Lord of the Rings actors Urban and Wenham in new fantasy movies

karl urban pete's dragon david wenham pirates caribbeanFoto door TheOneRing.net

(English below)

Karl Urban en David Wenham speelden eerder samen in The Lord of the Rings en zullen binnenkort te zien zijn in nieuwe fantasy films.

Karl Urban, die eerder Éomer in The Lord of the Rings en Bones in Star Trek speelde, zal de rol van Gavin vertolken in de reboot van Disney’s Pete’s Dragon. De originele film werd in 1977 uitgebracht en combineerde live action met animatie. Het was de eerste Disney film die was opgenomen in Dolby Stereo geluid.

In de reboot, die 18 augustus 2016 in de bioscoop te zien zal zijn, zullen ook Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help, Jurassic World, The Village), Wes Bentley (Interstellar, The Hunger Games, American Beauty) en Robert Redford een rol spelen. De nieuwe film Pete’s Dragon zal worden opgenomen in Urban’s prachtige thuisland Nieuw-Zeeland en zal geen musical zijn. Dat belooft veel goeds.

Ook zijn er nieuwe namen bekend voor Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Orlando Bloom zal opnieuw te zien zijn als Will Turner en David Wenham (Faramir in The Lord of the Rings) heeft ook een rol bemachtigd in de vijfde Pirates film als het personage Scarfield. Het is nog wel even wachten tot de film uitkomt. Pas op 12 juli 2017 is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in de bioscopen te zien.

Bron: Movie Casting Call


Karl Urban and David Wenham starred together in The Lord of the Rings and will playing in new fantasy movies soon.

Karl Urban, who played Éomer in The Lord of the Rings and Bones in Star Trek, will be taking on the role of Gavin in the reboot of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon. The original movie was released in 1977 and combined live action with animation. It also was the first Disney feature film recorded in Dolby Stereo sound.

In the reboot, which will be released on 18th of August 2016, will also be playing Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help, Jurassic World, The Village), Wes Bentley (Interstellar, The Hunger Games, American Beauty) and Robert Redford. The new Pete’s Dragon will be shot in Urban’s magnificent home country New Zealand and won’t be a musical. Sounds very promising to me.

Also new names are known for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Orlando Bloom will be back as Will Turner and David Wenham (Faramir in The Lord of the Rings) caught himself a role as the character Scarfield. We still have to wait quite some time, since Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales won’t be released until the 12th of July 2017 in cinemas.

Source: Movie Casting Call

Part 6: The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest | Day 4: Discovering Queenstown & Mt Nicholas


DAY 4: Discovering Queenstown & Mt Nicholas

This afternoon we got to choose between four activities: the adventure experience (jet boat & canyon swing), the wine tasting experience, the cycle trail experience and a boat cruise & sheep farm experience. We choose for the boat cruise with Southern Discoveries. The ship took us around the scenic lake Wakatipu and Bob’s Grove, or Te Punatapu, the sacred waters. The view was breathtaking: we were surrounded by The Remarkables mountain range, the blue lake and fifty shades of green trees…

Queenstown The Remarkables
Queenstown and The Remarkables
cruise queenstown lake wakatipu
Arjen at the Southern Discoveries cruise
Cruising Lake Wakatipu
Cruising on Lake Wakatipu
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The Remarkables and the iconic steamship the TSS Earnslaw
Southern Discoveries queenstown
Bob’s Grove

The ship sailed us to Mt Nicholas farm, where we experienced the life on a Merino sheep farm. Mt Nicholas is of the largest stations in New Zealand (with 400 000 000 m2 of land) and is home to 30.000 Merino sheep and 2.200 Hereford cattle. We were served a rustic lunch, from which most of the food is grown on the farm itself.

After the lunch, we did a 4WD Farm Tour around the station. Here we saw some day to day farm activities and the sheep and cattle enjoying their enormous habitat (I’m quite jealous to be honest). The views were amazing. It was such a relaxing trip!

Mt Nicolas farm
Mt Nicholas farm
Mt Nicholas panoramic view
Panoramic view from Mt Nicholas
Lake Wakatipu from Mt Nicholas
Lake Wakatipu from Mt Nicholas
4WD Mt Nicolas
4WD Mt Nicholas
Merino sheep mt nicolas
Merino sheep
merino sheep mt nicolas farm
Merino sheep
docks mt nicolas farm station

