Tag Archives: Glendyn Ivin

Hugo Weaving & Glendyn Ivin to Re-Team on One Foot Wrong, New Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Trailer

I don’t have time for an elaborate entry at present, but did want to pass on some exciting news about Hugo’s next film role: he’ll be re-teaming with director Glendyn Ivin for One Foot Wrong, according to Inside Film. The film, based on a novel by Sofie Laguna (there’s a synopsis and some reviews here) is about a child abused and isolated from the world by her parents, and how she adjusts and eventually changes this situation. Though the script  was written by Greg Maclean (who will also executive produce), best known for the serial killer film Wolf Creek, this probably isn’t a rote horror film, but a psychological thriller along the lines of Terry Gilliam’s Tideland, which it sounds somewhat similar to. (That film sharply divided audiences, with some calling it the worst film of its year… but I liked it, and it’s gathered a little cult following.) Hugo’s been cast as the girl’s father, which doesn’t sound like the most complex of roles, certainly nothing like his character in Last Ride, who was abusive but obviously loved his son. And let him out of the house. Since Glendyn Ivin is attached as director, I’m still very optimistic… a lot will depend (as it did in Last Ride) on who’s cast as the child at the heart of the story. Ivin seems to have a gift for finding promising newcomers and directing children, which might be how he landed this gig.

As some of you may remember, Ivin confirmed a future collaboration with Hugo during a Live-Tweet event when Last Ride was broadcast on SBS (in Australia) back in June (you can read my coverage here… I’m the one who asked the question.) 😉 Back then he couldn’t reveal too many details, but now we finally know a few basics. Though the genre is a departure from Last Ride, the theme of child endangerment and how a child might cope with dangerous parents is still present. It’ll be interesting to see how Ivin chooses to approach this. The novel, like Last Ride, is a first-person narrative from a child’s perspective. Ivin pared down that story and gave it a visual, evocative and objective essence while maintaining the focus on Chook. One Foot Wrong sounds much more claustrophobic and interior.  Though Inside Film doesn’t give any production dates or specifics, the project will begin after Ivin completes work on an ambitious miniseries about Gallipoli… so we might have a bit of a wait.  I’m assuming filming will take place in Australia, as the novel is by an Australian writer, but IF doesn’t specify. I hope Hugo’s character is more nuanced than the novel’s descriptions make him sound… I get weary of seeing him typecast as monsters.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

As most of you probably already know, the official full-length trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug debuted yesterday on Peter Jackson’s Facebook page and was quickly crossposted all over the web shortly thereafter. I’ll embed the YouTube version below.

I’m still concerned that Hugo won’t appear in this film at all, as Elrond hasn’t made a single appearance in the promotion, and wasn’t in this part of the story in the novel. (The emphasis in Smaug moves from the Rivendell Elves (and Galadriel) to those of Mirkwood, including Lee Pace’s haughty Thranduil, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas and Evangeline Lillly’s Tauriel.) Despite promises from Peter Jackson that Tauriel wasn’t in the story just to serve as a Legolas love interest… the trailer hints rather depressingly that he’s gone back on his word. When will directors and writers figure out that female viewers– well, the smart ones, anyhow–  don’t need clumsy romance plots shoehorned into every narrative to go see a film? Apart from this unpleasant development, though, the film looks good, possibly more excitingly paced than its predecessor. And we finally get a good look at Bard the Bowman and a listen to Smaug. You can view Stephen Fry’s witty introduction for the new trailer at Bring The Noise UK.

Tim Winton’s The Turning

The Turning made impressive box office in its first week of Australian release, with the highest per-screen average of any film in current release there. (The film is only showing in 16 cinemas in its “special release” period, so it isn’t competing with films in general release.) You can read details at Inside Film, Flicks.com.au and Impulse Gamer.  Hugo’s older brother Simon wrote an interesting review of the film for Canberra Times. You can read other new reviews at  Sydney Arts Guide, An Adventure In Film, Popcorn Junkie, Graffiti With Punctuation (different review than the one previously excerpted here), Broadsheet Melbourne, On The Record, Catholic Leader, Jim Belshaw and Sam McCosh/Letterbox DVD.

And we finally have a picture of Hugo Weaving, Robert Connolly and David Wenham at the 11 September Turning Premiere, courtesy the Hayden Orpheum’s Event Archive:


Thanks to the David Wenham Fansite for tweeting info about this. 😉

Mystery Road

Beyond Cinema posted a lengthy chat with Ivan Sen and Aaron Pedersen taped at the Toronto International Film Fest. Well worth a look once you get past the asinine first question. 😉

And, in addition to festival screenings in London, Korea, Dubai and Toronto, Mystery Road will be showcased at the Hamptons Film Festival in New York (Long Island) on October 13 and 14. meaning it’s finally come to a location close enough for me to see it. 😉 I also saw Oranges and Sunshine at the Hamptons Film Fest in 2011, which was such an enjoyable experience that I’d been hoping this festival would book Mystery Road; I’m delighted that they read my mind on this. And that I won’t have to wait until next year (and count on the vagaries of international distribution) to see this film. 😉

Mystery Road’s official website has also been augmented with some new downloadable goodies, including this photo:

And there’s a well-written reviews of the film at Electric Sheep.

Before I close I have to thank my boyfriend for his forbearance as I took time to compose this. I try to have rules about not engaging in fandom activities while he’s here, but the new casting news made me break my rule, and he’s been wonderfully patient about this.

Final Round of Sydney Film Festival Pics, Hugo Weaving And Glendyn Ivin Plan Second Project

Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

It’s been a fun week following the Sydney Film Festival remotely, but all good things must end. The festival closed today on a somewhat controversial note, with a film that divided the jury getting the top prize. Images from the awards ceremony are just starting to roll in, and ideally we’ll have some video footage too at some point. The competition field was full of worthy contenders, but I’m afraid I’d have to agree with Sydney Morning Herald critic Garry Maddox’s assertion that the winner “wasn’t in my top 11  of the 12 films in the competition”. 😉 (Technically I can’t say Only God Forgives was the worst of the twelve, as several competition films haven’t yet been released over here, but given how amateurishly pretentious Nicolas Winding Refn’s previous films have been, it’s a good guess.)

