In an interview with Hollywood.com Martin Freeman has revealed that he will be going back again to playing Bilbo Baggins for a little over two months: “I am going back at the end of May for all of June and July.”
Freeman talks finishing the The Hobbit story this summer:
“I suppose the thing is, this is not finished. We literally have to go and finish it. It’s not a new adventure like on a television show. It’s the same story. It’s the same gig I started in January 2011. I think it’ll be really fun because the crew is quite close and the cast are close and we like working on it. I’m anticipating it.”
He also tells Movieline that he hasn’t yet seen a shooting script for the additional filming and as such doesn’t know exactly what performance challenges await him this summer.
I’m most curious about two aspects of the additional shooting: First, will Peter Jackson adjust the cinematography, set design, wardrobe or makeup in wake of the feedback to the HFR 3D of the first movie? I’m sure he’s learned a thing or two regarding how to maximize the shoot so that the 48 fps product looks as good as possible. And second, how much of the additional footage is intended for There and Back Again, and how much will be for The Desolation of Smaug? On the one hand, Jackson and co. have said that they already have a rough cut of “Desolation.” On the other hand it would seem likely that, in order to allow it to stand on its own, film 2 would require some newly envisioned scenes/shots that weren’t captured during the initial shoot. So I’d very much like to know the breakdown in terms of the amount of required additional footage for parts 2 and 3.
Just as I suspected, The Hobbit: There and Back Again has changed its release date to December 17, 2014, thus falling in line with every other LOTR and Hobbit movie.
The original July 18, 2014 release date (the same day that Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is currently scheduled) never made sense financially, in relation to WETA’s VFX schedule, or in terms of tradition. And two huge blockbusters were never going to go head-to-head like that. As an added benefit this date change frees up plenty of high frame rate screens for Days of Future Past if Bryan Singer follows through on all the hints and indeed makes it at 48 or 60 fps.
Moving to December is simply the smart thing to do: December blockbusters almost invariably have miniscule competition for months after they debut, thereby allowing for stratospheric grosses (see: Avatar, Titanic, Return of the King). Late summer is a time at which audiences often start becoming fatigued of all the visual effects and spectacle, especially in terms of epic sci-fi, action, superhero and fantasy, and the grosses rarely stretch much higher than a billion even for the most highly anticipated event pictures. By December, however, and after an August-November gap in epic escapism, audiences are ravenous for movies like The Hobbit.
I’m glad that Peter Jackson, MGM and Warner Bros. will reveal the final epic installment of the trilogy where it was always meant to be: December. It just wouldn’t have felt right at any other time.
Hot on the heels of their premiere photo of Legolas and Bard from There and Back Again, EW has debuted an exclusive first look at Bilbo in Smaug’s lair from The Desolation of Smaug:
This is the scene I’ve waited my entire life to see in a blockbuster Hobbit movie. I can’t wait to see the venal, proud, and ancient Smaug in all his jewel-encrusted glory. Judging by comments made by Jackson and Del Toro, Smaug will (rightly) be the dragon to end all dragons.
Meanwhile, Philippa Boyens explains to EW that the thrust of the Hobbit story doesn’t end with the dragon:
“The dragon is a huge, wonderful, amazing part of the story, but it doesn’t end there. Everyone can suspect there’s a rather large battle in film three.”
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters on December 13, 2013.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hasn’t even opened yet, but here we have the first official image from the third Hobbit movie, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly:
Legolas isn’t in the book, but it makes sense for him to feature in the expanded version of the tale that Peter Jackson is weaving. Jackson explains:
“He’s [elven king] Thranduil’s son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit. And because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm.”
As for Bard’s role in the movies, Writer/producer Philippa Boyens explains:
“Bard is an interesting character, but [in the book] he’s kind of a random character who comes in after the fact. We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling.”
The Hobbit: There and Back Again will release on July 18, 2014