Tag Archives: films

VFX studio for ‘Black Sky’ files bankruptcy; film still slated for release in 2013



Richard Armitage in a scene from Black Sky. Courtesy of Todd Garner at Twitter

Thanks to Awkward Celebrity Encounters for sharing this link to The Wrap at Twitter:


This could answer the question as to why we haven’t heard much of anything new recently from Black Sky. Looks like there is still VFX work to do on the film, and someone else may have to do it.

I recently read another online article detailing the financial woes of many US-based VFX houses. While places like Weta Workshop in New Zealand are flourishing, others are being forced to close their doors.

Selfishly, of course, I just want to see Black Sky completed and in the theatres (well) before the end of this year. I am eager to Richard on the big screen as more than Thorin. But I also want to see the film completed properly. I want it to be as good as it can be in its genre.

And it just seems as if we’ve been waiting forever. I know, I know. It was only shot last summer and it takes time to finish a film, especially if there’s a lot of FX work that must be put into places. I’m impatient–what can I say?


Richard Armitage and Nathan Kress in a scene from Black Sky. Courtesy of Todd Garner via Twitter.

Tami, you’ve got one heck of a consolation prize.


Sadly, The Hobbit did not take home any trophies from the Academy Awards. I was particularly pulling for Tami Lane, the makeup artist who transformed RA into Thorin each day, not to mention all the other actors for whom she performed stellar makeup magic.

Ah well, two more films, more opportunities.

However, I think Tami is already a winner and in a big way.  She’s earned the admiration of millions of fans around the world for her work. Not only that,  she seems to have won the true friendship of one amazingly talented, kind, generous, warm-hearted and absolutely gorgeous actor turned bad-ass dwarf named Richard Armitage.

I’d say that was made of “winning,” wouldn’t you?  (And she gets to do more bonding with him starting in May! Lucky girl.)

She’s already got one Oscar on her shelf.

While gold statuettes make good door stops or book ends, they DON’T give you big, cuddly hugs like this.



Why do you think she’s smiling so gleefully?!

RA shooting more ‘Black Sky’ in LA with movie sons


According to a Tweet today by young Nathan Kress Richard Armitage is currently doing more work on the upcoming movie Black Sky.  Richard plays widowed teacher Gary Morris, dad to two sons played by Kress and Max Deacon (here’s the Tweet):

“So pumped to shoot more Black Sky stuff today with @MaxD9 and Richard! I finally get to be Trey again!”

Love that youthful enthusiasm.


Nathan at last year's Kid'sChoice Awards. Re the cardi, like father, like son?

Nathan at last year’s Kid’sChoice Awards. Re the cardi, like father, like son?

Thought it would be fun to revisit Nathan’s uStream video describing working with that “super-nice” Richard Armitage and his intimidating yelling dad technique (no doubt perfected whilst playing Thorin!).

And here’s a little snippet of Nathan talking about the characters of Trey and Donnie, the roles he and Max Deacon play in Black Sky.

Max Deacon in an earlier film role, "Flashbacks of a Fool," which also featured Jodhi May of "Strike Back" in a supporting role.

Max Deacon in an earlier film role, “Flashbacks of a Fool,” which also featured Jodhi May of “Strike Back” in a supporting role.

Can’t wait to meet Gary, Donnie and Trey on the big screen in Black Sky!  It should be super-awesome! 😀

And now, for a little more RA . . .


TORn presents Hobbit fanmade cover art!


Check out the entries in TORn’s Fanmade Blu-ray Hobbit cover! There are some really clever designs, including one for which you need 3D glasses. I agree with Mr. Cere at TORn: many of these could go toe-to-toe with the actual cover art. Great job, fans!!



RA offered role as Richard III *UPDATE*

 Is Richard’s vision of giving a sympathetic portrayal of the much-maligned British monarch one step closer to reality?
Could be.
Below is the contents of an article by Kathleen Nutt in The Herald Scotland dated today, February 2, 2013.

A Scots-based researcher who instigated a dig for the remains of Richard III says she has persuaded The Hobbit star Richard Armitage to play the king in a proposed new film.

