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Ian McKellen wanted to respect Richard Harris by turning down Harry Potter role.
Fans of both Harry Potter and Ian McKellen will be aggrieved to learn that the actor was actually considered for the role of Professor Dumbledore following the death of Richard Harris, but he turned it down because the latter didn't like him very much.
Ian McKellen waves at 'Beauty and the Beast' premiere
Despite the fact that we can't understand why anyone wouldn't adore Sir Ian McKellen, it seems that his late contemporary Richard Harris wasn't his biggest fan. In an interview on the BBC program 'HARDtalk', he spoke about the situation in front of an audience at the BBC Radio Theatre.
Continue reading: Why Did Ian McKellen Decline The Invitation To Play Dumbledore?
This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to give the story a photo-realistic sheen. The addition of more songs makes it feel much more like a big movie musical. And the use of real actors adds quite a lot of detail and subtext in the character interaction. But basically, this is still the same romantic fairy tale: lovely to look as it makes the audience swoon and sigh.
It's set in a French village, where Belle (Emma Watson) is looked at with suspicion by her neighbours for her empowered-female ways, reading books, expressing her opinions and running the farm where she lives with her single dad Maurice (Kevin Kline). It's no wonder that the vain soldier Gaston (Luke Evans) pursues her, since she's the only girl who isn't chasing him. Then one day Maurice and Belle have a fateful encounter with a castle hidden in a deep woods under a curse. Imprisoned by its beastly master (Dan Stevens), Belle befriends the staff, who have been transformed into household objects like a lampstand (Ewan McGregor), clock (Ian McKellen), teapot (Emma Thompson), harpsichord (Stanley Tucci) and feather duster (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). All of them conspire to help Belle fall in love with the Beast, which would break the spell.
Director Bill Condon (who made Dreamgirls and the final Twilight movies) makes the most of the live-action cast, allowing them to stir all kinds of undercurrents into their roles, which adds weight and interest to the rather predictable storyline. The film still looks largely animated thanks to an extensive use of digital backgrounds and characters, but the actors add an earthy tone that breaks the surface, bringing in some more textured emotions and sharper humour. The whole cast is excellent, with particular scene-stealing energy coming from Evans and Josh Gad (as his super-faithful sidekick LeFou), who are both funny and villainous at the same time. And Kline is also a standout for a surprisingly thoughtful performance.
Continue reading: Beauty And The Beast Review
Take a closer look at the cast of 'Beauty and the Beast' in the final trailer for the forthcoming live-action Disney re-boot. Gaston loves himself more than Belle, Belle loves books more than boys, and Maurice loves his daughter more than anybody else. Meanwhile, the Beast hates everything and everyone equally, but that's about to change when Belle volunteers herself as his prisoner in exchange for her father's freedom. She has much pity for the Beast and wants to make the best out of a terrible situation, especially when he presents her with the library of her dreams. He's relying on her love to rescue him from the curse that binds him in his monstrous form, and to rescue his friends and servants from their furnitural guises. But together they have an important lesson to learn about love and companionship.
Continue: Beauty And The Beast Trailer
The actor joined thousands of protestors in London who marched together against the presidency of Donald Trump.
The placard held by actor Ian McKellen as he joined the Women’s March in London has been declared the best sign of the day by the internet.
The sign featured a picture of McKellen’s pal Patrick Stewart as ‘Star Trek’s’ Captain Picard facepalming, and pretty much summed up many people’s feelings of frustration and anger towards the Trump presidency.
Continue reading: Ian McKellen's Sign At The Women's March In London Was The Best
To outsiders, the castle which sits on the outskirts of a small town is just another run down building soon to be turned into ruins but the secrets the beautiful building hold are some laced in magic.
The royal prince who lives in the castle hasn't been seen for years and no one but a witch knows the truth of what happened to him. When Prince Adam was young, he was confronted by a witch seeking shelter from the weather in return for a beautiful rose. The young prince had little time for beggars and dismissed the old woman without much of a thought. As punishment for his cruel arrogance and having seen the lack of love in his heart, the witch curses the prince and his castle.
Having been turned into an unsightly beast with horns and fur much like a goat, he now spends his life in a castle along with his bewitched staff - for they suffer the same curse as their master and have been turned into household objects. The witch didn't want to just punish the thoughtless Prince, she did give him a little hope - she left him with the rose he originally turned down; if he could find true love by the time the last petal fell from the rose on his 21st birthday, he and his castle would be free from the curse.
