Tag: lord of the rings

Five Magical Books to Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday!

This week, Bookstr has decided to give you a special treat! To celebrate both Harry Potter’s and J. K. Rowling’s birthdays, we have decided to give you the definitive list of the best, the coolest, the most magical, books with wizards, witches, magic, or all three!

So take out your wand and whip out your flaming sword, here’s are five books that have pages racked to the brim with spells-galore!

 

 

5. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

J R R Tolkien

Image Via Daily Express

 

The history of this trilogy doesn’t need to be reiterated, from Tolkien’s belief that fantasy isn’t just for children to Jackson’s monstrously huge trilogy to Amazon’s current ‘in-development’ prequel adaptation, but what does need to reiterated is how AWESOME this series is.

 

Gandalf

Image Via Medium

 

With two wizards to boot, plus an assortment of creatures from devilish orcs, angelic elves, grumpy dwarfs, rambunctious hobbits and a world filled with giant spiders and talking trees, this series has no shortage of magic and wizards that’ll keep you turning page after page.

Plus, check out The Hobbit. The book (not the movie trilogy) is great!

 

4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

What’s more magical than the Greeks Gods themselves?

 

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

Image Via Disney Publishing Worldwide

 

The first part of the Camp Half-Blood chronicles follows a teenage Percy Jackson who lives in the modern world. The twist? He’s a demigod, and he’s off to Camp Half-Blood.

Along the way, he discovers that not only are there other demigods like him out in the world, but he’s the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, and father of all horses. Does that make all the horses of the world his half-brothers?

 

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Image Via Amazon

In addition, Percy also learns that his best friend is actually a satyr (a half-goat, half-man). With the first novel focusing on Percy uncovering a conspiracy against him, things couldn’t seem to heat up anymore.

But they do. As the series goes on, we get characters from Greek and Roman mythology, from Titans to Gods to demigods to pegasi and many more mythical creatures, this is a series that any magic fan wouldn’t want to miss.

Now if you plan to check out this series for the first time, just do yourself a favor and pretend the movie adaptation doesn’t exist.

 

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Image Via Amazon

Who forget these books? Every child this century reads at least one book (probably The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) from this series as a kid.

If you didn’t, you had no childhood worth acknowledging.

 

C S Lewis

Image Via Christianity Today

A contemporary and best frenemy of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis’s seven book series might have jumped around when it came to the timeline, but since the series has been done and over with since 1957 you can start at the creation of Narnia with The Magician’s Nephew to its eventual destruction in The Last Battle.

What other series can boast that it goes through the history of an entire world, including it’s creation and destruction?

If this seems a tad overwhelming, don’t worry. With magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals, Narnia is a fantastical realm, and the words on its pages ship you off to another realm the way the wardrobe and the paintings do the same to the characters.

 

2. The Worst Witch Series by Jill Murphy

The first 6 books in 'The Worst Witch' Series

Image Via theworstwitch.fandom.com

 

You might have heard of them, but The Worst Witch is a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Jill Murphy. First published in 1974 by Allison & Busby, the series focuses on Mildred Hubble, a young witch who attends Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches, an all-female boarding school of magic.

 

The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star

Image Via Amazon

 

Well-intentioned but clumsy, Mildred often finds herself in disastrous situations, leading to her being labeled as the worst student in the school.

 

First Prize for Worst Witch

Image Via Scholastic Shop

 

Each book in the series focuses on each individual two-term school years. With eight books in the series published, the most recent published in 2018, these stories about finding your place in the world is relatable to those of all ages, even if they aren’t magically inclined.

 

 

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Did you seriously expect anything else?

 

J K Rowling

Image Via Mirror

 

Not only is it J.K. Rowling’s/Harry Potter’s birthday, but in addition to her many witches and wizards…

 

Dumbledore, Grinwald, and Voldemort

Image Via Humor Nation

Hogwarts students

Image Via Seventeen Magazine

…she’s got so many magical creatures in her books, it’s insane!

 

A creature from the Harry Potter World. Do you know which one?

Image Via IGN

 

Check out the list here for the most obscure ones. Or have you been drinking too much butterbeer?

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Forbes

7 Actors Who Were Nearly In Your Favorite Adaptations!

A lot of your favorite adaptations of books and comics could have a lot differently if different people were cast or, even crazier yet, involved.

Maybe these adaptations would have been better, maybe they would have been worse, maybe they would have been so different that you’d be watching a totally different movie!

I’ll leave the opinion on how the film would have turned out to you, but there are seven popular adaptations that would have gone a lot differently, to say the least, if we had these people starred in the film instead.

