The Evening Post
November 26, 2001

World Press Raves Over Rings
Staff Reporter

Hype over The Lord Of The Rings is reaching fever pitch in the United States and Britain, with director Peter Jackson's $650 million film epic featuring on the cover of major magazines.

American magazine Entertainment Weekly features a special double issue, with five different covers to choose from, all featuring the film's stars. British style magazine The Face has a cover story on Elijah Wood, who plays the hobbit Frodo. Wood also featured on the cover of weekly London listings magazine Time Out earlier this month.

Britain's Sunday Times newspaper will feature a "special collector's issue" in its magazine section, as a tribute to Jackson's project and author J R R Tolkien, this Sunday. Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf will be on the cover.

Last week Internet magazine posted a lengthy article on how Miramar-based Jackson convinced Hollywood to bankroll the project, while American film magazine Total Film plans to devote an entire issue on to the trilogy.

Sir Ian, however, won't be at the New Zealand premiere of The Fellowship Of The Ring on December 19 at Wellington's Embassy Theatre. Roadshow Film Distributors announced yesterday that Wood will attend, as well as Orlando Bloom, who plays Legolas; Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan, who play the hobbits Pippin and Merry; and Australian actor Hugo Weaving, who plays the elf Elrond.

The stars are due to arrive at 6.30pm, with a red carpet leading to the theatre's entrance, for a screening about 7pm. It will be followed by a black tie charity screening to raise funds for the Embassy Theatre's renovations. A street party will start at 5pm.

Meanwhile, the October issue of slick American computer and technology magazine Wired has a cover story on the film's popularity with Internet-savvy fans.

The lengthy article, which details the obsessions of New Zealand and overseas fans, opens with the debate on a photograph The Evening Post took last year on a set for the film.

The photo showed a wizard-like character impaled on a spike. It caused intense debate among fans as no such scene occurs in Tolkien's fantasy classic.

The Post speculated at the time that it could have been Gandalf, then reported the following day that it was more likely to be the evil wizard Saruman. Even Sir Ian waded in on his website by saying it wasn't him.