However, Hugo shouldn’t take full credit or blame for the winner– he himself acknowledged that the winning film “will polarise opinion as it polarised ours”.* He also conceded that it took much longer than expected (six and a half hours) for the jury to reach consensus: “I’m not very good at cracking the whip, so we kind of went over by about two and a half hours…[This was a a group of] very diverse and strong films. It was a very honest and free ranging debate with good humour and also a lot of passion. It probably wasn’t too difficult to cut the 12 down to six (but) we basically debated about a couple of films for quite some time.” (As quoted in The Australian.)

Critics and festivalgoers who loved– and who loathed– the winning film Only God Forgives are suggesting that since Hugo was the most famous jury member and the president/spokesman that his must have been the decisive vote, but I wouldn’t assume that. Hugo’s conciliatory nature is part of the reason he’s so beloved in the Australian film industry, and he does have a record of being talked into decisions… some good (he turned down The Matrix twice before reading the script and changing his mind) and some not-so-good (even Hugo can’t really explain why he did the Transformers voiceovers. He talks about the experience as if it was something that he accidentally stumbled into without fully understanding it.) More tellingly, director Rowan Woods (Little Fish) describes getting Hugo to change his vote on a previous awards panel where the two first met in this Australian Vogue interview. I found the wording of Hugo’s statement about the award-winning film interesting, but it’s impossible to say whether he was implying his own misgivings or acknowledging those of another jury member or members. (Some news sources say Hugo’s statement in giving the award was his own, others that he read something on behalf of the jury… so again, it’s unfair to be too definitive. The remarks about the decision process were definitely his.)

The Australian press has reflected the divided opinion about the winner, with some praising the choice as crowdpleasing, and others suggesting it was motivated by commercial rather than artistic interests. You can read more at International News/AAP, The Sun-Herald, The Australian, Inside Film, The Sydney Morning Herald, Urban Cinefile and Pedestrian TV. The winning film already has wide international distribution, so at least viewers can decide for themselves what they think, if this is the sort of film they’d see. Interestingly, the SFF’s judging criteria was “[Films that have] emotional power and resonance; are audacious, cutting-edge, courageous; and go beyond the usual treatment of the subject matter”.  Quality isn’t mentioned, and this list would tend to value theatrical, visceral and shocking films above quieter, subtle ones. I also think to some extent that it’s the job of film festivals to raise the profiles of films that might lack wide distribution and international attention rather than to foist more attention on films already destined to receive it, but most film festivals no longer do this, at least when it comes to distributing awards. But I did learn about some fascinating films I hadn’t previously discovered through covering SFF, so on the whole it did its job. I would like to see an individual polling of the jury members though. 😉

[* According to AAP, the full awards announcement Hugo read went as follows: “After 10 days of captivating and diverse film viewing and passionate conversations, the jury arrived at a majority decision. In the true spirit of the Competition criteria, we award a visually mesmerizing and disturbing film, which polarised our opinions. The winner of the Sydney Film Prize is Only God Forgives.”]

The official closing ceremony, which awards other festival prizes, is currently underway and Hugo is definitely on hand, so I’ll add any new images as they roll in. Let’s at least try to keep things chronological…


Forgot to say Hugo Weaving #SydFilmFest judge, kicked me out of my seat last night, alright his seat! #highlight” Erin M. McCuskey, via Twitter

The first 5 are from the Sydney Film Festival Facebook page:


Hugo Weaving, fellow juror Anand Gandhi and Festival Director Nashen Moodley at the premiere of Gandhi’s film Ship of Theseus, June 11 (It’s about a blind photographer, but is NOT an Indian remake of Proof.) 😉


Hugo Weaving and Amit Kumar at the premiere of Kumar’s film Monsoon Shootout, June 11


Pia Marais, Kath Shelper, Jan Ole Gerster, Hugo Weaving and Anand Gandhi at the SFF premiere of Gerster’s film Oh Boy, June 12

Some photos from the June 16 Festival Competition Awards Ceremony:


Jurors Paolo Bertolin, Pia Marais, Hugo Weaving, Kath Shelper and Anand Gandhi with Nick Hayes (center, next to Hugo) who accepted on behalf of absent director Nicolas Winding Refn   Photo: The AU Review via Twitter/Instagram


Hugo announces the winner  Photo: Ed Gibbs via Twitter


The SFF Jury, amid lengthy negotiations (and swag collection) 😉  Photo: Cardinal Spin, via Twitter


The SFF Jury and winner-surrogate pose before the Sydney Opera House  Photo: Richard Milnes/Demotix (plus next 11


More Shameless Swag Display 😉 (the watches are from a festival sponsor)


“I guess they don’t know that I never wear watches”. 😉


The award’s hypno-wheel look sorta goes with the awards criteria. 😉


Some initial photos of the Closing Ceremony:


Hugo is at the lectern, jury to left   Photo: Empire Australia via Twitter


Photo: Lina Mbirkou via Twitter


Photo: Luke Buckmaster, via Twitter

I’ll add more images as they appear; my thanks to everyone who posted photos. In spite of my misgivings about the main winner it looks to have been a wonderful film festival.

UPDATE:
Here’s a new pic of Hugo and fellow SFF juror Pia Marais at the SFF closing film premiere, 20 Feet from Stardom


Photo: Richard Milnes/Demotix

On an even more wonderful note, I got some official confirmation that Hugo Weaving and Last Ride director Glendyn Ivin are planning another project together… from Ivin himself, no less.  I managed the gumption to ask if he and Hugo might work together again during a live-tweeting event yesterday to coincide with SBS TV’s airing of Last Ride. For the record, I didn’t try to tweet while watching the film, and don’t personally mix tweeting with other activities. To their eternal credit, Ivin and several viewers agreed the film–ANY good film– deserves one’s full attention. I do have two copies of the DVD and the film is also available via Netflix streaming. 😉 But the fact SBS added commercials (another element laudably mocked by those live-tweeting) gave people a chance to take a break and ask questions. I retweeted the full, two-hour exchange, which should appear on my personal LJ cross-post soon. (Unfortunately, LJ auto-posted right in the middle of the event, so the tweets are spread over two entries; part one is here, part two here. Or you can just scroll down my Twitter feed to yesterday.) There wasn’t a huge crowd “in attendance”, but all on hand were intelligent, witty and entertaining, and there was a refreshing lack of stupid questions/comments. Yes, on Twitter. 😉 Quasi-miraculous, but goes to show you what the right film can inspire.