Philippa Langley finished a screenplay about the medieval monarch’s life last year, months after she led archaeologists to a spot where a skeleton believed to be his was found.

Ms Langley, 50, who is secretary of the Scottish branch of the Richard III Society, came up with the idea of the search during a meeting of the group in February 2009.

Results of tests are to be revealed over the next day or so, conclusively proving whether the remains are indeed those of the last Plantagenet monarch.

Ms Langley contacted Armitage, 41, who plays dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster, and says he agreed to take on the role. Armitage has also starred in a number of television series including Spooks, Robin Hood and the Vicar of Dibley.

Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 by the forces of Henry Tudor, effectively ending the 30-year-long War of the Roses.

He is often regarded as an ugly, hunchbacked tyrant, but Langley believes history has judged him unfairly and the popular view of him stems from the Tudors, who were keen to damage his reputation in order to justify his killing.

Her screenplay presents a sympathetic portrait of him, underlining his accomplishments such as the introduction of the presumption of innocence of an accused facing trial.

It also disputes the opinion he was responsible for the murders of his nephews, 12-year-old Edward V and nine-year-old Richard, Duke of York, the so-called Princes in the Tower.

“I had to write the screenplay. Richard III’s story has to be out there. I want that story to be told. I had Richard Armitage in mind to play him and he has agreed,” said Ms Langley.

“Not only he is a dead ringer for Richard III, but he was born a few miles away from Bosworth field and was named after him.”

Ms Langley, who lives in Edinburgh, is now seeking funding for the film.

She has also drawn up plans to give the dead monarch a proper burial, commissioning an artist and historian to design a tomb if, as expected, tests confirm the remains found in a car park in Leicester in August are his.

A photograph given exclusively to The Herald shows part of the tomb. It is decorated with the White Rose, the heraldic sign of Richard’s House of York, and the cross of St Cuthbert, one of his most venerated saints.

“I always had two aims,” said Ms Langley. “One was to undertake original research into Richard III and to bring the real historical figure to the forefront rather than the Shakespearean and Tudor version of him.

“But the second, which was actually my main aim, was to try and retrieve his remains from an undignified place and give them the reburial that fits a king.”

After Richard III was killed, his body was despoiled before being taken to Leicester, where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as the Grey Friars. However, over time the exact whereabouts of the Grey Friars became lost.

Kirk Wheelan-Foran, Armitage’s agent, said: “It is very early days. Richard is not in the country at the moment.”

 The documentary Richard III: The King in the Car Park, about Langley’s search for Richard III’s remains, is to be broadcast on Channel 4 on Monday at 9 pm.

It’s certainly exciting news (especially on one’s blogiversary!). And Richard’s profile has definitely risen since his impressive performance as Thorin Oakenshield. Of course, as his agent pointed out, it’s very early days yet.

One assumes it would be shot in or close to the U.K. so Richard would have to be available to do so. He’s got several weeks of Hobbit scenes to complete in New Zealand and possibly other commitments of which we aren’t aware.

And before filming could start, financial backing has to be in place. That could take some time. Scouting locations, lining up a good director, casting . . .  there’s a lot that has to come together before the Richard III film is a reality.


I’m excited.  How about you?

UPDATE 2/3/2013  According to a Tweet this morning by @BBCLeicester, Richard Armitage will join @adavearadio from LA live after 5 p.m. to talk Richard III on 104.9 FM 

Will we hear more about the proposed film project? Maybe . . .


So, I am now at Pinterest . . .


For any of you who are also hanging out there (or considering doing so), my user name is http://pinterest.com/fedoralady where I am part of two community boards, Black Sky and (surprise!) Richard Armitage.

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s fun to see and learn more about the young actors who will be acting alongside RA in Black Sky, particularly that supercute, supernice young Nathan Kress, who found his screen dad’s commanding presence (and voice!) a little intimidating in the beginning.  Will be interesting to see how this board expands as we grow closer to the release of the film (whenever that will happen).

English: Nathan Kress at the Nickelodeon Choic...

