Tag Archives: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit Resumes Production in New Zealand

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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.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was one of the hottest movies to release last year and the beginning of a much-anticipated trilogy. Optionated is excited to offer a brand new giveaway that will give you the chance to win the Blu-ray combo pack of the film.

About the film:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an amazing 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 Sorcerers. From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

What you get:

One winner will receive a copy of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray Combo Pack.

How to enter:

Take the Are You 100% Hobbit Quiz below and send an email with you name and results from the Are You 100% Hobbit Quiz to Contest@bsckids.com. Please make the title The Hobbit so we know which contest you are entering. If you follow us on Twitter (@Optionated_) or Facebook you get two chances to win, just make sure you include the name you follow us under in the entry email. We will be announcing winners on April 1st! Good Luck!

*You must be 18 years or older to participate. Giveaway is open to residents of US only. 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Surpasses $500M Worldwide

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It is no surprise that Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated adaptation, The Hobbit: An Unexpected has faired extremely well in the box office. As of date, the film has officially surpassed the $500 million benchmark at the worldwide box office.

Domestically, the film has earned an estimated  $179.7 million. Also the film had a record-breaking release in Australia — the biggest Boxing Day opening of all time.  So far it has grossed an estimated $344 million internationally, for a global total of $523.7 million.

The joint announcement was made today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema; Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios; Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures; and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Pictures, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the acclaimed first film in Oscar®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s epic “The Hobbit Trilogy,” based on the timeless novel by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Hobbit: For the Fans, by a Fan

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Rachel –

Ahh The Hobbit. Here at last. Remember back when we started this column for Optionated? The anticipation post for The Hobbit was our first piece. Even more than a year ago we couldn’t wait to see this film and now it is finally here!

I am ready.

Oh I am soooo ready.

We’ve had a lot of changes since our original post. The production videos have brought me back into full-fledged Middle Earth fangirlisms. I feel extreme nostalgia for kiwi accents. I desire hours and hours of extended documentary footage following every goddamn employee that worked on this film. ALL OF THEM. I’ve re-read the novel. I still can’t remember all of the dwarves’ names. LET’S DO THIS.

Proper preparation for viewing The Hobbit:

  1. Peruse “Randy Thrandy”, “Dwarf Racist Party Dad” and “Party Time Thranduil” tags on Tumblr. Become obsessed with totally inaccurate internet interpretation of King Thranduil.
  2. Purchase “Party Thrandy” tshirt to wear to the film even though Thranduil will occupy about 5 seconds of footage.
  3. Dramamine even though it will make you fall asleep because everyone is saying the 3D 48fps will make you sick to your stomach.
  4. Coffee to counteract the Dramamine.
  5. Obsess over the novel again and try to figure out when the best time will be to take a pee break.
  6. Get really uppity with people excited about The Hobbit – I WAS THERE IN ’01! Realize you are an asshole. Quit it.
  7. Get side-tracked on the Smaug-Cumberbatch/Bilbo-Watkins Tumblr tag.
  8. Totally forget Evangeline Lily is in the film. (Probably not. Probably the next one) Remember suddenly while walking down the street. Realize, you are totally OK with Middle Earth getting more bad-ass lady residents. Be at peace.
  9. THERE ARE THREE MOVIES FOR THE HOBBIT? THE HOBBIT IS 200 PAGES LONG. YOU WOULDN’T GET ENOUGH POINTS TO QUALIFY FOR A SLICE OF PIZZA IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL READ-A-THON! HOW CAN THERE BE THREE FILMS?
  10.  Party Time
  11. Secret Step: Get your replica of The Ring of Power out of your jewelry box. Polish it. Love it. Post a picture on face book that instantly convinces your mother you got secretly married. (Obv. To Sauron.) Never let anyone handle your replica. Or touch it. Or do anything with it because it is MINE. MY OWN. MY….. PRECIOUS.

Elena-

My preparations were slightly different. I spent the week leading up to the film:

  1. Resisting the urge to reread the book at the eleventh hour (I haven’t read it since college, AKA closer to a decade than a year ago at this point), because rereading the book JUST before seeing the film never goes well for me. I like to take a film on its own terms.
  2. Laying out my Randy Thrandy power tee for the viewing. Blessing Rachel for giving me an easier alternative than actual cosplay to wear.
  3. Brushing up on my Sindarin so I won’t have to read the translation of every word King Thranduil the Beautiful whispers sweetly to me in Elvish. This way I will know that, whatever the words on the screen are, what he is really saying is “Come to me, Starfire Brightmaiden” (this is my Elvish name. Don’t question it.)….
  4. Illegally downloading the soundtrack to the cartoon version because, seriously, WTF iTunes, WHERE IS IT?
  5. Wondering how the hell there will be a third movie if they get all the way to Mirkwood in this one. Deciding I don’t care because it just means I get to see Thranduil sooner.
  6. Taking Rachel’s advice and falling down the rabbit-hole of Tumblr tags into the Wonderland that is the (Party) King of the Wood Elves as seen through the internet.
  7. Going from resigned that the film is actually going to exist to “epitomizing Beatles meets Tolkien” in 60 minutes flat (it’s all Lee Pace’s fault. He shouldn’t be so awesome).