Continue: Beauty and the Beast Trailer
Disney have released the new teaser trailer for the remake of the much-loved animated film Beauty and the Beast. The 2017 version of this classic Disney film is a live-action movie and it is claimed that the Disney magic will not be lost as a result, but rather preserved and made even more magical. Emma Watson stars as the protagonist, Princess Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast.
The narrative follows Belle on her quest to find her father who has been captured and imprisoned in the Beasts castle, on arriving at the castle she finds herself becoming imprisoned as well. In order to free her father she agrees to stay in the Beasts castle as his prisoner. After spending time with the Beast she starts to see beyond his frightening exterior and into his kind heart and soul, which leads her to start falling in love with him.
However Belle soon finds herself caught in the middle between the two men who want her, the Beast and Gaston and it is in this climatic end that leads her to confess her love for one of them, but which one she chooses, you'll have to watch and see.
Sam Smith’s best original song win on Sunday has been overshadow by his speech, in which he mistakenly proclaimed himself the first openly gay Oscar winner.
It’s been quite the 48 hours for British singer Sam Smith. First he performed Bond theme ‘Writings on the Wall’ at the Oscars, then he took home the best original song award. But his big moment was quickly overshadowed by his speech, in which he mistakenly said he was the first openly gay Oscar winner. Then there was 2009 Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, who called out the singer on twitter and accused him of texting his fiancé Tom Daley.
Sam Smith has apologised to Dustin Lance Black after his Oscars mix-up.
After Smith’s speech Black tweeted, ‘Hey @SamSmithWorld, if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé.’ Backstage at the awards, Smith was told of his mistake and said: “Shit! Fuck that! Two’s my lucky number, so it’s all good. Who was the other person?”
Continue reading: Sam Smith Apologises To Dustin Lance Black After Oscars Faux Pas
McKellen will be imparting his knowledge as a tour bus takes fans around sites in London where his 1995 film 'Richard III' was filmed.
Sir Ian McKellen is to become a bus tour guide – not for a new film, but in real life, as he is set to boost public tours of London locations seen in the film in which he portrayed Richard III more than two decades ago.
The 76 year old actor, a legend of both screen and stage, has agreed to host the guided tours as part of the British Film Institute’s Shakespeare film season, for which he is the ambassador.
Set in an alternative fascist version of 1930s England, McKellen portrayed the English king in the 1995 film Richard III, directed by Richard Loncraine. Speaking to reporters at the BFI on Monday (January 25th), he said that he always thought a bus tour of the locations seen in the movie “might be fun” and was pleased that he had the opportunity to realise it.
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen To Become A London Bus Tour Guide
Chappie premieres just before it opens, while Cinderella hosts a lavish red carpet in L.A. Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig are spotted filming in New York, and trailers tease films about the Beach Boys, an ageing Sherlock Holmes, immortality and an old lady living in a van...
Neill Blomkamp's new film Chappie held its world premiere this week in New York, just a day before before it opened around the world. Blomkamp (who previously made District 9 and Elysium) was present along with stars Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel.
Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Chappie And Cinderella Premiere In New York And L.A., Ethan Hawke Is Snapped On-Set, And New Trailers Arrive For Movies Starring Veterans Ian Mckellen, Ben Kingsley And Maggie Smith.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits cinemas today
Two long years since the first instalment of the Hobbit trilogy whet audiences’ appetites with dwarfs, wizards, dragons, fighting and, of course, a hobbit, the concluding cinematic experience has finally arrived.
Sir Ian McKellen takes on the role of Gandalf for the final time
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits cinema screens tonight and so does everyone’s favourite wizard, Gandalf the Grey.
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen Talks Gandalf As The Final Hobbit Is Released
Sir Ian McKellen - Shots from the World Premiere of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' the final film in the trilogy as stars arrived at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st December 2014
Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Orlando Bloom - 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' world premiere at the Empire Leicester Square cinema - Arrivals at Empire Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st December 2014
Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis - The World Premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals at Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st December 2014
Sir Ian McKellen - Shots of a host of stars as they took to the red carpet for the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014 which were held at the London Palladium in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 30th November 2014
The final Middle Earth trailer has rolled out online - and it's a good one.
