The final two parts of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy has officially resumed production in New Zealand this week. The second and third parts are titled The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again respectively. Jackson took to Facebook to post a behind the scenes photo that shows himself with Ian McKellen’s Gandalf the Grey at the start of production which you can see above. The trilogy was directed, co-written and produced by Jackson and based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit.
Bryan Singer, the director of the upcoming film X-Men: Days of Future Past, recently discussed the new project and why it is his most ambitious one yet. One of the reasons it is so highly anticipated is that both casts of from the original X-Men films and the most recent X-Men: First Class will appear. Singer talked about X-Men: Days of Future Past in an interview with Empire.
When speaking about the sheer magnitude of the film and those involved, Singer mentioned how it was to work with both casts of the previous films as well as the ideas of time travel!
It’s epic. I don’t think people realize how big this movie’s going to be. We get to bring both casts together. We’ve cracked it in a way that it makes sense. I had a two-hour conversation with James Cameron about time travel, string theory, multiverses and all that. You have to create your rules and stick with them. That’s why Terminator and Back To The Future work so well. And there are certain mechanisms in X-Men, certain powers, perceptions and characters, that make this possible.”
In prospect of the combination cast, Singer addressed fans concerns that film will not adhere to the original source material.
It has a lot of aspects of the comic. The actual comic of Days Of Future Past had a whole ton of stuff going on, so it’s like any of these things; you have to distill it. But I think the fans will be pleased that some of the most exciting parts of Days Of Future Past are going to be connected to this movie.”
One of the major worries about X-Men: Days of Future Past has to do with continuity. Fans wonder whether the film will acknowledge the events of the previous films due to continuity issues, but Singer assures that every film in the series will be taken into account as canon.
“I’m taking into account every movie – I’m not just grabbing my first two movies and First Class and smashing them together. I’m taking into account the entire universe as it’s been laid out so far on the screen, and really respecting it and trying to work with that. People took things in various directions, so there’s some clean-up. But ultimately I’m not just ignoring them either.”
X-Men: Days of Future Past will hit theaters on July 18, 2014. Confirmed cast members for the film include Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore and Hugh Jackman.
Actor-Comedian Billy Connolly joins the cast of Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated film The Hobbit. Adapted from J.R.R. Tokien’s books of the same name, The Hobbit serves as a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series which Jackson also directed.
The Hobbit which has been split into two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are currently in production and being shot back-to-back in New Zealand.
Connolly is known for his roles in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Last Samurai and of course as Il Duce; the one man army; in The Boondock Saints. In the Hobbit, he will play the role of Dain Ironfoot, the warrior dwarf who is lord of all dwarves and second cousin to Thorin Oakenshield; maybe he’ll even become crowned King under the Mountain one day after Oakenshield.
Director Peter Jackson welcomed this news of Connolly bringing the firefight to Middle-earth:
“We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connelly, 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!”
Connolly’s presence as a warrior will be greeted with just as much excitement as other notable members of this eclectic cast.
There’s the healing aura of Sylvester McCoy who is known for his role as the seventh Doctor in the Doctor Who series; The last lead to have his face in the Doctor Who opening titles. McCoy will play the role of Radagast the Brown, a member of the order of wizards specializing in animal lore.
Aidan Turner; the non-sparkly vampire from the original U.K. version of “Being Human”; will be playing the role of Kili. Kili is one of the nephews to Oakenshield and is one of the youngest Dwarves in the Company who is always seen with his brother Fili.
The central role of Bilbo Baggins will be played Martin Freeman; Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Dr. John Watson on the BBC show of Sherlock.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey from the Lord of the Rings trilogy; which is just another overpowered character that Mckellen plays like Dumbledore and Magneto.
I knew that the Hobbit was coming out but I never took a look at the cast until now. Even if we were to remove the Tolkien Fantasy element; a most appropriately used description; a handful of the cast alone generates so much geek cred that it could band together to defeat Peter Jackson’s ego once and for all.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is slated to be released beginning December 14, 2012. The second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is planned for release the following year, beginning December 13, 2013.