New photos from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are in and it’s an exciting mix of new faces and old acquaintances. The movie will follow the epic quest of unlikely hobbit Bilbo Baggins and 13 dwarves as they journey across Middle Earth.
Here we have Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchet as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, and Gollum (voiced by Andy Serkis). Other returning characters will be Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Saruman the White (Christopher Lee), and Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). Many of these characters were absent from the book and only appeared later, in the Lord of the Rings series. The Hobbit will be more of a stand-alone companion to the LOTR series than a prequel, but we’ll still get lots of background info on LOTR characters and events.
On the left we’ve got a handful of dwarves and on the right we’ve got Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo will be played by Martin Freeman. Ian Holm will also be returning to play “old” Bilbo and to provide occasional narration.
The thirteen dwarves are Dwalin (Graham McTavish), Balin (Ken Stott), Kili (Aidan Turner), Fili (Dean O’Gorman), Dori (Mark Hadlow), Nori (Jed Brophy), Ori (Adam Brown), Oin (John Callen), Gloin (Peter Hambleton), Bifur (William Kircher), Bofur (James Nesbitt), Bombur (Stephen Hunter) and the mighty Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage).
When I initially heard about the movie, I was worried that the massive dwarf ensemble (excuse the contradiction) would seem muddled. With the exception of fat Bombur and leader Thorin Oakenshield, I had trouble keeping them all straight while reading the book. Luckily, they will be played by very talented actors who are capable of letting their character’s individuality shine through.
They look pretty serious in that first picture, but never fear — there will be whimsical adventures as well as somber ones. Check out this awesome shot:
It’s the great barrel escape! J.R.R.Tolkien is very good at creating life-changing battles of good and evil and darkly sinister characters, but he’s equally able to think up some truly absurd situations. I’m glad The Hobbit promises fun scenes like this along with the more dangerous stuff.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released December 14th. Reel Movie Nation will keep you updated on news from the Shire.