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Studios Are Mulling Over A Lord of the Rings TV Series

“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” by New Line Productions (2001)

Editor's Note:

Also in our news roundup: Will China be the first to make contact with E.T.’s? Will Tom Hanks consider officiating weddings? It’s all in your Daily Blunt.

It’s going to happen sooner or later — the question is, will it happen sooner, or later? While some might consider Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptations to be the definitive ones, Variety reports that Warner Brothers and Amazon are considering rebooting the whole shebang as a TV series, or at the very least creating a show around the same characters and events. Among those not surprised is Sean Astin, who told the press: “I’ve been saying for 15 years that maybe like 12 years after ‘Lord of the Rings’ came out, that it would get remade.” It turns out Samwise is even wiser than we dared imagine.

Guillermo Del Toro walks away from more high-profile creative masterworks in one year than most filmmakers ever get to consider in a lifetime. The latest project on his chopping block isĀ that stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio, which Del Toro has officially described as “not in progress,” despite the timeliness of a grimdark puppet show set “during the ascension of fascism in Italy, with Mussolini.” Hopefully once “The Shape of Water” smashes expectations during award season, the director will be given more rein to outsource these kinds of projects to up-and-coming filmmakers, sort of the way he did with Andy Muschietti.

Funny how our books and movies always seem to assume that Earthlings’ encounter with aliens will occur in America. What if it happens to be China who makes first contact? The Atlantic‘s Ross Anderson reminds us that while the US continues to cut funding for space exploration, China is hard at work developing the kind of technology that’s far more likely to yield results — for example, the largest satellite dish in the world, “custom-built to listen for an extraterrestrial message.” Read all about prominent sci-fi authorĀ Liu Cixin’s visit to the dish, and what we stand to learn about ourselves as a civilization from all this, long before anyone (or anything) reaches out.

A Q&A session with Tom Hanks at the Texas Book Festival turned into a literal love-fest when the movie star (and Uncommon Type author) fielded a question from one fan that was actually directed toward another: “Nikki, will you marry me?” This went over very well with woman in question — a Hanks superfan — and while the couple still have yet to set a wedding date, “they plan to invite Hanks to the big event.” Chicken or beef, Tom?