I did not expect to get excited about this film. I grew less enamored of LOTR as the trilogy went on and as I have revisited it in the decade since.  I was enthused about a Del Toro version (thinking of Pan’s Labyrinth Del Toro, let me be clear) and sort of resigned to a PJ version that would be pretty much exactly like LOTR, except based on the book that meant just a little more to me than even the trilogy did.

But I broke down at the end and got really pumped about this movie in the last week before it came out.  Thanks entirely to the fandom and the ridiculousness that is Tumblr and meme-generator and all of it.  And even though the film wasn’t, for me, as fun as the excitement, I am still so happy I got that week of pure anticipatory pleasure.  A very sincere thank you to all the people who wrote crazy shit about Thranduil on the interwebs.  And Lee Pace, for existing and taking this role and putting up with having his face associated with Dwarf Racist Party Time Thrandy Who Sparkles and Carries a Wine Scepter While Riding a Moose.  Y’all are all awesome and I love you for it.

So.  About the film…

Reaction

Elena-

Yeaaahhhh…about the film.  I…didn’t hate it?  In fact I even kind of liked it, despite myself, because it’s the fucking Hobbit and that’s the first non-toddler book that was ever read to me and it will always have first place in my heart and this was a pretty faithful adaptation of the book onto the screen and so I couldn’t entirely dislike it even though I feel that, objectively speaking, it wasn’t great.

I wrote a really long and really boring diatribe about what I didn’t like about this movie.  Bored the shit out of Rachel and made her threaten to disown me.  (Ha! She’d cry for days if we didn’t speak again.  Wait.  This is Darth Rachel. She doesn’t cry about things. She’d just send her pet dragon to eradicate all traces of me from the Earth so she would not have to be sad, because how can one mourn what never existed?  I guess it’s a good thing I have had a few days to let my criticisms simmer down to small but potent matter.)  I am not going to run that first version of this review.  It was long.  And boring.  And, most importantly, pretty inarticulate because it still didn’t say quite what I wanted it to say.

Here’s what I want to say, verbatim from an IM with Rachel.

Elena: my take on this movie, my problem but why i understand the people who love it for this reason, is that he made a film for the fans and not for the sake of making an objectively good film

different goals drive different executions

i think he met his goal

i wanted the other goal

the end

Rachel: ah. yea.. i’m a fan. so. yay.

Elena-

The Hobbit isn’t bad.  Not bad bad (shut up, Tom Hardy as Bronson, you weren’t even in this movie! Although you would have made an excellent addition to the Hot Dwarves ’13 calendar…).  For the average movie-goer it’s going to be a lot of fun, nothing to complain about in terms of structure, acting, effects, etc.  It’s a pretty faithful rendering of the book to the screen, if with a ton of added stuff that was going on in the background that you don’t learn about in the book but later, when you read LOTR (or even later, when you read the appendices of LOTR).

And while I guess a big studio film that is true to the book is better than a big studio film that isn’t, I find I’ve become a little bit of a film snob in the last 10 years, and it’s really hard for me to actually like a movie that I don’t find amazing as a piece of cinema.  Again, it wasn’t bad.  It just wasn’t…art.  PJ is not Paul Thomas Anderson or Tomas Alfredson or Terrence Malick. He makes solid films in a predictably cinematic way, corrals large casts and big budgets with confidence, and puts together inoffensively easy to watch movies.  Fine.  For me to thoroughly love a movie I need more.  This was a B movie for me because the style of moviemaking was just solidly there, not something deep and profound on a cinematic level.

Also, I got bored in places.  I will freely admit I get bored watching the extended editions of LOTR.  They are too long.  This felt like PJ  just went for it and put the extended edition out in theaters (hence the third film).  So for me it was 5-10% too long across the whole movie.  I was ready to get to the point and move on about 2 minutes before that happened in almost every scene.