English: Nathan Kress at the Nickelodeon Choice Awards 2011. Sydney, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve also got three boards of my own so far: Richard Armitage Owns Me, Fabulous Felines, and Words & Images That Inspire: RA & More.  There are a number of categories and scads of boards there; I’ve just touched the surface of what there is to discover.  It’s quite easy to sign up for Pinterest and you connect through Facebook or Twitter.

Pardon my relative lack of posts today. My sinuses are giving me grief on top of everything else, so once I had played with Pinterest a bit, I succumbed to a few hours of much-needed sleep (didn’t get any last night).  Hope you all are having a good weekend!

All this social media and Richard Armitage along with my stuffy sinuses has my head in a whirl (or is that a birl?).



Possible Movie RemAkes: Armitage as a ghost–in a KILT!


Leigh mentioned the possibility of a more comedic film that is due for a remake: the 1935 English-U.S. co-production, The Ghost Goes West. The U.K.’s most successful film of 1936, this enticing cinematic blend of satire, fantasy, ghost story and sweet romance was also a hit in the U.S.

Starring the very talented and handsome Robert Donat in a dual role of 18th century Scottish ghost Murdoch Glourie, a dashing ladies’ man, and his 20th century descendant, a laird dealing with the modern realities of being cash poor and land rich with a large castle demanding expensive upkeep.  Enter a wealthy American businessman (Eugene Pallette) and his pretty daughter (Jean Parker) into the picture. A Scottish castle is just what the businessman wants. He just wants it on his estate in sunny Florida. And so the castle is dismantled, stone by stone, and shipped overseas to be reconstructed.


 A French poster for the film. I liked the design. And everything sounds better in French, mais oui?

And guess who also goes along? That’s right, the ghost, who, after dishonoring the family name, was cursed by a disgruntled father to forever haunt the ancestral castle–no matter where in the world it stands–until that wrong can be righted.  Murdoch experiences no lack of culture shock in the land of palm trees and rampant materialism.

The film has much to recommend it– a charming and witty script, the always outstanding cinematography of Jack Cardiff (whose exquisite color work can be seen in Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes), excellent direction by Rene Clair, and delightful performances by Donat and frog-voiced Pallette in particular.

Jean Parker and Robert Donat in a publicity still for "The Ghost Goes West."

Jean Parker and Robert Donat in a publicity still for “The Ghost Goes West.”

The flirty-girty Murdoch woos a fair lady in the film's prologue.

The flirty-girty Murdoch woos a fair lady in the film’s prologue.

The laird faces off with the ghost thanks to split screen.

The laird faces off with the ghost thanks to split screen.

And it offers a handsome man–in a kilt. We know Richard can do a Scottish accent from the RH audiobooks. We know he truly rocks a kilt from that one photo shoot. We know he can nail a flirtatious ladies’ man–Lee “Speedo” Preston, anyone? We know he’s got the acting chops to play two roles in the same film.  We know he needs to do something with a little humor in it for a change. So, Mr. A, how about something with comedy and romance and fantasy–and kilts!!

Richard in a image that orginated with Rob Roy, I do believe.

Richard in an image that I think originated with “Rob Roy.”

This bonny lad appears to be part of an event such as the Scottish Highlands Game that takes place here at Blount Park next to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

This bonny lad appears to be part of an event such as the Scottish Highlands Game that takes place here at Blount Park next to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

This started out as a photo of another fave of mine who is a Scotsman, Ewan McGregor. The grin seemed appropriate.

This started out as a photo of another fave of mine who is a Scotsman, Ewan McGregor. The grin seemed appropriate.

All RA images created in Faceinhole with additional editing in BeFunky.  “The Ghost Goes West” screencaps & poster courtesy of Bing Images

I love it when I read stuff like this about Richard Armitage.


Here’s a comment made by ElizaAnderson at Heirs of Durin:

Thorin is certainly more likeable in the movie – probably because you get more of the “why he is the way he is” than you do in the book (until you read the appendices in “Return of the King”), and also because of Richard Armitage’s fantastic acting. I had never even heard of him before this movie, but he’s so intense, he’s marvelous at the nuances of facial expression – and he also has a lovely baritone, such that the Song of the Misty Mountains has been stuck in my head nonstop since seeing the movie the first time. (All of them did a great job with that – those chords are absolutely delicious. Basses and baritones, how I love them.)