Since I get nervous in the presence (even the virtual-presence) of artists I admire, I waited a full hour to see if someone else would ask my question, but since no one did, I went ahead. Ivin answered within a few minutes, as he did almost all questions asked. The exchange went as follows:

 

Hugo Weaving called Last Ride 1 of his 2 best films he’s made in past 10 yrs. I agree. Any chance of reteaming?

Hugo Weaving and I have another film in the pipeline…! Can’t wait. Making Last Ride with him was a joy

You’ve just made me very, very happy. Also, you’ve made me a raging fan with Last Ride. And Paul Charlier too.

That Marcus guy was hilarious for the duration, but also noticed details in the film even the director hadn’t. The full live-tweet session is worth reading if you have time… it was great “company” to be in.   Since no official announcements have been made about what Ivin has in mind for his next project with Hugo, I can’t speculate further, but this is the best Hugo News I’ve had in ages. I know that the process of securing funding and getting projects greenlighted can be tortuous in Australia, so this one might take time (just ask Craig Monahan, who waited seven years between Healing’s announcement and its actual filming), but Ivin has won a devoted following and awards for Last Ride and his television work (Puberty Blues, Beaconsfield) … and I don’t think he’d let us in on plans if he didn’t have some notion of how to achieve them. Ivin is the only director of Hugo’s that I’ve actually met in the sense we exchanged words (though I attended premieres where the Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas) and Jim Loach (Oranges & Sunshine) were in attendance– crowds were too thick to approach them.)

I met Ivin at the 2011 MoMA screening/unofficial US premiere of Last Ride. He enthused about how much he enjoyed working with Hugo. Later that summer, I had Hugo sign my Last Ride DVD slipcase after a performance of Uncle Vanya at Kennedy Center, and he was similarly effusive. (“You’ve met Glendyn Ivin? Oh, he’s a lovely man.”) And I was absolutely sincere in saying Last Ride is one of Hugo’s best two performances of the past ten years. (I paraphrased Hugo slightly to fit a tweet: he actually said that Last Ride and Little Fish were his favorite experiences working on films in the past ten years, and the performances he worked hardest to achieve.) So the idea of them collaborating again on anything is the fulfillment of one of my fondest wishes. And it’ll be something to look forward to hearing more about as details become official. Meanwhile, Hugo has The Turning premiering in a month at the Melbourne International Film Festival, The Mule currently filming (though I assume Hugo hasn’t reported to the set, as, unlike his most famous character, he can’t actually be in two places at once), Mystery Road premiering in Australia in August and the US next year, the second Hobbit movie out in December (when Hugo will be costarring in Waiting for Godot with Richard Roxburgh for the STC)… and Healing debuting early next year. Exhausting just to read that off.

Anyhow, I’ll post this entry and amend with extra photos (and video if we’re lucky) as needed.

Cloud Atlas: Seven New Banners, Enhanced E-Book, More Reviews, Pics

Note: This is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

New promotional material for Cloud Atlas continues to appear on a near-daily basis; yesterday seven (!) new promotional banners debuted on thew film’s Facebook page and were quickly picked up by pretty much every movie site out there and reposted at varying sizes; I’ve included the largest versions I could find (under the cut) and will post them in chronological order. Hugo Weaving appears in those for the Luisa Rey and Timothy Cavendish storylines as the villainous Bill Smoke and Nurse Noakes, respectively.

Note : The Adam Ewing storyline doesn’t yet have a banner: it features Jim Sturgess as Adam Ewing, Tom Hanks as Henry Goose, David Gyasi as Autua, Bae Doona as Tilda, Hugo Weaving as Rev. Horrox (some who’ve seen the film have confirmed my suspicion that Reverends D’Arnoq and Horrox have been combined into one character), and Jim Broadbent as Capt. Mollyneaux, and is set in the 1850s. And I should give a Slight Spoiler Warning on my banner notes in case anyone wants to go in knowing as little as possible about who plays who… in a way, I envy anyone coming to the film with an innocent eye. Once you get in the “professional fan” business that almost never happens… but our favorite actors nonetheless reward us by still managing to surprise and beguile us in spite of our over-preparation. 😉


Letters From Zedelghem starring Ben Whishaw as Robert Frobisher and James D’Arcy as Rufus Sixsmith. Set in 1931 Belgium, the story also features Jim Broadbent as Vyvyan Ayrs, Halle Berry as Jocasta, Tom Hanks as the Hotel Clerk and Gotz Otto as Withers the Butler.


Half Lives: the First Luisa Rey Mystery stars Halle Berry as Luisa Rey, Keith David as Joe Napier and Hugo Weaving as Bill Smoke. The 1970s-set China Syndrome-ish nuclear espionage thriller also stars Tom Hanks as Isaac Sachs, James D’Arcy as the older Sixsmith (the only character to physically feature in two stories, though there are meta-references galore between plots) Hugh Grant as Grimaldi, Zhu Zhu as Meagan Sixsmith, Ben Whishaw as the record store clerk, David Gyasi as Lester Rey and Bae Doona as a Mexican woman who assists Luisa.


The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish is set in the present day and stars Jim Broadbent as the title character and Hugo Weaving as Nurse Noakes. Also featured but not pictured: Hugh Grant as Denholme Cavendish, Tom Hanks as Dermott “Duster” Hoggins, Susan Sarandon as Cavendish’s “lost love” (called “Ursula” in some cast lists, though if this is the case, she’s a very different character from the novel’s Ursula), Ben Whishaw as another of the nursing home denizens, and Alistair Petrie as Felix Finch.


