Entertainment Weekly has released their Comic-Con Preview issue and as full of exciting bits of nerd news as it is – like our first glimpse of prison life on The Walking Dead – easily the best part is their preview of the first Hobbit flick, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Emblazoned on the cover are Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and guys, wow, I’m already getting chills. The Hobbit may not release until December, and it’ll be after a summer that includes The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, but I’ve got a feeling Peter Jackson‘s triumphant return to Middle Earth could be the best film this year.
Just looking through this gallery makes me feel as if I’m reconnecting with old friends. The familiar faces are comforting and the new characters will be refreshing. Basically guys, I’m really, really, really excited to go back to Middle Earth!
The Hobbit is not nearly as dense as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so you might be wondering why two movies? Other than the obvious cash grab, is there enough going on in The Hobbit to warrant two films? Well no, but Jackson has remedied that by including aspects from Tolkien’s other works and I think in the end will get a richer story. As Jackson says,
In the movie we want these characters to have story lines and a little more substance than they do in the book. Almost everything we’re doing is from Tolkien somewhere, whether it’s in the book or the subsequent development that wasn’t published in The Hobbit itself.
Okay, ready to feel old? Here’s a quote from McKellen,
A lot of people weren’t even born when we were filming Lord of the Rings and only know the movies from watching them on DVD…. They’ll see Middle-earth on the big screen in The Hobbit, and I guarantee there will be a lot of minds blown wide apart.
Having seen Fellowship in theatres I feel ancient.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14th. Is it one of your most anticipated films of the year?