A new trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies has rolled out online at the end of the big week of hype for cinema. Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is doing huge business across the globe, while Disney announced the official title for Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens, whilst confirming that Toy Story 4 is happening in 2017.
Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug is causing havov in 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'
So spare a thought for Lord of the Rings fans who are still busy sinking their teeth into a new trailer for the final instalment in the Hobbit adventure. We're now just six weeks from the global release on December 17, 2014 and the initial trailer released in July was heralded as one of the best teasers of the year. As Forbes put it, it evoked the "gloom and doom of the Return of the King teaser, eleven years ago."
Ian McKellen - In these scenes the Medway Historic Dockyard has been turned into Horishima, Japan, several months after the Atomic Bombs were dropped. - Medway, United Kingdom - Wednesday 16th July 2014
The world is verging on an apocalyptic disaster as the mutants continue to engage in vicious battles with only one possible outcome - their extinction. Unfortunately, any chance of saving the world from its oncoming fate has been and gone a long time ago - though there could be a way to change history. The two wisest mutants of the universe, Charles Xavier and Magneto, have been at odds for a great many years, but they must this time unite to have any hope of saving their people. They contact Wolverine to help them on their mission to go back in time and convince their younger selves that trouble lies ahead if they don't make the right decisions; Wolverine is the only one who can take on such a task with his healing powers giving him enough strength, but can he possibly save the future?
Continue: X-Men: Days of Future Past - Clips
The mutants of the world are quickly dwindling in their numbers, tearing each other apart until they are almost wiped out. Two of the wisest X-Men of the universe, Charles Xavier and Magneto, must now join forces despite their hostile relationship to go back in time and fix the world so that their kind can survive the horrors of their ravaged future. The duo enlist Wolverine to help them on their mission; a mutant whose healing powers make him the only one strong enough to travel in time. He must find the impulsive fools that are Xavier and Magneto as much younger mutants and warn them of what their actions will do for their future, while on the way attempt to save the life of an important political figure. Will the X-Men succeed in changing their future? Or are there some things in the past that can never be changed?
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' is the latest instalment of the Marvel film franchise following on from 2006's 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 2011's 'X-Men: First Class'. Director Bryan Singer ('The Usual Suspects', 'Superman Returns', 'Valkyrie') returns alongside screenwriter Simon Kinberg ('Mr. & Mrs. Smith', 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Jumper'). The movie is set for release in the UK on May 22nd 2014.
Check out the dramatic new poster for the latest 'X-Men' movie.
Twentieth Century Fox has debuted a new poster for the upcoming comic book adaptation sequel, X-Men Days of Future Past. The dramatic new image features Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Daniel Cudmore, and Fan Bingbing alongside all the franchise's main characters.
It's Dark Times For The X-Men In 'Days Of Future Past.'
Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, and Peter Dinklage all star in the action epic, which is due for release in May.
What would the Harry Potter films have been like if these other actors had nabbed the roles first?
There’s a generation out there who have been practically weened on Harry Potter. The books and the films have become a religion for devout fans of the series, but would it have been the same if different actors had been cast in the leading roles? You may be surprised to hear that before the perfect cast was set in stone, there were some strange alternate actors vying for the parts!
Ian McKellen turned down the role of Dumbledore
Sir. Ian McKellen was once thought in the running to play Hogwarts’ headmaster, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. He was, in fact, offered the role after original Dumbledore actor, Richard Harris, passed away just after filming the first Harry Potter film. However, Sir. Ian turned down the role, citing the reason that Richard Harris had once publicly declared what a dreadful actor he thought McKellen was! Eventually, Michael Gambon took on the role and the rest is Harry Potter history.
Continue reading: What Would 'Harry Potter' Have Been Like With This Alternative Cast?
Ian McKellen has enlisted the help of 27 Nobel Laureates to support an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, in protest of Russia's anti-gay legislation, ahead of the Winter Olympics.
Russia's anti-gay laws are not sitting well with some of the brightest minds in the world.
27 Nobel laureates have joined British actor Sir Ian McKellen in writing an open letter to President Vladimir Putin to voice their protest of Russia's anti-gay legislation.
The new law objects any "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors."
