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Veteran British actor Christopher Lee is off to New Zealand to shoot some new scenes for the second installment of The Lord of the Rings, “The Two Towers. ” Apparently someone got word on one of the many web sites that director Peter Jackson was planning to change the way in which Lee’s character, the wizard Saruman, meets his fate. In the book, the wizard is finally killed by his own twisted lieutenant. Word is that Jackson is planning to stage a dramatic fall from the battlements in which the wizard gets impaled on a spike or other protruding weapon. Anyone familiar with Lee’s body of work will recognize this as a sort of in-joke, an allusion to the end of of his many Hammer films in the Dracula cycle. If it’s true, it seems silly. Fans have apparently put together petitions which Lee is taking with him to New Zealand to persuade director Jackson to nix the idea. You’d think at age 80 the actor has earned a little relief from allusions to a character he hasn’t played in 30 years. For more info on this, visit the actor’s superb web site.

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