While I enjoyed the back-stage (versus what we see in the book) story, I felt like the movie swings between two extremes, the cartoonish Radagast and the full-on Nazgul darkness of LOTR, and the two do not work as being part of the same film.  I think there are ways to include Radagast and make him weird and eccentric without making him Looney Toons manic.

Finally, my biggest issue, was the high frame rate.  It. Looked.  Terrible.  Maybe the opening scenes in Bilbo’s hobbit-hole and the Hobbiton set looked good with it, sharper and clearer than they otherwise would have, but the rest of the time the movie looked like a soap opera daydream of a fantasy adventure.  I can’t watch movies on TVs that have the soap operatic effect (it’s a real thing, Google it), and this whole thing was intentionally filmed that way?  I wanted to see it thinking maybe intentionally filming it at that speed would make it better.  Nooope.  Call me a luddite, but I’ll take the speed of real film to my dying day.  I feel like everyone’s afraid to call the film out on this because it’s new tech, ooh, isn’t it shiny and special?, but I am not afraid to call bullshit.  THE EMPEROR HAS LOST HIS PANTS.  I REPEAT, THE EMPEROR IS NOT WEARING CLOTHES.  High frame rate sucks.  Also so does 3D.  Let’s get the fuck over that trend already, too. The end.

There were things I liked.  I appreciated the faithfulness to the book story. I enjoyed seeing the additions played out on center stage instead of discussed in the abstract of history.  The Gollum scene was everything I could have hoped for.  Best section of the movie, by far.  The dollar per second of Thranduil was worth the cost of admission just by itself.

Basically, what I’m saying is, I was disappointed with this film aesthetically but was still somehow okay with it because in the end it is The Hobbit and at least PJ didn’t ruin the story by changing it and Lee Pace is awesome and he rode a fucking moose and was pretty and vaguely sad like Elves always are and I think he must have muttered some Elvish spell under his breath because, swoon, and in the next one I get to see him drink wine and curse dwarves and talk about dungeons and I would totally be okay with getting thrown in his dungeon because it will be like Fifty Shades of Green with Randy Thrandy the Elvish Party King and ohmygoddidIjustsaythatoutloudI’mgoingtostopnow.

Rachel-

I’m a hater. I’m a hater who decided prior to seeing The Hobbit that I was going to hate it because three movies was unjustifiable and the new cameras were a gag.

I was wrong. I loved it. Elena is dumb.

I’ve seen it twice. Once in regular 24 fps 3D and once in the Director-intended 48 fps 3D. It’s much better (at least in 3D) in the high frame rate. So shoot me. The high frame rate rendered the 3D clearer (3D sucks, but if I have to watch it, this might be the best way). Any discomfort or weirdness was gone by the time Frodo (haha, his FACE) ran off to the East Farthing Wood.
Also, after seeing the first part of this trilogy, I kind of hate myself for ever doubting that PJ would approach the story from the same place of respect and love that he did for LOTR. Only a man truly in sync with the subject matter would give us Party Time Thrandy on a giant Elk going “is…is that…DWARF waving at me? Gross!” and rabbit sleds with the 7th Doctor and a complete tour of Bag End, and SEXY DWARVES (Looking at you Fili and STOPPITKILI and Thorin and you, too, Bofur. You minx. Call me.)

I’m a fan, I will take all of the Middle Earth that PJ presents to me. If Radagast wasn’t explicitly needed for the plot I’m sure glad I got to see him! Saruman muttering about mushrooms and Galadriel on a turn table is just what I needed to help me through my continuing affliction: Missing Tom Bombadil Disorder. (Sometimes, when it’s quiet, I sing his songs to myself while weeping. Bright blue his jacket is/And his boots are *sob* yellloooow.)

When it comes down to it…The Hobbit itself wasn’t necessary. We know how the story ends. LOTR was already made. Already successful. If an unnecessary (and… let’s face it, all book adaptations are unnecessary because THE BOOKS EXIST) film was made because a fan wanted to make it and fans want to watch it, then well you’re just kind of a jerk for bitching about 20 extra minutes of run time than you’re used to or the fact that PJ can’t go back in time and make six LOTR movies.

You also can’t complain about the rabbit sled…BECAUSE IT WAS AWESOME. OK, ELENA? You can’t hate on a movie because it “panders” to the fans. Joe on the street wants to randomly see a fantasy movie, fine. He’s not going to see a bad movie if he sits down in front of The Hobbit. He’s not. It’s not a bad movie. Just because you watched a film that did not instantly become your most favorite movie ever doesn’t mean it’s bad. We have SEEN bad movies, and this is not one of them.