7. Batman Returns

 

Batman dancing
Image Via SBS

A now infamous event cemented in movie history, Sean Young wanted to play Catwoman, and I mean she REALLY wanted to be Catwoman. Tim Burton’s Batman was an international sensation that brought the caped crusaders back into public consciousness, permanently making him an icon who was, well, not the Adam West version. Tim Burton’s Batman legacy wouldn’t even exist without the weirdness of Batman Forever or the campiness of Batman and Robin!

Granted, many (myself included) blame the camp of the Joel Schumacher follow-ups on the fact that Batman Returns was so bloody dark, which led the studio to freak out and making Val Kilmer say the line, “I’ll take drive through.” Before Batman Returns, hit theaters, it had quite an interesting production process. Batman Returns. It starts with Tim Burton’s Batman, believe it or not.

 

Sean Young
Image Via Gazette Review

Sean Young was cast as Vicki Vale, but was forced to drop out after breaking her arm during rehearsals for 1989 film. As a result, she really wanted to be in Batman Returns, and I mean she REALLY wanted to be a part of the movie. So much so that she visited the production offices dressed in a homemade Catwoman costume, demanding an audition. Reportedly, Tim Burton wasn’t on set.

Michelle Pfeiffer ended up getting the role.

Sorry Sean Young. At least she’s a good sport about it. Recently she’s quoted as saying:

If these Warner Bros. executives now were really good businessmen, they’d let me play Catwoman today, and I’d make a smash amount of money

If you want a look at Sean Young as Catwoman, she also appeared on the Joan Rivers Show in costume.

 

 

6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie poster
Image Via Amazon

Johnny Depp has been accused of basing his performance as Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s remake of the Roald Dahl story, on Michael Jackson. In response, Depp said the similarities to Jackson never occurred to him, but instead compared Wonka to Howard Hughes due to his “reclusive, germaphobe, controlling” nature. Regardless, it’s fitting that Michael Jackson almost played the eccentric character.

In Randall Sullivan’s Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson, the author recounts how Jackson “recorded an original soundtrack for the film at a small studio in Los Angeles” and showed Warner Brothers the soundtrack.

They loved it, agreed to pay anything for it, but he said he would give it to them for free as long as he was cast as Willy Wonka.

The book quotes Marc Schaffel, Jackson’s executive producer:

I think Tim Burton wanted Johnny Depp all along, but the reason Warner Brothers gave, when I pressed them, was ‘We can’t have this guy starring in what would be a children’s movie. As a marketable idea, it doesn’t work’

Jackson refused to give them the soundtrack unless he was Willy Wonka. Not a background character, not a supporting character, not one of those Oompa Loompas…

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's Oompa Loompas
Image Via Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Wiki – Fandom

…just Willy Wonka.

Warner Brothers refused, and Jackson shelved the soundtrack. This is unfortunate, especially since Marc latter notes that he’s sure that the soundtrack “would have won [Jackson] an Academy Award”

5. American Psycho

American Psycho

Image Via Amazon

The movie based on Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial book spent years in development in hell, after once Mary Harron was brought on board everything seemed like it was fine. Mary Harron would be the director and word around the street was Christian Bale would star as Patrick Bateman.

 

Leonardo DiCaprio

Image Via IMDB

Behind closed doors, however, Lionsgate was interested in pursuing Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role, arguing Bale was not famous enough.

 

 

However, Harron was refusing to meet with DiCaprio and told the studio she thought DiCaprio was too boyish and wouldn’t fit because the actor had become a full blown teen idol following Titanic and Romeo + Juliet.

 

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman
Image Via Amazon

Going forward with DiCaprio, the actor drafted a shortlist of replacement directors, including Oliver Stone, Danny Boyle, and Martin Scorsese. Stone was brought aboard, but could not agree on the film’s direction. Luckily, Harron and Bale came back under the agreement that the budget would not exceed $10 million and DiCaprio departed at the behest of his agent to, you know, not play a probable serial killer.

4. X-Men

X Men movie poster
Image Via IMDB

Let’s cleanse our palates by going back to the first X-Men. Comic book adaptations weren’t taken seriously at the time, but with the smash hit of Blade, a rated R comic book movie staring a black man, Fox was aching just to make bank on a Marvel property they had newly acquired.

They had to get the casting just right, but Michael Jackson once again danced his way and wanted a part in this movie too. As who? you might be wondering?

 

 

Well, unless you already know you’re not going to guess it. Let’s just hear what screenwriter David Hayter – a key component of Fox’s early X-Men movie franchise –has to say:

Michael Jackson came in because he wanted to play Professor X. It was amazing.

 

Would it? I have no idea how that would have played out.

All in all, Professor X owns a school of mutants and Michael Jackson wanted to play him.

