Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gandalf Guest Blogs on the Rings Battle!

From the wires of The Hollywood Reporter:

An apparent escalation in the war of words between New Line Cinema Founder and Co-Chairman Robert Shaye and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson appears to be nixing any possible reconciliation between the two, much less any chance that Jackson will direct the trilogy's prequel, The Hobbit. Speaking to the Sci-Fi Channel's Sci Fi Wire service, Shaye said that Jackson will never make another movie for his company, grumbling that the filmmaker simply wants more money.

"I don't care about Peter Jackson anymore," Shaye said. "He wants another $100,000,000 or $50,000,000 --- whatever it is he's suing us for. He doesn't wanna sit down and talk about it. He thinks we owe him something after we paid him a quarter of a billion dollars. .... Cheers, Peter."

Director Jackson responded on Tuesday with a
statement which did not attack Shaye but clarified his issues with New Line. The lawsuit, he explained, stems from the studio's refusal to account for financial anomalies surfacing from a partial audit of The Fellowship of the Ring, and that the studio has denied his repeated requests to audit The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

"Fundamentally," Jackson said, "our legal action is about holding New Line to its contractual obligations and promises. It is regrettable that Bob has chosen instead to make this personal. I have always the highest respect and affection for Bob and all the other senior management at New Line and will continue to do so."

Well, my friends, there it is in a nutshell. You, our loyal fans, have been denied --- perhaps permanently --- a chance at seeing Peter direct yours truly, Gandalf --- not to mention Thorin and dear old Bilbo --- in a live-action Hobbit movie! Well, we know what and who we need on our side: namely you, our visitors and editors at both and its sister page saluting dear Peter, The Bastards Have Landed.

In all honesty, I suppose that there are some of you have wondered why our old friends Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass haven't stepped up to the challenge and remade their famous, Peabody Award-winning animated version from 1977? Hmmmmm..... Y'know, that's not a bad idea. So, here's a smashing thought: Contact Founder Rick Goldschmidt at and let him know that, since Peter Jackson's not gonna do a new Hobbit, then shouldn't it be only fair that the folks who gave the world the Animagic epic saga of Rudolph and the hand-drawn half-hour magic of Frosty should make a long overdue big-screen comeback and make a new, CGI-style Hobbit --- in the Rankin/Bass tradition?

What say you, Arthur and Jules (and Rick, as well)? Do you dare return to the realms you trod in 1977 and try to make me look cool again in animation? And can a new Rankin/Bass Hobbit make me even cooler than designers Lester Abrams and Tsuguyuki Kubo did? Let the gauntlet be thrown!

Yours etc.,


Nanz Kant Danz! Why Your Dragonmaster is Mad @ CBS Sports

As Blackbeard, the Most Dangerous Pirate on Earth --- not to mention spokespirate and rasion d'ertre for your Dragonmaster's parent company, Electric Pirates Entertainment --- grumbled here in the ol' Diary of Magecraft recently, he has a particular problem with the twits over at CBS Sports. If you'll recall, it all began the year the Super Bowl came to Tampa, Florida's Raymond James Stadium. The folks responsible for Tampa's traditional Buccaneer bacchanalia, the Gasparilla PirateFest and Extravaganza, would for the first time ever, have a shot at exposure on national television. Wonderful! I thought at the time, for here was a chance to say to the world in general that Pirates were here, Pirates were happening, and, not to put too fine a point upon it, Pirates were cool!

But alas! Not a trace of the Gasparillans was to be found, save for one commercial bumper in the 6-hour pre-game programming block. Indeed, only those who attended the actual pre-game festivities witnessed what transpired. Dale Groff tells the tale, which you can find in the Online Archives of No Quarter Given Magazine. The fools at CBS Sports had their #1 football voice, Jim Nantz, interview President George H. W. Bush, rather than spend some quality time with the members of Ye Mystick Krewe of Gasparilla! The imbeciles!

Well, sadly, the Super Bowl is back in Florida --- only this time, it's in Miami's Dolphin Stadium --- and CBS Sports is covering it, with Jim Nantz leading the charge! Even worse, CBS Sports 2007 is home not only to Super Bowl XLI, but also its usual annoying springtime twosome --- the Final Four (that, for you unenlightned ones, would be the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Tournament) and the Masters Golf Championship! And yes, Jim Nantz will lend his bloomin' voice to them as well! Aargh!

Like Captain Teach, your Dragonmaster will never forgive CBS Sports for the harsh treatment they gave the Gasparillans. Blackbeard and I, as one might expect, have long memories. Speaking of which, let's not forget the last immediate time that CBS Sports did the Super Bowl. If I recall correctly, it had something to do with a "wardrobe malfunction" incident some of you Mortals might have heard about a few years agone, eh what?

So while I have to say cheers to the gangs at Don Mischer Productions and Rick Kirschner's White Cherry Entertainment, who will be teaming up not only for the halftime party starring Prince, but also the pre-game festival from Cirque du Soleil, the basic truth remains that I won't put up with CBS Sports doing the Super Bowl. A Mage, you see, does have his priorities, you know!

(By the way, a short word regarding the title of this morning's post: You'll recall John Fogerty's ballad that went, "Vanz kant danz, but he steal your money/Watch him gonna rob you blind...." Fogerty was, at the time, pissed off at his then-boss, Oscar-winning producer Saul Zaentz, for denying him certain monies while he was leading his legendary band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. But that's a tale best saved for another day.)

As ever, America, I wanna know what you think. Gimme an e-mail at either or

Master Blackwolf