The rest of the day we had spare time to discover Queenstown! So this morning we roamed around the pretty Queenstown with our Finnish friends to get some breakfast and coffee. We visited the Lord of the Rings shop, bought some kiwi souvenirs and I fell in love with a beautiful replica of Nenya at the jeweler. Nenya, the ring of Adamant, is one of the three elven rings of power in The Lord of the Rings and is wielded by Galadriel. The replica is made out of silver with a blue zirconia. I feel really lucky, because my  precious boyfriend gave it to me as a gift! Since I have tiny fingers, it was too large, but luckily the friendly jeweler was happy to costumize the ring to my size.

ring nenya galadriel
Nenya, the ring of Adamant
Lord of the Rings shop Queenstown
Troll at The Lord of the Rings shop
Lord of the Rings shop Queenstown
Pippin at the Lord of the Rings shop

Back in Queenstown after the cruise we were kidnapped by Manesha and Hazel who took us to the most scary experience of my life: a 4D shooting zombies game at X.D. Dark Ride. This interactive motion ride was so immersive because of the 360 surround sound environment, 3D stereoscopic graphics and special effects for a multi sensory experience, like a moving chair and wind effects. You are placed in a The Walking Dead scenario where zombies crawl over the border of the screen towards you. You only have a laser gun to shoot them down, while your car falls of a cliff… It only takes about 10 minutes, but it’s so worth it! It was really, really scary! What we didn’t know is that there taken pictures while we were screaming and shooting. You should have seen the look on my face on the picture… pure horror! I really recommend to do this if you ever have the chance!

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We concluded our day in Queenstown with a lovely diner at Captains Restaurant, a last stroll around the city, the docks and the lake that we were so going to miss.

kiwi statue queenstown
remarkables lake wakatipu queenstown
The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu
seagull queenstown

Take a look what our fellow hobbit fans experienced in Queenstown this day in the video blog by Tourism New Zealand:

In my next blog I will talk about our last, but not least, day in New Zealand! It was the day we  were all looking forward to: meeting sir Peter Jackson and the private screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in Wellington!

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Part 5: The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest | Day 3: Hobbit & LOTR Filming Locations

This blog is part five of my journal about my unexpected journey to New Zealand, as winner of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest. Today we flew to Queenstown and did a tour around filming locations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in Paradise.


Day 3: Hobbit & LOTR Filming Locations

We had to get up early upon our hobbit feet to the airport of Rotorua. With Air New Zealand we flew in a private Hobbit Fan Fellowship airplane to our next destination: Queenstown!

Queenstown Air New Zealand
On our way to Queenstown with Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand Queenstown
Arrived in Queenstown!

Queentown is located on the southern island of New Zealand. My jaw dropped when we got off the airplane: what a different landscape! On the northern island we saw green little hills, but the airport of Queenstown lies in a valley formed by huge mountains with beautiful white snowy tops, close to the azure blue lake Wakatipu. This was probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.

We were greeted by the crew of Nomad Safaris to take us on a tour around filming locations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit triologies. The jeep’s license plates were even in style: our jeep’s called Eowyn.

Nomad Safaris Queenstown
With Nomad Safaris touring around Queenstown
emma bell new zealand tourism
In the jeep with the lovely Emma Bell, our host from Tourism New Zealand
Nomad Safaris Eowyn jeep
Jeep’s licensce plate Eowyn

We were brought on top of Queenstown Hill, the filming location of the most epic safety video ever made by Air New Zealand, starring Dean O’GormanSylvester McCoy, Elijah Wood, Richard Taylor and Peter Jackson. 

Here we had a gorgeous view over Queenstown, lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables, or Extendables as Peter Jackson called them, the mountains which he used to represent the Misty Mountains. Moreover, we saw the hill from which Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) falls after the fight with Sharku (Jed Brophy) during the Warg attack in The Two Towers. 

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View from Queenstown Hill: The Remarkables or the Misty Mountains
Queenstown Hill hobbit fan
Me on Queenstown Hill
Panorama Queenstown Hill
Panorama Queenstown Hill
Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Next stop was Arcadia Station in Paradise near Glenorchy. To get here, we drove alongside lake the gorgeous lake Wakatipu surrounded by mountains. As the name predicts, Paradise is absolutely stunning! The colors, the mountains, the forests… No wonder that this area were the filming locations of Isengard and Beorn’s home.

