Peter Jackson's second installment of Lord of the Rings, called The Two Towers, isn't quite ready for public consumption.
In fact, most of the cast members are heading back to New Zealand next week for more shooting — including some new scenes.
I am told that principals Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, and Oscar nominee Ian McKellen are among those who have been summoned to the Lord of the Rings sound stages.
There is some discrepancy about what will happen when they get there. One set of sources insists that new scenes will be shot to amp up the love story between Mortensen and Tyler, as well as to beef up combat scenes.
"Now that Star Wars has come back so big," my source tells me, "Jackson wants to make sure he can outdo it."
But insiders at New Line Cinema insist that the work being done consists of pick-up shots and other miscellaneous stuff, like close-ups, that would enhance the film. This is interesting, because Jackson was busy editing the second film last winter while Fellowship of the Rings was going into release. The two films, as well as the third installment, were filmed simultaneously. But, Jackson is said to have gotten ideas about ways to make the second film better after audiences saw the first one.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the sequel to Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings, which grossed $300 million and was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture. The individual budget for the second movie is said to be around $100 million, so Jackson is under some pressure to make sure that The Two Towers does at least as well as its predecessor, if not better.
The big spotlight will be on Paul McCartney's wedding to Heather Mills tomorrow in Ireland. The question is: who will show — and who won't?
There's certainly been a lot of speculation about Paul's children: Heather, Mary, Stella and James.
(Heather, by the way, is not Paul's biological child, but he raised her as his own with her mother Linda. I wish press reports wouldn't call her his stepdaughter. It seems unkind.)
My guess is they'll all be there, as well as Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach and possibly Olivia Harrison and her son Dani. Who won't be on the guest list: Yoko Ono and Michael Jackson, Paul's two least favorite people.
The most interesting guests will be members of the Eastman family, McCartney's in-laws for the last 30 years. John Eastman is Paul's attorney, business partner and friend. He is said to be in favor of the marriage. "It's a tribute to Paul's marriage to Linda. People who've been married a long time in good marriages want to be married again," he told me.
Eastman and his father, Lee, who passed away several years ago made McCartney into the billionaire he is today through clever business deals. It is the most enduring relationship in the history of fickle music business.
If you've been reading this column recently, you'll know that last week was not so good in my immediate family. Now I sadly report another of my cousins has passed at age 66. Holly Solomon's grandmother and my great grandmother were sisters. The two families grew up side by side in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Holly was our most famous relative. In the 1960s she moved to New York, tried her hand at acting, and then became one of the most famous and influential art dealers and collectors in the world. She was painted by Andy Warhol. She was on the cutting edge with Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Nam June Paik, among others. When Holly started out, there was no Gagosian Gallery and there was no money. It was her generation, the Warhol generation, that created the modern artist as celebrity.
In an interview she gave to New York's Channel 13, she said: "I've shown Bill Wegman and Laurie Anderson; those are famous names. But there have been a hell of a lot of artists I've shown, and some are not yet famous. We really don't know, because art history has a funny kind of looping. How do you gauge success? I have letters that are valuable. People fought over my letters to artists. That is really called silliness, but there it is … I've had people who I think have not yet surfaced — and perhaps will never surface. I've had very big disappointments. I've been more disappointed than they, you know. However, I guess my batting average is as good as most."
Better than most, I'd say. Rest in peace, Holly. The New York art world owes you a lot.