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Monsters

We have come to the end, the final round of MTV Movies Blog's Great, Big Movie Monster Brawl!

In the lead-up to "Pacific Rim," which is in theaters today, we have been pitting horrible beast against horrible beast to see which modern movie monster would reign supreme.

After three rounds we have narrowed down the final contestants to the lovely creatures so you see above, so click past the jump to reach about the two newest entrants and vote for your choice.

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Saruman

In a video message to his fans, Christopher Lee sounds as he ever does.

"We are coming to the end of 2011," he intones in his trademark baritone. "I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, a happy Christmas, and the family's gathered together." Proceeding from there, he begins to talk about the state of the world, and how the state of things are in bad shape. It's heavy talk coming from the long-time actor, but with his 90th birthday approaching, it would be weirder if he didn't have thoughts of mortality on his mind.

Lee spends much of the video discussing "The Hobbit," the two-part prequel to "Lord of the Rings" that sees the actor returning to the role of Saruman the White.

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Bob Anderson

What’s the closest thing to a real-life Jedi Master? That would probably be Sword Master, the role Bob Anderson had on pretty much every big film that featured sword fighting during the past several decades.

Anderson, a former Olympic fencer who died on New Year's Day at age 89, was the one who made the lightsaber duels in the original "Star Wars" trilogy look so cool. Everyone knows that James Earl Jones was the voice of Darth Vader and David Prowse was the man behind the mask, but it was Bob Anderson handling the red lightsaber in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

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The first thing you notice during this new production diary for "The Hobbit"? The dwarves.

The dwarves are kayaking through the river in a big raft. They're on location, riding horses and brandishing swords and running against green screens. There's a lot to see; twelve minutes of it, to be exact, taking you through the trailers and the production studios and the computer labs where all of the work gets done.


Check out the "Hobbit" trailer!

There's honestly too much to summarize, so you'll have to check it out for yourself. That said, the Shire shows up, as do Elijah Wood (reprising Frodo) and Ian McKellan (reprising Gandalf). Hobbiton's been recreated for the new film, and Wood gives his thoughts on returning to the Tolkien-verse after 11 years away. Andy Serkis (Gollum) also shows up -- as a 2nd Unit Director, if you didn't know about his expanded role.

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The Hobbit

If you're a "Lord of the Rings" fan, today and tomorrow are two big days for the film franchise's legacy. First up, today marks the 10-year anniversary of "The Fellowship of the Ring's" big debut on the big screen (you're welcome for making us all feel incredibly old). Fittingly, Warner Bros has decided to release the first trailer for "The Hobbit," the prequel movie follow-up to "The Lord of the Rings," online tomorrow at 7 p.m. PST.

It's been confirmed that the trailer will debut before screenings of "The Adventures of Tintin" on Wednesday, so if you want to see Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey towering over you -- potentially even in 3D?! -- then that's the place to do it. But if you, like us, have been waiting for this movie to come out since 10 years ago today, then you'll probably be refreshing your browser repeatedly to see the trailer as soon as you can. Here are five things we're hoping to see in the trailer.

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When it comes to the reason most unaffiliated people are interested in HBO's upcoming fantasy series "Game of Thrones," the casting of Sean Bean is pretty high up on the list.

Most people know Bean on sight as That Guy from "Lord of the Rings" (Boromir) or The Bad Guy in so many movies ("Goldeneye," "National Treasure," among others), but somehow he has become intricately tied with the fantasy genre. It helps that his role as Boromir was widely regarded as one of the best characters in "Fellowship of the Ring," and that he's a great actor, so that when Bean was cast as Lord Eddard Stark in "Game of Thrones," he quickly became the highest billed actor on the sheet.


When MTV caught up with Bean about a month ago to talk about the upcoming series (premiering tomorrow), he said he was a bit unaware of the way fans have embraced his casting.

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The HobbitOh, the powers of the Internet.

More than a decade ago, when "The Lord of the Rings" first started production, we had to wait for the extended edition DVD box sets to hit stores before we could catch a glimpse of some of the magic that went into putting Peter Jackson's first epic trilogy together. But now, thanks to Facebook, video blogs, and the continuous need for online audiences to see more more more (and perhaps just a little bit more), we're able to get a glimpse into the world of "The Hobbit" now.

Jackson has uploaded a 10 minute video to his Facebook account that chronicles the recent start of shooting, and let's just say that he definitely knows how to work his audience. A glimpse at Elrond's chambers? Check. Ian McKellan in Bag End? Check. Andy Serkis getting his Gollum make-up put on? Heck yeah.

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Peter JacksonFans of "The Hobbit" have waited with baited breath to see if the long-anticipated, seemingly troubled-from-the-get-go production would get off the ground, particularly after director Guillermo del Toro dropped out of the project last May.

Since then, Peter Jackson has stepped in, but Wednesday night the film had another setback as the Oscar-winning director underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer, according to a statement from production.

Filming was expected to start sometime next month, but will be delayed as Jackson, who was admitted to New Zealand's Wellington Hospital after experiencing acute stomach pains, heals from the surgery. According to Entertainment Weekly, a New Line Cinema rep confirmed that the director "is resting comfortably and doctors expect a full recovery."

The statement from production also assured that Jackson's "surgery is not expected to impact on his directing commitment to 'The Hobbit' beyond a slight delay to the start of filming."

Just how "slight" the delay ends up being remains to be seen. The two parts of Jackson's "Hobbit" will feature many actors reprising their roles from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, including Sir Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood (not to mention that rumored $1 million, two-minute cameo by Orlando Bloom.)

Parts 1 and 2 of "The Hobbit" are slated for December 2012 and December 2013 releases, respectively.

Do you think "The Hobbit" will continue to face setbacks throughout filming or will it be smooth sailing after Jackson's recovery?

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Two weeks ago, news broke that Elijah Wood will be returning to Middle-Earth (a.k.a. New Zealand) as beloved Shire-dweller Frodo for a small role in Peter Jackson's two-part "LOTR" prequel "The Hobbit" -- and now MTV News has scored some exclusive details on the cameo from Wood himself.

While at the Sundance Film Festival to promote the Adam Yauch-directed Beastie Boys short "Fight for Your Right Revisited," Wood opened up to MTV about why he's excited for his "Hobbit" role, what it might entail and why J.R.R. Tolkein purists need not fret -- or snarl like Gollum -- at the idea of Frodo's inclusion in the films (he wasn't in the book). Check out the interview below.

"It's a gift to be able to go back to New Zealand," Wood said. "I mean, it's largely the same crew and the same creative team. It's seven years since we finished on the last film, and it's an opportunity to go back and have a reunion with everyone." Read More...

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Pippi LongstockingThe two feature films director Debra Granik has made are markedly similar in many ways. There's "Winter's Bone," a likely Oscar contender this year, that follows a 17-year-old Ozark Mountain girl who has to track down her meth-dealing father to protect the lives of her depressed mother and her siblings. And then there's "Down to the Bone," released in 2004, that follows a working class, cocaine-using mother of two who checks into rehab and has to try to resist the temptations of drugs and deal with an affair she's having with her nurse.

So when The Los Angeles Times reported that Granik's next planned film is a reboot of "Pippi Longstocking" (pictured), were were just a wee bit surprised. But as the Times goes on to point out, the transition makes perfect sense. Longstocking is one of "fiction's original tomboys," and the choice to make a film about her continues Granik's streak of creating strong female heroines who rise above the tropes of typical Hollywood roles for women.

Still, Granik isn't the first director to follow up one film with another that's drastically different in both tone and theme. After the jump, see five other directors who've done just that -- to varying results.

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