You probably like that crazy Russian adaptation of The Hobbit don’t you? DON’T YOU? In this instance, you are Radagast knocking back a bunch of mushrooms and I am Saruman muttering in the corner about how much you piss me off. (No, I’m sorry, I luff you. Don’t leave me.)

Elena-

Mushrooms would probably have improved my experience.  Actually I feel like I just took some after watching that…I don’t even know what to call that.  Is it a movie?  Is it a play?  Is it just a bad dream?  What have you put in my brain you awful child?  (Never stop putting the craziest shit you can find in my brain, I luff you, too!)

Rachel-

Gollum looked absolutely incredible and uncannily like Anthony Serkis. Bravo, guys. That technology has certainly come a long way. So has the Goblin King’s goiter. HA. KILL HIM. Herding 14 and 15 people per shot with all those dwarves must have been exhausting for PJ, but it wasn’t exhausting to watch. In fact, I kind of give more of a crap about the dwarves now since PJ spent the time to show us their backstory. I know who else’s back I’d like to make stories on…wait. No. Where am I?

The only thing this film needed was more Mirkwood. More Elk-riding, party having, douche bag elves, please. I assume this will be the title of Part II.  I can’t wait to hang out with some of Middle Earth’s biggest douchebags (waves at Legolas. I will always fancy you, baby) and see a Mother. Fucking. Dragon. I will take three movies over two any day as long as PJ fills them with rock smashing giants, muttering crotchedy wizards, fuck twat elves, and sexy…sexy…sexxxxy dwarves.

Elena-

What this film needs…is more Mirkwood.  I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is, More Mirkwood.

BRING ON PART 2!  The Hobbit: A Perilous Detour Through the Greenwood. Starring Lee “I’m Not Gratuitous This Time!” Pace as Thranduil, King of the Wood Elves.

“Lee Pace is a god amongst men.” “The best 10 seconds a man has ever given me.” – Reuters

I’m serious.  Bring it.  I wants it…I wants it, precious.  It will be my birthday present.  My…precious….

The Hobbit Sets New December Opening Weekend Record

 

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Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey officially hit theaters this past weekend and has set a new December opening weekend record. The film surpassed the $77.2 million earned by Will Smith-starrer I Am Legend the same weekend in 2007. The Peter Jackson film debuted in 4,045 theaters in which it averaged a strong $20,958 per location.

The film received an A CinemaScore from moviegoers. 58% of the audience was over the ages of 25 and males made up 57% of the audience. $10.1 million of the domestic total came from the 326 IMAX theaters the film opened in this weekend. That’s an average of $31,000 per screen. Internationally, the picture broke an IMAX December record grossing $5 million in 126 IMAX locations (an average of $40,000). The IMAX locations which showed the film in 48 fps were quite strong, generating $44,000 per screen domestically and $57,000 per screen internationally. IMAX’s global weekend total for “The Hobbit” is an estimated $15+ million, which is a record for December.

Other films playing over the weekend also did very well. DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians remained in second place with $7.4 million for a four-week total of $71.4 million. DreamWorks Pictures’ Lincoln climbed a spot to third with $7.2 million. The $65 million Steven Spielberg film has earned $107.9 million after six weeks in theaters.

Skyfall drastically dropped from first place to fourth. Worldwide, the film has earned $951 million to date.

Life of Pi sits at the fifth spot with $5.4 million its fourth weekend. The Twentieth Century Fox Film release has collected $69.6 million after four weeks.

Album Art And Release Date for The Hobbit Soundtrack Revealed

Watertower Music has officially announced the upcoming release date for the soundtrack as well as album artwork for the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The soundtrack is set to be released December 11, three days before the release of the film in theaters.

The soundtrack will be available both digitally and as a 2 CD set.  A Special Edition of the soundtrack featuring six exclusive bonus tracks, seven extended score cues, and deluxe liner notes will also be available December 11. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey features original score by Academy Award® winner Howard Shore recorded at famed Abbey Road studios by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally it includes an original song entitled “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” written and performed by Neil Finn (Crowded House).

The film follows the titular hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the 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.

Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis and many, many more star in the December 14 release.

You can pre-order your copy of the special edition by clicking here.