 

3. Twilight

Twilight
Image Via Amazon

While not as dramatic as the other two, Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for a role in Twilight. As a young actress, she was going around Hollywood trying to get roles. Of her experiences auditioning before she made it big, she says “You just get like five pages [at the audition] and they’re like, ‘Act monkey.’”

 

Jennifer Lawrence
Image Via Boston Magazine

Lawrence also admitted that she hadn’t the slightest idea that Twilight would turn into such a big deal, adding back in December 2012 in an interview with The Guardian that:

I remember when the movie first came out, seeing Kristen Stewart on the red carpet and getting papped wherever she went…I had no idea Twilight would be such a big deal. For me, and I’m assuming for her, it was just another audition. Then it turned into this whole other thing.

If Jennifer Lawrence was cast, does that mean that Kristen Stewart could have been Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games?

 

2. Spider-Man

Spider-Man movie poster

Image Via Amazon

🎵 Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a Spider can

Spins a web, and he’s lots of fun

Hold up, he was almost Michael Jackson🎵

Yep, before Tobey was cast, Michael Jackson wanted to be the man whose playing a high school student behind the mask.

 

 

Stan Lee himself revealed that Jackson had met with him “a number of times“.

In fact, he (Jackson) came to my house once with his son, and I remember my wife took care of his son for about an hour while Michael and I were talking.

Here’s a clip below.

 

 

Jackson wanted to be Spider-Man, but upon learning that Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man along with Steve Ditko, didn’t own the rights to the character, he wanted to buy Marvel. Obviously that deal never went through, but there’s a universe out there where Jackson doesn’t own the rights to the Beetles songs but instead owns Marvel.

 

1. Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings

Image Via LOTR Wiki – Fandom

Lord of the Rings has been adaptation twice with Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 cartoon adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson’s award-winning trilogy, but we also got another adaptation. Do you know by who?

Well, speaking of the Beatles…

 

The Beatles

Image Via Grammy

In 1963, the Beatles accepted a three-movie deal offered by the United Artists production company, however only made two movies: the mockumentary A Hard Day’s Night and the adventurous James Bond parody Help!

Their third film was never made, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have some wacky ideas, and when I say ‘ideas’ I mean one idea.

They wanted to make an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on Tolkien’s work, which they would honor “by creating an epic psychedelic adaptation that would feature their original songs“.

 

Stanley Kubrick

Image Via Zocalo Public Square

The Beetles dream of having the director SpartacusLolita, and Dr. Strangelove Stanley Kubrick. He said ‘no’, believing it was too complex for the silver screen, and opted to focus on 2001: A Space Odyssey.Meanwhile, the Beetles didn’t even have the rights to make the movie. They were confident, however, when they spoke to J.R.R. Tolkien.

 

J R R Tolkien

Image Via Variety

He declined, and the project was dead in the water.

 

Now I know I said before that “I’ll leave the opinion on how the film would have turned out to you,” but I don’t care. This would have been awesome.

 

 

Featured Image Via Time Magazine

‘Jurassic World’ Director for Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’

J.Al. Bayona, the director who got his big break with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, will be directed the first two episodes of The Lord of the Rings.

 

Amazon's map of Middle Earth

Image Via Radio Times

With Amazon going full speed ahead with the Lord of the Rings television series, this is the first big news about who’s running the show that we’ve gotten. Before this, we knew that the television series will set during the 3,441-year period, known as the Age of Númenor, or the Second Age.

For the record, the Second Age is about 3441 years that ends the downfall of Sauron’s army when he was defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.

 

Saurdon's defeat

Image Via Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange

 

Instead of taking a children’s book written by Tolkien and trying to haggle it into something resembling into Lord of the Rings, something which Tolkien himself tried and failed at (detailed in Rateliff’s The History of The Hobbit), this new series isn’t based on any specific work by Tolkien but will act as a prequel to Lord of the Rings.

 

 

This is a full swing effort in trying to bring the tone of Lord of the Rings and its history and somehow create an original story, and Amazon is pulling all the stops, reportedly preparing to spend at least $1 billion in addition to the $250 they spent to outbid Netflix for the rights.

 

Patrick McKay and John D. Payne

Image Via Rotten Tomatoes

The crew currently consists of show creators Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, both un-credited writers for Star Trek Beyond and who are working on a screenplay for Flash Gordon. As for Peter Jackson, whose name is synonymous with Lord of the Rings.

 

Peter Jackson exhausted

Image Via Reddit

Also, Peter Jackson will not be left to the sidelines.

 

J A Bayona

Image Via UPI.com

Adding to this short list of television show creators is Juan Antonio J.A. Bayona. A key hire, Bayona will direct the first two episodes.

