Last month Peter Jackson hosted a live event from New Zealand previewing his next Hobbit film The Desolation of Smaug and Warner Bros. was kind enough to allow him to upload an edited six-minute excerpt from it. In the clip embedded above Jackson takes questions from fans regarding his new Hobbit trilogy with two surprise guests. Though the excerpt doesn’t reveal all that much, Jackson gets to show off his humorous side and viewers are privy to concept art and some behind-the-scenes footage.
The journey continues in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on December 13, 2013.
Though the first movie in the Hobbit trilogy hasn’t even come out yet, it already feels like we’ve been on one unexpected and wild journey. Since April 2011, director Peter Jackson periodically dropped production video blogs that brought Lord of the Rings fans behind-the-scenes on the making of his next foray into Middle Earth. Each one explores a different aspect of filmmaking–from the logistics of location shooting to lessons in shooting in 3D–that culminates in an inside look at the grueling yet rewarding post-production process. Taken as a whole, the nine vlogs show just how much effort and sheer amount of hard work went into the making of the Hobbit movies.
And with just a few days until The Hobbit lands in theatres in the States, Mr. Jackson was able to slip one more massive video into our hands. A new 13-minute featurette, embedded above, takes us behind the scenes one more time before the adventure begins. In addition to Jackson you’ll hear from many of the actors, producers, and other creatives behind the making of the film. You’ll also be introduced to new characters, get a better sense of the story, and witness colorful concept art and new footage.
Return to Middle Earth this Friday, December 14 when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey makes its grand debut.
Believe it or not but Peter Jackson is back with yet another Hobbit production vlog as the movie premiere is only four days away. Number nine focuses on the post-production process, specifically shining light on the work that goes into the special effects and sound design. Jackson leads a tour through the Park Road Post Production house in Wellington, New Zealand and we even get to travel 18,331 miles to the UK where the Hobbit soundtrack is perfected with a full orchestra in tow at Abbey Road Studios.
Jackson says that post is “due to be completed two days before the premiere, hopefully.” Though this rolls off his tongue playfully, I don’t think he is joking. It’s full speed ahead for Jackson and his talented team of animators and composers; An Unexpected Journey premieres this Wednesday, November 28 in New Zealand and then it comes to the States December 14. A tenth vlog is teased at the end, one that will take fans to the movie’s big Wellington premiere.
Note: In the craze known as Comic Con I must have missed vlog #8 and never posted it. I made sure to embed it after the break in case you missed it, too. In it Jackson takes us to San Diego and presents the Hobbit footage he screened in front of a packed panel. (Click here for more…)
So you know those typically boring in-flight safety videos airlines make you watch before the plane takes off? Well I think I found one that you’ll want to sit through. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, that is. Air New Zealand has partnered with WETA Workshop to produce a Lord of the Rings / Hobbit inspired in-flight safety video featuring characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s expansive Middle Earth, as well as cameos by director Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis CGI’d as Gollum. If you can overlook the basic seatbelt instructions, I bet you’ll enjoy watching this wonderfully crafted clip called “An Unexpected Briefing” made by Air NZ who’s now calling themselves the “The Official Airline of Middle-Earth.” From the bare, furry feet to the Elvish ears to Jackson’s disappearing act, it’s an instruction video I wouldn’t mind watching before lift off.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is out December 14.
Peter Jackson is making it a point that his upcoming Hobbit story is indeed an unexpected journey. On Monday via Facebook he announced that his film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit is expanding from two movies to three. Here’s an excerpt from his statement:
It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’
Jackson will expand the Hobbit universe by using stories gathered in Tolkien’s additional appendices, a total of 125 pages the author inserted into a later publication of The Return of the King.
Part one, An Unexpected Journey, comes out December 14, 2012. Part two, There And Back Again, comes out one year later on December 13, 2013. Part three, still un-subtitled, will follow in Summer 2014. Jump after the break to read Jackson’s three-film statement in full.
On the fifth of July Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson hopped on Facebook to post the image you see above and tagged it with this: “We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con!” Having followed all of Jackson’s production video blogs this a giant sigh of relief for the production team and fans alike. Part one An Unexpected Journey is on track to release December 14, 2012; one year later part two There and Back Again comes out.
Also posted to Facebook is a beautiful image you can see after the break: a brand new poster designed specifically for Comic Con fans to collect at the con later this week. It features Gandolf standing high above The Shire where the unexpected journey begins with our friend Bilbo Baggins. Check back here for the latest on The Hobbit movies as more details surrounding the highly anticipated prequels come out of the con. (Click here for more…)
The seventh video blog that takes us behind-the-scenes of Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit films has arrived! While the last two vlogs took us on a location shooting adventure, this one gives us a grand tour of Stonestreet Studios in Wellington, New Zealand. In fourteen minutes you’ll travel the length of the studio that includes the production offices, a giant trailer park that many of the actors call home, major departments such as hair and make-up, costume, art and the Weta workshop that creates the film’s props. Just like the vlogs that came before it, this one features insight from Jackson along with many members of the hardworking cast and crew. With The Hobbit parts 1 and 2 wrapping in just “a few weeks time” Jackson says that he will output one final vlog shortly thereafter, so we can all look forward to that!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres December 14, 2012.
