As we were all promised, today has seen the release of a brand new trailer for The Hobbit, giving us our best look yet at the movie, and suggests the film will have more humour and perhaps a lighter tone than the Lord Of The Rings (which mirrors the difference in feel between the books). It’s certainly familiar and yet still feels new. The movie, which is the first of three Hobbit movies hits UK cinemas on December 14th.
This week is getting all Tolkien-y, as fans are marking the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit’s publication. Unsurprisingly Peter Jackson and the other makers of the upcoming movie adaptation want to get in on the action, releasing a new gallery of great character images (which you can see above and below). Jackson has also promised a new trailer for the movie on Wednesday, to get us excited for the December 14th release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Here’s the film’s synopsis, in case you’re interested, ‘The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
‘Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.
‘Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.’
While a couple of months ago it was confirmed The Hobbit was changing from being two movies to three, we didn’t know when the third film would be released, or which of the films was getting a new title. Now we know, as Warner Bros has released a statement, saying that the final film will be titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again (which was previously what the second film was going to be called), and will be released worldwide on July 18th, 2014.
The studio also announced the title of the second installment in the franchise will be The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and will keep its release date on December 13th, 2013. The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens December 14th, 2012.
Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, stated, “We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogy. Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tentpole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure.”
Some fans will undoubtedly still feel adding a third film is just a cash-grab, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it works.
A few days ago we reported that Peter Jackson was ‘deep in talks’ with Warner Bros about turning the two planned Hobbit movies into a trilogy. It’s now been confirmed that’s exactly what’s going to happen, with THR reporting that we’ll get The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and There & Back Again in December 2012 and 2013 as planned, with a third, currently untitled movie arriving some time Summer 2014.
While there’d been rumblings of discontent at the idea of turning it into a trilogy, especially as The Hobbit is a shorter book than any of the three Lord Of The Rings novels, Jackson is ready to defend the decision. He says in a statement, “Upon recently viewing a cut of the first film, and a chunk of the second, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and I were very pleased with the way the story was coming together. We recognized that the richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, gave rise to a simple question: do we tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as filmmakers and fans was an unreserved ‘yes.’
“We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and—lastly, and most importantly—we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure. I’m delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.”
It’s unclear is this means more footage will need to be shot, although Jackson has previously said he’s always intended to include a lot of material Tolkien included in the appendixes to Lord Of The Rings and that he’s shot a lot of extra footage. We’ll reserve judgement, but it does seem a bit of a stretch to say we really need The Hobbit as a trilogy.
As The Hobbit is a shorter book than any of the three parts of Lord Of The Rings, many wondered if there was enough plot for two films, but at Comic-Con, Peter Jackson suggested he was thinking as actually making it into three. Now THR reports that the director is in “accelerated” talks with the studio about making a third movie.
The filmmaker has said that he shot an abundance of material that he would not be able to fit into either of the planned movies, which sparked speculation that a third movie may be in the works. Warner Bros. is now reportedly on board with the proposal, if they can make it for the right price, since new deals will have to be negotiated with cast members. At any rate, a decision must be made very soon, according to an unidentified source close to the production, “If we’re going to do it, we have to make a decision soon. It’s strongly driven by the filmmakers’ desire to tell more of the story.”
If a third movie is given the green light, shooting will likely take place for a couple of months in New Zealand, sometime next summer. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is slated for release on December 14th, with The Hobbit: There and Back Again arriving in cinemas December 13th, 2013. The proposed third movie would likely debut during December of 2014, if it comes to fruition.
Ahead of The Hobbit’s panel at Comic-Con comes a truly huge Scroll banner that shows us many of the characters from the films in a beautiful setting. You may not be able to see to much in the version above, but if you click on it, it’ll take you to EW, which has a huge scrollable version you can really pore over.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is out on December 14th.
The Hobbit has been a bit of an epic shoot, but after 266 days in front of the camera, Peter Jackson has announced that production has wrapped. That doesn’t mean the work is over, as there’s a hell of a lot of editing and special effects work to be completed.
He also posted a set photo featuring himself behind a clapboard, which you can seen above, and posted the following message, “We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con! Cheers, Peter J”
Now we just need to wait until December 26th for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, while There And Back Again will arrive a year later.
There are an awful lot of people who are ticking off the days until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released on December 14th. Now 10 new pics have been released from the movie, via EW.
Take a look at the images above and below, and then try and live with the fact you’re going to have to wait another five and a half months to see the movie. The images include some returnees to Middle Earth, including Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, and of course Andy Serkis’ Gollum.
Peter Jackson is a big fan of keeping people in the loop with his movies, releasing behind-the-scenes video blogs covering various aspects of the production. We’ve already had a few for The Hobbit, and now a new one has been released in which Jackson takes us on location to the rural parts of New Zealand where he’s recreating Middle Earth. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released December 14th, 2012, with The Hobbit: There And Back Again coming a year later.
The Hobbit may have been shooting for months, but with a year long production schedule, it’s still adding cast members, with the last being Billy Connolly, who Variety reports will play the dwarf Dain Ironfoot.
The character is a mighty dwarf and a cousin of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Here’s what director Peter Jackson had to say about his final cast member, “We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connolly, the Big Yin himself. With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of The Hobbit is now complete. We can’t wait to see him on the Battlefield!”
Peter Jackson is shooting both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and its follow-up, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, back-to-back. It isn’t known if Dain Ironfoot will appear in both movies, but it seems likely he will be more prominently featured in the second, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.