The Hobbit films
This article is about a current event; it is subject to frequent revision as more information becomes available.
Andy Serkis (Second Unit Director)
Philippa Boyens (Co-Producer)
Ken Kamins (Executive Producer)
Zane Weiner (Executive Producer)
|Writer||Guillermo del Toro|
See cast section below for more
|Distributor||New Line Cinema|
Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
|Released||The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 14 December, 2012|
The Hobbit: There and Back Again: 13 December, 2013
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, known collectively as The Hobbit, are two forthcoming live-action films based upon J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 novel of the same name. The two films are being directed by Peter Jackson and are conceived as prequels to Jackson's earlier project, The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy.
Martin Freeman has been cast to play the films' title role of Bilbo Baggins. Meanwhile Richard Armitage will portray Thorin Oakenshield, while Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast as Smaug. Several cast members from The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum, and Elijah Wood as Frodo.
Filming in New Zealand began on 21 March 2011; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is due to be released on 14 December 2012, while The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be released on 13 December 2013.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are expected to follow the plot from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The stories presented in both films will, however, include events, locations and characters not found within the novel upon which the films are based, drawing from tales written by J.R.R. Tolkien elsewhere.
According to a Warner Bros. press release for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.''
—Warner Bros. Press Release
A plot description of the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, has not yet been released.
Issues concerning production
The Hobbit as a movie has been anticipated by many fans since the release of The Lord of the Rings. Even before the pre-production began there had been and are still possible issues which could delay the production of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. In early 2005 it came to the public attention that Jackson was suing New Line Cinema. This cast doubt on whether or not The Hobbit would ever be made. Jackson later told fans that, due to the dispute, he would neither direct nor produce the film. In late 2007 it was confirmed that Jackson would not direct, but would be an executive producer for two Hobbit movies. It was later announced that Guillermo del Toro would direct the films, and that Jackson will be an active 'executive producer' with the possibility that he would help direct some scenes if necessary.
However, on 30 May 2010 it was revealed that del Toro could no longer commit himself to direct The Hobbit films, citing the continued delays in production in his reasoning. Peter Jackson later announced that he would direct both films.
The Tolkien Estate's legal action against New Line Cinema
The estate has [...] asked for a court order giving them the ability to terminate any rights the studio have to make films based on other Tolkien works, including The Hobbit.
—BBC News Online
Production of The Hobbit films was held up by the Tolkien Estate's legal action against New Line Cinema. The Estate should have received 7.5 per cent of all profits from the films under the agreement made by J.R.R. Tolkien with United Artists in 1969. Crucially, they also sought to stop the production of The Hobbit films until the case was settled. The legal row was finally settled in September 2009 after the Tolkien Estate successfully sued New Line Cinema for breach of contract and fraud, receiving a reported $220 million in compensation.
Industrial dispute in New Zealand
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In September 2010, the production of The Hobbit films was again delayed when the International Federation of Actors issued the following order to all members of its associated unions:
Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical film The Hobbit until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance for production in New Zeal]and providing for satisfactory terms and conditions for all performers employed on the productions.
—International Federation of Actors 
This meant that Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema considered moving the production elsewhere, possibly to eastern Europe. However, following talks with the New Zealand government, Warner Bros. decided to proceed as planned to film The Hobbit in New Zealand as originally planned. The New Zealand government subsequently passed legislation to amend their labour laws to ensure that production stayed in the country.
Back-to-back filming for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again began 21 March 2011. With location filming now finished, all on-set filming is taking place at Stone Street Studio, Wellington.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are being filmed in 3D using RED Epic cameras. A rig designed by 3ality Technica is being used in the filming of the two films; here two cameras and a mirror are used in order to achieve an intraocular effect similar to that of a human's (the distance between the eyes). This is how the depth required for 3D film is achieved.
48 frames per second
Breaking with conventional filming techniques, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are being filmed by capturing 48 frames per second. This is twice the normal 24 frames per second and is much closer to how the human eye works, which can see 60 frames per second. This makes the film look far more realistic. When describing what people thought when they saw clips of The Hobbit shown at 48 frames per second, Peter Jackson said that it's 'like the back of the cinema has had a hole cut out of it where the screen is and you're actually looking into the real world'.
Additionally, the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are being filmed at a 5K resolution. This is substantially larger than the conventional 1080 HD resolution. The films are being filmed digitally onto 128 GB memory cards that fit into the RED Epic camera.
One of the drawbacks of filming 48 frames per second at 5K resolution is that the make-up, prosthetic, prop, set, and costume departments have to work differently. For example, the make-up and prosthetic departments have to redden up the faces of the actors much more than usual because otherwise their skin colour will turn up yellow on the final film. Furthermore, real hair has to be used in order to achieve an authentic look when it moves around.
Games and merchandise
- See also: Lego
"It's too ambitious to try and tackle that along with 'The Hobbit'. We have such tight release dates."