While this new production video from The Hobbit isn’t as revealing as those in the past, this one is certainly the most beautiful. In this sixth installment, you’ll travel all around the stunning landscapes New Zealand has to offer and you’ll hear from director Peter Jackson, 2nd unit director Andy Serkis (who also plays Gollum), star Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), and many other members of the hardworking cast and crew. Jackson shares that production on the two films has passed the halfway point (day 127).
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres December 14, 2012.
Shortly after releasing the very first trailer for The Hobbit, director Peter Jackson uploaded a fifth production video. This one focuses on “the logistics of location shooting.” It shows how the massive production team establishes the beautiful landscapes of Middle Earth in New Zealand. After 110 days of shooting indoors, the team finally ventured outside to recreate Hobbiton, the tranquil neighborhood of hobbits such as Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. “It’s weird when you come back to a place that you literally thought you’d never see again,” says Jackson. Elijah Wood also feels nostalgic stepping back into the town of Bag End. “I’ll never forget that feeling of coming to Hobbiton for the first time.”
When the Hobbit huts were originally built in 1999 for the Lord of the Rings films, they were constructed with polystyrene and later torn down when filming completed. This time around, the construction crew rebuilt all the Hobbit holes using real wood, stone, and brick. Now they won’t deteriorate as fast and fans of the books and movies can schedule tours and visit the set. In the video you’ll even see that the Prime Minister of New Zealand approves!
At the end of the clip Jackson teases that there’s more to this location shooting-themed video diary; part two is coming in 2012. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres December 14, 2012.
After four extensive behind-the-scenes looks at Peter Jackson’s upcoming sequel two-fer The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings mastermind has finally released a full-length trailer. Return to The Shire in this beautifully edited clip embedded above. Part 1, An Unexpected Journey, hits theatres next December the 14th.
Jump after the break and you’ll find the explosive second trailer for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and sneak peek at Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller Prometheus. Update: The full-length Prometheus teaser awaits. (Click here for more…)
Peter Jackson is at the very top of my list of people who are awesome. The behind the scenes video diaries he’s been churning out from the set of the upcoming two-part prequel The Hobbit are simply fascinating. The theme of the fourth vlog is 3D filmmaking. Jackson and his crew are shooting The Hobbit in 3D using RED EPIC cameras and 3ality lenses. The camera department is home to a grand total of 48 RED EPIC cameras on 17 3D rigs. Interestingly, all of the different camera rigs are named after Jackon’s family members and inspirations. All of the scenes from the film are being shot at 48 frames per second at 5K resolution for a more realistic and immersive picture. The diary explains how everything from the set design to makeup is affected by the way in which the high-res 3D camera rigs pick up colors and tones. Oh and get this–even the concept art is drawn in 3D with red and blue colored pencils! Go behind the scenes with Jackson in the video above. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releases December 14, and part two subtitled There and Back Again comes out one year later.
What quick turnaround time! Peter Jackson is back with yet another production video from the set of his two-part prequel series The Hobbit. Enjoy.
Here’s another fascinating look behind the scenes of Peter Jackson’s upcoming prequel The Hobbit. In it the famed director talks to the actors and production crew behind the making of the expansive project, and you get a feel for just how far they’ve come since they broke ground in the first production video. Things seem to be going splendidly in New Zealand. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releases December 14, 2012; part two–There and Back Again–follows exactly one year later.
Look it! It’s Bilbo Baggins in the flesh! Actor Martin Freeman has donned the elfish ears, shaggy hair and clothes to fully transform into The Hobbit’s protagonist. Says director Peter Jackson of his Bilbo: “He fits the ears, and he’s got some very nice feet. I think he’s got the biggest hobbit feet we’ve had so far. They’re a little bit hard to walk in, but he’s managed to figure out the perfect hobbit gait.”
EW also managed to scoop up two additional images that I’ve pasted after the break. The second is of veteran actor Ian McKellan as Gandolf the Grey. Jackson again: “He’s in fantastic form. ‘In a way, his role in The Hobbit has more technical difficulties than Lord of the Rings did, because he has scenes with 14 smaller characters — obviously the dwarves and the hobbit are shorter… I remember saying to him [laughs], ”Look, this isn’t Waiting for Godot or King Lear. This is The Hobbit. This is the real thing.”
