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Troy Story, Total Film (UK), August 2003
typed by Sarah

Pitt and company spotted filming Greek epic…

With filming underway on Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy, Brad Pitt has finally been spotted shooting in full armour. Though hardly likely to be inspiring next year’s high-street fashion craze (unless David Beckham decides the look suits him), it’s historically appropriate as his role as Achilles. And he’ll need it – Achilles is an inspiration to the Greek forces laying siege to the imposing titular city.

The action epic takes its plot from the central theme of Homer’s classic The Iliad, which sees Paris (Orlando Bloom) steal away the Greek nation’s most beautiful woman, Helen (newcomer Diane Kruger), from her husband, the King of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson). Cue a bloody, pitched battle that rages for years as the miffed Greeks wage a campaign of revenge. Troy’s being shot primarily in Malta, with newspapers busily lapping up any sighting of Pitt, Eric Bana, Brian Cox or the film’s other stars shooting sequences, visiting the gym or – especially in the case of Orlando Bloom – simply taking off their shirts.

Screenwriter David Benioff, meanwhile, is more worried about upsetting students of Homer’s novel-length poem. “This is the mother of all epics, the cornerstone of Western literature,” he said recently. “If I screw it up, classicists around the world will issue a fatwa and assassinate me with bronze daggers.” He’ll be borrowing Brad’s protective armour when the film opens worldwide in May 2004, then...

Ring of Truth, Total Film (UK), August 2003
typed by Sarah

There are plans to turn Lord Of The Rings into a musical. Bad idea? Let’s look at the evidence. Here are some lyrics I’ve knocked up…

Frodo: I do not want the burden/Of carrying this ring/ I think, Gandalf, you would be/Good at that sort of thing/So let me place it in your hand/So you can sing, sing, sing! (Frodo gives Gandalf the ring to enable him to burst into song)

Gandalf: Don’t tempt me Frodo!/You know this cannot be!/How is Gollum going to destroy himself/At the end of Act Three?/He can overpower you/He cannot overpower me! (At this point a group of orcs sweep on stage and start performing the can-can.)

Other songs include: ‘Breaking the Hobbit’; ‘Treebeard: The Ent-ithesis of Love’; and ‘Uruk-Hai, You’re Quite A Guy’.

Daniel Winch, via email

Ed- Any more Rings lyrics out there? Just keep ‘em to yourselves, eh?

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Total Film (UK), August 2003
typed by Sarah

 Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler

 Peter Jackson wants to get biblical on us. We’re not talking the bearded director picking up the good book and quoting psalms. We’re talking his vision for battle scenes in The Return Of The King. He’s already said that that third Rings instalment will feature clashes that will put The Two Towers to shame. Now he’s promising us the scraps will be “biblically sized”.

Yet, he’s not forgetting about the smaller, emotional moments, with the majority of the current reshoots targeted at tightening up the drama between the characters, especially the hobbits. “In Return of the King, Merry and Pippin become dispersed,” says Merry man, Dominic Monaghan. “Merry goes off and heads into battle on a horse, with a sword and becomes a warrior hobbit. He looses sight of Pippin, which is really sad if you think about the strong alliances in the trilogy. For them to be apart they really loose their strength.”

And the cost doesn’t end there. We know that there have been changes to the end of the book – and for the love of Legolas, please stop reading now if you want to go to the cinema unspoiled. The ruin of the Shire has been excised to solve the downbeat finale problem and Saruman’s fate has changed completely…

Spare a glare, then, for lucky hobbit git Billy Boyd. Mr. Pippin himself caught a glimpse of a rough cut and has been jawing away about the quality that’s in store for us: “I don’t think people have any idea – it’s incredible,” he said recently. We’ve started with the best source material and then the script they wrote is probably the best screenplay I’ve ever read.” Billy, I don’t think we need convincing…

I have also typed out an article that is about Troy, giving updates and outlining the storyline.