This week saw the unveiling of two of the most anticipated films of recent years, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, and the first part of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit, due next June and December respectively.
Released December 14th 2012, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey stars Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage and Benedict Cumberbatch, from a script by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson. It will be followed in December 2013 by There and Back Again, based on the beloved novel by JRR Tolkien, and will feature many of the cast of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
We wanted to share the reactions of some of our contributors and regular visitors, and we’ll be delighted for you to add your own comments below. Normally I would remind you that we’re discussing information that has been officially released and what we see here, but as The Hobbit has been in print for over six decades, it’s likely the plot is already well known, so we’ll waive that request.
Michael Flett: First up, it looks much better not watching this on an iphone screen. One the one hand, it would have been great to see Del Toro’s version of this, but it will be nice that it will have consistency with The Lord of the Rings, and from this, the style is identical. It’s hard to believe so much time has actually passed since those films were made.
I had suspected they would get Ian Holm to do a framing sequence, and it’s nice to see I was right, but my fear was that as Gimli was used as comic relief, with a dozen dwarves to play with, Jackson would treat them all in that manner, and it seems to be so.
What the new material is that will bulk out the film I’m not sure, but I expect it will be around Gandalf’s investigations of the witch king of Angmar, later unmasked as the Lord of the Nazgul. I’m sure there are folks out there know their Tolkien better than me, and can tell me if my timescale is off.
I understand that Smaug won’t be revealed until the second film, but I was hoping for wolves, trolls, goblins, eagles and Beorn.
Adam Dworak: I don’t like how he represented the dwarves. Why do most of them look ridiculous, grotesque. They were small, but they were warriors, not clowns. I don’t like Galadriel being there. I think that Jackson will try to push the backstory of the Lord of the Rings too heavily, putting Gandalf into the meeting of the White Council, and that the attack on Dol Guldur and the banishment of Sauron back to Mordor. I really think that Jackson will show this in The Hobbit, because it is in the same year as the death of Smaug, Third Age 2941. I want to see what is in the book, nothing more.
I wonder, is he going to show us Beorn? Jackson cut Tom Bombadil out because he didn’t do anything to move the story forward, but he was a part of the book, and I feel he might cut Beorn for the same reason, but he should be there.
It’s hard to say anything more, because the trailer is quite dry – you can’t see all that much.
Chris Scott: Part of me is squealing in delight. Part of me has watched too many of the LotR extras so all I can see is sets, prosthetics and camera trickery, all the Weta people telling us how they made this set and that weapon and that groundbreaking computer generated effect and all the people who are bigger or smaller than they appear… it’s my own fault for having watched all three billion hours of extended extras back in the day 😉
I really don’t think it needs two films though. Suspect they’ll put in lots of Silmarilion bits of back story and maybe even some of the cuts from LotR…
Becky Dillon: I’m with you, but the “back story” is what I enjoy! I have friends at Weta and what they do is GENIUS! I’m also chummy with several of the stunties and for this film – one of the dwarfs – so I look at it a little differently.
From what I understand, the two films will support two concurrent themes; Bilbo and the Dwarves and the establishment of The White Coucil and subsequently getting Sauron out of Mirkwood. Yes, we will see both stories running simultaneously, and that will take up a lot – plus there is a bit added on creatively to bridge the gap between Bilbo’s returning and the 111th birthday party. How much, I don’t know, but enough to make the trasition to the LotR trilogy easy for marathon viewing.