With wittier action and a few more sharply defined characters, this second episode in Peter Jackson's trilogy is more engaging than the somewhat over-packed An Unexpected Journey. Once again, the key to enjoying the film is to distance it from the beloved novel: this is a big adventure movie as opposed to Tolkien's light-hearted romp. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
There isn't much actual plot, as we are between the set-up and conclusion, so the film consists of a series of set-pieces as Bilbo (Freeman) and his band of dwarves continue their journey to reclaim the dwarf throne in the Lonely Mountain. Gandalf (McKellen) heads off to confront the shifty, shadowy Necromancer (Cumberbatch), while Bilbo and crew head into the creepy Mirkwood, where they confront gigantic spiders before being captured by wood-elves. This is where they meet Legolas (Bloom), whose feisty sidekick Tauriel (Lilly) falls for sexy dwarf Kili (Turner) as they continue their journey to Lake-town. There they get help from Bard (Evans) as they launch their final assault on the mountain, where the dragon Smaug (also Cumberbatch) is napping on the dwarves' vast treasure.
Jackson directs with a spark of energy and humour that holds our attention even when things begin to look a little too digitally animated (basic laws of physics apparently don't apply in Middle Earth). And each sequence also provides some depth of character, especially in the overall journey of Bilbo, nicely played by Freeman as a guy who is only just discovering his own ingenuity and bravery. By contrast, McKellen's plot is much darker as he faces off against unnerving evil. As in the first film, the other strong character is Thorin (Armitage), the heir to the dwarf throne grappling with the idea of a return to power.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Review
The 'Homeland' actor apologised after McKellen hit back.
Damian Lewis Has Apologised After His "Fruity Actor" Comments.
Though the Homeland actor did not name names in the interview, he claims to have contacted McKellen to apologise personally after the comments were linked to the Lord of the Rings actor. Lewis, 42, issued a statement saying "I am hugely embarrassed that comments of mine have been linked in a negative way to Sir Ian McKellen. I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian's.
Continue reading: Damian Lewis Apologises To Ian McKellen For Fruity Wizard Comments
The Foreign Office can't protect Sir Ian McKellen from laws against gay propaganda in Russia.
Sir Ian McKellen was told by the Foreign Office not to visit Russia over concerns that he may be subjected to scrutiny due to their anti-homosexuality laws.
The country, which is ruled over by President Vladimir Putin, recently passed a law banning 'propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors' - in other words, despite the fact that homosexuality is entirely legal, shouting about it will land you with a hefty fine or even jail time. For this reason, 'The Hobbit' star has revealed to the Radio Times magazine that he has been advised against journeying to the country.
"Imagine trying to be a gay actor, a gay anything in modern Russia?" he said. "Where to be positively oneself, to be affectionate in public with someone you love of the same gender, or to talk of that love in the hearing of anyone under 18, will put you in prison? That's why I can't go to Russia."
Continue reading: Ian McKellen Warned Not To Visit Russia Over Gay Propaganda Laws
Shuler Hensley, Ian McKellen, Adian Gemme, Sean Mathias, Colin Critchley, Patrick Stewart and Billy Crudup - Opening Night After Party for Broadway's Waiting For Godot, held at the Bryant Park Grill - Inside. - New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 24th November 2013
We run through our top 10 Marvel movies in light of 'Thor: The Dark World's' release. Disagree with anything? Let us know!
With the release of Thor: The Dark World in the U.S. this week, we thought we'd take a look back into Marvel's movie history and put together a list of its Top 10 finest moments. Ok so a couple of the movies weren't actually made by the studio, but all feature characters from the Marvel comics.
The Thor sequel pulled in $8.7 million over its debut weekend in the UK - more than four times the amount that it's nearest rival grossed - and with Ender's Game the vulnerable reigning champion of the stateside box-office, things are looking good for Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman this weekend. Read our Thor 2 review here.
So, relax, grab yourself a cool drink and mull over our list of the Top 10 Marvel movies. Do you agree?
Continue reading: Did 'Thor 2' Make Our Top 10 Best Marvel Movies?
Patrick Stewart as a lobster for Halloween. Today has been a good day.
Game over. Go home all you Walter Whites, all you Miley Cyrus's. The game is up. Patrick Stewart's Lobster costume for Halloween is the best celebrity outfit for 2013.
