July 29, 2000
Call It 'Lord of the
A 36-year-old stuntman was arrested last month. He pleaded guilty in an Auckland court last week to receiving a document and reproducing a document (read videotapes). The man, whose name is suppressed, will be sentenced August 9.
On Thursday last week, a 38-year-old man was arrested on four counts of theft, and a 37-year-old businessman was arrested on Friday for money laundering. Both appeared in an Auckland court on Friday and have been remanded on bail with name suppression for two weeks.
"In a project with such global interest there's bound to be people who want to cash in on it," Claire Raskind, the film's publicist here, said.
In April, an official sneak preview of a movie trailer for Lord of the Rings confirmed that interest -- if it needed confirming. The two-minute trailer was downloaded a record 1.7 million times in the first 24 hours after its release.
Raskind was hopeful the police operation had solved the security problem. "I think we've got the core of it," she said. "We think the police department did a great job."
In addition to the criminal cases, Jackson's production company Three Foot Six Ltd. has won civil proceedings to receive 500 photographs and negatives from a security guard who had taken pictures on the set. A Wellington newspaper, The Evening Post, reported the guard had photos of the set, actors, and costumes.
Filming of the movie resumes this week after a month's break, Raskind said. After two weeks in Wellington, the shoot will move to a high-country farm in the South Island, brimming with spectacular scenery.
Sheep, not film stars, are the usual focus at the Mount Potts station. The station runs 5,500 sheep, according to Mark Dewsbery, the station owner. But the station also makes use of all its assets: Part of the station is the highest ski field in the South Island. The filming at Mount Potts, according to Raskind, will be of "dramatic exteriors."
New Line Cinema is expected to release The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of the three Lord of the Rings films, in December next year.