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Production has commenced in Wellington, New Zealand on THE HOBBIT, Peter Jackson’s two-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved book. Read on for more info, and to see an on-the-set picture of Jackson, who is all “Smials” in a Hobbit-hole.
THE HOBBIT is set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The two films, with screenplays by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Jackson, will be shot consecutively in digital 3D. Filming will take place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand. Martin Freeman has 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 essay the Dwarf Kings Thror and Thrain, respectively. Further casting announcements are expected.
Among the creative behind-the-scenes team returning to Jackson’s crew are director of photography Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, conceptual designers Alan Lee and John Howe, composer Howard Shore and makeup and hair designer Peter King. Costumes are designed by Ann Maskrey and Richard Taylor, who is also overseeing the design and production of weaponry, armor and prosthetics which are once again being made by Weta Workshop. Weta Digital will do the visual FX for both films, led by visual FX supervisor Joe Letteri. The two films are planned for release in late 2012 and 2013, respectively.
For more info and updates, you can go to Peter Jackson’s Facebook and the new HOBBIT blog.
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