
Rohan

Mar 6, 2:22pm

Post #10 of 62 (1476 views)
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That's rather mean-spirited, no? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
the more I see and hear, the less I want to see this series happen.


I mean, this isn't some project in development: it is a multi-billion dollar TV production which is currently being filmed, and upon which the jobs of many people are hinged.

Not wanting to watch it is one thing. Wanting it to be scrapped, though? that's a tad too mean-spirited for me.


Fleuz
Lorien


Mar 6, 2:24pm

Post #11 of 62 (1476 views)
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Involvement of Shippey [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder whether his involvement was limited to the outlining of the series. Which would make sense. Shippey is no professional TV guy. He's an expert in all things Tolkien. Once the project's theme, characters, places are established and checked by him and the Tolkien Estate, there's no reason to keep him full time on the project, while they are filming.
When he's out for now, that doesn't mean they can't hire him again for future seasons.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 6, 2:34pm

Post #12 of 62 (1469 views)
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That's not likely [In reply to] Can't Post

More likely is that his role is to review things for obvious mistakes as they go on, which is similar to what Janel Brennan Croft (the official "Tolkien scholar" for the Hobbit films) did. Moreover, simply having his name attached to the series is of great value. There is simply no evidence to support the rumor that he is no longer attached to the series. It is nothing more than a made-up rumor designed to stir things up. I am fairly disgusted that it is even being reported here.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


2ndBreffest
Lorien


Mar 6, 2:43pm

Post #13 of 62 (1466 views)
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true... [In reply to] Can't Post

he is no professional TV guy, he is a professional Tolkien guy which I feel is an essential element to have involved throughout the entire writing process if there is to be any chance of this coming off as something Tolkien would have been pleased with. There is very little written material for them to base this on, and the idea of a team of hollywood writers whose famaliarity of Middle-earth is largely the product of having watched PJ's movies, is an unsettling thought to behold. I expect there will be lots of "winging it" going on in the writers room.


(This post was edited by 2ndBreffest on Mar 6, 2:57pm)


2ndBreffest
Lorien


Mar 6, 2:51pm

Post #14 of 62 (1461 views)
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amazon will be alright... [In reply to] Can't Post

and everyone will just go on to another project. I would much rather see the entire thing abandoned than another poorly planned and executed "Tolkien" product released for the sole purpose of making a buck.


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 6, 6:36pm

Post #15 of 62 (1419 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
More likely is that his role is to review things for obvious mistakes as they go on, which is similar to what Janel Brennan Croft (the official "Tolkien scholar" for the Hobbit films) did.


And presumably to be completely ignored, as Croft was.

You are right: his name has a certain commercial value and all they ever wanted from him was a name-check they could sell.


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 6, 6:38pm

Post #16 of 62 (1419 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
the more I see and hear, the less I want to see this series happen.


I mean, this isn't some project in development: it is a multi-billion dollar TV production which is currently being filmed, and upon which the jobs of many people are hinged.

Not wanting to watch it is one thing. Wanting it to be scrapped, though? that's a tad too mean-spirited for me.


Not for me. I view them all as vultures, and if an 18-wheeler runs them over while they tear up the carcase, so be it.


Mari D.
Rivendell


Mar 7, 9:39pm

Post #17 of 62 (1189 views)
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I'm sorry, Solicitr, that you experience so much frustration about this. [In reply to] Can't Post

I certainly hope that it won't be as bad as you're fearing ... I hope that it won't just be an exploitation, as you're expressing your impression is.


Omnigeek
Lorien


Mar 8, 2:35pm

Post #18 of 62 (1046 views)
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Defacing Tolkien is what's mean-spirited [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
the more I see and hear, the less I want to see this series happen.

...snip...
Not wanting to watch it is one thing. Wanting it to be scrapped, though? that's a tad too mean-spirited for me.


Considering the horrible retcon the BBC just foisted on "Doctor Who", the terrible rework of "Star Trek" pushed by Bad Robot (including "Star Trek Discovery" and "Star Trek Picard"), and execrable mangling of "Star Wars" under Disney and the new Lucasfilm, no, it's not too mean-spirited at all.

