If there’s one thing that justifies Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit being a two feature deal, it’s The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition. Having only seen the cinema release, I decided to watch the entire trilogy back-to-back (it took an entire day) and was surprised at how greatly improved the longer versions of the films were. It is very interesting that something so much longer actually feels tighter, the story is given room to breathe, and the ending no longer feels so long, or needlessly drawn out, because we’ve come all this bloody way, we want to see it through to the end.
Seeing more of everyone’s pain really makes the ending worth it, because we know how much they’ve all gone through. We believe more that Frodo can never go back to living in the Shire (or at all) and the ending was genuinely emotional. Basically, although it fried my brain watching it all, The Lord of the Rings is meant to be long, it just doesn’t work when it’s edited down, it’s not as rich or exciting.
The first installment of The Hobbit, subtitled ‘An Unexpected Journey’ (see what they did there) will be released in December 2012. In case you’ve never read the book (and have therefore not had an English childhood) the story is basically The Lord of the Rings, but for kids. Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit of the title, goes on a quest with a fellowship led by Gandalf, to defeat the evil monster at the top of a mountain. Well, some of the details are a bit different, but that’s essentially the story, and for my part I found it a lot more fun than The Lord of the Rings, and Peter Jackson has even said that the tone will be lighter, and the characters will inject more humour this time round.
Now, Peter Jackson is a showman, he loves to tease out little glimpses here and there of any production he’s working on. He’s obviously fully aware of the intense interest surrounding The Hobbit, and has been satisfying fans with big, glossy pictures of the characters, we’ve already seen Martin Freeman as Bilbo, and Sir Ian Mckellen grumping it up as Gandalf the Grey, now we get our first look at some of the dwarfs, Dori, Nori and Ori, three brothers all fiercely unalike.
The look of the Dwarves is a bit of a relief, predominately because they look so different. Gimli and his ilk in The Lord of the Rings trilogy looked rather samey, so it’s refreshing to see Dwarfs that have a sense of individuality and a little more personality than simply being the comic relief. There are 13 Dwarves altogether, so expect more high-resolution promotional pictures to come, like this one of Oin and Gloin, the latter Dwarve being Gimli’s father.
UPDATE: Check out the full assemble of Dwarves, from left to right they are; Jed Brophy as Nori, Dean O’Gorman as Fili, Mark Hadlow as Dori, James Nesbitt as Bofur, Peter Hambleton as Gloin, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Ken Stott as Balin, John Callen as Oin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, William Kircher as Bifur, Adam Brown as Ori and Aidan Turner as Kili.
Click on the image below to get a good look.
To find out more about The Hobbit, check out the official blog, they probably don’t need me to promote them.