THE HOBBIT SPECIAL EDITION TRACKLIST

DISC 1:

  • My Dear Frodo
  • Old Friends (Extended Version)
  • An Unexpected Party (Extended Version)
  • Blunt the Knives performed by The Dwarf Cast
  • Axe or Sword?
  • Misty Mountains performed by Richard Armitage and The Dwarf Cast
  • The Adventure Begins
  • The World is Ahead
  • An Ancient Enemy
  • Radagast the Brown (Extended Version)
  • The Trollshaws
  • Roast Mutton (Extended Version)
  • A Troll-hoard
  • The Hill of Sorcery
  • Warg-scouts

DISC 2:

  • The Hidden Valley
  • Moon Runes (Extended Version)
  • The Defiler
  • The White Council (Extended Version)
  • Over Hill
  • A Thunder Battle
  • Under Hill
  • Riddles in the Dark
  • Brass Buttons
  • Out of the Frying-Pan
  • A Good Omen
  • Song of the Lonely Mountain (Extended Version) performed by Neil Finn
  • Dreaming of Bag End

EXCLUSIVE BONUS TRACKS

  • A Very Respectable Hobbit
  • Erebor
  • The Dwarf Lords
  • The Edge of the Wild

THE HOBBIT STANDARD EDITION TRACKLIST

Disc 1:

  • My Dear Frodo
  • Old Friends
  • An Unexpected Party
  • Axe or Sword?
  • Misty Mountains performed by Richard Armitage and The Dwarf Cast
  • The Adventure Begins
  • The World is Ahead
  • An Ancient Enemy
  • Radagast the Brown
  • Roast Mutton
  • A Troll-hoard
  • The Hill of Sorcery
  • Warg-scouts

Disc 2:

  • The Hidden Valley
  • Moon Runes
  • The Defiler
  • The White Council
  • Over Hill
  • A Thunder Battle
  • Under Hill
  • Riddles in the Dark
  • Brass Buttons
  • Out of the Frying-Pan
  • A Good Omen
  • Song of the Lonely Mountain performed by Neil Finn
  • Dreaming of Bag End

New Trailer for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Released

The Hobbit

One of the most anticipated films of the year has a brand new trailer. Grab your wizard’s staff and prepare to blow smoke rings, we’re all set to return to the Shire for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. New Line Cinema was pleased to unveil the latest trailer for the Peter Jackson directed prequel to The Lord of the Rings this week. The show opens in 3D, 2D and IMAX theaters on December 14th.

If interaction is what you crave, hop on over to the film’s official site. See, the new trailer was designed with four additional endings. You can play director! Simply choose your favorite to create your own version of the video. Then you can even share the finished product. Hey, it isn’t the star map from Prometheus, which was an offering for fans before the debut of the film, but it still sounds fun.

Let’s test my grasp of the plot for An Unexpected Journey.

The titular hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, is Frodo’s elder relative. He’ll be acted this time around by Sherlock‘s Martin Freeman, in order to depict his younger days, before the one ring ever got into Frodo’s hands. I like this casting very much.

Bilbo gets enlisted into an epic journey, with the goal of reclaiming the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. How did the Dwarves loose Erebor? Well, a terrible dragon called Smaug was involved. So, Gandalf the Grey, adds Bilbo to a company of thirteen dwarves who are led by the very reputable warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. In addition to weaponry, he carries a very impressive nose on his face. Of course many of the dwarves have lovely rhyming names in their lineage. We’ll get the change to meet Glóin, who is Gimli’s father.

Along the way, our party are sure to encounter Goblins, Orcs, Wargs, Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Maybe Bilbo should have stayed at home!

When they pass through the goblin tunnels, or make an attempt at least, this is where fate leads Bilbo to meet Gollum. That’s a scene that I can’t wait to see.

The ring, of course, alters everyone’s fate from there. Cue the dramatic music.

You see quite a bit of Elrond in this new trailer. Returning to the role is the great Hugo Weaving.

It seems not too long ago The Hobbit was reportedly going to be two films, but the latest news says there will be three. More Middle Earth is better, yes? The Desolation of Smaug is due out next year and There and Back Again follows in 2014.

Dwarves aren’t the only thing The Hobbit is filled with. Check out some of the big names attached to the project. Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Christopher Lee, Billy Connolly, Evangeline Lilly, Elijah Wood, and Orlando Bloom have been cast. Lost‘s Lilly has a role Jackson is said to have created himself. Of course Cate Blanchett returns as Galadriel. She’s married to the ruler of Lothlórien, so I’m not sure why she’s making eyes at Gandalf.

Another bit of casting that makes me do a happy dance is Luke Evans in the role of Bard the Bowman, an archer. Evans is a hottie my friends. I’ve much enjoyed watching him in Immortals and The Raven, where he co-starred with John Cusack.

Let’s all raise our glasses. I think Peter Jackson will make J.R.R. Tolkien proud.

You can watch the brand new trailer below:

Filming For The Hobbit Officially Wraps

Filming for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again has officially wrapped. Jackson also released a new promotional poster for The Hobbit, in which strangely, there are no hobbits in sight. You can see the new poster above.