When I read things like this it makes me smile and squee internally. And feel just a tad smug.  I can truly say I never had any doubt RA would be great in this role. He had the intensity, the regal air, the presence to pull it all off beautifully–and he did. Garnering new fans every day, our TDHBEW. And our SDHHWD. (Short Dark Hot Hairy Warrior Dwarf). 😉








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Yet another Hobbity must-have for me.



Just when I thought I’d stopped buying anything Hobbit-related, Cathy at Twitter alerted me to the latest book offered by Weta. It won’t release til next spring, but you can now pre-order it at Amazon. Which I just did. *sigh* Resistance is futile . . . and look at the pretty blue cover on this one, with Thorin’s lovely mug on it, too!


Courtesy of Weta

Courtesy of Weta

Here’s what the folks at Weta have to say about it:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles, Creatures & Characters

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles, Creatures & Characters explores the amazing cast of heroes and villains, beasts and beings that populate Middle-earth in the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and film stills, this comprehensive book goes species by species, character by character, through the film’s huge ensemble of characters and bustling menagerie of creatures, both physical and digital, telling the stories of how each came to be realized for the film.

In first-hand quotes from the actors, make-up artists, digital effects artists, dialect coaches, prosthetics technicians, movement coach and many other crew, the stories of the production unfold, processes are described and insights into characters shared.

As a bonus feature, unique to this book, there is a special fold-out Character Size Chart, which compares all the major creatures and characters of the film, from Radagast’s hedgehog friend to the towering Stone Giants!

Compiled by Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer, and featuring a wealth of stunning imagery, this book puts the reader face to face with the Dwarf heroes of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the dark denizens of Middle-earth, such as Orcs, Goblins, Trolls and Wargs, and of course, the hobbit himself, Bilbo Baggins.”


I already own the wonderful first book in this series, Chronicles: Art & Design, now available through Amazon and carrying a well-deserved five-star rating. I have read more of it since seeing the film, and it makes me want to see the film again (as if I didn’t want to already) to take closer note of some of the details mapped out in the volume.  I never feel guilty about investing in books. Like Richard, they are the gift that keeping on giving.

“No Shortage of Smolder”: A tribute mag’s view of sexy dwarves


My ever-helpful husband found a copy of a mag titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Prequel to The Lord of the Rings while we were browsing at Books-A-Million Saturday night. Naturally, I had to take this periodical, which bills itself as “TheOneRingnet’s Collector’s Edition” by Topix Media Lab.

I wanted to share some of the contents with you with a few editorial comments thrown in.

“There’s something to be said for a short man with a hot temper . . . Gimli didn’t stand up to the rugged allure of Aragorn or the ethereal good looks of Legolas, but this new crop of dwarves manages to stay true to the brawling, bearded dwarf aesthetic of the books while showing off a bit more of what the dwarven race has going for it.

Each dwarf has a very unique look, but they all have one thing in common: really awesome facial hair . . . from Bifur’s black braids to Thorin’s well-groomed goatee, the variety of scruff proves without a doubt that beards are back in a big way.”

(naturally, I love this following quote and thoroughly agree with opinion expressed)

“No Shortage of Smolder . . . it takes only one look at the leader of the Company to see these dwarves are not your average brawlers. Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield is the breakout heart throb of the series, with his baritone singing voice and his piercing gaze throwing female audiences into a tizzy. It’s safe to say this dwarf would have no trouble finding someone to join him on an adventure.”

(Yeah, where do we sign up for this adventure?)

The writer adds that Thorin’s nephews Fili and Kili are “arguably the easiest on the eyes  . . . looking more like elves or humans than the typical dwarf , with manicured beards and flowing locks that frame their chiseled features. However, they still stay true to Tolkien’s vision, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is complaining about watching these two trek through three movies.”

(Personally, I am not complaining about watching Uncle Heart Throb and his Hottie Sister-Sons through it all and beyond.)