Happy Halloween. pic.twitter.com/ugLBMzAeNF— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) October 31, 2013
Continue reading: Patrick Stewart's Lobster Halloween Costume Is THE BEST Of 2013
In a post-apocalyptic world where mutants are now scarce, Charles Xavier must convince Wolverine to travel back in time to warn Xavier's younger self about their impending disaster-struck world. Magneto is also united with his fellow mutants, as now all their kind must stick together if they want to survive a world that they are no longer welcome in. Previously, the battle between humankind and X-Men caused the attempted assassination of an important political figure, something that Wolverine must control as he goes back to instil some knowledge into the much more reckless X-Men of the 1980s.
Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the treacherous Misty Mountains. Their quest to retrieve the dwarves' vast pile of treasure and the land that they once called their home is at a peak as they reach the Lonely Mountain. Guarded by a colossal dragon named Smaug, the Lonely Mountain proves to be even more perilous than where they had just been and armed only with elven swords and Bilbo's Ring, they must make the ultimate defeat while fighting giant spiders and more goblins along the way. More threats face them in the form of untrustworthy elves with intelligence that far surpasses any of the travellers' put together, and their chances of survival are becoming very slim indeed.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is the second instalment of 'The Hobbit' movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') and based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro make their return as do much of the previous cast alongside some new faces. It is due to be released in the UK on December 13th 2013.
Congratulations to the happy couple and their unusual minister.
In news that will hopefully make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, Sir Patrick Stewart has just gotten married – in a ball pit, if the picture he tweeted along with the brief announcement is anything to go by.
Yes, married. pic.twitter.com/ZSMnpluSeL— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) September 8, 2013
Acting great Patrick Stewart was married to Sunny Ozell in a ceremony officiated by his good friend Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Patrick Stewart has once again become a married man, and the lucky woman this time is Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sunny Ozell, his girlfriend over over five years. According to a source who first spoke to Us Weekly, the actor and his new wife made things official on Sunday, 8 September, with Sir Pat further confirming the news through a picture of the couple uploaded on to his Twitter page.
We hope that Patrick and Sunny have a joyful matrimony
The couple, who got engaged in March, kept the wedding proceedings a secret from the press until the day, ensuring they didn't mention the special day in public until after the ceremony had taken place. Recreating his brilliant Twitter profile picture, Sir Patrick and Sunny posed in a multi-coloured ball pool for a different kind of wedding photo on Sunday (8 Sept.) along with the caption: "Yes, married."
Wolverine is joined by Magneto and Professor Xavier at an airport to discuss the possible follow-up to X Men: The Last Stand
The Wolverine currently stands at the top of the US Box Office, mirroring this success in around 100 other countries across the globe, but despite this successful audience turn-around, not everyone stuck around to see the sneak peak at the next X Men film. The scene, which comes after the end credits, may have blindsided a number of cinema-goers, who missed out on the pretty epic scene.
Jackman is back as Wolverine
The scene is set two years after Logan's run in with Viper and his ninja army in Japan and sees Wolverine stood in line for an airport metal detector. He looks up to a wall-mounted television, playing an advertisement for Trask Industries (the company responsible for launching the mutant-hunting Sentinels in next summer's X-Men: Days of Future Past), before being ushered through the metal detector, which obviously goes off and Logan has to be patted down (how many people wanted that job?!) by a security guard. During his pat down, he notices a familiar scene; coins and other loose metal objects shaking furiously around him, meaning only one thing.
Marvel and DC competed for supremacy at the San Diego Comic-Con last weekend. Marvel, through sheer force of films, won. The Avengers, Thor and X-Men appeared with their full casts. DC's Superman caused a stir by announcing the Man of Steel sequel will feature Batman.
Henry Cavill at the New York premiere of Superman: Man of Steel.
The X-Men panel certainly had the most impressive cast turnout. Actors from across the X-Men films appeared to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is due to be released in 2014. Ian McKellan flirted with the younger reincarnation of his character Magneto, Michael Fassbender, commenting on Proposition 8, he said "It's great to be back in California, I feel safe here now." He continued by announcing "I'm looking for a husband", cheekily adding "it's great to meet you Michael".
The cast and crew of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' talk about time travel, character resurrection and seventies attire in a Q & A session at Comic-Con in San Diego. Among them are director Bryan Singer, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence.
Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Nicholas Hoult get sentimental at an 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Q & A session at Comic-Con in San Diego. Director Bryan Singer and other members of the cast such as Ellen Page, Halle Berry, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence also talked about their happiness being back on the set.
The X-Man panel appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Dozens of actors from across the X-Men films appeared in order to promote their 2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past.
The X-Men cast and crew appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The huge cast for the upcoming movie X-Men: Days of Future Past appeared in Hall-H and was greeted with an overwhelmingly positive response from fans.
The next film will see the cast doubled (quite literally) as the mutant superheroes have to travel in time to change an event which will, if not prevented, destroy mankind. The cast appeared en masse: each taking a few moments to address the audience or in Ian McKellan's case to flirt with Michael Fassbender.
Continue reading: X-Men Steals The Show At San Diego Comic Con 2013
The Hobbit saga is coming to an end - for the actors, at least.
Orlando Bloom said goodbye to Legolas recently and now, it’s time for Martin Freeman to take off the Bilbo Baggins coat. The actor wrapped his scenes for The Hobbit trilogy today and naturally, filmmaker Peter Jackson had to share the bittersweet moment with LoTR/Hobbit fans on his Facebook page.
It's a bittersweet goodbye as Martin Freeman completes his unexpected journey.
Tonight Martin Freeman finished his last shot as Bilbo Baggins. The end of an incredible two and a half years. I cannot imagine anyone else in this role - a character that Martin has nurtured and crafted with love and great skill.”
The BBC decided Ben Elton's sitcom 'The Wright Way' would not be returning after universal panning by critics.
The BBC has dropped Ben Elton's sitcom The Wright Way. The sitcom ended in May 2013 and the BBC announced yesterday (Wednesday 10th July) that it would not be renewing the comedy for a second series.
Ben Elton at the 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards.
Independent critic Tom Sutcliffe described the sitcom as "groan-inducing". The sitcom was set around a health and safety department of a local council in which social stereotypes were actively encouraged but seemed cliché and "old fashioned" (according to Daily Mail reviewer Christopher Stevens).
Continue reading: BBC Cancels Ben Elton's Sitcom 'The Wright Way'
Time to say goodbye for these fantasy stalwarts
As filming for The Hobbit trilogy comes to an end, the franchise says goodbye to some of its most loved characters. The time has come for Legolas and Gandalf to put down their bow and staff respectively, as the actors that portray them leave behind a loved series.
Here's McKellen enjoying a smoke and some lines
Expected to feature heavily, as he did in The Lord Of The Rings, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas will enjoy his last outings in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is expected to hit cinemas this December, and the last film The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' appears to be a more engaging movie than 'An Unexpected Journey.'
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer is finally here, and with it, the first look at Benedict Cumberbatch's big scaly fire breathing dragon. The British actor voices Smaug in the second of Peter Jackson's trilogy, which appears for a couple of seconds at the end of the new trailer - however, we still haven't heard the beast's voice and really hope he utters something in the actual movie, or it could be a miserable pay-packet for our Benedict.
Martin Freeman as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Mainly, it's the old characters that have been called upon to hype the latest film, with the dwarves playing a prominent role in the trailer and Bilbo looking a bit bewildered as usual. However, we are treated to the return of Orlando Bloom's Legolas - who literally slides into the trilogy - and Luke Evans' Bard the Bowman. The latter had a minor role in the previous film though is believed to be crucial to The Desolation of Smaug and There And Back Again. According to Yahoo Moves, the Bowman is tasked with stopping the terrifying dragon after warning the dwarves, "If you awaken that beast you will destroy us all."
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
It's Here. The first trailer for the second of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, debuted at 6pm on Warner Brothers' YouTube channel.
Following last Christmas' first instalment that kicked off the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the new episode of adventures in Middle Earth will take Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the band of aggrieved-yet-upbeat dwarves further into their quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor; stolen from them by the evil dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).
Now, Bilbo has gained The One Ring after his life-changing meeting with the wretched Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the brave group have escaped the Goblin Kingdom to start the next leg of their quest to reclaim their kingdom and riches from Smaug, travelling through the Misty Mountains.
Based on the novel that preceded J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was one book that has been turned into three films. Sure, this is probably to rake in maximum profits, but at least three 3 hour films will allow Jackson to deliver close interpretations and stretch out the franchise for another few years.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Trailer - First Look
In New York, Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and a bald-shaven Christoph Waltz attended the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, joking with the photographers as they posed for them. And Tarantino even turned up with his Kill Bill star Uma Thurman on his arm.
