Know Surprises

Richard Armitage with bedroom eyesNow that we’re reasonably sure Richard Armitage will be starring in The Old Vic’s version of The Crucible, this probably means no RA at Comic-Con in San Diego. Yep, I’m thinking that may be what it means. Unless he got two days off to make a jaunt across the pond. If he does come to the Con, he probably won’t be there on Saturday but rather Thursday, since Saturdays are big days in the theater. Or am I wrong about this?

Yeah, I think the group in London will try to accommodate a trip to Cali — at least mid-week so he can promote Into the Storm. Unless his last minute appearance at Cinema-Con in Las Vegas was a trade-off for not appearing in San Diego.

Then again, I could be so out in left field, because last time I checked, Peter Jackson is no pushover, and he’s not going to have a skeleton crew at Comic-Con and certainly not doing his thing on Thursday. It will be Saturday for PJ and company, and not to mention that Richard Armitage seems to be the point man for pushing The Hobbit. But maybe that was also a trade-off, so that Richard is getting it out of the way and will be free all summer. I kind of doubt that.

Or maybe it’s either/or. He gets to be there on Thursday or Saturday but not both. Or maybe both PJ and Todd have their promotions running on Saturday. I’m so confused.

My gut: if he made an agreement with Peter Jackson to be there for The Hobbit, he will be. How can I say that? Hmm, Peter Jackson, the West End, Peter Jackson, the West End. Uh yeah, it’s Peter Jackson. Whether fair or not, that’s probably reality.

Whatever happens, it’s probably not a good idea for fans to buy tickets to The Crucible from July 23-28.* Can you imagine how pissed off you would be if you did and he was an ocean away? Yeah, consider this post a public service.

Other than that, the photo above is an interesting pick for The Mail. Is he a deer caught in the glare of the paparazzi or are those the bedroom eyes that get John Proctor and the rest of Salem in trouble? ;-)

And a thank you to Baz Bamigboye for the latest ripple effect. Now if he could just put his ear to the ground and answer my musing…

edit: it just occurred to me I may have made an error in this piece because The Old Vic is not technically in the West End. It’s not even in the area known as Theatreland. I’m doing this entirely from memory, so if anyone knows, educate me please. I don’t have time to look it up! :)

* those blackout dates are subject to change based on the confirmed news we hear; however, it’s good to keep in mind that the Into the Storm premiere will be coming up not long after Comic-con. The world premiere will be less than two weeks after Comic-Con ends.


  1. Thanks for clarifying the timeline! Throw the possibility of the Peruvian movie into it and you really have a scheduling nightmare! I love it that he is soooo in demand!

  2. Oh I had forgotten about Comic con Frenz. Perhaps that’s the hangup then. That and the ITS premier as well. Orlando Bloom managed the DoS premiers while on Broadway so the Old Vic might work with RA somehow.

  3. Can someone explain to me why anyone (PJ etc…) feels that the Hobbit needs to be heavily promoted for people to go see it ? Seems to me you could be asleep at the wheel (just being funny !)for the most part and fans would still flock to see this thing…Just curious….

  4. LLL,

    Yep, I think that’s the issue. Well, that and this possible casting in the Peruvian horror film.


    Peter Jackson is a creature of habit. He will be at Comic-con because that’s what he does, and he also does have a great connection with the fans, who do a lot to promote him, and I believe it’s a way of giving something back to them while keeping these movies up in the rankings. That last movie needs to make it into the billion dollar club too. :D

    BTW, I made an error in my piece that I need to correct. Gone to fix.

  5. Lucky I booked my tickets for August then… now hope he is actually in it ;-)

  6. Thanks !!!! See how little I know…..

  7. Lucky you. :)

  8. RArmylurker,

    I hope it works out! If it does, you will have to come back and give us a report. :D

  9. Well, I might just do that. TBH I am very happy to be seeing The Crucible, even if RA is not in it after all (but obviously I really, really, really hope he is!). The Old Vic is near Waterloo station and we can travel into London by train to see the matinee and get home again in a day.