I love you, PJ. (Video Blog 9 now at FB)



My favorite cuddly-looking, cardigan-wearing movie director has posted another video blog at his Facebook page. This entry deals with post-production of The Hobbit and proves not only very informative, but highly entertaining. Love the Beard Hair Unit. Pity the poor guy who gets to look at code on a computer screen all day.

And the glimpses of Thorin are quick but plentiful, with screencaps promised by Ali at www.richardarmitagenet.com  later today.

My favorite moment? A glimpse of Richard with his headphones on, dubbing in some of Thorin’s dialogue. “Elves!” Richard says, with a growl of distinct disdain.  Love it.

Once again I love how we get to see more of the village of talents it takes to make a complex film like The Hobbit. Dedicated talents who put in a lot of long hours to make the movie magic happen for us on screen.  But it definitely looks like it isn’t all work and no play under PJ. I love the sense of humor and the feeling of community that seems to pervade in Jackson’s domain.

Thank you, Peter Jackson, for taking us along and giving us so many fascinating and fun glimpses behind the scenes on this incredible journey. And now you are promising another vlog from the premieres! Cool.

I love you, PJ.

The recreation of the entrance to Bilbo’s home at Bag End and a giant Gandalf figure in place for the film’s Wellington premiere. It seems the production staff for The Hobbit are working almost right down to the wire to make the magic happen.

Todd Garner likes my Black Sky poster!


This was on Twitter:

Todd Garner‏@Todd_Garner10h

@MaxD9: @Todd_Garner something to consider https://thearmitageeffect.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/garyflimposter.png …” love it!

So, it seems Todd Garner, the producer for Richard’s tornado disaster film currently in post-production saw my fake film poster for Black Sky and he likes it!  😀

AntoniaRomera kindly let me know by leaving a message for me here this morning. Since I had been under the weather of late, I hadn’t been on Twitter much as my brain can only handle so much sometimes. 😉  Thanks again, Antonia. 😀

Just had to share . . .

Mr. February is here. Yummm.


My calendar arrived today!!

Thumper the three-legged tuxedo cat seems to enjoy looking at Thorin on the front of the calendar. She has the Good Taste Gene.

It’s printed on a good-quality heavyweight stock with the edges of the pages given an attractive distressed look, as one might find on an old manuscript.

The inside cover of the calendar is a map of the Lonely Mountain and its surroundings and the first page features September-December 2012–so you really can use it to count down to the premiere. Bilbo is Mr. January, and this handsome bloke is Mr. February . . . what with Valentine’s Day, Mr. Dreamboat is certainly a perfect choice.

Pin-up Boy for February. I think he’s got the key to my heart.

The rest of the calendar art is devoted to Fili and Kili (March); a gorgeous portrait of Galadriel (April);  Ori, Dori and Nori (May); Bombur and Bofur (June); Elrond (July); Balin and Dwalin (August); Gandalf (September); a charming portrait of Radagast (October); Bifur, Oin and Gloin (November) and Legolas (December).  Some of the art we’ve seen before and some is new (to me, anyway).


Here’s a shot of the back cover with miniatures of all the interior art. There’s also an offer for a free calendar widget and downloadable wallpaper (that’s it on the upper right).

So–is it December yet?? Hmmm, let me check my calendar . . . tomorrow, my action figure should arrive. 😀

The Juggernaut Continues. Sir Peter is smiling somewhere.


I was napping a good portion of the day. My sinuses are much better; I just feel kind of–wobbly, for lack of a better term. Sort of like a human version of the three-legged tuxedo cat, in fact.

It was fun catching up on all the comments tonight and discovering the latest Thorin merchandise via Aprilviolet’s blog. And yes, I succumbed.

OK, I know Thorin does not have his long locks here, but darn, he’s cute. And I love that he looks so fierce and yet–so cuddly all at once.  Yes, Benny, my Christmas presents are being taken care of early . . .

Estimated shipping date is late October. Below is the link to the UK site carrying the items, which also include a plush Gandalf, Gollum, Bilbo and Goblin King.