I know lots of people are being employed by Amazon in this venture but lots of people were employed in the previously mentioned ventures and they are dwarfed by the legions of fans of the franchises or universes that were torn apart by bad "creatives".

I also would rather see the production on permanent hiatus than have a permanent defacing of the Professor's work.


Chen G.
Rohan

Mar 8, 3:00pm

Post #19 of 62 (1041 views)
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You can always ignore things you don't like [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Considering the horrible retcon the BBC just foisted on "Doctor Who", the terrible rework of "Star Trek" pushed by Bad Robot (including "Star Trek Discovery" and "Star Trek Picard"), and execrable mangling of "Star Wars" under Disney and the new Lucasfilm, no, it's not too mean-spirited at all.


If you don't like something in a franchise just don't watch it: ignore its very existence. It works for me.

I'd sooner do that (I hope I won't need to) rather than wish for the filmmakers and everybody involved in the project to fail. At this stage, people's livliehoods depend on this enterprise, which is more than could be said for disatisfied fans.


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 8, 5:41pm

Post #20 of 62 (1013 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

people's livelihoods depended on Enron, Solyndra and Theranos too.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 8, 8:30pm

Post #21 of 62 (984 views)
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I understand your apprehension. [In reply to] Can't Post

I still think this show could have artistic merit, show fidelity to Tolkien's legendarium and still be a ratings and financial success. Even if the odds aren't great, I'll hold on to some cautious optimist, at least until the show premieres.

#FidelityToTolkien


Solicitr
Gondor


Mar 8, 8:39pm

Post #22 of 62 (976 views)
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In my view [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
show fidelity to Tolkien's legendarium and still be a ratings and financial success


are mutually exclusive. Any production which did justice to the legendarium would appeal at most to an art-house audience.


2ndBreffest
Lorien


Mar 8, 9:29pm

Post #23 of 62 (955 views)
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yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

and I strongly doubt Amazon cares about staying true to Tolkien when that would mean losing the "LotR and GoT are basically the same thing, and who doesn't want more of that!" audience. Amazon is in it for the money and whatever will attract the largest audience is what they will do, and fidelity be damned. The current state of popular hollywood mainstream entertainment will simply not allow for a true to Tolkien treatment of this material.


Omnigeek
Lorien


Mar 8, 10:25pm

Post #24 of 62 (940 views)
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Let's not be overly dramatic [In reply to] Can't Post

People's livelihoods are not enhanced if the product is an abortive mess. There is a growing demand for content due to the streaming wars so if they're not working on this particular content, perhaps they can work on something good.

My "head canon" actually does ignore anything to do with Jar Jar Abrams or Ruin Johnson. The so-called "Kelvin Timeline" and everything afterward isn't Trek but just a bad dream by a malicious child. The reality however is that stuff is out there and it does in fact destroy decades of accepted canon.

It's easy to forget or ignore a single episode that is just "bad" -- it's far harder to ignore something that takes decades of work and just flips it on its ear. Luke's and Anakin's sacrifices no longer matter because the Emperor lived and his granddaughter took over the Skywalker farm (and name). The Federation isn't want we thought it was for 53 years because ... I dunno?

I don't think a production that pays proper fidelity to Tolkien's legendarium necessarily has to appeal to an arthouse crowd. In fact, the problem with a lot of contemporary renditions is that they ARE appealing to the arthouse crowd instead of the fans who kept these franchises going for decades. What did you see and hear in so many of the rave reviews of the LOTR Trilogy? "I love how true it was to the books."

Compare that to the frequent complaints about the liberties taken with the "Hobbit" trilogy (and even with The Hobbit, many scenes were highly praised by all because they were true to the book).

What I hope is that either 1) the rumors are untrue or blown out of proportion or 2) that the writers actually WERE on their way to bastardizing Middle-earth the way Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who have been but Amazon just put a stop to it in the wake of Sonic's success after listening to the fans. Time will tell.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Mar 9, 4:25am

Post #25 of 62 (875 views)
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I agree // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

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