  10. I would love for you to share it whether he’s in it or not. The production sound very interesting. I actually do like the play The Crucible even though I had to get over having it shoved down my throat in high school.

    That’s what I understood about The Old Vic, so it’s not really the West End.

  11. Richard’s contractual obligations to Warner Bros will take precedence over Crucible. 1st contract signed ALWAYS takes precedence over subsequent contracts. However, movie contracts are generally vague in spelling out what an actor’s PR obligations are (because release dates might change, or PR campaigns altered). This is why the Crucible deal is not 100% yet. His agents and lawyers are going back and forth with Warners and the Old Vic to spell out exactly which dates he will be required to do Into the Storm PR (and the type of private planes WB will provide to get him there :D )

    So if WB’s PR department decides they want him at Comic Con, he goes to Comic Con. If they feel Sarah or one of the boys is enough to represent the movie, then they’ll release Richard from that prior obligation. Same with the premieres & press junkets. The theater will then have to decide if they want to “go dark” (shut down) when he’s away or use his understudy.

    Orlando was able to fulfill his contractual PR obligations in 24 hours for Hobbit DoS (but then, he was a more minor character in a very large ensemble film). If I’m remembering correctly, it was a day Romeo & Juliet was dark anyway. WB flew him to LA, he did a couple of interviews & the red carpet, and was flown back in time to do R&J the next night.

    When Daniel Radcliff was doing How to Succeed in Business, I remember the theater actually went dark for the better part of a week when he had to do Deathly Hallows premieres/PR, and then his understudy did a couple of days as well.

    Since Richard is the star of Into the Storm, he’ll be required to be at all the premieres and do a lot of PR. So if I was thinking about going to see him in Crucible, I would avoid getting tickets for the week before the opening of ITS as well as Comic Con (just to be safe). I suspect his understudy will be playing those dates.

  12. Exactly. If any party is going to give in, it’s the theater and not WB and PJ.

    I have a feeling that Into the Storm will probably occur near Comic-Con.

  13. I suspect WB is really going to push Into the Storm at Comic Con. It’s a week before the movie opens and the people who attend CC are the target audience. In fact, I think Into the Storm is going to be a bigger focus than Hobbit at CC for Warner Bros.

    However, if I were Richard’s agent, and I was trying to reduce the number of performances he misses, or the number of times he has to fly to the US during the show, I’d be arguing that Comic Con is the least important of Richard’s contractual PR obligations. So I’d guess it’s still 50/50 whether he is there or not.

  14. It’s actually almost two weeks out from Comic-Con. And yes, it’s very possible Into the Storm will be bigger at Comic-Con, but for one thing that keeps me from fully agreeing. WB wants that third movie in the billion dollar club and they need the fans to do it.. If they are like most business people, which they have proven to be pretty predictable in that respect, they’re going to go with the bird in hand which ITS is not.

  15. Let me amend what I said. WB and PJ want that last move in the billion dollar club in record time as the other two have done. That’s where they’re going, and they are going to pull out all the stops to get there without any coasting. This means a huge push at CC this year Plus, PJ is sentimental, and it is his last foray (ROLFOL!!!!) into Tolkien movies, so he will want to make it a grand affair.

  16. Sell more merchandise that way. :D

  17. Good point. WB will want to milk that cash cow called the Hobbit, and if PJ isn’t way behind in editing, he’ll want to be there. But I think WB will still be pushing ITS pretty hard, and I think Storm is the reason Richard was originally scheduled to be at Comic Con. Naturally, WB would love to have the star of two of the films it is pushing at their Hall H event, but I still suspect Richard’s team will try to argue his presence isn’t necessary at Comic Con, just to ease some of the stress for him.