Paradise filming location Isengard lotr new zealand
Paradise, filming location of Isengard
Isengard LOTR
Isengard in The Lord of the Rings
gandalf bilbo beorn
Gandalf and Bilbo meeting Beorn
paradise new zealand beorn filming location
Paradise, the filming location of Beorn’s home
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With beautiful trees

On the road to Arcadia Station we received another video message from Peter Jackson in which he announced a treasure hunt. In the forest around Beorn’s home there was something hidden. The one who would find it, would earn a seat next to Peter Jackson during the private screening of The Battle of the Five Armies on our last day in Wellington. The 150 contestants tried to find this treasure, which was a kind of chaotic. But Ann from Belgium and our Wizard team found the precious: a huge golden ring. Go team Wizard!

ann mannens new zealand paradise
Wizard Ann from Belgium with the precious (Photo by Tourism New Zealand)

After our afternoon tea and picknick with mr. Frodo scones we travelled further from Glenorchy to Twelve Mile Delta. Alongside the road where the filming locations of the Elven Lothlórien Woods and the site of the battle of Amon Hen, where Boromir is fatally wounded in the battle with the uruk-hai Lurz and Merry and Pippin are captured.

Hobbit Picknick
Hobbit Picknick
Battle of Amon Hen
Battle of Amon Hen
Battle of Amon Hen forest filming location
Forests where the Battle of Amon Hen is filmed

Twelve Mile Delta is the filming location of Ithilien. Here is where Frodo, Sam and Gollum cook some ‘paters’, encouter the Oliphaunts and are being captured by Faramir and the rangers of Gondor.

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“That’s where they sat, yeah!”
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Oliphaunts in The Two Towers
filming location Ithilien Twelve Mile Delta LOTR
The filming location of Ithilien, Twelve Mile Delta
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Frodo and Sam at Ithilien in The Two Towers
Our best acting skills as Frodo and Sam
Shot by a Gondor ranger’s arrow
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Matagouri thorns were used by early Māori as tattooing needles
landscape queenstown
Some beautiful landscapes around Queenstown
landscape queenstown
Some beautiful landscapes around Queenstown

We ended our safari at AJ Hackett Bungy, above de Kawarau River. In The Lord of the Rings this is the river where the Argonath are located. Here we had diner and had the opportunity to zipline and to bungy jump: a 43 meters drop. Like Peter Jackson mentioned, “My brain isn’t wire to jump off a bridge”. I couldn’t agree more, so I didn’t jump, but the brave Arjen did.

AJ Hackett Bungy
AJ Hackett Bungy diner
Bungy platform AJ Hackett Bungy
Bungy platform AJ Hackett Bungy
argonath lotr
Argonath in The Lord of the Rings
AJ Hackett Bungy jump
Arjen at AJ Hackett Bungy

I really understand now why New Zealand is called real Middle-earth. The filming locations we saw today were almost unreal. Everywhere we looked felt like we’re out of this world… in Middle-earth.

Here’s the video blog of day three by Tourism New Zealand:

In my next blog I will tell you about day four of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship journey, when we did a tour with Southern Discoveries around the beautiful area of Queenstown and we shot some zombies in 4D…

Part 3: The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest | Day 1: A Maori Welcome


Day 1: A Maori Welcome

After a 25 hour flight, we arrived on Sunday the 2nd of November at 7.00AM in Auckland. We were given a warm welcome by our hosts of Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand (dressed up as elves), and a huge statue of a Durin dwarf (on loan from Middle-earth). We’ve made it!

auckland airport dwarf
Dwarf statue at Auckland airport

In the Novotel Auckland Hotel we finally got to shower, put on clean clothes (after 25 hours in airplanes this was such a good feeling) and enjoyed our second breakfast like real Hobbits. This was the first time all the winners and their guests were together. Everyone was still a wee bit shy, but already very enthousiastic. The head of the organisation officially welcomed us in New Zealand and told us that we were the 150 winners out of 140.000 entries worldwide! I really felt incredibly lucky.

We also received our Hobbit goodiebags with official Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest t-shirts, Hobbit feet socks and lots and lots of other goodies. We were divided into groups with whom we will be travelling the rest of the trip. We expected that we were in the Europe group (aka the dwarves), but that wasn’t the case. Besides the elves (Asia) and the Hobbits (USA) there was a ‘rest of the world group’: the Wizards. The Wizards were people from New-Zealand, Australia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Belgium and Holland. Our hosts were Emma Bell (Tourism New Zealand) and Natascha Webb (Air New Zealand). What we didn’t know yet, was that the Wizards were going to be the best group ever.

We were given a special lanyard to enter the airport of Auckland. After an inspection by police dogs, we entered the runway to make a group photo in front of one of the Hobbit airplanes (a Boeing 777-300ER) of Air New Zealand. Did I already mention that Air New Zealand is the coolest airline in the world?