Tomorrow this should arrive from www.amazon.com. Love that a certain alpha dwarf is on the front of this calendar:


Wednesday, this guy, also from Amazon, is due to arrive. It’s not as handsome as the real thing, of course,  but I like the details and you get TWO weapons. 😉


*Remember, when you order anything through Amazon US or Amazon UK, use the portal at www.richardarmitagenet.com and a portion of your purchase will go to Richard Armitage‘s designated charities. It’s a way to give back as Richard has encouraged us to while shopping for things you need–and things you just simply WANT. 😉

I should also mention that collecting such items really isn’t terribly outside the sphere of normality for moi. After all, I had a whole collection of novelty bedroom slippers at one time–and one of my birthday gifts was an 11th Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver. Complete with lights and sounds.  I happened to mention I’d like to have one while Hubby and I were watching BBCA one Saturday night and hey presto–I got one. The kitties love it. I give them–CAT scans. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

I really am just a kid in a grown-up body, after all.

OT: Need a feel-good fantasy film? Catch “Stardust”


Are you looking for a feel-good movie that has wit, charm, humor, intelligence, a bit of swashbuckling derring-do and sweet romance? A film offering beautiful location scenery (Scotland, England and Iceland) and a talented cast of Brit and American actors giving memorable performances?

Then might I suggest 2007’s Stardust, a delightful fantasy film centered around the magical kingdom of Stormhold. There’s a race by scheming witches, fratricidal princes and a young man infatuated with the village beauty to capture a star which collided and bonded with a gem as it fell to earth. The witches want the star in order to reclaim their long-ago lost youth; the princes want the gem so they can become the next king of Stormhold and the young man, Tristan, wants to capture the star for the girl he fancies to prove his devotion to her.

The original theatrical poster for Stardust.

There’s a problem: Tristan (Charlie Cox) lives in the village of Wall, and he is never supposed to cross over the wall into Stormhold.  His father Dunstan (Nathaniel Parker) reveals that Tristan’s mother was from Stormhold, and she left a Babylon candle for her son, which will allow him to travel to any desired destination.

He lights it and is transported to the location of the star. Much to his surprise, it has a human form, that of a lovely young woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes).  Much to Yvaine’s dismay, Tristan takes her prisoner, intending to return to his sweetheart Victoria with Yvaine as her gift.

Of course, things do not go as the young man has planned, and a great adventure gets underway that involves a magical inn, a flying ship of pirates who capture lightning, led by Captain Shakespeare (Robert DeNiro) and more.

Yvainne (Claire Danes) and Tristan (Charlie Cox) are served by Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro) as they enjoy a meal upon his flying ship.

Danes is absolutely incandescent as Yvaine, even without the help of special effects (her bleached-out eyebrows do take some getting used to, I must admit). Cox is a sweet and likeable hero who undergoes an attractive physical transformation in the course of the film.

Michelle Pfeiffer has great fun as the eldest witch, Lamia, who uses what is left of the three witches’ last captured star to restore her beauty as she tries to chase down the celestial body.  Mark Strong is a villain to watch as Septimus, the prince who is pitted against the other remaining brother Primus (Jason Flemying)  in an effort to capture the throne. The other five brothers, including Rupert Everett and Julian Rhind-Tutt, are now ghosts (having done each other in) who look in as a sort of Greek chorus and provide amusing commentary on the proceedings.  And the narrator for the film is none other than Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen.

Mark Strong as bad boy prince Septimus.

The film is based on a 1998 book of the same name by Neil Gamain. Gamain gave his approval to trim portions of the rather large novel to keep the film a reasonable length. The author said he also agreed to a larger dose of whimsy and humor in the film than is found in his book. The author said he preferred the filmmakers depart somewhat from the book and craft an enjoyable film, rather than attempting to slavishly follow the source material and ultimately fail.  I have not read the book but I can certainly attest to the creation of a very enjoyable movie.

The film is currently airing on Showtime in the U.S., and is available through Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. It is also available on DVD and Blu-ray at very reasonable prices through Amazon.

It’s something the whole family could enjoy together and it’s definitely not just a chick flick. I could easily see Mr. FL sitting down with me to watch Stardust.  This romantic fantasy-dramedy really has a magical quality all its own. Highly recommended.

Danes as Yvaine.