"TheOneRing.net has a long tradition
of convincing and slightly irritating April Fool pranks."
Celeborn, TORn Staffer, April 1, 2010 1
Prank News Article : Jackson to Direct The Jumping Bean Surprise
Jackson was also identified as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Message Board Scheduled Prank: All registered message board users given "Forum Admin" status
The ruse was put forward that, due to some glitch initiated by a forum database updates:
- The regular Message Board Forum Admins had been demoted to the status of "Registered User" (users having made 9 or fewer posts) and were now (supposedly) locked out of certain forum areas and functions.
- The posting levels of all non-Admin members were replaced by the title "Forum Admin."
- The normally non-public board available only to the Forum Admins was now visible to all registered and signed-in forum members (who now had "Forum Admin" status). This board was full of joke threads and any member could post in these threads and/or create new threads.
Beyond carrying a "Forum Admin" label and having access to the prank Forum Admin board, no standard member had actual admin privileges and the actual Forum Admins retained all their admin privileges. And the actual non-public board where the admins discuss administrative issues was not actually visible to non-administrative people.
Prank News Article #1 : TheOneRing.net will shut down
Prank News Article #2 : TORn being sued by World Wrestling Entertainment over use the term 'one ring'
Message Board Scheduled Prank: Posting levels changed to a pirate theme
The names for posting levels on the Message Boards were changed from ones referencing LOTR (and general Middle-earth terms) to various crewmember positions on a sailing ship. The names for each forum were also changed to sailing/pirate terms.
Prank News Article #1 : The Hobbit: There and Back Again release date pushed back to premiere at Comic-Con in July 2015
Prank News Article #2 : Leonard Nimoy confirmed to perform end credits song for The Hobbit: There and Back Again
The article included a video of the "rough edit of the End Credits Sequence with the newly recorded song mixed in" and some mock Tweets purportedly from Doug Adams.
Message Board Scheduled Prank: Posting levels changed to a Star Trek: The Original Series theme
The names for posting levels on the Message Boards were changed from ones referencing LOTR (and general Middle-earth terms) to names from Star Trek: The Original Series.
Message Board Spontaneous Prank: The creation of a prank "The Silmarillion Movie" forum.
Message Board member DanielLB played a personal April Fools' Day prank on the Message Boards by claiming he had seen a forum dedicated an upcoming movie based on the Silmarillion. He posted (mocked up) screenshots of the board, threads, and posts as well as descriptions of some of the discussions and posts. In response, the Admins for the message boards created an actual prank Silmarillion Forum where people could post threads. The board was deleted at the end of the day.
Prank News Article #1 : Peter Jackson to begin wearing glasses again
Prank News Article #1 : Press Release: Disney to Acquire Middle-earth Enterprises
Coming off the news that the Star Wars franchise had been sold to Disney, TORn pranked:
Message Board : Posting levels and Admin Names changed to a Disney theme
The posting levels for members of TORn's message board members were changed from Middle-earth locations to locations found in Disney movies and each Message Board administrator was assigned a Disney character name.
Prank News Article #1 : Twins, James and Oliver Phelps from the Harry Potter film series, to fill the roles of Elladan and Elrohir in The Hobbit
Prank News Article #2 : English pub, "The Hobbit", to be purchased by the Saul Zaentz Company, dismantled, and reassembled in Los Angeles
In March 2012, it was reported that a pub in Southampton, England that had used the name "The Hobbit" for more than 20 years was being sued by the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) for copyright infringement. 2
After widespread disapproval from fans and personages, 3 The Saul Zanetz Company came to an 'amicable resolution'. 4
TORn's April Fools Prank played on this story by reporting:
Message Board : Posting levels and Forum Names changed to a Hobbit film production crew theme
The names for posting levels on the message boards were changed from ones referencing LOTR (and general Middle-earth terms) to various film crew positions.
Prank News Article : Press Release announcing Stuart Townsend and Saiorse Ronan cast for The Hobbit
Prank Press Release picked up by other websites
Less than 24 hours after TheOneRing.net posted its Prank Press Release, the same article was found on numerous other sites as well as evidence it had been posted on a few others and then removed. The website moviegno.me wrote their own article (directly quoting the Prank Press Release only minimally) but credited TORn as the source and provided a link back to the original article. New Release Movie (screencap) copied the entire Prank Press Release but changed words here and there. "TheOneRing.net" appeared in the title of the article but no link back to TORn was provided. Monsters and Critics published a mix of their own writing and chunks of text quoted directly from the Prank Press Release (not put in quotations). TheOneRing.net was not credited or mentioned in their article. Movies.ie wrote a completely original article (drawing information from the Prank Press Release) that included a direct (prank) quote from the ‘casting director’. Even though the site admitted that another article they wrote about The Hobbit was a prank, their rewrite of TORn’s article started with, "This one isn’t an April Fools joke... we promise!" TORn was not mentioned or credited.
A Google News search (conducted about 12 hours after TORn published the Prank Press Release on it’s website) using search words Hobbit Stuart Townsend resulted in 7 hits. Six had been published after the Prank Press Release. Two of those were dead links, and the title of one clearly indicated it was a reprint or rewrite of TORn's Prank Press Release. Additionally, the trackbacks shown at the bottom of TORn’s Prank Press Release page contained an additional dead link with a title drawn from the Prank Press Release.
Message Board : Posting levels changed to a Hobbit theme
The names for posting levels on the message boards were changed from ones referencing LOTR (and general Middle-earth terms) to ones drawing from The Hobbit.
Prank News Article : Leaked Press Release Draft: Hobbit Filming to begin October 10
Message Board : Posting levels changed to a Harry Potter theme
Prank News Article : The Hobbit...TRILOGY?!
Message Board : Posting levels changed to a Harry Potter theme and posting levels reversed
Prank News Article : TORn to be Acquired by Time Warner
Prank News Article : Jackson to direct Live Action ‘Powerpuff Girls’ Movie?
Prank story picked up by other websites
Prank News Article : "The Hobbit" To Begin Principal Photography In New Zealand In 2005
Prank News Article : The Return Of The King Domestic Release Date Moved To May 12, 2004
Prank News Article : Andrew Lesnie Loses Oscar
Prank News Article : New Line Acquires TheOneRing.net
Prank News Article : Peter Jackson Arrested
Prank News Article : 'Lord of the Ringolos Contest'
1 April 1st, 2010 ~ TORn News Article: EXCLUSIVE: The Official Hobbit Press Release! – Update – Yup, April Fools! ⇑