Director Peter Jackson announced the news via his Facebook page on Thursday, with the photo below captioned, “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.”

An Unexpected Journey

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 Wargsand 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.

There and Back Again

Thorin and Company have reached Lake-town and it is time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. If Bilbo and the others are able to gain the treasure, will they be able to keep it? And will they discover what has become of the wizard Gandalf?
An Unexpected Journey will be released in 3D, 2D and IMAX theaters on Dec. 14, followed by There and Back Again on Dec. 13, 2013.

The film has a very large cast with several award winning and well known actors including:

  • Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit and the protagonist of the film.
  • Ian Holm as old Bilbo Baggins.
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey: A wizard who recruits Bilbo and helps to arrange the quest to reclaim the Dwarves’ lost treasure in Erebor.
  • Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield: The leader of the Company of Dwarves who have set out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon.
  • Graham McTavish as Dwalin: One of the Company of Dwarves that accompanies Bilbo and Thorin on the Quest of Erebor.
  • Ken Stott as Balin: A member of the Company of Dwarves and the brother of Dwalin. He is described in the novel as “always their look-out man.
  • Aidan Turner as Kíli: One of Thorin’s nephews who sets out on the Quest of Erebor.
  • Dean O’Gorman as Fíli.
  • Mark Hadlow as Dori: A member of the Company of Dwarves. He is described in the novel as “a decent fellow, despite his grumbling,” while Thorin described him as being the strongest member of the Company.
  • Jed Brophy as Nori: A member of the Company of Dwarves and brother of Dori and Ori.
  • Adam Brown as Ori: A member of the Company of Dwarves. The role will mark Brown’s first film appearance.
  • John Callen as Óin: A member of the Company of Dwarves and brother of Glóin.
  • Peter Hambleton as Glóin: A member of the Company of Dwarves and brother of Óin.
  • William Kircher as Bifur: One of the twelve companions of Thorin and Bilbo on the Quest of Erebor and the cousin of Bofur and Bombur.
  • James Nesbitt as Bofur: One of the Company of Dwarves and the cousin of Bifur and brother of Bombur, he is described as “a disarmingly forthright, funny and occasionally brave Dwarf.”
  • Stephen Hunter as Bombur: Described in the novel as being fat and clumsy, he is the brother of Bofur and the cousin of Bifur.
  • Andy Serkis as Gollum.
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond: The Elven master of Rivendell. Elrond gives shelter to Bilbo’s party, after which, presumably, the two become friends.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug: One of the last remaining dragons in Middle-earth. He guards the treasure in Erebor.
    • Also voices the Necromancer: Ruler of the stronghold of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood; he is later revealed to be Sauron and is driven out by the White Council.
  • Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn: A shape-shifter (or, in the actual text, a “skin-changer”), a man who could assume the appearance of a great black bear. In the novel, he lives with his animal retinue (horses, dogs and cows, among others) in a wooden house between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood. Beorn received Gandalf, Bilbo and the 13 Dwarves and aided them in their quest to reclaim the Dwarves’ kingdom beneath Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. He was convinced of their trustworthiness after confirming their tale of encountering the Goblins of the Misty Mountains and Gandalf’s slaying of their leader, the Great Goblin.
  • Lee Pace as Thranduil: Referred to in the novel as “The Elvenking”, he is the ruler of the realm of the northern part of Mirkwood. He is also the father of Legolas. In the novel, the Dwarves are captured by Thranduil’s guards and locked in his dungeons when they refuse to divulge their intentions.
  • Stephen Fry as Master of Lake-town: The leader of the settlement of Men at Lake-town near the Lonely Mountain.
  • Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman: Bard of Esgaroth was a skilled archer and the heir of Girion, the last king of old Dale, described as “grim faced”. He rallied the guards to defend the town when the Dragon came, slaying the dragon himself. He later leads the Men of Esgaroth at the Battle of Five Armies and is crowned king of the re-founded Dale.
  • Billy Connolly as Dáin II Ironfoot: A great dwarf warrior, ruler of the Iron Hills and cousin of Thorin Oakenshield.
  • Barry Humphries as the Great Goblin: The ruler of the underground caverns in the Misty Mountains.
  • Christopher Lee as Saruman the White: Head of Gandalf’s Order of Wizards and the White Council.
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: An Elf and the co-ruler of Lothlórien along with her husband, Lord Celeborn.
  • Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown: A wizard of Gandalf’s Order.
  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: A hobbit and favourite relative of Bilbo Baggins.
  • Jeffrey Thomas as Thrór: King of Durin’s folk, the son of Dáin I, father of Thráin II and grandfather of Thorin Oakenshield.
  • Mike Mizrahi as Thráin II: A Dwarven king, Thráin is the son of Thrór and father of Thorin Oakenshield.
  • Conan Stevens as Azog: An Orc chieftain of Moria. He killed King Thrór, who came to revisit the ruins of Khazad-dûm. In the following years, he was the common enemy of all Dwarves and the war he started climaxed in the Battle of Azanulbizar, where he killed Náin, only to be himself slain by Náin’s son Dáin II Ironfoot.
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas: The Elven Prince of Mirkwood and the son of Thranduil.
  • Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel: A female elf from Mirkwood. Her name means “daughter of Mirkwood”.
  • Bret McKenzie as Lindir: An Elf of Rivendell.
  • Ryan Gage as Alfrid:The Master of Laketown’s “conniving” servant.
  • John Bell as a yet-unnamed character who “is confident and brave and ready to do battle if required even though he is still a boy.”

