Peter Jackson's The Hobbit

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Post by Ben » May 21st, 2011, 4:43 pm

Already commented on that, George: my original comment was a pastiche on the then-trendy setting types of posts we were getting here, though no-one seemed to pick up on the irony!



The Hobbit is obviously going to be two films, but not split half-way. The first film is the first two thirds of the book, the second will finish it and add the new and secret stuff in there that will apparently tie it up to the LOTR trilogy.

Personally, I wish they'd just make the book as two films and let it stand as a prequel to the LOTR films, so that one could watch The Hobbit first just as many would have done with the books. But supposedly they're framing it as a giant flashback with Bilbo telling the story to Frodo, so that they can tie it in as a sequel/brand it in the same universe as LOTR, not that it really needs doing.

So although the story takes place before, the context will mean we still need to watch LOTR first, and then The Hobbit, which is a bit of a shame. I'm also concerned, as I said in my post above, that the new films are becoming face heavy with their new castings, and I do hope we can believe in the characters again as opposed to being surprised by every new star name that turns up.

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Post by Ben » June 2nd, 2011, 3:40 am

Titles and dates:
The Hollywood Reporter wrote:Peter Jackson's two upcoming movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit have now been given official names and release dates.

The first of the two films, which are currenly being filmed back to back in New Zealand, will be called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when it arrives in theaters via Warners on Dec. 14, 2012.

The sequel, which will follow on Dec. 13, 2013, will be known as The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

The two prequels to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy follow the adventures of Bilbo Baggins -- to be played by Martin Freeman, with Ian Holm reprising his role as the elder Bilbo -- in his quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug.

The sprawling cast includes a number of other Rings veterans: Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey; Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast also includes Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O'Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.

Jackson has written the screenplays along with Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro, and he is also producing with Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham. The exec producers are Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner, with Boyens serving as co-producer.

The movies are productions of New Line and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warners is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing being handled by MGM.

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Post by EricJ » June 3rd, 2011, 12:56 am

Ben wrote:Titles and dates:
The sprawling cast includes a number of other Rings veterans: Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey; Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast also includes Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O'Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.
Specifically (accdg. to IMDB) Sylvester McCoy as fellow wizard Radagast--
Looks like they're working in the Appendix history before Gandalf knocks on Bilbo's door.

...As Ace would say, wicked. :lol: :?:

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Post by Ben » June 3rd, 2011, 4:53 am

You know, I hadn't thought of that. Interesting...maybe it's the other way around, or could they have found a decent way to interleave appendix material into the overall story? I'm sure we're in safe hands, whatever the outcome!

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Post by Bill1978 » June 5th, 2011, 8:03 pm

Apart from the money factor, I really don't understand why The Hobbit needs to be expanded into two movies. It can still be epic as a 3 hour movie. I really don't understand the need to put in Appendix material. I've only ever skimmed that section of the series and I feel like I'm not confused or missing anything by not knowing the Appendix stuff. All this expansion thing is going to do is cause me to sit there watching the movie wondering who the hell that person is and that wasn't in the book. It just feels like the expansion is being done to appeal to the 'nerds' of Middle Earth as opposed to those who read the book as a piece of entertainment.

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Post by Randall » June 5th, 2011, 8:25 pm

You've got that about right. It's not necessary at all in terms of telling the story, but it does mean doubling Warner Bros.' money back on their investment. And most Middle Earth geeks won't complain. Personally, as someone who struggled to make it through the LOTR books, and was too bored to ever get through The Hobbit at all (I read page 97 about 15 times over the course of a couple of months, then gave up), I'm looking forward to seeing Appendix material woven into the narrative, as there's no way I'm ever going back to try to get through the original Tolkein. (My reading level is very high, BTW, but I don't care for his writing style--- too much description, too little plot. I'm also not a fan of fantasy novels generally. But I loved the films, where a picture is worth a million of Tolkein's words.)

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Post by EricJ » June 6th, 2011, 4:49 am

Bill1978 wrote:Apart from the money factor, I really don't understand why The Hobbit needs to be expanded into two movies. It can still be epic as a 3 hour movie. I really don't understand the need to put in Appendix material. I've only ever skimmed that section of the series and I feel like I'm not confused or missing anything by not knowing the Appendix stuff. All this expansion thing is going to do is cause me to sit there watching the movie wondering who the hell that person is and that wasn't in the book. It just feels like the expansion is being done to appeal to the 'nerds' of Middle Earth as opposed to those who read the book as a piece of entertainment.
It's pretty much the same studio reason that they keep putting Tilda Swinton in the two other Narnia movies, even though her character was already killed off--
The studio wants the same contracted name actors and marketable characters to be in the story, to connect it to the movies we know, even though....the same characters aren't in the book. :?

So we get Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis repeating their roles, Elijah Wood and Ian Holm showing up in cameos....And if the Hobbit has barely anything to do with the marketable LOTR franchise, that problem can be solved by showing HOW the story was all neatly tied in to everything we saw in the three movies we liked.
The execs feared that if they just did a movie about Bilbo, twelve dwarves and a dragon, LOTR fans would be saying "Heyyy, this isn't like Return of the King! :( "--But, if they work in a whole historical Appendix excuse to get Viggo Mortensen back for a cameo, well...

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Post by Ben » June 6th, 2011, 5:24 am

Nope, it's not necessary, but Harry Potter has changed the rules: why condense one epic book into one movie when two makes twice as much!?

BTW, that reminds me of an industry rumor I heard the other day:
http://animatedviews.com/forum/viewtopi ... 89&start=0

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Post by Dacey » June 6th, 2011, 5:33 pm

I'm glad, actually, that they're doing it as a two-film thing, especially since the fans have been waiting so very, very long for this to happen. And I think it's fine that they're using some of the LOTR characters, especially since it makes sense in the context of the story. Being an immortal elf, it would be perfectly logical for Legolas to be included in the battles that the elves take part in, to name just one example.
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Post by EricJ » June 6th, 2011, 6:57 pm

Dacey wrote: Being an immortal elf, it would be perfectly logical for Legolas to be included in the battles that the elves take part in, to name just one example.
And, in fact, it was Tolkien's point that Legolas comes from the same Greenleaf clan that took the dwarves captive--
Which is why, in Fellowship, there's initially the "Your dad took my dad prisoner!" tension between Legolas and Gimli, son of Gloin.

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Post by Ben » June 7th, 2011, 3:51 pm

Don't get me wrong, Dacey: I'm actually in favor of the two film route, completely. :)

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Post by Bill1978 » June 7th, 2011, 10:25 pm

I guess I'm just worried that there will be too much focus on non-Hobbit related stories. They were the parts I didn't care much about in TLOTR trilogies. It's one of the reasons I can't enjoy The Two Towers, not enough Hobbit action for my liking. Too much whining about Man. But I will still turn out to watch the movies.

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Re: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit

Post by Dan » July 11th, 2011, 4:12 pm

After what seemed like forever, Peter has finally posted a second production video. Though it primarily concerns with location scouting while most everyone else is going on break, there is some Andy Serkis footage of interest: one of him as Gollum and the other of him doing second unit work.


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Post by Ben » July 14th, 2011, 6:54 am

Exciting times: PJ just arrived in the UK to shoot Christopher Lee's footage. Lee is so frail he can't make it to NZ, so they're green-screening his work here (at the Studio I have an office at, in fact!) and then inserting him in. Actually, it gets even cooler than that: one of my best friends is doubling for him for body work, so that his character can still pull off some impressive moves!

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Re: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit

Post by Dan » November 7th, 2011, 11:54 am

The most recent video blogs.



The latest blog posted this week:


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