Jump to main content Go to our Sponsor SideshowWeta.com
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[ Email this Page to a Friend ] Email to a friend!

Steve Hockensmith - Cinescape Magazine 04/27/00

<Cinescape> Let's do it

<Tookish> alrighty then :)

* Tookish welcomes Steve Hockensmith to TheOneRing.net

<Tookish> it's great to have you with us!

<Cinescape> Thank you. It's great to be had!

<Tookish> we'll be asking you questions here on the main channel

<Tookish> so here they come!

<Cinescape> Beautiful.

<Tookish> send them on over friends :)

<Tookish> we're starting with a movie rumor question for you Steve

<Cinescape> Shoot!

<Tookish> From Vilya.. do you know anything about any other cuts/additions being made to the story? any truth to the rumors about the ents or eomer being left out?

<Cinescape> I'm afraid I don't know anything about that. I would say your best source on such things is....Drumroll....TheOneRing.net

<Tookish> lol

<Tookish> nice

<Tookish> ok, here's one from Phelonius

<Tookish> *Phelonius* If the LOTR trilogy does very well in the box office, can we expect other Studios to jump on the "Fantasy" bandwagon? IE: When Star Wars came out, we got "Buck Rogers in the 20th Century" and "Battlestar Galatica".

<Cinescape> Absolutely! In fact, it's happening already. Just look at the D&D movie. I would expect Robert Jordan movies and more if LOTR does big biz. Of course, none of these other films will do as well as LOTR.

<Tookish> We have heard that The Hobbit may be done, what about The Silmarillion?

<Cinescape> I would see that as highly unlikely. The plot hook isn't the same as with LOTR and The Hobbit.

<Tookish> Ash_Nazg asks: How much of the ring history is going to be told?

<Cinescape> I'm assuming there will be ample exposition on the Bilbo angle, as well as at least one Gandalf speech...covering the ancient stuff.

* Tookish looks very much forward to that!

<Tookish> Ghan-buri-Ghan would like to know how far ahead of time do you expect your mag will start a serious push of the movie or is that determined by PJ?

<Cinescape> Excellent question! We're already talking to New Line about it....The serious push will likely come later. At the moment, it's just too early. I have my fingers crossed that we'll get some good stuff -- pics, interviews -- by the end of the year.

<Tookish> any information on the alleged summer trailer?

<Cinescape> We hear it's in the works. Beyond that, I don't know. But it would make sense to start the buzz this summer.

<Tookish> ok, great

<Tookish> from Mormegil: What are your thoughts on Arwen's extended role?

<Cinescape> Liv Tyler is obviously a draw for American audiences....If that means they want to pump her role up, well, I'm sure the folks in marketing won't argue with that...Plus it gives the film a stronger romantic angle, which could help lure a broader audience not familiar with the lore...

<Tookish> yes, it sure will

<Cinescape> To jump back to coverage of the films....Access is controlled through New Line....We love the folks at New Line. We think they're really on the ball....We have a good relationship with them, so we have high hopes.

<Tookish> in terms of being on the ball, what do you mean?

<Cinescape> Their publicity folks are very proactive (to use a cliche term) and accomodating....Some publicists don't seem to know what it is magazines like Cinescape need and want. They don't understand us...Our experience has been that the New Line folks do understand us. They make more of an effort to each out to the genre press and the online press. ut who will get the first, big, blowout preview of LOTR? 'd watch Time and Entertainment Weekly w'll have our big preview a week or two later, I assure you!

<Cinescape> next

<Tookish> excellent, we anticipate that very much!!

<Tookish> ok, from vilya: *Vilya* "Can we expect a huge marketing blitz? i.e. are we going to see buy a kid's meal get a free phial of galadriel toy?"

<Cinescape> Great question! I don't know about that, but I wonder. n some ways, LOTR lends itself to that, in other ways it doesn't.PJ's on a tightrope with the licensing end of things.He's got to make this appetizing for New Line, since they're putting in all the dough.On the other hand, he's got to stay true to the material.I don't think a Frodo Baggins Happy Meal would feel right. Know what I mean?