    I hope the Old Vic does what I’ve seen other London theaters do, and announces which known dates its stars are going to be absent on. Then we wouldn’t need to speculate about whether he was going to be at CC, we’d know from the show calendar. :D

  18. Unfortunately, not all theaters do that. Argh.

  19. And if WB is planning an Academy Awards push for There and Back Again, as they did for the third LoTR movie (, how will that affect things?

  20. Excellent question!

  21. You’re right, RAFrenzy. The Old Vic is in the south-east, on the opposite bank of the Thames.

  22. Thanks! It’s been awhile since I’ve been there, but I remembered after I posted that it’s not technically part of the grouping known as the West End.

  23. As New Line (not WB) did for the third LoTR movie, I meant to write.

  24. AB,

    I think everyone knows what you mean, and to me WB/New Line and PJ are all the same. Why? Because they are all sharing the revenue on this behemoth.

  25. Just because Richard is doing stage doesn’t mean he can’t take time off to attend both Comic Con and promotion for ITS. As a regular theatre goer in London, I know theatres and/or ticket sites often announce dates when a certain lead actor or actress will not be performing due to other commitments. Absences can be as long as two weeks. Am quite sure that is what is being finalised at the moment so we know what dates he wouldn’t be on stage.

  26. Good to know, Lena! Thanks for the heads up.

  27. ComicCon can hardly be called the least important of RA’s PR obligations. It’s arguably the most important since he would be promoting two WB films at once, so I imagine that they will push for this.

    Even without that, I assume everyone knows ComicCon is a big deal for fantasy/sf genre films and tv shows, which are now a very profitable and popular genre. Hence the fact that in 2012 not only TH:AUJ was there but also Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, and just about every other big-budget wannabe blockbuster. It will be the same this year, I suspect and we’ll see something for the supposed SWVII and the new Sin City, etc.

  28. Not that my opinion counts for anything, but if the Old Vic gig goes through, I personally think he would be granted time to attend Comic Con to promote both films.

    Happy to see him pursuing his passion and walking through these amazing doors that have been opened for him. :-)

  29. Considering WB’s clout, I think you’re right. Your opinion counts as much as anyone else here. :) And you do have some experience with Comic-Con.

  30. I should have said that I think RA will make every effort to do both. I just don’t think he’ll blow off SDCC.

  31. I think it’s possible that he was working trade-offs when he did a last minute at Cinema-Con and has been most prominent for hawking the Hobbit. I don’t know that, but it’s possible.

    Given what we now know about theaters going dark and Kevin Spacey understanding Hollywood himself, it’s entirely possible he’ll be let off to go to San Diego.

  32. Most of the other big-name actors at SDCC are working too and have left their current projects to fulfill their obligations to the finished project, so I imagine that this would not be unusual.
    Failing to live up to your contractual obligations is a good way to find your schedule suddenly freeing up. Since Spacey was both a director himself (eg Across the Sea) and an actor is blockbusters, I imagine that he *will* be smart about it.

  33. About August – that will be rough also in guessing when he will not be on stage. Into The Storm opens Aug 8th in the states, and on his birthday in the UK and Europe. So there must be one or more promotion dates where he’d be off in that schedule.

    This is turning into quite a busy year. Yesssss!!!

  34. I pointed this out last night on FB on someone’s website who kind of blew it off, I thought. If he is contractually obligated to do PR for both ITS and Hobbit, then he is likely to be required to be at SDCC and at the ITS premiere (probably in LA). Those are two 10 hours flights to LA from London. The premiere is likely to be on a Monday night so he might miss only a day or two of the play but SDCC will be Th, F, Sat but we don’t know which day. So Frenz, I agree with you. If anyone wants to buy tickets before RA’s schedule is confirmed, avoid SDCC dates and opening dates for ITS in the US and Europe. Mrs E. Darcy and I are pretty much in agreement about his contractual obligations. First come, first serve on those!

  35. Yep, agree!

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