Looks like Smeagol has been cast, and the person is Joel Tobeck. New Zealanders might have seen him in a few things, at present his band plays on nICE ArSe every week. I've had a bit of a scout around for some info on him and this is what I've come up with
Joel is 29 and was born on the 2nd June 1971 in Auckland. He's been acting since he was 5 and has appearded in Gloss, Shortland St, Black Beauty, Lawless, Topless Woman Talk About Their Lives, Hercules, Xena, Cleopatra, Chanelling Baby and lots of other things. Hes also been in a number of bands, currently in Joel Tobeck & Tadow. He's played the guitar since he was 15 and is a bit of a Shihad fan I think. Check out his Fan Club web page for even more info.
Wizard death casts spell over spectators
Did Gandalf the wizard breath his last breath in the Hutt Valley?
Filming of a scene from the $360 million The Lord Of The Rings trilogy could clearly be seen at a set on a vacant site in Peterkin St, Taita, on Tuesday. Parts of the set, which included a large blue screen, a spotlight on a crane and props, have been visible from the street for the past few days.
The scene today showed what appeared to be wizard character Gandalf, who is played by British actor Sir Ian McKellen,impaled on large spiked wooden wheel. Crew were moving the wheel in an anti-clockwise direction during filming.
It was unclear where in J R R Tolkien's classic the scene takes place. It is possible that it is the first death of Gandalf after battling a creature called the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-Dum.
Gandalf falls into an abyss and disappears, returning later as the more powerful Gandalf the White.
Other sightseers today included a couple who perched on the roof of their car for a view of the action. A woman used a telescope, while a man took photographs.
Film company Three Foot Six and New Line Cinema have been highly secretive about filming in the Wellington region, keeping the media off site and limiting the release of film images.
Filming began on Mt Victoria last October and has also taken place in the Dry Creek Quarry on Haywards Hill, the former Fort Dorset site in Seatoun, and Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt.
8th August 2000
Film scene or hoax, pic intrigues fans
An Evening post photograph showing a scene from the $360 million The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy has created international intrigue.
The photograph published on Tuesday was shot at the film site in Taita. It showed a character dressed in white, with a long white beard and long hair impaled on a spiked wheel. The Post speculated that it could have been the wizard Gandalf, although it was unclear if such a scene was in the book.
Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf, replied to queries from fans on his website late on Tuesday and said it wasn't him. Nor was it, as some fans had speculated, the evil wizard Saruman played by Christopher Lee. But Sir Ian said he was filming at the same location on Tuesday.
Debate raged on several Lord Of The Rings websites, with fans adamant the scene doesn't occur in J R R Tolkien's story. Several said it was more likely to be Saruman. However in the trilogy Saruman dies after his throat is cut by the character Grima.
A OneRing Net fans said Saruman must have impaled himself after plunging from a tower.
The website Imladris said it couldn't be Saruman because his clothes would be torn and ragged and at times he wore coloured robes. The website Xenite said Saruman's death scene could have been changed to provide a more dramatic end to the second film The Two Towers.
The Ringbearer website speculated that it could even be a hoax because the filming was easily seen from a street. "PJ (director Peter Jackson) and company knew that photographers would be able to get a glimpse at what is going on," it said.
10th August 2000
Evening Post (Tom Cardy)
Wild Wgtn weather strands Lord of Rings crew
The wild weather which struck the North Island this morning has caused some problems for the film crew making the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The crew was filming scenes on the Hutt River when heavy rain caused the water level to rise. Four of them became stranded on the opposite side of the river.
Two of the stranded crew were rescued by kayakers from the film company.
The others were rescued by stuntmen who abseiled down a crane that was bridging the river.