<Tookish> lol

<Cinescape> But that's what supports a franchise these days.

<Tookish> no doubt, we shall see what happens!

<Cinescape> exactly....next

<Tookish> Here's one from Ulmo: any word on the casting for the members of the Last Alliance?

<Cinescape> Oh, boy! Once again I must refer you to Xoanon and his army of LOTR watchers. They know all there is to knwo

<Cinescape> next

<Tookish> Not sure if you've covered this entirely yet, Thorongil asks: what does Cinescape have planned as far as any future coverage?

Cinescape> We're hoping to have at least one small piece (maybe two pages) by the end of this year.With more coverage following on a regular basis....building up to some blowout issues.I'd love to cover it the way we've covered the X-Men movie, with multiple page feature stories in every issue .for months and months...But again, that's up to New Line.

<Tookish> sounds fantastic!

<Cinescape> I can guarantee that we'll be the first of the genre mags to get LOTR materialnext

<Tookish> I guess Gandalf's palantir is busted, he wants to know if you think the hype from LotR will be as big as Phantom Menace?

<Cinescape> Gooood question. I would say that's a question that's probably keeping Mike De Luca up at night.I would say that nothing could have a pre-release buildup as big as The Phantom Menace....But that's a good thing for LOTR. There should be high expectations for the film, but not impossible expectations...Anyway, everybody knows Star Wars. My mom knows who Darth Vader is!...But not everyone knows who Frodo and Gandalf are....

<Tookish> they will!

<Cinescape> Let's hope so!

<Cinescape> I should add that I'm sure New Line is looking at this very carefully.The last thing they want is an anti-LOTR backlash.Look what happened to Godzilla..Of course, LOTR will be a LOT better than Godzilla! But still, one must be careful.in this media-saturated world we live in.O.K., diatribe done....

<Tookish> Michael_Martinez asks, "Will Cinescape send out news flashes to the various Webmasters like New Line did for the trailer?"

<Cinescape> Hmmmm. I'd have to ask our Cinescape Online editors about that, Frank Kurtz and Keith Herber...I'm not sure what they're plans are.

<Tookish> Ghan-buri-Ghan wonders if the success (or lack therof) of the D&D Movie is going to change how LOTR is marketed/covered.

<Cinescape> Another good question. I'm guessing that D&D is not going to do too well. I think some media types willlmisinterpret this, saying, "New Line better watch out! The public doesn't like fantasy!".But D&D won't do well, I have a feeling, because it's going to look pretty cheap.Did anybody out there see Wing Commander?

<Tookish> they can't respond, but i'm sure the answer is yes :)

<Cinescape> I think the folks at New Line are smart enough to say, "The success or failure of D&D.has nothing to do with LOTR." Anyway, there'll be a pretty long gap between the release of D&D and LOTR.

<Tookish> How do you think advertising will change from film to film?

<Cinescape> That depends on how the first one does. If Fellowship of the Ring is a mega-smash, promoting.The Two Towers is gonna be a breeze. If Fellowship doesn't perform up to expectations.Look for the advertising for the second (and third) film to play down the trilogy aspect.Part of the challenge for New Line is promoting a series of cliffhangers.This is almost never done! Remember how upset folks were about the ending of Empire Strikes Back?Or how Back to the Future Part 2 was seen as a complete anamoly? This is strange new territory for the marketing folksIt's smart to do whatever they can to keep viewers from having that "I paid eight bucks...I don't want to be left hanging!"feeling

<Tookish> very true, he'll have to strike a balance

<Tookish> Aragorn asks if you think that taking out Tom Bombadil was a good move?

<Cinescape> Sadly, yes. I love the Tom Bombadil part, but there are two dangers to it....(A) It's tangential. It's an aside. It doesn't have a direct impact on the main plot. And....(B) Please don't kill me. I love Tom Bombadil. But...well...he's a little...silly.

<Tookish> lol

<Tookish> fair enough!

<Cinescape> Whew. I'm still alive! Anybody take my head off for that one?

