Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Hobbit Begins Production (Finally!)

After a long dispute between Peter Jackson and studio executives, they had apparently reached some sort of a settlement. But I'm not going to report about that because I'm more pleased with the news that the long-awaited Lord of the Rings prequel is now fresh starting its production, roughly two days ago.

Unofficial photo (Artist unknown)
It's been quite some time since I read the book, but I wouldn't advice you to peg this movie along the likes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's true that they are of the same franchise, but The Hobbit is very different in tone and scale. While the trilogy were basically a medieval warfare interspersed with Frodo's quest, The Hobbit is strictly a quest movie, with one climactic battle in the end.

I don't know, maybe Peter Jackson will take some creative liberties and spice things up the way he made the trilogy such a hit. But the production is barely two days in, so let's not cook up anything just yet.

In case you're unfamiliar with the story, here's a little bit of a summary;

Bilbo Baggins is pretty much like any other Hobbit who enjoys their privacy, food and pipe. It wasn't until Gandalf shows up and tricked him into hosting a party for thirteen travelling dwarves who are on a quest to reclaim their long lost kingdom; a kingdom lost to Smaug the dragon. Plenty of confusion comes upon our Bilbo, but he reluctantly joins in their quest anyway, and embark on a journey that will take him to places we are already familiar with; Rivendell, the Misty Mountains, Mirkwood and many more. The only difference being it was a time before the forces of Sauron and Saruman plagued the lands of Middle-Earth.

Yeap. So instead of the multi-racial (or species?) ensemble cast of characters, our heroes this time around consist of a wizard, a Hobbit and thirteen dwarves.

Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf the Grey
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the dwarves
Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn, a major character
Of course, Andy Serkis as Gollum/Smeagol
Oh, one more thing, the movie will be told in two parts, and they are being shot back-to-back just like the trilogy were. The Hobbit (Part One) is slated for release in late 2012, while the second part is slated for release about a year after that.

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