—Guillermo del Toro
However, in 2011 the Los Angeles Times reported that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment would publish a video game based on The Hobbit in 2012, before the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
On 17 December 2011 it was announced that the Lego Group had received the rights to create Lego sets based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The first sets on The Hobbit are scheduled to be released in the end of 2012.
- Production - New Line Cinema
- United States Distribution - Warner Brothers
- International Distribution - MGM
- Director - Peter Jackson
- Second Unit Director - Andy Serkis
- Producers - Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Carolynne Cunningham
- Co-Producer - Philippa Boyens
- Executive Producers - Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner
- Writers - Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro
- Director of Photography - Andrew Lesnie
- Production Designer - Dan Hennah
- Conceptual Designers: Alan Lee and John Howe
- Composer - Howard Shore
- Make-up and Hair Designer - Peter King
- Costume Designers - Ann Maskrey and Richard Taylor
- Design and production of weaponry, armour, and prosthetics - Weta Workshop overseen by Richard Taylor
|Pictures from the production of The Hobbit films|
- The Hobbit
- The Hobbit (1966 film)
- The Hobbit (1977 film)
- The Hobbit (1968 radio series)
- The Hobbit (1979 radio series)
- Images of The Hobbit films
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Titles and Release Dates Announced" dated 31 May 2011, The Hobbit Blog (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Andy Serkis to serve as Second Unit Director" dated 8 April 2011, The Hobbit Blog (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 Peter Jackson, "Production begins in New Zealand on The Hobbit" dated 20 March 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "The Hobbit gets green light, Jackson to direct" dated 16 October 2010, NZ Herald News (accessed 11 February 2012)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Peter Jackson, "The Hobbit Casting Update" dated 19 June 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 "Hobbit filming finally under way" dated 21 March 2011, BBC News Online (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY", Warner Bros. Canada (accessed 9 February 2012)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "Director sues over Rings profits" dated 2 March 2005, BBC News (accessed 11 February 2012)
- ↑ "Jackson to produce Hobbit movies" dated 18 December 2007, BBC News (accessed 11 February 2012)
- ↑ "Del Toro to direct Hobbit movies" dated 25 April 2008, BBC News (accessed 11 February 2012)
- ↑ "Guillermo del Toro 'leaves' as director of The Hobbit" dated 1 June 2010, BBC News (accessed 11 February 2012)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 "Rings film studio sued for $150m" dated 12 February 2009, BBC News (accessed 11 February 2012)
- ↑ "Legal path clear for Hobbit movie" dated 8 September 2009, BBC News (accessed 11 February 2012)
- ↑ FIA order to its members regarding the production of The Hobbit films.
- ↑ Peter Jackson Running Into Union Trouble on 'The Hobbit'
- ↑ Hobbit legislation passed in New Zealand
- ↑ Peter Jackson, "THE HOBBIT, Production Video #7" dated 6 June 2011, Facebook (accessed 6 June 2012)
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Peter Jackson, "THE HOBBIT, Production Video #4" dated 4 November 2011, Facebook (accessed 10 February 2012)
- ↑ Russ Frushtick, "Del Toro: New 'Hobbit' Game Will Have to Wait" dated 6 August 2009, MTV.com (accessed 2 March 2012)
- ↑ Ben Fritz, "Warner's approach to video games is paying off" dated 18 October 2011, Las Angeles Times (accessed 2 March 2012)
- ↑ "Building sets based on THE LORD OF THE RINGS™ Trilogy and the Two Films Based on THE HOBBIT" dated 16 December 2011, lego.com (accessed 2 March 2012)
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Peter Jackson, "Casting news!" dated 30 April 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ Evie Bowman, "EXCLUSIVE! Q&A WITH HOBBIT ACTOR JOHN BELL" dated 3 July 2012, Middle-earth Network News (accessed 4 July 2012)
- ↑ Peter Jackson, "Ten years ago,..." dated 27 May 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ "Billy Connolly lands dwarf role in The Hobbit" dated 9 February 2012, BBC News (accessed 9 February 2012)
- ↑ "If Benedict Cumberbatch..." dated 8 May 2012, Facebook (accessed 12 May 2012)
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 Peter Jackson, "Casting News for The Hobbit" dated 19 May 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ Peter Jackson, "One comment that..." dated 22 April 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ "Christopher Lee will star in the Hobbit prequel" dated 8 February 2011, The Telegraph (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 Ian McKellen, "2 Elves and another Wizard" dated 10 May 2011, Ian McKellen's website (accessed 21 December 2011)
- ↑ "Persbrandt den bäste för jobbet" dated 30 April 2011, AFTONBLADET (accessed 21 December 2011)
|Licensed film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's works|
|The Hobbit (1966) · The Hobbit (1977) · The Lord of the Rings (1978) · The Return of the King (1980) · The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) · The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) · The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)|