Moar Dwarves!

He wasn’t kidding. A rumor that started as a Peter Jackson sound byte on the floor at Comic-Con is official: “The Hobbit” will be three movies. Prior to the announcement, “An Unexpected Journey” and “There and Back Again” would be released Dec 2012 and 2013, respectively. The third is tentatively set for summer 2014. The title has not been announced.

Three movies may sound too long for the classic children’s book, but reading further it seems much of the material will come from the lengthy appendices of the Lord of the Rings that had not been previously adapted into a movie. Some may argue that more isn’t better for the franchise, but it must depend on who you ask.

Watching the production video diaries, it is hard to see them as simply interested in printing more money (while the mill is still hot, right?), but I doubt they will regret that extra paycheck. They would be in good company too, given the other movie series that have split the finale into two parts recently.

Either way, from what we have seen so far on set it should be good news for fans.

Read the Announcement on the Hobbit Facebook page here




Christmas with the Baggins

Tis the season for elves and jolly bearded men in boots, and chain mail.

Some years back, we were treated to Christmas with Frodo three years running, four if you count the following holiday extended-edition DVD sales; I know I did. Today, Peter Jackson and team are busy on the December 2012 and 2013 releases of a two part “Hobbit” movie, and they have their work cut out for them.

Mr Jackson has the tall task of bringing to life each of the 13 dwarves, numerous supporting characters and the reluctant hairy-toed hero himself. Furthermore, to provide franchise continuity a handful of the recognizable characters from the Lord of the Rings are worked into the story, at least briefly, presumably to introduce the context the prequels are told in.

To be sure, just like in the Lord of the Rings, there will be some changes in this retelling of the Hobbit. Some of the changes are bound to anger fans of the cartoon and novel, others may even introduce new characters and content not in the classic at all. Fans are left to guess how it will play out, but we do know that the titles of the movies are based on the book Bilbo writes, “There and Back Again”, which in the story was given to Samwise at the conclusion of the Lord of the Rings, who was to finish the remaining blank pages. Who knows if the latter unwritten bit remains symbolic or is related to the pair of movies or not.

No matter how faithful to the beloved Tolkien text, the movies are sure to turn a few heads. They are being shot with equipment unlike most movies made today and will be shown at a stunning 48 frames per second in 3D, double the 24 fps standard of HD movies today. Those close to the project have spoken very highly of the improvement, and other notable movie producers (Cameron, Lucas) are showing interest in similar technologies.

Good, bad or irreverent, I am excited to see how it turns out. And yes, according to the early production video diaries, we get to see singing and dancing dwarves. No word yet on singing orcs 🙂

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