Deadline quotes the director as saying:

J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team…I can’t wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story.

Bayona will be responsible for giving audience their first, and second, impression. From the opening shot to the credits, Bayona will have to get the audience hooked for good. Will he succeed?

 

 

Well, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, his only major film production, hold a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.45/10. However, on a personal note, I think that movie was doomed after the shooting script was approved.

Still, the question remains, is Bayona up for the challenge?

 

Jennifer Salke
Image Via Hollywood Reporter

 

Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, surely thinks so. Comicbook.com quotes her as saying:

The scope and breadth of J.A.’s world-building is exactly the right fit for our ambitions for the Lord of the Rings. He’s a passionate and collaborative director who has brought new stories to life with his multitalented producing partner, Belén,…We are all excited for them to join our writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and we can’t think of a better way to begin this journey to Middle-earth.

Salke infamously spoke to sat with JRR Tolkien’s grandson, Simon, after the rights were acquired. Historically the Tolkien family has had a tumultuous relationship with the film adaptations.

 

Christopher Tolkien

Image Via tolkien.co.uk

Christopher Tolkien, J R R Tolkien’s last surviving son, pent an enormous amount of time by editing and publishing thousands of pages of Middle-Earth material his late father left behind. However, when Jackson tried to meet with Christopher he was rejected and Christopher voiced his displeasure even before a single frame of the triology was shot, latter noting that, “[t]hey eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged fifteen to twenty-five“.

In fact, a little while before the deal with Amazon was reached, Christopher Tolkien had stepped down from the director of the Tolkien estate.

 

Simon Tolkien

Image Via The Guardian

 

However, Simon Tolkien hasn’t been receptive to all adaptations. Notably the Tolkien estate disavowed the film based on the Father of Fantasy, and the film went on to make $7.8 million of off a a $20 million dollar budget.

How will this adaptation do? It’s not based on any specific work by Tolkien, and that might prove to be this adaptation’s greatest asset or its greatest handicap.

Can this show give us a story tonally similar to Lord of the Rings but still stand on its own? Or will its fall under the weight of Tolkien? That is now in the hands of J. A. Bayona.

 

Featured Image Via Screen Rant

Did You Know These Species Were Named After Iconic Writers?

Did you know there are a great number of living creatures named after various writers? I really did not know how to react after looking at some of these, but I can imagine that it’s quite an honor to find out that you’ve had an entire species named after you. Throughout biological nomenclature, organisms are sometimes given scientific names with the intention to honor somebody. From insects, to plants, to even a variety of fish, there are a plethora of different types of organisms named after influential writers. These are the ones that left me quite confused, yet strangely compelled.

 

Shireplitis

Shireplitis is a group wasps that are native to New Zealand. They are usually black or brown in color, and are about 2mm in body length with narrow wings. Although not clear at first, their genus name derives from the Shire, home of the famous hobbits in J.R.R Tolkien’s series of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are five species of Shireplitis named after iconic hobbits, and one named after Tolkien himself.

 

Image Via Pixels

Shireplitis bilboi (Bilbo Baggins)

Shireplitis frodoi (Frodo Baggins)

Shireplitis samwisei (Samwise Gamgee)

Shireplitis meriadoci (Mariadoc Brandybuck)

Shireplitis peregrini (Peregrin Took)

Shireplitis tolkieni (J.R.R Tolkien)

 

Learning about this in high school would have made biology a lot more fun.

 

Avalanchurus

Avalanchurus is an extinct family of trilobites, which are a group of marine arachnomorph arthropods. The subfamily of Avalanchurus consists of four different species named after four musical icons. Avalanchurus garfunkeli and Avalanchurus simoni are named after Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, the legendary bestselling folk-rock duo. Avalanchurus lennoni and Avalanchurus starri are named after the singer and drummer of The Beatles, John Lennon and Ringo Starr. It a blend of fascination and surprise that this is even a thing.

 

Image Via Wikipedia

Although they are not necessarily authors, Paul Simon is well known as arguably one of the best songwriters of all time.

 

Sonoma twaini

Sonoma is a subfamily of rove beetles that originated from North America. Appearing mostly from the Pacific Slope in Alaska to southern California, there are at least fifty-seven known species. There are many different names for these species, such as sonoma colberti, named after Stephen Colbert, and sonoma stewarti, named after Jon Stewart. Looking through the long list, however, I found sonoma twaini, approriately named after Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Why there is a family of beetles named after two talk show hosts and a legendary author, I really cannot say. Yet, these names really don’t get more random and erratic than this.

 

Image Via Biography

Featured Image Via Variety