New Production Video Released For The Hobbit

Peter Jackson, the famed director helming The Hobbit, has released Production Video #7, a 14 minute tour of Stone Street Studio. It was also announced by Warner Bros. Pictures that the premiere of “An Unexpected Journey” the first of two Hobbit films will take place on November 28th in New Zealand.

According to a press release from Warner Bros. Pictures the plot for both films is as follows:

An Unexpected Journey

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 Wargsand 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.

There and Back Again

Thorin and Company have reached Lake-town and it is time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. If Bilbo and the others are able to gain the treasure, will they be able to keep it? And will they discover what has become of the wizard Gandalf?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will hit 3D, 2D and IMAX theaters on December 14 and will be followed up by The Hobbit: There and Back Again on December 13, 2013.

You can watch Production Video #7 below:

The film has a very large cast with several award winning and well known actors including:

  • Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit and the protagonist of the film.
  • Ian Holm as old Bilbo Baggins.
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey: A wizard who recruits Bilbo and helps to arrange the quest to reclaim the Dwarves’ lost treasure in Erebor.
  • Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield: The leader of the Company of Dwarves who have set out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon.
  • Graham McTavish as Dwalin: One of the Company of Dwarves that accompanies Bilbo and Thorin on the Quest of Erebor.
  • Ken Stott as Balin: A member of the Company of Dwarves and the brother of Dwalin. He is described in the novel as “always their look-out man.
  • Aidan Turner as Kíli: One of Thorin’s nephews who sets out on the Quest of Erebor.
  • Dean O’Gorman as Fíli.
  • Mark Hadlow as Dori: A member of the Company of Dwarves. He is described in the novel as “a decent fellow, despite his grumbling,” while Thorin described him as being the strongest member of the Company.
  • Jed Brophy as Nori: A member of the Company of Dwarves and brother of Dori and Ori.
  • Adam Brown as Ori: A member of the Company of Dwarves. The role will mark Brown’s first film appearance.
  • John Callen as Óin: A member of the Company of Dwarves and brother of Glóin.
  • Peter Hambleton as Glóin: A member of the Company of Dwarves and brother of Óin.
  • William Kircher as Bifur: One of the twelve companions of Thorin and Bilbo on the Quest of Erebor and the cousin of Bofur and Bombur.
  • James Nesbitt as Bofur: One of the Company of Dwarves and the cousin of Bifur and brother of Bombur, he is described as “a disarmingly forthright, funny and occasionally brave Dwarf.”
  • Stephen Hunter as Bombur: Described in the novel as being fat and clumsy, he is the brother of Bofur and the cousin of Bifur.
  • Andy Serkis as Gollum.
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond: The Elven master of Rivendell. Elrond gives shelter to Bilbo’s party, after which, presumably, the two become friends.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug: One of the last remaining dragons in Middle-earth. He guards the treasure in Erebor.
    • Also voices the Necromancer: Ruler of the stronghold of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood; he is later revealed to be Sauron and is driven out by the White Council.
  • Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn: A shape-shifter (or, in the actual text, a “skin-changer”), a man who could assume the appearance of a great black bear. In the novel, he lives with his animal retinue (horses, dogs and cows, among others) in a wooden house between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood. Beorn received Gandalf, Bilbo and the 13 Dwarves and aided them in their quest to reclaim the Dwarves’ kingdom beneath Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. He was convinced of their trustworthiness after confirming their tale of encountering the Goblins of the Misty Mountains and Gandalf’s slaying of their leader, the Great Goblin.
  • Lee Pace as Thranduil: Referred to in the novel as “The Elvenking”, he is the ruler of the realm of the northern part of Mirkwood. He is also the father of Legolas. In the novel, the Dwarves are captured by Thranduil’s guards and locked in his dungeons when they refuse to divulge their intentions.
  • Stephen Fry as Master of Lake-town: The leader of the settlement of Men at Lake-town near the Lonely Mountain.
  • Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman: Bard of Esgaroth was a skilled archer and the heir of Girion, the last king of old Dale, described as “grim faced”. He rallied the guards to defend the town when the Dragon came, slaying the dragon himself. He later leads the Men of Esgaroth at the Battle of Five Armies and is crowned king of the re-founded Dale.
  • Billy Connolly as Dáin II Ironfoot: A great dwarf warrior, ruler of the Iron Hills and cousin of Thorin Oakenshield.
  • Barry Humphries as the Great Goblin: The ruler of the underground caverns in the Misty Mountains.
  • Christopher Lee as Saruman the White: Head of Gandalf’s Order of Wizards and the White Council.
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: An Elf and the co-ruler of Lothlórien along with her husband, Lord Celeborn.
  • Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown: A wizard of Gandalf’s Order.
  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: A hobbit and favourite relative of Bilbo Baggins.
  • Jeffrey Thomas as Thrór: King of Durin’s folk, the son of Dáin I, father of Thráin II and grandfather of Thorin Oakenshield.
  • Mike Mizrahi as Thráin II: A Dwarven king, Thráin is the son of Thrór and father of Thorin Oakenshield.
  • Conan Stevens as Azog: An Orc chieftain of Moria. He killed King Thrór, who came to revisit the ruins of Khazad-dûm. In the following years, he was the common enemy of all Dwarves and the war he started climaxed in the Battle of Azanulbizar, where he killed Náin, only to be himself slain by Náin’s son Dáin II Ironfoot.
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas: The Elven Prince of Mirkwood and the son of Thranduil.
  • Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel: A female elf from Mirkwood. Her name means “daughter of Mirkwood”.
  • Bret McKenzie as Lindir: An Elf of Rivendell.
  • Ryan Gage as Alfrid:The Master of Laketown’s “conniving” servant.
  • John Bell as a yet-unnamed character who “is confident and brave and ready to do battle if required even though he is still a boy.”

