Several more exclusive promotional images from the upcoming Hobbit films have been released to the general public, depicting the movie’s all-star cast costumed up as the 13 dwarves (yes, 13, not 7) who drag unwilling hobbit Bilbo Baggins all the way to the Lonely Mountain.
The British contingent is particularly impressive, with Irish actor James Nesbitt taking on the role of Bofur, Being Human’s Aidan Turner cast as Kili and Robin Hood star Richard Armitage playing Thorin Oakenshield. The latter is the dwarf prince who leads the party on their quest to reclaim his home from the dragon, Smaug, who will be played via motion capture by Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch. Quite an impressive line-up, wouldn’t you say?
Of course, there are also several even bigger names reprising their roles having featured in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Sir Ian McKellan is back as Gandalf (many cast members claimed they would have boycotted the film had he declined the role), whilst Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving and Elijah Wood return as Gollum, Elrond and Frodo respectively.
Filling the shoes of Bilbo himself (although actually hobbits don’t wear shoes) is Martin Freeman, who director Peter Jackson feels is perfect for the role. On announcing his casting decision, Jackson said, “He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave, exactly like Bilbo, and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.”
It seems old news now that, in the transition from book to film, the Hobbit has been split into two, but some are still struggling to come to terms with the idea. If The Lord of the Rings succeeded with only one film each, why should Tolkien’s shorter prequel story get two films dedicated to it? However, on speculation, The Hobbit actually lends itself quite effectively to a two film format. Like the final installments of the Harry Potter franchise, it seems likely that the first Hobbit film will be somewhat of a journey movie whilst the second will be more action-packed and feature the story’s conclusive epic battle.
The Hobbit films, An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again, will be released in cinemas in December 2012 and 2013 respectively. All three of the Lord of the Rings films, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King are available for rental or purchase on Blu-Ray or DVD from LOVEFiLM.