An Orison of Sonmi-451 is set in a futuristic, corporate oligarchic Korea (called Nea So Copros in the novel and Neo Seoul in the film)  and stars Bae Doona as Sonmi- 451– she features in all three banners highlighting this storyline. Jim Sturgess, who plays Hae-Joo Chang (an apparent synthesis of the Chang and Hae-Joo Im characters in the novel) is seen in two banners, and the gluttonous overseer (called Seer Rhee in the novel and played by Hugh Grant in the film) is in the first one. Also featured but not pictured: James D’Arcy as The Archivist, Zhou Xun as Yoona- 939, Zhu Zhu as another Papa Song waitress, Keith David as An Kor Apis, Hugo Weaving as Control, Tom Hanks as the Film Cavendish and Susan Sarandon as Ma Arak Na and Halle Berry as a “male Korean doctor”.


Finally, Sloosha’s Crossin’ An’ Everythin’ After is set about 100 years after the events of the Sonmi storyline and unfolds in a post-apocalyptic, tribal-warfare striven Hawaii. Pictured as Tom Hanks as Zachry and Halle Berry as Meronym. Not pictured: Zhou Xun as Zachry’s wife Rose, Hugo Weaving as Old Georgie, Hugh Grant as the lead cannibal, Susan Sarandon as the Abbess, Jim Sturgess as Zachry’s father Adam, and David Gyasi as “a presidential figure” (possibly Meronym’s contact Duophysite).

Note: some of my casting notes are guesses based on the novel, early reviews and actor interviews as well as the promotional material now available. The film version has substantially changed some characters (including their names and basic physical characteristics) and omitted or synthesized others. For example, Keith David plays a character named “Kupaka Apis” who appears nowhere in the novel but is apparently related to An Kor Apis, a mysterious figure David plays in the Sonmi storyline.  He could be an ancestor of An Kor Apis in just about any storyline (The Adam Ewing plot would be my best guess)– or a descendant in Sloosha’s Crossin’. Neither IMDb nor Wikipedia has a completely correct cast list because both are crowd-sourced and have some omissions or inaccuracies. Ironically, casting notes on the smaller roles at these sites are more likely to be accurate, because they’re posted by the actors or their representation personally.

I understand several of my guesses might be wrong… I’m not trying to be definitive before I’ve seen the film. As many viewers who HAVE seen the film have confirmed, part of the fun is guessing who’s who, and how the novel adheres to or changes the novel.

By the way, the film’s Facebook Page just added an enlarged version of the Toronto Cast Party from September 8:


L to R: Zhu Zhu, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Zhou Xun, Keith David, Susan Sarandon and Bae Doona in front of Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, David Gyasi, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Andy Wachowski (behind), James D’Arcy, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and Alistair Petrie.

And thanks again to the James D’Arcy fans for calling this new premiere photo of Hugo to my attention:


Photo: MTime; they have a gallery featuring several other actors from the film as well. This one’s slightly overexposed, but I like it anyhow. 😉

If you still haven’t read the novel, or want to read it again before you see the film (or after) there’s now an Enhanced E-Book “movie tie-in edition” available for pre-order (it’s officially released October 9) featuring heretofore unseen film footage and interviews with the actors, “including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving and James D’Arcy”.  It’s in Kindle format, but you can download free Kindle software from Amazon for computer viewing if you have a rival e-reader or, like me, bought the old school Dead Tree Format. (I’ll probably buy the enhanced version too, but am eternally grateful the paperback was on hand last October during the 12-day power outage…  and it’ll be equally handy if, like some Cloud Atlas characters, we eventually find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic, post-technological state.) 😉

If you want to do something nice for your fellow fans (and people who, like the James D’Arcy faithful, have provided invaluable research assistance in following this film’s progress) you can buy the Kindle Enhanced edition via Jim Sturgess Online for the regular (and very reasonable) Amazon price. The Orison Edition is not yet available, though it may be bundled with the inevitable Blu-Ray. 😉 And speaking of Jim Sturgess, he gave an interesting interview to Vulture (as Hugo Weaving did earlier this month) discussing the challenges of playing six characters in Cloud Atlas. He also (one hopes) provides the final word on the cross-racial casting controversy: if Bae Doona’s mother was OK with Stugess (or other actors, including Hugo Weaving, James D’Arcy, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon) playing Asian characters, you should be too.

New review excerpts:

Tom Clift, Moviedex: “Cloud Atlas is a big, bold, beautiful work of staggering ambition and artistry… The casts’ work is excellent bar none, although quite frankly, so unrecognisable does the makeup sometimes render them that the end credit revelation as to who played who in what segment is more jaw-dropping than the actual performances… Astoundingly, out of six stories over vastly different scale and tone, not one feels unnecessary or boring. Indeed, masterful editing – along with a beautiful score that’s as multifaceted as the movie it’s accompanying – provides the film with a wonderful ebb and flow… Yet no matter the profundity, the best thing about Cloud Atlas is that it always maintains a sense of intimacy…. To try and write conclusively on Cloud Atlas after just one viewing feels like something of a fruitless endeavour. This is an important film; a film that will deservedly be watched, rewatched, discussed and studied for many generations to come. It is stained glass cinema: shards of disparate splendour made breathtakingly whole.”

Moira Romano, Myetvmedia: “Visually the movie is superb employing a number of cinematic techniques to transport the viewer across time. The story requires the full attention of the viewer. There are no simple plot lines. Each character is on a quest and has a mission. How they accomplish this will have impacts that will influence generations to come…. The story illustrates the significance of keeping a record of our human journeys and the passing down of knowledge that we as a civilization can learn from. The contribution of each character is very powerful as the tale is variously narrated, portrayed through dream sequences, played out in the present, seen through flashbacks and in futuristic worlds….Cloud Atlas is an extraordinary movie with an inspiring, thoughtful message that will stay with the viewer well after you leave the theatre. ”

Myetvmedia also posted a new YouTube clip featuring footage of the directors and cast intro from the Cloud Atlas premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, filmed from a viewpoint slightly closer to the stage than the official version:

In non-Cloud Atlas Hugo Weaving news, Last Ride will finally debut on US DVD next month (October 16 to be precise) and is currently available for pre-order; alas, no US Blu-Ray has yet been announced. (There is a German version, the only Blu-Ray currently available, but I have no idea how enhanced it is, or what its extra features might be; since there’s no Australian Blu-Ray and director Glendyn Ivins hasn’t mentioned that version, I suspect it’s the Australian DVD edition reformatted.) If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you might have noticed it’s moved from your Saved Queue to your active queue.  I recently found another glowing review in The New Republic for the film’s US release this past summer… here’s an excerpt:

