Saturday, March 26, 2011

Filming on Hobbit Films Starts - At Last!

MARCH 26, 2011 - After months of delays and hitches caused by funding problems, a row over actors' wages and surgery for director Peter Jackson, filming has finally started on the two Hobbit movies in New Zealand.

For those who have just returned from Mars, The Hobbit films are set in Middle-Earth 60 years before JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his film-making 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.

According to fans' website,, the two films, written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson (above, on the set of the movie), will be shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Filming is being done at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

The Hobbit” follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman, left), 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 13 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 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.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey. The Dwarves are played by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield, pic, right), 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.

Production on the films is expected to take up to two years and the first is due out in late 2012.


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