The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
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3 items from 2007

New Line takes its lumps in 'Rings' case

4 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

New Line won't fight a federal court judge's decision to hit the studio with $125,000 in sanctions for failing to turn over documents in the ongoing legal battle with Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films.

New Line could have challenged the ruling, but in a three-page response filed Tuesday, the studio's attorney Robert Schwartz wrote, "Mindful that the court's resources are valuable and limited, New Line will neither oppose that award nor seek review" of the order.

Jackson claims that New Line has not properly accounted for income for the first Lord of the Rings film, including DVD sales and foreign receipts, and denied his repeated requests to audit The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

The lawsuit has strained relations between Jackson and New Line and any hopes of the director taking on the trilogy's prequel, The Hobbit.

The studio's decision comes two weeks after U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Stephen Hillman issued a terse 40-page order blasting New Line for ignoring repeated court orders to turn over several different types of documents, including e-mails, memos and internal correspondence, in the ongoing case. »

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Wenham is Luhrmann's ranch hand

25 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

David Wenham will appear opposite Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in Baz Luhrmann's Australia for 20th Century Fox.

The film, written by Luhrmann, is set in pre-World War II northern Australia and follows an English aristocrat (Kidman) who inherits a sprawling ranch and reluctantly pacts with a cattle driver (Jackman) to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces.

Wenham is playing the antagonist in the film, a station manager who is plotting to possess the ranch, called Faraway Downs.

Shooting begins in April in northern Australia.

Australian actor Wenham worked with Luhrmann in Moulin Rouge. He is best known stateside as Faramir in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. He next appears in Warner Bros. Pictures' 300, due out in March.

He is repped by Endeavor and Artists-Independent Management in the U.S. »

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Jackson, Shaye at impasse

11 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

An escalation in the war of words between New Line co-chairman Bob Shaye and "Lord of the Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson appears to be nixing any possible reconciliation between the two -- or any chance that Jackson will direct the trilogy's prequel, "The Hobbit".

In an interview with the Sci Fi Channel news service Sci Fi Wire, Shaye said Jackson will never make another movie for the studio and said the filmmaker just wants more money.

"I don't care about Peter Jackson anymore," Shaye said. "He wants to have another $100 million or $50 million, whatever he's suing us for. He doesn't want to sit down and talk about it. He thinks that we owe him something after we've paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars. ... Cheers, Peter."

In response, Jackson issued a statement Tuesday that did not attack Shaye but aimed at clarifying his issue with New Line. Jackson said the lawsuit stems from the studio's refusal to account for financial anomalies that surfaced from a partial audit of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and that is has denied his repeated requests to audit "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King".

"Fundamentally, our legal action is about holding New Line to its contractual obligations and promises," Jackson said. »

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