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic: “The Australian outback, the setting for most of Last Ride, an extraordinary film for which the locale is a quiet, almost secret catalyst. Directed by Glendyn Ivin, with a screenplay derived by Mac Gudgeon from a novel by Denise Young, it needs only two major characters to create a picture that begins as a bare-knuckled adventure and becomes a folk tale. At the last we are almost gratifyingly ashamed for not having seen from the first the quasi-myth that it becomes….Kev is a man in his thirties, a rough character not untouched by the law, who has a ten-year-old son named Chook. The bulk of the film is Kev’s flight from the law and to a possible new life accompanied by his son… But an almost lofty effect in Ivin’s view of the proceedings, plus his sense of the awesome environment as a silent character, alerts us for surprise….This deepened view extends backward to touch everything we have seen before. And that view is enriched by the very end of the picture. Last Ride is then seen as an attempt to render with words and pictures the sad lyricism of a country ballad. Ivin, with his loving direction, lets this gradually come through to us. Hugo Weaving, a leading Australian actor, makes Kev exceptionally sound along every shade of his register. And once again a breathtaking performance by a child. Tom Russell is Chook most endearingly.”

I bet Hugo would be thrilled to hear that the reviewer perceives Kev, not one of his more manicured characters, to be “in his thirties”. 😉

‘I promise not to try and drown you this time, son” 😉
Hugo Weaving and Tom Russell in Last Ride

Breaking News: There’s apparently been a surprise preview screening of Cloud Atlas at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX with the directors in attendance. More news on this as it becomes available.

New Hugo Weaving interview; More Uncle Vanya Press; More Last Ride Coverage

Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.

While we’re awaiting the first round of Uncle Vanya reviews (and, possibly, more cast photos), a lovely surprise just surfaced on The A.V. Club: they’ve had Hugo Weaving participate in their “Random Roles” forum, “wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about.” Yes, The Matrix and the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies came up. 😉 But I was impressed with the scope of the other choices, which included my first Hugo Weaving movie, Proof. (This was also the film that brought him to the Wachowskis’ attention, don’t forget. ) Last Ride, the eagerly anticipated Cloud Atlas and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert also got generous attention. Oddly, Uncle Vanya wasn’t discussed, but this is a film-centric website, and they’ve helped spread the word about Last Ride’s US release, so it’s all good. It’s such a balanced, thoughtful exchange that I can’t easily truncate or pull quotes, so full transcript is below the cut. Or just click on the link and read it at their site.

Hugo Weaving on being Elrond, The Matrix’s evil AI, and a kidnapper convict

Welcome to Random Roles, wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about.

The actor: Balancing mega-blockbusters and character-driven independent films, Hugo Weaving musters the high style necessary for a elven lord, an evil computer program, and a malevolent Transformer, all while retaining the subtlety to fuel more small-scale films. His latest, Last Ride, is one of the latter, with Weaving playing an abusive ex-convict who takes his estranged son along as they flee through the Australian outback.

Last Ride (2009)—“Kev”
The A.V. Club: It’s an actor-driven movie, which is always attractive. But what drew you to this part in particular?

Hugo Weaving: That he was such a compromised man. That he was so troubled and really in a bad way, and obviously had everything against him, and his upbringing, and… I mean, if you read the book, you get a sense of—beautiful book, by the way—Kev’s childhood and what he had to struggle with with his father. You feel like it’s a continuum—what’s happening with him and his own son —except even worse. And so it’s the spiral of that. The flashes of time when Kev reveals his love for his son, I found really poignant and quite beautiful. I think it is a love story. It’s certainly a love story in the book; slightly less so in the film. The film’s a little bleaker—well, a lot bleaker, actually, and darker. But it still really is about the particular relationship between these two damaged individuals, and I think that was a thing that interested me in the character. The reason I was interested in the film is because I loved the script, and I’d seen Glendyn [Ivin]’s first short, an absolutely beautiful film called “Cracker Bag,” and that won an award at Cannes. I was really keen to work with him, so it didn’t take much, really.

AVC: You shot Last Ride three or four years ago at this point?

HW: Yes.

AVC: So it was just after a run of movies you’d done with a substantial amount of bluescreen and makeup and masks. Was it a relief to just go out in the bush with a camera and a small crew and make a movie that way?

HW: That’s actually the norm for me, so the change of pace is the big-budget mask thing, actually. The last few years, I have to say, I haven’t done so many small-budget Australian films, but that’s only been very recently, the last couple of years—since Last Ride, actually. But that, to me, was the more common experience: small crew, in the outback. And that’s the sort of film I love working on. That’s the thing I’ll always try to return to. I’m about to, in another month, do a similar, very low-budget film up in Queensland with an extraordinarily talented young director called Ivan Sen. I really love working with writer-directors on films in this country. Very low-budget, maybe a five- or six-week shoot, and that’s it. I think there’s a great energy that comes with working on films in that way. It’s a real pleasure to go to work when you’re in the most extraordinary surroundings, and working with people who are young and interested and creatively keen. I find it really stimulating, and just beautiful to be out in nature as well. So that’s something I peg as an absolute pleasure. There’s nothing like being on a massive-budget film where you don’t know anything, and there’s a million people, and no one’s communicating. So I generally prefer the smaller-budget film. I find both of them really great for me; they just stretch me in different ways.

AVC: There’s a visually stunning scene where you and your son are driving across this immense salt flat. Is that Lake Gairdner?

HW: Yeah.

AVC: How does it figure into your performance when you know you’re being framed in front of such an astonishing backdrop?

HW: Well, you see, that’s why I love location. You don’t have to do anything. I’ve never seen a film crew taking so many pictures of where they were. [Laughs.] Because it was exquisite. Absolutely exquisite. We were there for a couple of days. And the landscape would change dramatically, as well. You get a slight wind and it would feel like you’re in the Antarctic, and then it would go very still, and suddenly it’d be on a desert island or something. Then it would have this amazing reflective glass effect. There was a couple of inches of water along the salt flat, and everything would be completely reflected. And by the end of the day, if it was getting windy and the salt was flicking up, it would get in your eyes and on your lips and everything. So it’s an absolutely beautiful landscape. It just means you don’t have to… In a way, it permeates your being, and I think locations do that to you. They give you so much and you don’t have to pretend.