<Tookish> lol, no sir :)

<jincey> wellllll

<Tookish> Corvar wonders... having recently had a long conversation with Jeff Cioletti, director of the Fandom Menace, do you think TheOneRing.net is doing a service or dis-service to Tolkien Fans?

<Cinescape> Wow. A service, I would think. I'm not as in touch with the ins and outs and battles of....Internet fandom. Do some people have a beef with TheOneRing.net? Why?

<Tookish> A good question.... next ;)

<Tookish> Lewman asks, is Cinescape magazine's distribution currently fixed only to the US and Canada, if so will you be expanding distibution to other countries, just like Fangoria have done recently in the UK?

<Cinescape> Thanks for asking! Actually, we're worldwide, pretty much. I couldn't tell you country by country...where we're at, but we're distributed to most of the English and Spanish-speaking world.There are no translations of Cinescape that I'm aware of. Some of our sister mags (X-Files andBuffy, for instance) are translated into French, German and Spanish, I believe.

<Tookish> ok, a couple marketing questions....

<Cinescape> Hit me

<Tookish> *`* Relating to Vilya's question, if there is a market blitz, do you think New Line will see what happened with Episode I and try not to overdo the marketing?

<Tookish> *Morelend* How much leeway DOES PJ have in the marketing end of things? Does the Tolkien family have any say?

<Cinescape> Definitely New Line is going to want to avoid a backlash.I don't think they have as much to worry about as Lucasfilm, though. Hey, Star Wars is Star Wars.I'm sure PJ is aware of the need for smart marketing, but exactly what his role will be, I don't know.As for the Tolkien family, I would assume their role is minimal.They might get to approve some licensing and advertising...maybe... It all depends on the legal fine print....

<Tookish> From DeuS: Do you have any word on who will be making the Collector toys? Any news if it's going to be Mcafarlane and Co.?

<Cinescape> Gosh, you guys ask good questions! We haven't heard anything, but we're rooting for Macfarlane!

<Tookish> lol, nice

<Tookish> *Thorongil* Does New Line give you monthly updates at this time or is it just whenever they feel like releasing info to the media?

<Cinescape> There's no set schedule...that I know of, anyway. I would LOVE monthly updates, though! Mike De Luca, are you out there? Monthly updates to Cinescape is a wonderful idea!

<Tookish> *Garanhir* Any idea where the movie will be screened first? Usually big movies are in the US or england first but here in NZ we were wonderering if we would get it first since it has been filmed.

<Cinescape> Well, I'm sure PJ would love to have a premiere down in NZ. But New Line is going to want it.where they can get maximum press play, which means L.A., New York or even London. As for the.actual release, I don't know. If they want the biggest splash possible, they'll open it in the U.S. and the U.K. at the same time

<Tookish> Mormegil asks: would you change anything about the movie so far, as in casting, story changing and editing?

<Cinescape> That's a delicate question. I would say so far everything looks grand. But....I was just thinking...and this is really nitpicking...but I don't know if Ian Holm fits my picture of Bilbo.Now, I think Ian Holm is fantastic! Please don't get me wrong! But he has a sort of cold, cerebral feel about him. I see Bilbo as warmer, more of a mensch.

<Tookish> hrmmmm.....Tobold wonders if there any "behind the scenes" type footage gonna be shown, like as a special or HBO exclusive, for example, anytime before the movie is out?

<Cinescape> 100 percent unavoidable. It will happen. I'd put my money on HBO.Let's see, who else does Warner Bros. own? I don't think they'll do anything on the WB. It'll be cable stuff, most likely.

<Tookish> hmmm....prior to the first film release?

<Cinescape> Sorta prior. Like a week or so. And if it the films do well, of course, you'll be able to buy it on video and DVD a year later!

<Tookish> Corvar asks, "Do you think the LOTR preview is coming out too early? 18 months before the movie is anticipated to come out..."

<Cinescape> I don't think it can hurt. New Line needs to build awareness and excitement gradually....The can't just start screaming about the first film a month before it comes out....So 18 months? Yeah, maybe that's a bit early. But we all want to see that trailer, right? So I say...Bring it on!

<Tookish> lol

<Tookish> From Michael Martinez: Will Cinescape be at DragonCon this year?

