Adapted into a trilogy of movies by Peter Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien’s much loved novel “The Hobbit” (1937) will see the first of the three movies, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012), have its world premiere in New Zealand on 28th November 2012. Thereafter it will be released in UK cinemas from December 14th 2012 and pretty much everywhere else by the end of the year.
The cast includes:
- Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey
- Martin Freeman as young Bilbo Baggins (the hobbit)
- Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
- Ian Holm as old Bilbo Baggins
- Aidan Turner as Kíli
- James Nesbitt as Bofur
- Hugo Weaving as Elrond
- Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn
- Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
- Andy Serkis as Gollum
- Stephen Fry as Master of Lake-town
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug and as The Necromancer
- Billy Connolly as Dáin II Ironfoot
- Barry Humphries as the Great Goblin
- Christopher Lee as Saruman the White
- Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
- Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown
- Orlando Bloom as Legolas
- Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel
- Bret McKenzie as Lindir
So what’s it about?
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.” Source: Warner Bros. press release for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
So why should I care?
I asked each of the Nine Nazgul (the most caring guys in the business) why they thought you might want to go see this movie.
Here are their reasons below:
REASON NO. 1: PETER JACKSON’S DIRECTING
You should care if you enjoyed Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy from 2001-2003 and are happy that the Academy Award winning director is back onboard to direct these prequel adventures to the “Lord of the Rings” saga.
REASON NO. 2: DEL TORO
You might also be happy that Guillermo del Toro’s influence & vision will be sprinkled throughout the trilogy. Del Toro was originally slated to direct until scheduling conflicts made this impossible. Jackson consequently stepped in and has already made it clear that a great deal of the work del Toro underwent in preparing for the film will be present in the final production. Peter Jackson and the man behind “Pan’s Labyrinth”(2006) – what’s not to love?
REASON NO. 3: OLD FRIENDS ARE BACK
Maybe you’d like another opportunity to catch up with old friends? Several cast members from The Lord of the Rings will reportedly reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Andy Serkis as Gollum, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Ian Holm as old Bilbo and Hugo Weaving as Elrond. Just like old times then.
REASON NO. 4: IT MIGHT JUST BE BETTER THAN YOU IMAGINED
You may also care if, like me, you have read these stories since childhood and are happy that they are finally being made into great movies.
After all, you may have watched Ralph Bakshi’s truncated “Lord of the Rings” (1978) and forever wondered why:
A) they never got the money to finish the final third of the movie
B) why it was never made (or remade) as a live-action film instead of Bakshi’s very worthy yet aborted effort? [NB: Bakshi’s version was the first entirely rotoscoped animated feature film I am lead to believe.]
REASON 5: IT’S DEFINITELY GOING TO BE BETTER THAN THE COMPUTER GAME
You may also have spent days wasting your time playing one of the first “text adventure” computer games, “The Hobbit” (for Spectrum 48K and Commodore computers) with its blocky graphics and limited understanding of typed commands like “Open door” or “Go North”. An addictive and exasperating experience in equal measure, you may never have reached the end of that adventure and wondered what “the Hobbit” might look like as a slightly less frustrating and less blocky representation. Yet as exasperating as this game was, it did have a certain charm and allowed for some real moments of humour.
Incidentally, you can play this museum piece of a game online here: http://www.play-roms-online.net/online-spectrum-games/the-hobbit.
Ah nostalgia… 3D and IMAX will blow this memory out of the water.
REASON NO. 6: IT’S IN 3D!
Speaking of all things techy….
From thehobbit.com’s website: Under Jackson’s direction, “The Hobbit” Trilogy has been shot consecutively in digital 3D 48 frames-per-second using the latest camera and stereo technology and will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D.
From http://tolkiengateway.net: Breaking with conventional filming techniques, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are being filmed by capturing 48 frames per second (FPS), twice the normal film standard of 24 frames per second. This makes the film look far more realistic. When describing what people thought when they saw clips of The Hobbit shown at 48 frames per second, Peter Jackson said that it’s ‘like the back of the cinema has had a hole cut out of it where the screen is and you’re actually looking into the real world’.
Possibly might be worth checking the film out for this reason alone.
REASON 7: THE “SHERLOCK” BOYS ARE INVOLVED
Alternatively, you may just be a fan of Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch from BBC’s “Sherlock” and are happy that they will take centre stage on the big screen, as “Bilbo” and “Smaug the dragon” respectively.
REASON 8: IT’S BOUND TO BE ENTERTAINING
Who knows, you may just be happy to sit through an hour or two of fantasy adventure in the run up to Christmas and New Year.
REASON NO. 9: SYLVESTER MCCOY
Very finally… A new member of the Istari (or wizards) joins the film to rival Saruman the White and Gandalf the Grey: Radagast the Brown. Unlike Saruman and Gandalf, Radagast is thought to be more interested in the flora and fauna in Middle Earth than in its power struggles and politics. Nevertheless, he will play a “considerably important” role in this trilogy of movies according to Christopher Lee… and he’s played by ex Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy.
And that’s it in a nutshell.
Heck, you could go see it on a 2-for-One Orange Wednesday deal if you’re still unsure. Maybe Gandalf will go with you.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will be released on December 14, 2012, with the second film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” releasing December 13, 2013, and the third film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” slated for July 18, 2014.
Watch the official Warner Bros trailer here:
Watch the first production video of the making of “The Hobbit” on Youtube (Introduced by Peter Jackson):