The Matrix (1999)/The Matrix Reloaded (2003)/The Matrix Revolutions (2003)—“Agent Smith”
AVC: When you’re making a movie like The Matrix, and the whole trilogy is about a world that doesn’t exist—on a number of levels—what do you feed off in those circumstances?

HW: The good humor of the directors, with The Matrix—very good relationship with them. But onThe Matrix, there were only a couple of days that I was working on green-screen. The sets on that were phenomenal, so I was always standing there going, “Well, this set is so real that it feels like this is the world I’m in.” Because the sets were so good, it didn’t feel particularly… And we were on location quite a lot for that. But something like The Hobbit would be more… Working on that last year, there was a definitely a lot more green-screen. There’s much more of a distance between… You see these extraordinary makeup transformations in front of your eyes, yet behind that, there’s a green flat. And so there’s quite a distance, quite a journey to make between… You’re constantly aware that this is a film reality that you need to augment with performance and your imagination, and that’s fine. That’s the world of The Hobbit and of Lord Of The Rings. I mean, again, there are sometimes the most exquisite sets, so it’s not always the case. And other times, you’re on location. But there seems to be more green-screen with that than anything I’ve ever done.

The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)/The Two Towers (2002)/The Return Of The King(2003)/The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)/The Hobbit: There And Back Again (2013)—“Elrond”
AVC: How different was making the Hobbit movies from doing the Lord Of The Ringstrilogy? It’s the same director, and a few of the same cast as well.

HW: Well, tonally, I think the film is slightly different, but the experience didn’t seem radically different, to be honest. If anything, it was slightly more green-screen and slightly less set. But a lot of the same people, both in the crew and some of the cast. Going back and standing with Ian McKellen on the set again 10 years later, we felt very much at home, in a way, and very much like no time had passed at all. A lot of the other cast were different from The Lord Of The Rings, but it felt like a very similar experience. Actually, I was back there just the other day doing some post-production and went onto set, and I was just thinking, “Well, it’s been a year since I’ve been here—10 years, really, since we started—but it feels like the same family group has been making films there for that long.”

AVC: In the trailer, Bag End looks exactly as it does when we see Bilbo living there in the trilogy. Is it the same set?

HW: You know, I’m not sure. I would hesitate to say it was. I would think it wasn’t. But there may be some elements. I would have thought not, but possibly, yeah.

Cloud Atlas (2012)—various undisclosed roles
AVC: Cloud Atlas seems like an enormously complicated project, combining six stories shot by two sets of directors: the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. How does that work?

HW: That was the most wonderful adventure, really. It was an extraordinary time in Berlin. Absolutely wonderful experience. I think everyone agreed it was like nothing anyone had ever done before, running from one director to another or from one set to another, potentially playing up to, well, I suppose up to six characters in one week. That’s a very unusual experience. And then there’s a lot of downtime because there’s six stories going on and you’re not in every part of every one of those stories. A lot of the English actors would be able to go home for a week or two and then come back, but because I live in Australia and I was in Berlin, I just stayed. So I lived in Berlin for three and a half months, which was actually a dream come true. I loved it. It’s a very special project, and a wonderful, wonderful book, and a really great script adaptation. Something that in the end, after the readthrough—which was really exciting, all the actors there at the beginning of the shoot—I think everyone realized, despite all the preparatory work that had been done, there were certain things which we weren’t going to know about until we jumped in and did it. So we all took a sort of big, brave leap and jumped in and started filming, and it was a really, genuinely exciting adventure. I’m as eager as anyone else to see it. I think it’s a really, really brave, difficult project that could be very exciting to watch. I hope it is. I think everyone really loved working on it.

AVC: How did splitting the stories up work in practical terms?

HW: There were three stories each, basically. Lana and Andy [Wachowski] did three, and Tom did three. Tom’s crew was largely the crew he’s worked with for years, and Lana and Andy’s crew—a lot of the crew were English, and some of them had worked on V For Vendetta and had worked with them in Berlin in the past as well. That was the division of labor: three stories each. Actually, I think initially Tom had wanted to do one particular story and Lana and Andy had wanted to do another one, and they needed to swap because of the way the locations were set up. They ended up not doing one of the stories they particularly wanted to do; they just swapped. They have an incredibly good relationship, Tom and Lana and Andy. It was delightful to first meet Tom on a video-conference Skype with Lana and Andy, who I know very well, and just see immediately that they were literally bouncing off each other and were getting on very, very well. And that was maintained all the way through the shoot. The editing process is something I’m not so sure about. I think that would have been more problematic and difficult, but I suspect, knowing the three of them, that they got on extremely well throughout that and managed to express what they wanted and to fight for the film as they all talked about it in the first place. I don’t envisage there being any problems between the three of them. I think that’s kind of remarkable. A testament to all three of them, actually.

Proof (1991)—“Martin”
AVC: Going back to small Australian projects, Proof was something of a breakthrough for you, wasn’t it? Not your first movie, but a wonderful introduction to you and director Jocelyn Moorhouse. Did it seem like an important project for you at the time?

HW: It wasn’t my first, you’re right, but it was the first film script I received and I thought, “This is the sort of film I want to be in.” And I just thought, “I really want that role. I really want to be in this film.” And again, it was a first-time filmmaker, and she’d written the script. There’s something about that combination that’s really… Knowing that something’s small-budget, and it’s a writer-director. If the script grabs me and appeals to me, I’m really very keen to work on it. Even if that director hasn’t… They’ve been to film school, but this is their first feature. Sometimes that makes me want to do it more, because I think there’s probably something fantastically fresh and different about them and their approach. So I was very keen when I read that to be involved in that. And went along, met Jocelyn, did the audition, got the role. For me, that was a definite watershed in my fairly early career. I felt, “Ah, this is where I want to be.” Those sort of films come along quite rarely, you know. [Laughs.] I think I’ve done maybe five or six films that I’ve had that sense. I really want to work on those films during my time in Australia. That was the first of those films.

