Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

13 Jul

There have been a lot of announcements lately about Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and I feel it’s not getting enough attention!

This could be because The Hobbit has been too long in the making. It’s been a good few years, with Peter Jackson dropping out, Del Toro taking the reins and then relinquishing them again. Yet the films are now in full flow and over the past few weeks, exciting images have been released!

The cast was actually announced a few months back, and was exciting at the time, but again, I feel lacked the excitement it deserved. As ever with Jackson, the actors involved are a lot more exciting if you’re British, with some wonderful cult actors like Aidan Turner of Being Human fame featuring heavily. Fancy seeing Aidan as a dwarf? Well now you can.

And when it comes to the English actors, well, they’re everywhere to be seen. Thinking about it actually, I can’t think of an American in the entire film… Martin Freeman as Bilbo was genius from the start, Ian McKellen as Galdalf (anyone else would have caused uproar me thinks…) and Stephen Fry as the Master of Laketown. Laketown doesn’t actually appear until the second half of the original story, so maybe we’ll have to wait until 2013 (and the second part of the film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again) to see him!

However, alarm bells have gone off. I personally trust Jackson to do what he wants as he did such a good job with Lord of the Rings, however when you notice that certain actors names have appeared on the IMDB cast, such as Orlando Bloom and Christopher Lee, you can understand the concern. Bloom and Lee’s characters don’t appear in novel. It’s clear that Jackson is taking a few liberties with the story in order to throw in a couple of characters to make the transition between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings a smooth one. Having done some research though, Bloom is apparently only in the film for a couple of minutes. A brief cameo from a character who is, admittedly, immortal, and so could conceivably be around during the events of The Hobbit.

Yet Lee and Bloom aren’t the only Lord of the Rings actors returning to their roles. We’ll be seeing Cate Blanchett again (once again, immortal, acceptable…) but more interestingly, Elijah Wood as Frodo and Ian Holm as Bilbo will be appearing. One can only presume that there will be a jump forward in time, most likely at the end of the second movie. A nice touch if that’s the case.

On a final note though, and maybe just exciting for me and a few others I can think of, a certain BBC star will be featuring. Cumberbatch, star of BBC’s Sherlock will be voicing Smaug the dragon and also a character referred to as the ‘Necromancer’. A character briefly mentioned in The Hobbit and is basically Sauron before he becomes, well, Sauron. An interesting thing for Jackson to include, but I suppose having decided to make it into two films, he needs as much material as possible! Such liberties will either make The Hobbit a modern masterpiece, or potentially dilute what was a strong story in its own right.

Follow Simon on Twitter, or for more musings and reviews, read his blog

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