Meanwhile in London, the first part in Peter Jackson's new trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, had its royal film performance this week with much of the cast in attendance, including Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen, who watched the film alongside Prince William. The film is in cinemas now, with the following chapters scheduled for next Christmas and the summer of 2014.
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
Sir Ian McKellan has been enjoying some serious longevity with his career. It began on stage in 1959, and now more than 50 years later he is one of the most famous and beloved actors in the English speaking world. He's best known for his role as Gandalf, which for many Shakespearean actors may seem to be a sell-out, but for Ian McKellan, as he told Vanity Fair, he's more than proud of his involvement with Lord of the Rings.
"I don't find anything odd at all in being known for playing Gandalf." He said, "I couldn't be happier about it. Other people tend to get snobbish on my behalf. 'It must be dreadful to always be thought of as Gandalf,' they say. Well, I can't always be thought of as Richard III!" Adding, that though he's not a snob about content, "[He's] a snob about standards."
Another colleague captured in a very similar bracket as him as Michael Gambon who has also found increased fame playing a Wizard in recent years, as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies. Apparently, they both get mistaken for each other "all the time!" So, how do they combat the confusion? For Gambon, he simply signs McKellan's name, perhaps so as not to cause disappointment, or more likely, to avoid the hassle of explanation. Well, being mistaken for either one of them is an enormous compliment in regard to talent!
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellan On Snobbery And Standards
Sir Ian McKellen is going to be teaming up with fellow stalwart actor Sir Derek Jacobi to play a bickering gay couple in a new sitcom going out on British network ITV. According to the BBC, the show Vicious has been created by Will and Grace writer Gary Janetti and award-winning playwright Mark Ravenhill. In addition to the two gay actors, the show will feature Rising Damp actress Frances de la Tour as their best friend.
The plot will focus, though, on McKellen and Jacobi’s characters, with the pair having lived together for 50 years. The catalyst for the change in the couple’s equilibrium will come with the addition of a third, younger man, Ash, who moves in upstairs.
Janetti’s pedigree also extends to work on the US animated series Family Guy, but he confessed that he was “incredibly excited” to be involved in this new project – scheduled to air next year. ITV’s commissioning comedy editor Myfanwy Moore meanwhile added that he was "thrilled this exciting and bold sitcom, with stellar performers and writing talent is to join the increasing slate of new look comedy shows on the channel". All eyes are currently on McKellen as fans eagerly await the first of the three Hobbit films, out in cinemas in December.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace is interrupted one day when Gandalf arrives on his doorstep, persuading Bilbo to hold a party in his home. Bilbo refuses but has no choice but to agree when Gandalf pesters him.
Without too much regret, I can say that X-Men will be palatable to fans and newbies alike. It's not a great film, but it will probably follow the arc of the Superman and Batman movies -- tons of sequels of variable quality until an abrupt and dismal end a decade later.
Continue reading: X-Men Review
Flushed Away is a prototypical anthropomorphic-fish-out-of-water tale, about a pampered pet rat named Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman) who gets accidentally flushed down the toilet of his owners' posh Kensington flat and ends up out of his element in a rat-sized version of London down in the sewers. His attempts to make his way back up top get him mixed up with a sassy lass, Rita (Kate Winslet), who is on the run from a local crime boss and his thugs. Of course, because this is an animated family film, the boss is an ill-tempered toad and one of the henchmen is an albino former lab rat, but the ideas are universal.
Continue reading: Flushed Away Review
Turns out Doogal (Daniel Tay) is actually a dog. His best friend is Florence (Kylie Minogue), as well as a cow (Whoopi Goldberg), a train (Chevy Chase), and a flatulent moose (Kevin Smith). Their adventure, and you'll need to hang in there for this, involves magic diamonds that can freeze the sun. There's of course a bad guy with a plan to do just that: He's a kind of alien with a spring for the lower half of his body (voiced by an audibly bored Jon Stewart). Their adventure to stop her takes them across the countryside and, er, into, like, a magic land, or, something, I think.