AVC: You had Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert not long after Proof, which put you on the map, but your costar, Russell Crowe, took a few more years to catch on.

HW: He seemed very keen to head over to the States and have a career there, which wasn’t ever my… I wasn’t ever going to go and live there.  I can’t remember exactly the dates, but it seemed within three or four years of Proof that he was already working in Hollywood, and working in L.A., and doing films over there. I can’t remember how long it took, but certainly he became a major box-office star, didn’t he?

The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (1994)—“Anthony ‘Tick’ Belrose”/“Mitzi Del Bra”
AVC: It’s almost hard to remember how groundbreaking it seemed to have a movie about drag queens in the mid-’90s, characters who were campy, but also short-tempered and dangerous. Was that all in the script? Did you do your own research?

HW: No, the script was there. The writer [Stephan Elliott] is definitely an extraordinary character, and very smart. Can be very caustic, a lot of fun. I had worked with him on a film prior to that [Frauds], and in fact we’d worked on a number of films before that, with him as a runner or a second AD. So no, it was there in the script, but as we grew into characters, then… I mean, Terence [Stamp] and I and Guy [Pearce] were out in drag in the streets of Sydney before the film started, going out to clubs and things to sort of get into character. [Laughs.] And so those sort of things grew as the shoot progressed. We would be adding and changing little bits and pieces, and increasingly wearing the clothes of some of our makeup artists, one of whom was a drag queen himself—Guy’s makeup artist. I sort of started stealing his clothes and wearing them throughout the shoot. So it grew, but a lot of that was in the script, or what was happening on the day. But Stephan was very amenable to that.

You can sense from this that Hugo will love heading back to Australia to work on Mystery Road, his next film, directed by Ivan Sen.  Ideally international audiences won’t have to wait as long for it as they did for Last Ride. Speaking of Last Ride, it opens in the Minneapolis/St Paul market this weekend, and continues to accrue positive notices:

Nathan Kamal, Spectrum Culture: ” Last Ride is the first full length film from director Glendyn Ivin, though you’d never know it. While the downfall of far too many first time directors is a lamentable tendency to throw in every cinematic trick in the book to demonstrate the breadth of their skill, Last Ride is a stark, simple movie…. And while [Tom] Russell portrays the childish petulance and anger of Chook well, it’s Weaving that’s the heart of the film. He captures Kev perfectly, a man who’s well aware of the mistakes he’s made but doesn’t know what to do with the life he’s made. He hits the notes of fatherhood just right (as in a scene where he dunks Chook in a pond to try to teach him to swim, something all fathers are apparently obligated to do), as well as the lack of self control that periodically erupts in rage. Last Ride is remarkable film for several reasons, but it’s most worth watching for Weaving.”

Colin Covert, Vita.mn/Minneapolis Star Tribune: “In this outback road movie, Australian actor Hugo Weaving dirties up to play Kev, an ex-con on a camping trip with his 10-year-old son Chook (the flawlessly naturalistic Tom Russell). The dynamic between the two is as mysterious and unforgiving as the desert vistas they travel. Their relationship is love and suspicion, rejection and dependency, faith and disappointment all in a knot. Weaving finds Kev’s humanity, winning our grudging pity for a hothead doomed by his nitroglycerine temper and thoughtlessness. Stunning camerawork by Greig Fraser (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) finds eerie beauty in desolate landscapes. The title more or less gives away the film’s design, but the predestined journey is taut and tragic nevertheless.”

There is also a selection of interesting stories from actors who played extras in Last Ride at Squidoo, a well-written review for the Australian release at Onya Magazine, and US reviews at Bloomberg and News Review.

Cate Blanchett has been given most of the Uncle Vanya promotional duties (often shared with husband/co-STC artistic director Andrew Upton), and carried them off with insight and panache, speaking to The Wall Street Journal (video), NY1 (video), The LA Times, Playbill, The New York Times, and New York Monthly. The NY Times piece also includes comments from Richard Roxburgh, and the video interviews include snippets of play footage, all from STC’s brilliant promotional trailer (below). Roxburgh and Blanchett gave their most in-depth interview last summer during the Kennedy Center run, filling a segment of PBS’s News Hour:

Early, informal reviews to the current production of Uncle Vanya remain wildly enthusiastic. I’ll share more as the story develops, but it’s an exciting week.

Another New Interview, More Accolades For Last Ride, Hobbit Poster

Note: This is an archived entry that’s over two years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material.

Hugo Weaving has really gone all-out in promoting the American release of Last Ride. In addition to interviews with Collider, THR (Part One, Part Two) and IFC (Part One, Part Two)– and his entertaining Rotten Tomatoes Five Films selections– he chatted with MSN Movies recently. This interview stays refreshingly on-topic, though Hugo outlines his plans for the rest of the year. (We’ll hear him say a lot more about Cloud Atlas, and probably The Hobbit, when their release dates approach.) He also clarifies that he hasn’t yet started work on Mystery Road, though the film began shooting in Queensland recently. Hugo remains in Sydney, probably deep into Uncle Vanya rehearsals, for now.

“By Danny Miller July 7

Hugo Weaving and Tom Russell in Last Ride

Hugo Weaving has the kind of career all actors must admire. He burst on the international scene in 1994 with a poignant performance as a sensitive drag queen in the much-loved Australian film, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” opposite Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp, and then parlayed that success into prominent roles in some of the most successful films of all time…. Weaving has also been lauded for his stage work in Australia including recent productions of “Uncle Vanya” with Cate Blanchett and a new adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s “Les Liasons Dangereuses.” Later this month, Weaving and Blanchett will bring their Sydney Theatre Company version of “Uncle Vanya” to Lincoln Center in New York.

In addition to these high-profile ventures, Hugo Weaving has continued to appear in the kind of smaller independent films that he made early on. In “Last Ride,” directed by Glendyn Ivin, Weaving gives one of the most powerful performances of his career. The film is the story of a father and son traveling across Australia. The father, Kev (Weaving), is on the lam from the police. His 10-year-old son, Chook (Tom Russell), loves his dad but suffers as a result of his father’s damaged past and difficult present. The film, which opens today in select cities and is available everywhere on demand, is definitely a ride worth taking. I spoke to Weaving by phone. He had just returned to Australia from New Zealand, where he was reprising his role as Elrond in Peter Jackson’s upcoming “The Hobbit,” a two-film prequel of sorts to “The Lord of the Rings.”

