June 21, 2001
One Movie to Bind Them
When talking about movies people are looking forward to this year, titles like The Majestic, From Hell, Ghosts Of Mars and others pop up (well, in my circles) and it's never Fellowship Of The Ring. Is it because we don't want to see the gazillion dollar start to the largest fantasy epic ever attempted? Hell, no. It's because it's such a colossal "given" that we'll be sitting in the theater on opening day to launch that movie to the first-ever $100 million three-day weekend that there is no more reason to say, "of course, we can't wait for Fellowship." Every frame of the movie that New Line continues to roll out does nothing except confirm suspicions that this will be something really, really special.
One of the people that really has been leading the fan charge on the upcoming Lord Of The Rings franchise is Joram Manka, webmaster of Ringbearer.org and an old friend of mine from Fandom.com. He's been running a Tolkien fansite for years now, before a movie even was planned and that only built up after New Line made their announcement that Peter Jackson would be filming the three movies in one massive shoot down in New Zealand. A Super-Fan, Joram flew over to the Cannes Film Festival for the big roll-out had there, did a series of interviews and was in the group of people privileged enough to see the twenty minutes or so of completed footage they presented. This included the Balrog, the big monster that attacks the fellowship in the first feature. As he has seen it and I have not, I interviewed Joram about the Balrog, Lord Of The Rings, and his expectations for the picture.