J.R.R. Toiken

As you no doubt heard, Peter Jackson has announced that his much awaited return to Middle Earth will not be merely two Hobbit films, but rather, it will be three films forming yet another trilogy. For many this is fantastic news — even more hobbits, elves and wizards to gaze upon in glorious (and needless) 3D — but are these movies also glorious and needless?

The original announcement that The Hobbit was was going to be split into two films was met with some Internet whispering. People wondered how such a short story — one that sits pretty at 300 pages — could be turned into two films that would surely stretch beyond two hours each? Both former Hobbit director Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson assured fans it would serve the story and flesh out some of the underdeveloped characters and plots. I believed this, and as a Tolkien aficionado I know there are plenty of appendices and unfinished tales to draw upon for more material as well, so it made sense. Especially from a financial standpoint. (more…)

SDCC12 LIVE BLOG: ‘The Hobbit’ Panel

Live from Hall H, our Dev Richards will be live blogging all of San Diego Comic-Con’s biggest panels including Django Unchained, Man of Steel, The Hobbit, Pacific Rim, and Iron Man 3. Below is the blow by blow of what is going on at the The Hobbit panel.

4:25 Phone died, found a plug in the bathroom and I’m hanging out the door live blogging. What?

4:27 Trailer playing, Jackson came out previously. There are little people gathered around a table. There is a riveting speech.

4:39 They just showed an unbelievably long trailer with huge clips of the film. Battles, conversations, pivotal moments. Crowd going crazy.

4:41 The footage was 12 minutes long.

4:43 Guests come to the stage: Jackson, Serkis, Freeman, McKellen, and as a surprise guest, ELIJAH WOOD!

4:45 Straight to fan questions, Jackson is asked about doing a cameo in the film, says he hasn’t sent it yet but will when he gets back to NZ.

4:46 Question about what role Galadriel plays and if any female characters were added. Philippa Boyens answers that, “yes, they did.”

4:48 Question about if there are difficulties acting in the prosthetics, particularly the hobbit feet. Freeman says that the first few days are like being a duck but it gets better. He says the other actors had it worse. Richard then says that the Elvin makeup was really challenging and that he thought he wasn’t going to be able to tolerate the heat through the filming.

4:52: Freeman is asked if he was intimidated working with (non-specifically) Jackson, McKellen, and the like. He says no and that no one was arrogant or intimidating.

4:57 Jackson is asked what is the process of choosing what goes into the theater and what goes into the extended version. Jackson says that it is not pre-planned. He says that it is not until the very end where you can decide what needs to be cut.

4:55 Hardwick asks Andy Serkis what it is like to come back to the process and to run the second unit. He was originally supposed to just spend a month shooting his scenes as Gollum but spent a year and a half running the Second Unit. He says it took 3 weeks to shoot the first scene between Bilbo and Gollum because they did it like you would do a stage piece. Then he was asked to do the Gollum voice and said: “For fucks sake, do I have to?” — IN THE GOLLUM VOICE!

4:58 Freeman is asked to cite personal examples of what helped him portray Bilbo as he changes and faces his fears. He declines to cite personal examples but says that he trusts that Jackson saw that sort of emotion in him.

And so ends the Hobbit panel. We’ll be back for Iron Man 3 in a little bit.