Skip to comments.Production Begins in New Zealand on The Hobbit
Posted on 03/22/2011 10:58:02 AM PDT by Immerito
In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit
Wellington, NZ, March 21, 2011Production has commenced in Wellington, New Zealand, on The Hobbit, filmmaker Peter Jacksons two film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkiens widely read masterpiece.
The Hobbit is set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The two films, with screenplays by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, will be shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Filming will take place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.
The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the 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 Oakensheild. 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 Gollums 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.
Martin Freeman takes the title role as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen returns in the role of Gandalf the Grey. The Dwarves are played by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur) James Nesbitt (Bofur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Rob Kazinsky (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), John Callen (Oin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori) and Adam Brown (Ori). Reprising their roles from The Lord of the Rings trilogy are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum and Elijah Wood as Frodo. Jeffrey Thomas and Mike Mizrahi also join the cast as Dwarf Kings Thror and Thrain, respectively. Further casting announcements are expected.
The Hobbit is produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, alongside Carolynne Cunningham. Executive producers are Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner, with Philippa Boyens as co-producer. The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, also from the production team of Jackson and Walsh, grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office. In 2003, The Return of the King swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogys production was also unprecedented at the time.
Among the creative behind-the-scenes team returning to Jacksons crew are director of photography Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, conceptual designers Alan Lee and John Howe, composer Howard Shore and make-up and hair designer Peter King. Costumes are designed by Ann Maskrey and Richard Taylor.
Taylor is also overseeing the design and production of weaponry, armour and prosthetics which are once again being made by the award winning Weta Workshop. Weta Digital take on the visual effects for both films, led by the films visual effects supervisor, Joe Letteri. Post production will take place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.
The Hobbit films are co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing being handled by MGM. The two films are planned for release in late 2012 and 2013, respectively.
ABOUT NEW LINE CINEMA:
New Line Cinema continues to be one of the most successful independent film companies. For more than 40 years, its mission has been to produce innovative, popular, profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line produced the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which is a landmark in the history of film franchises. New Line Cinema is a division of Warner Bros.
ABOUT PETER JACKSON/WINGNUT FILMS:
Peter Jackson is one of the worlds most successful filmmakers. His monumental achievement co-writing, co-producing and directing The Lord of the Rings trilogy (with fellow Academy Award winners and frequent collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) earned a total of 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 Academy Awards. Jackson and Walsh received their first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for their acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures. Jackson, through his New Zealand-based Wingnut Films banner, also was responsible for the globally successful 2005 remake of King Kong which earned over $500 million worldwide and 3 Academy Awards. Jackson most recently directed the Academy Award nominated The Lovely Bones; an adaptation of the acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, which to date has earned nearly $100 million worldwide; and produced the global sensation, District 9, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He is also developing a trilogy of films with Steven Spielberg based on Tintin, the world renowned comic book series by Herge. In 2010 he received a Knighthood for his services to film.
ABOUT METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the worlds largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in domestic and international TV channels reaching over 130 countries. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
The tone of The Hobbit is so much lighter — really more of a children’s story — hopefully Jackson will get it right.
I read the “The Hobbit” numerous times when I was young. When I saw the animated movie, I didn’t find it as enjoyable but still laugh when I think of Bilbo running out of the tunnel with his tail end on fire (from Smaug).
I agree with you though. I’m cautiously optimistic that Jackson will get it right. I think he gave “Lord of the Rings” a good effort.
But such a difficult story to film! Jackson did well overall.
Hopefully this time they won’t raze the props, they’ll keep them as tourist attractions.
Lord of the Rings really requires to be made as a TV miniseries. It’s the only way to have the adequate time to cover everything appropriately.
Awesome! I just finished LotR recently and am now re-reading The Silmarillion. Now THAT is not a light read (or very uplifting either)!
Given its length and complexity, the best way to do justice to Lord of the Rings requires that it is made as a TV miniseries. Its the only way to have the adequate time to cover everything appropriately.
I never liked the movie growing up. The story cuts I can understand as an adult but the cheesy animation, the poor voice acting, and the hideous elves made it quite meh.
You are quite correct about the Aragorn/Arwen problem. The two of them had made their decision 60 years earlier and had worked towards making him King for the entire time since.
I guess modern film makers just can’t handle the concept of a calmly self-assured protagonist. He has to be “angsty.
They also screwed up the whole bit with Faramir, turning him from one of the noblest characters in the story to a bit of a jerk.
That said, Jackson did a far better job than I expected anyone could do.
If anyone is interested. :)
Frodo? But Frodo is not in "The Hobbit". He wasn't even born yet when Bilbo goes on his adventure to There and Back Again. I wonder what's up.
The second film covers the period between the Hobbit proper and the beginning of LOTR. Frodo gradually emerges in that period.
You’d all probably enjoy reading Lord Foul’s Bane, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.
You’d all probably enjoy reading Lord Foul’s Bane, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.
Reminds me of the good old thermobaric bomb days...
I recall reading somewhere that razing them was a requirement of being able to film in those locations in New Zealand. The government wouldn't let them leave them there.
Will Helen gone all things are possible!
Will s/b With...
Let’s hope they don’t butcher the story like they did for LOTR.
Also, I really don’t want to hear about Ian McKellan’s unnatural desires for hobbit booty. Let him keep his mouth shut and act.
That oughta learn 'em.
That was not a butcher job
A definite contender for the creation of Hobbit Lake!
Ohhhkaaay... Fruitcakes, the lot of 'em.
Thanks for the information. So the movie company will be inventing new scenes to make that transition. I suppose it's the movie-way to dealing with other people's art.
‘The second film covers the period between the Hobbit proper and the beginning of LOTR. Frodo gradually emerges in that period.’
The Second film does not cover ‘the period between the Hobbit proper and the beginning of LOTR’. That idea was discarded. The second film will cover the second half of the Hobbit book, and both films will include material from the appendices of LOTR regarding ‘The White Council’ and the defeat of the Witch King, and some other matters. Frodo will not be in the story.
There will be a short ‘framing story’ regarding the creation of ‘The Red Book of Westmarch’. Frodo will be in that, and maybe old Bilbo too.
Thanks for the clarification. I'm feeling much better about this movie project. No doubt I will go to a theater when it is released.
I can remember waiting axiously for The One Tree and White Gold Wielder. I never read any following books. Might have to pick'm up and I'll definitely encourage my kids.
Thanks for the correction, Lucius.
I read all six books as a young adult and found them fascinating. I later picked them back up and found them unrelievedly depressing.
Not sure what modern series I’d recommend as all are flawed, one way or another. None are for children and some aren’t even for teenagers.
Maybe Xanth for children and Shannara for young teenagers. Elder ones could handle Wheel of Time or Song of Fire and Ice and that kind of thing.
I hope Jackson makes the movie dark and doesn’t make it a children’s tale. I liked LOTR and have high hopes for the Hobbit.
The best part of the animated movie was Richard Boone as the voice of Smaug.
‘I hope Jackson makes the movie dark and doesnt make it a childrens tale.’
This would mean completely departing from the spirit of the book. I don’t mind some darker hints at the true evil in the background, but since the LOTR won’t be resolved in these movies, overemphasizing it would mean essentially an ending full of foreboding. Of course WE will feel foreboding, so this will be very tricky, and leave plenty of unhappy folks no matter what they do.
I hope that Jackson actually sticks to the book this time, unlike his modus operandi for the Lord of the Rings movies.
I don’t recall Galadriel being in “The Hobbit” either.