Chertsey, UK November 10, 2005 â€“ Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that Hugo Weaving will expand his involvement with The Lord of the RingsTM franchise as he assumes the role of lead voiceover talent in the highly anticipated video game sequel The Lord of the RingsTM, The Battle for Middle-earthTM II. Additionally, acclaimed concept artist John Howe of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is on board to design entirely new creatures and locations of Middle-earth.
Hugo Weaving has a successful career in film, television, and theater. He has performed in such memorable roles as Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy and Lord Elrond in New Line Cinema's critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His portrayal of Elrond, the Elven leader, is regarded by fans as one of the greatest fantasy heroes of all time. With each new film, television, or theatrical role, Weaving continues to surpass audience expectations and remains one of the most versatile performers working today.
The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II notable talent roster also includes John Howe who will lend his talent as master Middle-earth concept artist. John Howe's role will consist primarily of designing concepts for the dragons of Middle-earth adding authentic visuals to some of the game's cinematic environments.
"We are delighted to have Hugo Weaving as the voice of Battle for Middle-earth II," said Mike Verdu, Executive Producer at EALA. "Mr. Weaving was brilliantly cast as the great Elven leader Elrond in the film trilogy and now his voice will help bring the game story and the world of Middle-earth to life for everyone who plays Battle for Middle-earth II. I am also very excited to be working with John Howe who will help us visualize key creatures within the game!"
Weaving was happy to reprise the role of Elrond. During his voiceover session he noted, "Generally with Lord of the Rings, no one ever really says goodbye to it because it seems that you were always coming back," he explained. "I always find voice work really fascinating because you are working on one element of your make up as an actor -- focusing more intently on one part of your toolbox if you like -- in a way so everything seems to go into producing that vocal effect. It really isn't just an effect, because it actually comes from a source which is a true continuation of that character."
As the voice of The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, Weaving will create the game's overarching tone by guiding players in and out of each good and evil mission within the single player campaigns. Additionally, this real time strategy title will feature character likenesses of Lord Elrond, reprising his role and fighting battles never before seen in the movies.
Developed at the EA Los Angeles studio, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Real-time Strategy (RTS) game, The Lord of the RingsTM, The Battle for Middle-earthTM. Expanding on The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth, the newest The Lord of the Rings PC title will introduce players to depths of the fiction never before explored by EA, in accordance with an agreement with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that grants EA the rights to develop games based on the books, in addition to a separate agreement that allows for games based on the New Line Cinema films.
For more information about The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II please visit: www.bfme2.ea.com. For information about all of EA's games, please visit EA's press site at www.electronicarts.co.uk/press
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2005, EA posted revenues of $3.1 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.electronicarts.co.uk. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at www.electronicarts.co.uk/press
About Tolkien Enterprises
The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises is the holder of worldwide motion picture, legitimate stage, merchandising, and other rights in J.R.R. Tolkien's literary works The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Tolkien Enterprises has been producing and licensing films, stage productions and merchandise based on Tolkien's works for almost 30 years. Its headquarters are in Berkeley, California, and its website may be found at www.tolkien-ent.com.
About New Line Cinema Corporation
Founded almost 40 years ago, New Line Cinema is the most successful independent film company in the world. Its mission is to produce innovative, popular and profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. In addition to the production, marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures, the fully-integrated studio has divisions devoted to home entertainment, television, music, theater, merchandising and an international unit. In 2005, New Line partnered with HBO to form Picturehouse, a new theatrical distribution company to release independent films. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line's Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most successful film franchises in history. New Line is a division of Time Warner, Inc. (TWX).