The Hobbit just got extremely real as photos from the long-anticipated film have finally hit.
Entertainment Weekly has released three sneak preview photos from the upcoming prequel films. Two of the photos appear to be actual footage from the film itself, giving us our first look at, among other things, Martin Freeman as main character, Bilbo Baggins.
Check out the other two pics below and prepare to drool, do jumping-jacks, breakdance, and other things that express fanboy/fangirl excitement in somewhat socially-acceptable ways.
The imagery of Bilbo's humble abode, Bag End, is iconic to anyone who's seen The Lord of the Rings films. However, the sight we see, clearly from the beginning of the first film, of Bilbo playing the awkward host to 13 dwarves who mysteriously showed up on his doorstep, as he is egged-on to accompany them on a long and dangerous journey should spark quite a response from anyone familiar with the original book.
As director Peter Jackson comments on Freeman:
'He fits the ears, and he's got some very nice feet,'' Jackson says of his Bilbo. ''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.''
Ian McKellan returning as Gandalf, chilling out, smoking his "pipe weed" is also a familiar sight that drives home the point that we are getting ready to make a big return to Middle Earth. While Gandalf's role in the original story was actually somewhat limited, it will likely be expanded in the film, with scenes that maintain the Tolkien canon, such as The White Council meeting of Elves and Wizards to discuss a threat that would eventually reveal itself to be Sauron.
Jackson comments on McKellan's performance:
"He's in fantastic form,'' Peter Jackson says of McKellen. ''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.''
Jackson, seen above with Freeman decked-out as Bilbo, also explained the mad-rush involved with shooting these two films, in spite of the fact that there's one less movie than there was with his last experience with the Rings trilogy.
''There's no way you can pace yourself for shoots like these,'' Jackson says. ''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 hits theaters on December 14, 2012 and The Hobbit: There and Back Again hits on December 13, 2013.
Source: Entertainment Weekly