(New York City) – Emboldened by a $130 million commitment from New Line Cinema, J.R.R. Tolkien aficionados are feeling a level of acceptance formerly unheard of for their nerd mania. While Micah Laaker’s inclusion in this following is known to many, his ardent participation in discussing the history of Middle-Earth (the world in which Tolkien’s creations reside), the debating of the selection of actors to play specific characters, and the frenetic anticipation of the first movie’s release surprised many friends and acquaintances who had not witnessed his junior- and high school years.
The frenzy was seemingly created many months before the December 2001 film release of "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first of three movies based upon the Tolkien literary fantasy trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings." Seeing that corporate sugar daddies were giving the green light to the commercialization of the fantasy titles, Tolkien fanatics (Laaker included) began openly discussing their hopes and fears for the cinemagraphic interpretations. As time passed, friends of Mr. Laaker began noticing frequent "I just can’t wait for the new Lord of the Rings movie" comments. By the time the movie was released, Mr. Laaker had finished re-reading the trilogy and was actively discussing the fantasy lore with all those that would listen.
While his friends’ reactions to his excitement varied, one word was used with surprising repetition: "nerd."
Contrary to several barbed allegations, Mr. Laaker’s fascination with the Tolkien novels dates back to his grade school years, wherein he was introduced to "The Hobbit." While reading this book, he became so enamored with the story that he began repeatedly illustrating the characters and their environments. Boxes of the illustrations exist to this day and served as both the launching of Mr. Laaker’s creative career and interest in Tolkien lore, science fiction, and fantasy.
Fortunately for those uninterested in Tolkien and his works, Mr. Laaker’s fanaticism appears to be returning to levels of normalcy after having seen the first movie. Prudent observers, however, know that the second chapter of the trilogy will be released in December 2002…