Tag Archive: The Hobbit: There and Back Again

We’ve just wound down another year of big movies–from Star Trek Into Darkness to Skyfall to Thor: The Dark World to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  So what’s on the radar at borg.com for 2014?  We think you’ll want to see several of these big sci-fi, fantasy, superhero, and action flicks coming to a screen near you in 2014.*

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Jan. 17 – This Tom Clancy spin-off has been pushed out to 2014.  Starring Chris Pine and directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings movie series and the coming movies series base don Tolkien’s The Hobbit, has confirmed that he will be breaking his two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, into three films.

“We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance,” Jackson wrote on his Facebook page.  “So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of The Hobbit films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.”

The Desolation of Smaug and Riddles in the Dark, indicating one of the second two films may take on this subtitle.

Fansite TheOneRing.net suggested a third possible subtitle, The Battle of Five Armies may be in consideration.

My guess?  Maybe they’ll follow the Harry Potter final film strategy and simply have The Hobbit: There and Back Again Part One, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again Part Two.  Maybe not if the third film delves into Tolkien stories outside The Hobbit tale.

So here are the release dates for the now three Hobbit films:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters on December 14th, 2012.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again (or revised title) opens in theaters December 13th, 2013.

The Hobbit (unnamed) hits theaters in Summer 2014.

C.J. Bunce

Yesterday, July 7, 2012, Peter Jackson at last wrapped principal photography for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  And the 158 day clock to the film’s premiere continues.

The New Zealand workshop Weta will be returning to Comic-Con this week and announced today it is previewing the initial collectibles and prop replicas their artists have created based on the New Line Cinema/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 2013).  Weta will be set up at Booth #3513B at San Diego Comic-Con from July 11-15, 2012.   The full line of products from The Hobbit will be available for sale later in 2012.

However, Weta is offering two exclusive items for sale at Comic-Con:

Thorin Oakenshield – with shield.   The first in a series of 1:6 scale polystone statues.   The statue will be sold  for $249 each – limited to 2 per person.  This limited edition collection will have a run of 700 pieces, 500 of which will be available for purchase at San Diego Comic-Con only. (The remaining 200 statues will be reserved for sale in October at the Weta Cave in New Zealand and at Ring*Con in Germany.)   There will be a separate version of this statue, without shield, available at www.wetaNZ.com in October 2012.

The second limited release at Comic-Con will be this great print, An Unexpected Journey, by Weta Workshop Conceptual Designer Gus Hunter.  100 signed copies will be available at the show for $60 each and 400 unsigned copies will be available for $50 each–limit 2 per person.   If you miss out on these in San Diego, Weta says that there will be additional copies available at www.wetaNZ.com in October 2012.

Weta will release a limited number of these items each day (Wednesday through Saturday) to ensure distribution over the entire show.  Weta also announced that it will be revealing its most complex collectible created, Barad-dûr – Fortress of Sauron, the newest piece in Weta’s The Lord of the Rings collection, which debuted back in 2001:

You might also check out this book available at Weta’s website www.wetaNZ.com for $25, chronicling 10 years of Weta Workshop art:

Since little to no screenused pieces from The Lord of the Rings are on the market, Weta’s replicas are the closest you can get to the real thing today.

C.J. Bunce

It is likely that no filmmaker today shares more with his fans than Peter Jackson.  And there may be no fan base more loyal and appreciative than fans of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and its coming two-part production of The Hobbit.  Instead of waiting for the DVD release Jackson has been releasing early looks at the filmmaking process at thehobbitblog.com.  Now halfway through production of the two films–The Hobbit–An Unexpected Journey, due at year-end, and The Hobbit–There and Back Again, due out in 2013–Jackson & Co. have crisscrossed New Zealand with two film crews, re-creating locations from the LOTR trilogy and filming in newly selected places, too.

Jackson has released six production videos, but the last two, including production video #6, released last week, immerse the viewer into the unreal, impossibly beautiful landscapes of mountains and snow-cover, rain, and the brightest greens found anywhere on the real Earth.  But beware, before watching the two on-location documentaries, you may decide to sell everything for plane tickets and a permanent move to New Zealand.

Beyond the first four documentaries, the two on-location productions are 12 minutes in length each, and despite Jackson stating  that he can’t show us much, we get to see Martin Freeman in costume as Bilbo Baggins discussing film locations, Ian McKellen (Gandalf) chatting up New Zealand, as well as a whole swarm of new actors of Middle Earth playing dwarves.  The vistas and villages almost make this documentary stand by itself as a mini-vacation.

The highlight of production video #5–the first on-location documentary–is Elijah Wood returning as Frodo Baggins at age 30 to Hobbiton–11 years after he first played Frodo at age 19.  The village of Matamata has been rebuilt since the LOTR films as a permanent encampment by the production for tourists to visit for years to come.

The new production video #6 shows ad hoc interviews with the new dwarf crew, as well as the second unit director, Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the LOTR films.  The production zigzags from town to town, with plenty of aerial shots showing the real locations and where they will end up in Middle Earth.

The 24 minutes of footage, along with soundtrack, has the feel of a travelogue of a national park like Yellowstone.  The humor of the crew and Raiders of the Lost Ark “travel by map” shots across the north and south islands of New Zealand also play better than the average DVD extra footage–something like Bruce Brown’s Australian film Endless Summer a free-wheeling surfing documentary classic from 1966.  Just like Endless Summer showed surfers traveling the world, the incredible opposites of grand landscapes of New Zealand reveal a world’s worth of differing ecology, geography, and seasons, that make New Zealand truly seem like a different world.  And the new actors give us a peek at how funny the new characters will be.

Here is the first on location documentary (production video #5):

And here is the new on location film (production video #6):

The earlier released production videos are available at thehobbitblog.com.

These video releases are fun and sure to whet the appetites of Tolkien fans until the December release, with more videos expected before then.

C.J. Bunce



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