The third and final image is a rather candid photo of Jackson directing Freeman inside the hobbit’s small hut. Jackson once more: “There’s no way you can pace yourself for shoots like these. When we were going through the schedule for The Hobbit, I felt a terrible drop in my stomach when I saw that we’d be shooting for 254 days. We’re only 12 days short of The Lord of the Rings even though we’re only doing two movies. When I saw that, I had to sort of pick myself up off the floor and carry on.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releases December 14, 2012 and this will be followed by part two subtitled There and Back Again exactly one year later. The Hobbit follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.
Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth in his two part prequel The Hobbit. This week New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, and MGM announced the titles and release dates for the films. Part one is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and will be released on December 14, 2012; part two is The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and will be released the following year on December 13, 2013. Here’s our first official synopsis:
Both films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkien’s “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 adventure of “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 from the fearsome dragon Smaug.
Click after the break to find the press release which includes a list of the actors on board for the project of epic proportions.
Director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson present The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in eye-popping 3D and on the edge of uncanny valley. The duo is taking advantage of Jackson’s Weta Digital company for the Polar Express-esque visual effects. Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is a credited writer, and the cast of voices include Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. The trailer is certainly adventurous but until I see the animated characters speak it’s hard to grade the level of pure realism instilled here. The Secret of the Unicorn, the first of three proposed movies to make a Tintin franchise, hits theatres December 23, 2011.
Director Peter Jackson returns us to Middle-earth in this rather candid vlog that was released onto the web just earlier today. Though we aren’t privy to specific plot elements, this behind the scenes production video from The Hobbit gives us a glimpse into the weapons and costume work, stunt preparation, and it shows off a number of set designs, many of which are carbon copies from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We even get to see the cast and crew kick off day one of production in New Zealand. Stars Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen, and Martin Freeman pop up here and there to provide some insight into what goes on during blocking and rehearsing. Let’s hope that ten-minute vlog sessions like this one become a recurring thing for fans hotly anticipating the Lord of the Rings prequel movies. Part 1 of The Hobbit is due out next year.
Now that Peter Jackson is the official helmer of The Hobbit, production is ready to begin. Jackson and the creative team have decided to opt for the RED EPIC digital camera to shoot the Lord of the Rings prequel in 3D. The EPIC is the successor to the RED ONE camera, and it boasts 5K resolution, the highest dynamic range of any digital cinema camera ever made, and can shoot up to 120 frames per second. According to RED founder Jim Jannard, Jackson will have “at least” 30 EPIC cameras on hand during production. Jannard says, “The EPIC’s small size and relatively low weight makes it perfect for 3-D – where two cameras have to be mounted on each 3D rig.” Jackson happens to be a big fan of RED cameras, and you can bet he’s stoked to have 30 EPICs when production on The Hobbit starts in New Zealand early next year.
Have an itch to shoot your own footage using the EPIC? A whopping $58,000 will get you an EPIC rig consisting of an EPIC-M body, titanium PL mount, Bomb EVF and 5-inch touchscreen LCD, a REDmote, a four-pack of batteries, a charger, and a solid state storage module with a four-pack of 128GB SSDs. A limited run of EPICs will be made available in December or January for the early adopter filmmakers. Everyone else who’s interested (and miraculously not affected by the economy) will have to wait until at least April to nab a rig.
It’s (finally) official: Peter Jackson will direct ‘The Hobbit’ [Update: Martin Freeman cast as Bilbo]
Peter Jackson, the man who helmed the Lord of the Rings trilogy movie adaptations will be back to direct the two-part prequel series The Hobbit. Originally Jackson was going to serve as executive producer with Guillermo del Toro as director. But when MGM’s financial woes forced production delays del Toro decided to back out of the project leaving the director spot open for some time. Since the beginning of last summer it had been rumored that Jackson would take control of the reigns again, and today Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, and MGM finally confirmed it. In a statement Jackson said, “Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience. It’s an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We’re looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo – and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM”.
The Hobbit will be cut up into two parts (as originally planned by del Toro) and will be shot in 3D. Principal photography begins in February 2011. Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving are locked in to reprise their roles as Gandalf, Gollum and Elrond, respectively. It has not been confirmed whether or not Ian Holm will return to star as Bilbo Baggins.
Update (10/21): Casting news! Martin Freeman (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hot Fuzz) is Bilbo Baggins. The following actors comprise Bilbo’s Company of Dwarves who set forth to reclaim a treasure from a dangerous dragon: Richard Armitage (MI-5, Captain America: The First Avenger) is Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Company of Dwarves; Aidan Turner (Being Human) and Rob Kazinsky (EastEnders) will play Kili and Fili; Graham McTavish (Secretariat) is Dwalin, John Callen (Power Rangers Jungle Fury) is Oin; Stephen Hunter (All Saints) is Bombur, Mark Hadlow (King Kong) is Dori, and Peter Hambleton (The Strip) is Gloin.
Peter Jackson on Freeman as Baggins: “Despite the various rumors and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us. There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave — exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.”
Directed by Peter Jackson. In theatres January 15, 2010.