MSN Movies: Has it been a conscious decision on your part to mix up roles in these amazing international blockbusters with parts in small independent films like “Last Ride?”

Hugo Weaving: Well, when I first started in this business, the only films I could do as an actor fresh out of drama school were these low-budget Australian films! I did a bunch of them and then a couple of the films started getting noticed at festivals. The success of “Priscilla” led to “The Matrix” films and started me on this parallel career in these big-budget mostly American-funded films. But I’ll always continue to make the smaller films. If someone forced me to choose just one kind of thing to work on, I’d probably choose films like “Last Ride”—lower budget, smaller crews, working with writer/directors, on the road for six weeks. That would be definitely be my preference since these films stretch me so much as an actor. I’m just about to start another low-budget film up in Queensland [Mystery Road], but then right after that I’ll be promoting “Cloud Atlas” which is a much larger venture that I shot in Germany last year with Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, and Susan Sarandon. I feel very lucky to be able to move from one thing to the other!

What’s so amazing about your performance in “Last Ride” is how at times you are this monster of a father but then at other times one of the most caring fathers I’ve ever seen on screen. Was that a hard balance to strike?

After I read the screenplay, I read the original book by Denise Young. In the book you get a very strong sense of Kev’s childhood and what happened to him—his father was a nightmare and you see how it’s all a continuum. If you’re brought up a certain way, if you’re pulled every which way as a child and abused by your parent, you’re a very compromised individual, you’re going to be fighting your whole life against yourself to try and express some decent part of your nature. That’s what interested me in the character, that despite everything, Kev does love and want to protect his child. He desperately wants to love him and hug him and teach him, but he can’t be successful at it because he hates himself so much as he hated his own father. As an actor, to play someone who’s at war with himself, that’s so interesting. As human beings, of course, we’re all compromised and complex and contradictory and if a screenplay can express those contradictions within a character and if there’s room for me to express them, that’s a part I’d love to play, so much more than a character who is heroic and one-dimensional.

Obviously the success of this film also hinges on the performance of the actor who plays your son, Chook. Can you talk about working with Tom Russell? Is it a challenge to do such intense scenes with such a young actor?

It’s very different and quite wonderful. Tommy is so completely present at all times—it was a great reminder to me about what good acting is about. When you’re a kid you have this sense of wonder and wholeness and a strong sense of your own identity. The older you get, the more you feel compelled to respond to others. We’re socialized as we grow up and we’re asked to take account of other people, thank God, but at the same time a young child is always so fascinating to watch. Look at a baby’s face. I could watch babies for hours because they’re completely in their own world. Some scenes were difficult for Tom because he’s just a 10-year-old boy but he was always reminding me of fundamentally important things. He also learned certain things about acting and filmmaking from me so it was a wonderful exchange!

I know you shot “Last Ride” back in 2009. Are you surprised it took so long for the film to reach the United States?

Oh, no, some of the films I’m most proud of don’t have much of a life at all, even in Australia. I’m used to it! It’s very difficult, unless you make some kind of splash at Cannes or something like that, like “Priscilla” did. It’s a hard row to hoe for small Australian films. There are a number of other films I’ve done that may have gone to festivals but then got lost. For films like this, if you get a release in Australia, you’re lucky. If you run for more than four or five weeks, you’re really lucky. If you make any money back, then you’re super lucky! You’re dependent on all sorts of weird vagaries which have nothing at all to do with the quality of the piece. So I’m very happy that this film is getting a release in the States. I think Glendyn Ivin is a fantastic young director and I would love to work with him again. I’m so proud to be a part of this film.”

Technically it was Proof (1991) as much as Priscilla that got Hugo cast in The Matrix, but you couldn’t get a more expansive acting range than is displayed in just those two films. Also, MSN lists Last Ride as having opened in Boston, but so far I can only find listings at Chicago’s Music Box Theater and New York’s Cinema Village. Also, no Boston-based critics have yet reviewed the film. But the film is supposed to open in Los Angeles soon, so it may yet “go wider” in coming weeks. I’ll keep you posted. This is a film of striking visual beauty, so see it at a theater if you can!  If not, there are several ways to see it On Demand.

The rave reviews keep pouring in too:

Miriam Rinn, New Jersey Newsroom: “First time director [Glendyn] Ivin keeps the tension high, leaking bits of information as the father and son hurtle across the countryside, moving farther into the wilderness, both physically and spiritually….An acclaimed stage and screen actor in Australia, Hugo Weaving delivers an extraordinary performance, imbuing Kev with enough humanity that we can empathize with him despite his meanness and violence. He’s an awful guy, but he cares about his son in the only way he can. Limited by his own childhood, Kev doesn’t have the resources to give Chook the affection and attention a child needs. First-time actor Tom Russell is natural and innately sympathetic as Chook, a boy alternately fearful and idolizing of his father. He wants his father’s love, but he has enough of his father’s hardness that he’s not willing to go past a certain point.”

Danny King, The Film Stage: “There is something immediately powerful about observing these two souls march through such a vast territory, because it sets up such a compelling incongruity; as they are surrounded by all the vast open-space the world can offer, the tension between them builds mightily so that even when young Chook (Tom Russell) stands alone atop the immense, puddle-coated Lake Gairdner, a sense of claustrophobia still trickles in. They are freed by their surroundings, but paralyzed by their past…Sure, everything about the duo’s past is spelled out… but even in these instances, Ivin doesn’t linger unnecessarily or settle for out-of-the-blue plot-twists. He shows us, economically, what we need to know to understand and leaves the rest to [Hugo] Weaving’s scarred face and Russell’s lurking aggression…And two wonderful performances these are, sustaining a heavy burden in terms of how much they’re relied on for emotional identification and power.”

In other Hugo News, Peter Jackson recently posted the following update at Facebook: “We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con! ” He also shared a new poster for the film, which will be showcased (well, some footage, anyway) at San Diego Comic Con later this month.

HobbitPosterGandalf