We must be getting on at once…
The Hobbit, the highly anticipated film based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved book, has finally begun shooting today in New Zealand.
Late yesterday evening, two teaser photos of director Peter Jackson posing in the iconic circular entrance to Bilbo’s Shire crib, were released on Jackson’s Facebook page. Jeff Lebreque at Entertainment Weekly described the film’s “pre-production” stage as “the most luckless in recent memory,” summarizing the obstacles the film has faced: “financial concerns, a labor conflict, the loss of director Guillermo del Toro and subsequent rescue by Lord of the Rings godfather Peter Jackson, Jackson’s health scare, and an earthquake that rattled [Christchurch] New Zealand.” Though the tribulations already faced by the film would concern any well-worn, bearded adventurer – be they Gandalf, or Francis Ford Coppola – the shots from the set should serve to calm the concerns of fanboys, who had begun to doubt whether or not the 500 million dollar blockbuster would ever get made.
The Hobbit is slated to be released in two-parts, the first in December of 2012 and the second in 2013. Scene-burglar turned ring-thief Martin Freeman – who plays Dr. John Watson in BBC’s awesome Sherlock series – is slated to play Bilbo (we were unable to confirm rumours that he narrowly edged out Patton Oswalt for the part). Many of the old favourites from Lord of the Rings will reprise their roles including: Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and, of course, Ian Mckellen as Gandalf the Grey. Bonus Dork Nugget – according to the The Hobbit: Part 1‘s IMDB page – Leonard Nimoy is rumoured to be the voice-actor behind Smaug the dragon. That would be awesome.