Air NZ hobbit
Group photo Air New Zealand

By (the Wizard) coach, we really started our journey and travelled to Rotorua. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the first landscapes of New Zealand passed by: little green hills that reminded me of the Shire with trees like those in Lothlórien and Mirkwood. Since we were with the locals/kiwi’s in the Wizard group, they could tell us some lovely details about the area. We also got a personal video message from Peter Jackson (how cool is that), who told us about our first destination: Te Puia.

te puia

Te Puia is New Zealand’s living Maori cultural centre. Here we got a tour by the hilarious guide Carla around the geothermic area with boiling mudpools and geyers (which smell like rotten eggs because of the sulfur). And we got to see a real Kiwi bird! I always thought it would be the size of a small parrot, but it actually had the size of a big chicken!

te puia new zealand
Geysers Te Puia

After the tour, we were given a traditional Maori welcome, the pōwhiri, followed by the Wero or challenge. Two chiefs had to pick up a leaf whilst being challenged by a threatening Maori warrior (don’t worry, it all went very well). In the behind the scenes of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit I’ve seen that the crew and cast were also given a traditional Maori welcome at the first day of shooting. It felt really special to have witnessed this too.

te puia wero
Our chiefs during the Wero

In the meeting house, the Maori gave a concert, but we couldn’t just sit back: we also had to participate. The men learned the haka, a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge and the women learned a poi dance. After the titi torea, a dance with sticks, a traditional diner was served: the hangi. While having this delicious diner, our host sang a birthday song for the birthday girl Manesha from our Wizard group.

The first day went by so fast! We came as guests to Te Puia, but we left as family. It was a really special experience to witness these old traditions of the Maori people. It was a beautiful way to be introduced to New Zealand on our first day.

Back at the hotel, there was a little surprise. On our bed there was a bottle of Hobbit Southfarthing Frogmorton ginger beer, a hint for tomorrow’s destination:

hobbit southfarthing beer
Hobbit Southfarthing Frogmorton ginger beer

I can’t wait to tell you about day two, one of the most exciting days of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest when we went to the Hobbtion movie set! Read about this in my next blog. In the meantime, I highly recommend to watch the first video dairy made by the film crew of Tourism New Zealand (gosh, they have the best job in the world). They captured the first day beautifully:

“This will be a night to remember,” – Bilbo Baggins (FOTR)

Part 2: The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest | The most excited e-mail of my life

This blog is part two of my journal about my unexpected journey to New Zealand, as winner of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest!

official winners

On the 3rd of October I got the most excited e-mail of my life: I was the potential winner of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest in Holland! Wait, what… potential winner? What doest that mean?

I was at work when I received the e-mail. My colleagues probably thought I sufferd from a stroke when I tried to tell them the news. They didn’t believe it (neither did I yet), so we all gathered around my desk, reading the e-mail about being a ‘potential winner’. The organisation had to make sure me and my guest met their entry requirements. So like our lives depended on it, we rushed to fill in forms, get our passports (we only had an identification card with which you cannot travel outside of Europe) and an ESTA, all within three days!

Meanwhile on Twitter, #Hobbitfancontest went mad! It was known that 75 winners got a message and how many winners each country had (only one from Holland… a.k.a. me!). People were dying from anticipation (figuratively speaking), but we weren’t allowed to talk about it yet! Finally on the 23rd of October it was official: we were going on an adventure to real Middle-earth, New Zealand! I was so relieved! And we received a lovely postcard from Sir Peter Jackson himself.

peter jackson postcard
A postcard from Peter Jackson

The winners from over the whole world found each other on Facebook and a secret group was created. It was so nice to speak with everyone about the contest, to see all of their videos and get to know each other better. Only seven days left and we would really see each other!

We got even more excited when we got the initerary! We could not believe what Warner Bros, Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand had planned for us: visiting Hobbiton and other filming locations across New Zealand, visiting Weta workshop and of course, meeting Sir Peter Jackson at the private screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in Wellington!

hobbit fan fellowship initerary
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Initerary

This was kind of my reaction:

tears of joy gandalfexcited thranduil

I still couldn’t believe that this was happing. But I better start believing, because on October 31st me and my lucky boyfriend got up at 5.00AM to get to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. We travelled from Amsterdam to London, from London to Los Angeles and from Los Angeles to Auckland. A 25 hour flight to the other side of the world. We got closer and closer to Middle-earth. During our flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, we travelled with Air New Zealand, it’s lovely crew and the most epic safety video ever made in the style of Middle-earth, which they show on every flight.

The time difference between Holland and New Zealand is precisely 12 hours (for us the New Zealanders live in the future), so I felt a bit like a time traveller and had no idea which day it was. But according to our initerary, we arrived on Sunday the 2nd of November at 7.00AM in Auckland, New Zealand! Our journey to Middle-earth was about to begin.

Read about day one of our unexpected journey to Middle-earth in my next blog!

“If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.” – Samwise Gamgee, (FOTR)