Continue reading: Doogal Review
And it's expectations that director Peter Jackson has clearly found himself having to address in this movie. Given that all three films in the series were shot simultaneously, Jackson doesn't have much opportunity to introduce new stuff with each movie. We're well familiarized with the main characters and the primary settings, so much of the weight falls on the new people and creatures introduced in this episode to carry the story.
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Review
How do you satisfy a legion of fans, some of whom have been waiting almost 65 years to see their absolute favorite work of literature put to film? More often than not, you don't, and though Peter Jackson's production of The Lord of the Rings is painstakingly faithful and earnest, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the movie will never quite be good enough for the obsessed fans (see also the 1978 animated Lord), just is it will be far too obtuse for those who haven't read the books.
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Review
Unless you're a "Lord of the Rings" superfan, you'd better brush up on "Fellowship of the Ring" before seeing the sequel "The Two Towers," because director Peter Jackson just jumps right in to the middle of the story without much in the way of introductions or explanations.
He assumes you know who Hobbits Merry and Pippin are and why they've been abducted by the Uruk-Hai, the beastly minions of unseen supernatural villain Sauron (you know all about them, right?). He assumes you recall where "Fellowship" left off with human warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Elfin archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and why they're trying to rescue Merry and Pippin.
He also assumes you know that hero Hobbits Frodo and Sam (Elijah Wood and Sean Austin) are still trying to reach the kingdom of Mordor, where they are to cast the dangerously omnipotent Ring into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, thus keeping it out of the hands Sauron, who would use its dark psychic powers to lay waste to the world.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings:
the Two Towers Review
In the entire three hours of the audacious, transporting, spectacularly cinematic first "Lord of the Rings" installment, there are only two very brief moments that don't come across as being 100-percent a part of the mystical, dark and magical realm of Middle Earth.
These moments are not because of bad performances (there aren't any), negligent directing or special effects gaffes. In fact, from the digitally dialed-down stature of the actors playing hobbits to the frightfully demonic hoards of living-dead orcs (minions of the supernaturally evil antagonist), the effects are seamless.
These moments of doubt are merely scenes that take place in such plain locations (e.g. a non-descript river bed) that they seem far too familiar and Earthly in a movie of underground troll cities, ominous mountains called Doom, idyllic ancient forest hamlets of immortal elves, and hobbit's homes burrowed into impossibly green hillsides.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring Review
By the time hobbit hero Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) finally -- finally! -- struggles to the top of Mount Doom, where at the climax of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" he must cast into its volcanic fires the malevolently omnipotent Ring that has been slowly consuming his psyche for three movies now, many of the nit-picky things that have gotten on my nerves throughout all the "Lord of the Rings" flicks had come to a head.
So many times now has Frodo's whiney, obsequious traveling companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin) begun boo-hoo-hooing that I started rooting for him to be chucked into the lava along with the jewelry. One too many times has a lucky coincidence saved our hero, as when in this picture he's captured by the demonic, bad-tempered Orcs, only to be rescued moments later when his two guards -- the only two guards in an entire tower it seems -- are conveniently distracted by fighting with each other.
And once too often has director Peter Jackson assumed that the previous installments will be fresh in minds of the audience. That's a pretty safe bet for his fan base, but for the unobsessed, "Return of the King" -- like "The Two Towers" before it -- has many what-did-I-miss? moments. For example, in one of two climactic battle scenes, a never-identified army of fearsome face-painted foes riding atop gigantic elephants appears on the flank of the protagonists' battalion, prompting the question, "Who the heck are these guys?" (Apparently they were in the second movie too, but pardon me for not having seen it since last year.)
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Review
Fans of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' have often debated what a fight between Gandalf and Dumbledore would look like, but it turns out it isn't as interesting as you might think.
Legendary thespian and film star, Sir Ian McKellen, came under fire from the late Richard Harris several years ago when he landed the role of the wise but mischievous Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. McKellen claims that Harris was furious for not being cast in Peter Jackson's fantasy epic, and this was exacerbated by McKellen being chosen over him.
Harris reportedly exploded at the rumour that McKellen would then take the role of Dumbledore as well in 2002 when Harris' health steadily began to fail. The actor explained: "Before Richard Harris died, there was an enquiry: would I be interested in playing in Harry Potter? And I said, 'Yes, certainly'. But I've not heard anything since."
Date of birth
25th May, 1939
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