Peter Jackson Answers Criticism Regarding Filming The Hobbit

Director Peter Jackson is facing criticism for the style of filming he used for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. A preview of the highly anticipated film was unveiled at Cinemacon last week and despite the excitement, many of the viewers were displeased. Some of the viewers who saw the preview for the unfinished movie stated they were unimpressed with the footage. The film was shot in a “hyper-realistic” style at a rate of 48 frames per second, instead of the standard 24.

Jackson recently took on the criticism of his hyper-realtistic film during an interview with TheWrap.

He spoke about his reasons why he decided to film the movie using the 48 frames per second stating that it would “improve the film’s 3D imagery and better immerse audiences in the action.”

The director plans to continue with his original format despite audience protests.

I can’t say anything, just like you can’t say anything to someone who doesn’t like fish,” Jackson said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “You can’t explain why fish tastes great and why they should enjoy it.”

Jackson also said he feels that people will get used to the film style, and prefers that they enjoy other aspects of the movie.

“I just wonder if they were getting into the dialogue, the characters and the story,” Jackson said. “That’s what happens in the movie. You settle into it.”

Though audience members may be able to “settle into it,” Jackson may run into more problems when getting movie theaters to screen the film. Because of the style used, most theaters will have to upgrade their technology to show the film. While this may not be an issue for large chain theaters, smaller operations may turn The Hobbit down.

One theater owner said “he was unimpressed by the high frame rate footage and unsure if it was worth the investment,” according to an article by Brent Lang. “He noted that he had already made a substantial investment to convert his theaters from film to digital in recent years, spending roughly $150,000 per screen. He said that he estimated updating his projectors would cost $8,000 apiece.”

Jackson, however, said he feels higher film rates are in many directors’ future.

Nobody is going to stop,” he said. “This technology is going to keep evolving.”

An executive from New Line told TheWrap that they almost didn’t preview with film with the high frame rate but that Jackson had pushed very hard for the preview and ended up winning the debate. The executive also assured that the film would look even better once the finalized coloring and special effects were included.

Despite the lackluster response to the look of his film, there was a strong positive reaction to the overall tone and story of the film with MSN calling it “chilling and absorbing.”

The Hobbit will be released Dec. 14, and will also be available at the standard film rate of 24 frames per second. It’s sequel, The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be released on December 13, 2013.