Hey, you know that movie coming out next week the world can’t stop talking about? The one about the little guy, and all those other slightly bigger yet still little guys, plus that one old guy with the beard. I think you know the one I’m talking about. Well, surprise! We’ve got even more to share about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

First, there’s a new featurette/trailer making the rounds today. It’s a 13 minute special combining new, never before seen footage and interviews with the cast and crew into one Hobbit-filled video. If you’re at the point of Hobbit overload, or are hoping to stay dark on the film, I wouldn’t suggest you watch. On the other hand, if you have Hobbit fever and can’t possible consume enough about the journey back to Middle Earth, watch away,

After the jump, Peter Jackson speaks out about the controversy surrounding the film’s 48 FPS, and he and Ian McKellen defend the decision to turn The Hobbit into a trilogy.

If one thing has clouded the excitement surrounding the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, it’s people’s fear the film will be ruined by the decision to go with 48 FPS as opposed to the traditional 24 FPS. Of course, you can still see the movie in 24 FPS if you like, but people do love to bitch. Myself included. Though, I’ve already got my ticket to see it in High Frame Rate 3D and I’ll be holding my judgement until then.

But now that many reviewers have seen the film in the higher frame rate the opinions have been mixed, and Jackson has responded,

I’m fascinated by reactions. I’m tending to see that anyone under the age of 20 or so doesn’t really care and thinks it looks cool, not that they understand it but they often just say that 3D looks really cool. I think 3D at 24 frames is interesting, but it’s the 48 that actually allows 3D to almost achieve the potential that it can achieve because it’s less eye strain and you have a sharper picture which creates more of the 3-dimensional world.

Yeah, you old farts just don’t get it, man. Jackson continues,

Warner Bros. were very supportive. They just wanted us to prove that the 24 frame version would look normal, which it does, but once they were happy with that, on first day, when we had to press that button that said ’48 frames’ even though on that first day we started shooting at 48 FPS, you could probably say there wasn’t a single cinema in the world that would project the movie in that format. It was a big leap of faith.

The big thing to realize is that it’s not an attempt to change the film industry. It’s another choice. The projectors that can run at 48 frames can run at 24 frames – it doesn’t have to be one thing or another. You can shoot a movie at 24 frames and have sequences at 48 or 60 frames within the body of the film. You can still do all the shutter-angle and strobing effects. It doesn’t necessarily change how films are going to be made. It’s just another choice that filmmakers have got and for me, it gives that sense of reality that I love in cinema.

There you go, no one is forcing you to see The Hobbit is 48 FPS, it’s just Jackson’s preference and he hopes you’ll give it a shot. But really, I think he just wants you to see the movie. Wait, change that, he wants you to pay to see the movie.

And not just this movie, but the next two as well. When it was announced The Hobbit was becoming a trilogy the fans were very divided about the decision. How did Jackson take what is a rather short book, comparatively to the entirety of the Lords of the Rings saga, and transform it into a three movie epic?

The book is written in a very brisk pace, so pretty major events in the story are covered in only two or three pages. So once you start to develop the scenes and plus you wanted to do a little bit more character development, plus the fact that we could also adapt the appendices of Return of the King, which is 100-odd pages of material that sort of takes place around the time of The Hobbit, so we wanted to expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more, as did Tolkien himself. So all those factors combined gave us the material to do it.

All right, sounds kosher to me. I’m not going to argue with the guy, there were elements added and dropped from the Lord of the Rings when he made those films and we all loved them anyway. I’ve got faith the changes and additions to The Hobbit will serve the plot and in the end give us a richer experience.

Lastly, if you won’t take Jackson’s word for it, can you really argue with Sir Ian McKellen, Gandalf himself?

Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces around him rather than artistic integrity doesn’t know the guy or the body of his work. If we just made one movie, The Hobbit, the fact is that all the fans, the eight-, nine- and 10-year-old boys, they would watch it 1000 times. Now, they’ve got three films they can watch 1000 times.

Yeah, and those 20, 30, 40 year old kids among us will watch ’em even more times than that! Honestly, how can one complain about there being more Tolkien filtered through the mind of Jackson?

Sources: Coming Soon, The Hollywood Reporter

Category: Film

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