<Cinescape> I hope so. My folks live in Atlanta, so it would be a good excuse to visit.I'd say it's more likely we'll just do that big con out in San Diego though.

<Tookish> Moreland raises a dreadful but fair question: If the "Fellowship" movie does ABYSMALly at the box office, is there a chance that the other two will NOT be released? Some sort of straight to video thing?

<Cinescape> Wow. The worst case scenario. Well, I would say the answer is no. No matter how badly.Fellowship bombs, New Line must release the next two films in theaters. Why? Well, that's.because even if the trilogy dies a dog's death over here, they've got to release it in theaters overseas.to recoup. Releasing all three movies in theaters in the U.S. is an important part of building up.momentum for the international market. Even if your films don't do well here.Plus, it would just be too embarassing for New Line to go straight to video!They could always write off their theatrical losses.

<Tookish> Calisuri asks, "How does cinescape.com handle the pressure from studios not to post 'spy reports'?

<CinescapeWow! You guys are putting me on the spot. My answer would be "very carefully." O.K....I have more to say than that. We try to be choosy about the "spy reports" we get.Some sites just throw them up willy-nilly. We don't do that.That's the best defense against pressure: make sure your stories (and sources) are legitimate.If that's the case, you're in the clear.

<Tookish> Jincey wonders if there is any chance of a 3 location world premiere, New Zealand, London, and LA?

<Cinescape> I would say there's definitely a chance. Maybe even a good chance. But the only thing I can really say is.We'll have to wait and see.

<Tookish> *Smeagol7* Why has PJ decided to cut so much stuff out of the films (Tom Bombadil etc.)

<Cinescape> Well, obviously there are time constraints. I got to interview Frank Darabont around the time.he was finishing up The Green Mile. And he made a wise observation. It was something like:"There is only so much punishment the human bladder can take."Meaning there are good reasons not to make movies that last four hours.It is amazing...really amazing...that New Line has commited itself to three feature films.But, even with three movies to play with, PJ could never squeeze EVERYTHING in.So, bottom line, something's got to go unless you want to do LOTR as a 12-hour miniseries.

<Tookish> Ghan wonders: Do you think CG has advanced to the point that characters like Gollum won't be diminished by being "virtual?"

<Cinescape> I sure as heck hope so. I'm a little worried about characters that are totally CG. I think they usually.don't work. Gollum is such a weird lookin' dude -- sort of shapeless and mushy, as I see him -- so.maybe he'll lend himself well to CG. My fingers are crossed.

<Tookish> mine too!

<Tookish> From Galadriel: During the production there have been a lot of disillusioned Tolkien fans; do you think Peter Jackson and his crew can pull off LOTR?

<Cinescape> Yes, I do think Jackson can pull it off. I say that based on Heavenly Creatures, which is.an absolutely wonderful film. Now The Frighteners...well, that wasn't so wonderful. And.don't even ask me about Meet the Feebles! Oh my God! But that was a long time ago.I think it's clear that Jackson understands and respects LOTR. I think he's demonstrated that he's.a smart, daring filmmaker. So can he do it? You bet. WILL he do it? I don't know.

<Tookish> Two more: Gandalf wonders who your favorite character is, and Ghan-buri-Ghan asks, "Will NewLine re-release the 1st movie a few weeks before the 2nd movie, and 2nd before 3rd"?

<Cinescape> My favorite character from all of Tolkien lore is Bilbo. I just love that guy. I always root for.the everyman, and I see Bilbo as the everyman character in Tolkien.

<Cinescape> As for rereleasing Fellowship right before Two Towers, I'd say that depends on how well Fellowship does...

<Cinescape> I haven't heard any rumors about Sauron. Keep an eye on Cinescape Online and TheOneRing.net! (Plug plug)

<Corvar> I would like to thank you for your time Steve, you have been great.

<Cinescape> My pleasure.


home | contact us | back to top | site map | search | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2007 TheOneRing®.net. TheOneRing® is a registered service mark with exclusive right to grant use assigned to The One Ring, Inc. Unique Design by DesignHeroes.com