First Look Stills of Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen in The Hobbit
06.24.11 by Ryan
Writer-director-producer Peter Jackson has used his Facebook page to reveal casting announcements, video blogs and more for his upcoming, two–part prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy,The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, but Entertainment Weekly has the first photos from the movie.
An official photo of the cast has been previously revealed, but this is the first time the actor have been shown in costume, though the photos keep mostly to Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, and Ian McKellen as Gandalf, who should look familiar to all who have seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Accompanying the photos are some notes from Jackson, who complimented Freeman and his performance.
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.
While it would seem like McKellen would be quite familiar with the role of Gandalf by now, Jackson revealed that McKellen's performance will require a different nuance.
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."
With Jackson shooting both An Unexpected Journey and
There and Back Again back–to–back, the photos reveal very little of what the movies have to to offer, but he's far from finished. Jackson says that the shooting schedule is similar to that of Lord of the Rings.
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.
Jackson co-wrote the Hobbit movies with Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, but only took over the director's chair when del Toro dropped out of the project back when studio MGM was struggling to settle its debt and find a way to afford the production.
Jackson has assembled quite the ensemble for the movies, bringing back
Lord of the Rings actors Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Andy Serkis as Gollum, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman, and, of course, McKellen. The new cast, led by Freeman, include Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, Richard Armitage as dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield, Sylvester McCoy as the wizard Radagast, Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the dragon Smaug, Mikael Persbrandt as the shape-shifter Beorn, Evangeline Lilly as the Woodland Elf Tauriel, Barry Humphries as the Goblin King plus several more actors to portray the company of dwarves.