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Comic-Con 2012 Movies: The Hobbit

It has truly been an unexpected journey for the adaptation of The Hobbit, with directors falling out and financing in question, all to have “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson return after all. Part one J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has made its way to Comic-Con with some exciting news and footage in tow. 

Things began with a lengthy production diary focusing on the end of the shooting with special video greetings from the entire cast. Some of the highlights included Beorn's house, which was constructed on a massive scale so it would appear the right size for the dwarves. Also shown was footage from the second film of Lake Town under attack by fire, likely from the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) and his mountain of gold (though not the reptile himself).

Jackson then took the stage addressing the progress of the production (along with more footage), stating that the music track is not done yet, as Howard Shore won’t record for another four to six weeks and most effects shots are not finished, but he’s picked footage where most of it has been done just for Comic-Con.

Even though the footage wasn’t polished, there was an enticing look at the dinner scene at the beginning of the story with all the dwarves and Gandalf in Bilbo's house. They explain that with Smaug having not made an appearance in 60 years, many are starting to think of taking his treasure, and to make a move they need a key. Gandalf reveals that he has it, given to him by Thorin's father, and he wants Bilbo to be the burglar because dragons won't know the smell of hobbits (and because they're fleet of foot). 

The rest of the cast then took the stage – Andy SerkisRichard ArmitageMartin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen – along with a surprise guest, Elijah Wood, who of course played Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. They brought with them (you guessed it) more footage including a long look at the "Riddles in the Dark" chapter of the book, when Bilbo runs into Gollum in the cave and Evangeline Lilly's character, who is named Tauriel.

The footage shown was neither in 3D nor the experimental 48 frames per second that Jackson is experimenting with when the final product is released, but the word is that it looks stunning anyways. Jackson then said he is actually going to shoot a cameo appearance of himself tomorrow as soon as he returns to New Zealand for post-production.

A question was then posted asking if we might ever see an adaptation of The Silmarillion, which is a collection of Tolkien’s works. Jackson responded by saying that would be unlikely seeing as the rights are currently owned by the Tolkien estate, adding “I don't think they like these movies at all.” 

On wearing prosthetics for the role of Bilbo, Freeman joked that walking in Hobbit feet is like being a fledgling duck, with Armitage adding that that the look of Thorin and the other dwarfs went through an evolution, and it was a challenge because you had to express harder in order for it all to show through. 

Well that’s all for our journey to Middle Earth. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters Dec. 14 of this year.


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