Thursday, March 24, 2011
Pack your Baggins
The journey finally begins, again, with Peter Jackson directing (as it should be)...
Wellington, NZ, March 21, 2011—Production has commenced in Wellington, New Zealand, on “The Hobbit,” filmmaker Peter Jackson’s two film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s widely read masterpiece.
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.
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 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 trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.
I'm so relieved that, after so many delays over the rights the past couple of years, these two movies are back on track and have begun production.
As many of you know, I visited Hobbiton in New Zealand (where they filmed all of the Hobbit village scenes) a couple of years ago (the shot of me above is right outside where Peter Jackson is standing in the new photos at the top).
If you ever get to New Zealand, I highly recommend taking that tour. If you're a fan of the Lord of the Rings films, you'll be very glad that you did.