The Hobbit: Anybody getting excited yet?

Ah, that difficult second post! I’ve bitten the bullet, taken the plunge, threw myself headlong into the blogosphere on the first day of the New Year – and there wasn’t even any alcohol involved! – but now I’ll need to put my money where my mouth is. So what’s next? As I was traveling to work this morning after a lovely extended Christmas break I couldn’t help wondering if Mr Armitage is already on his way back to New Zealand to resume his own, and infinitely more exciting journey of filming The Hobbit.

I left my head in Wellington? (hum to the tune of ‘I left my Heart in San Fransisco’) 

I love J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. I devoured ‘Lord of The Rings’ when I was a teenager and must have read it a dozen times. As I recall, I had a mad crush on Aragorn. I endlessly doodled his figure in the margins of my exercise books when I should have been paying attention in class, which probably explains why I so miserably failed my maths. And what’s not to love? An epic quest, ancient elves, evil orcs and small people with hairy feet and/or long beards… everything a good novel needs. I also adore Peter Jackson’s LOTR films. It took courage and vision to take on such an ambitious project and he pulled it of magnificently. I have to admit though that I was sceptical to start with and went to see that first film with some trepidation. Seeing an all-time favourite translated to the big screen isn’t always a happy experience and part of me feared it might not live up to the images I had created myself and nurtured over all these years. I need not have worried. Peter Jackson had done a brilliant job and the casting was spot on! In fact, I went to see all three films so often, I ran out of friends to drag along to the cinema! Yes, not all events in the book made it to the screen – it was, after all, quite a hefty tome – but those that did were captured beautifully. Yes, It did at times get a little frivolous and/or sentimental, but in a three-hour film with some pretty dark themes you need a little light relief, like you need some light to show the shadows. And, like so many others, I was bowled over by the beautiful cinematography of these films. Panoramic views of a gorgeously, spacious and rugged New Zealand landscape made me want to pack my bags and move over there straight away. And I’ll admit, having Viggo Mortensen in the role of Aragorn didn’t hurt either!

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking ‘The Hobbit’ is going to be even better. Not just because of its great cast, with Richard Armitage playing Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the company of dwarves – although that in itself would be enough to convince me, of course – but also because of the 3D production. We know from LOTR that Peter Jackson can deliver a cracking film in 2D, so just think how much better he’ll be when given a third dimension to play with! Now, I’m not normally all that keen on 3D movies. I’m currently in the Luddite camp that thinks the whole 3D thing is terribly over-rated. Most films simply don’t seem to have the kind of action or scenery that calls for a 3D environment, so you end up paying a lot more for only a little gain. But if The Hobbit is going to be anything like LOTR, 3D may actually add quite a lot to the viewers enjoyment of this film. I’d love to feel like ‘I am there’ (especially if ‘there’ means being near to Richard Armitage!), running up those beautiful craggy hillsides, wielding those gorgeously decorated swords. Wouldn’t you?

I’m not quite sure how any of the other films that have been released in 3D have been filmed, but I for one was quite impressed with the Red Epic 3D cameras Peter Jackson was showing off in his production video. I also loved the explanation of how make-up and wardrobe all had to be adapted to take this new technology into account. Maybe it’s just Jackson’s enthusiasm (honestly, if this film thing doesn’t work out for him he could go sell sand to the Arabs!) but it filled me with excitement overall and the confidence that it would be worth the extra bob or two to see this film in 3D.

Coming back to most exiting part of The Hobbit, and the subject of this blog, there’s a really nice quote from Peter Jackson about Richard in The Hobbit: The Complete Guide hosted on the TotalFilm website;

“Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on-screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield,” says Jackson. “We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle Earth is in such good hands.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

With grateful thanks to my Facebook friend Fritha Malcourone who shared the link to ‘The Hobbit: The Complete Guide’ with me earlier this week. The Thorin Oakenshield screencaps are courtesy of RichardArmitageNet. The Aragorn screencap is my own and I’ll be damned if I can remember where I nabbed the Peter Jackson screencap from.

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12 thoughts on “The Hobbit: Anybody getting excited yet?

  1. Nicely done essay! And I was looking for that Total Film link. Thanks! The quote by Director Peter Jackson about his Thorin Oakenshield lead, Richard Armitage–foretelling the worldwide star that Mr. Armitage will become–is thrilling. Look out world, here comes Richard Armitage!
    Cheers! Grati ;->

    • Thanks Grati. I like that little Hobbit Guide. Nice & concise but with enough interesting stuff in it. And Jackson is spot on about Richard of course, so nice to have that confirmed 🙂

  2. I, too was a teenage girl who fell in love with LOTR and Aragorn and I, too read it dozens of times throughout my life. When LOTR came to the big screen I was so excited and a lttle apprehensive because of the hype but I was not disappointed. It reached beyond my expectations! Recently I read The Hobbit for at least the 3rd or 4th time as LOTR didn’t seem to necesitate reading it. But I thoroughly enjoyed it! I could see RA as Thorin as I read the book and Martin Freeman as Bilbo will be just the right ‘burglar’ the Dwarves need:) Great blog and lovely pic of Viggo. I recognize a bit of Guy in Thorin’s pose on the pony:-)

    • Thanks Jeannie. Who could ever resist Aragorn? He’s gorgeous, both in his written and cinematic form. I’m quite pleased with my Aragorn picture – it’s my first ever screencap, following BccMee’s wonderful tutorial and it’s come out quite well (even if I say so myself!).

      I’m planning a little re-read of The Hobbit too. I’ve got a lovely version illustrated by Allan Lee but I’ll just have to re-imagine it with RA as Thorin of course!

  3. This is going to be a very exciting year as we await the premiere of this film. The trailer was over the top in my opinion, so the actual movie will leave me dumbfounded I’m sure! You are doing a great job with the blog. So glad you are here to share with us!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Kate. Doing my best but I’m a complete blog novice so it’s nice to hear people enjoy these first posts.

      I loved the trailer – first time I’ve heard RA’s wonderful singing voice & what a treat that was! But I agree that trailers are usually a bit full on. I suppose its because they only have a short space of time to enthuse and grab your attention. Looking forward to see the whole thing on the big screen with some proper surround sound though.

  4. I’m terribly excited about The Hobbit too and Peter Jackson’s enthusiasm is indeed contagious. I’ve always thought he was a genius but now even more so that he cast Richard Armitage.

    • I totally agree with you. Peter Jackson’s a genius with exceptionally good judgement and taste for casting RA as Thorin.

      I do some voluntary work on a PBY-5A Catalina flying boat here in the UK and, as I know he likes his military aviation, I would so love to show PJ around that plane one day (and RA of course).

  5. The hobbit?? who??? LOL. ;-P

    Yes – it is VERY exciting, but there is soooo long time to wait. A whole year 😦
    My husband is really into LOTR, but I have never read them my self. Got to admit that I had never read “the Hobbit” for my children if it wasn´t for RA 😉
    Thanks for the Hobbit Guide.
    If you dont get easy offened, you should read C.S. Winchester´s read along – I think it is sooo funny 🙂

    http://cswinchester.blogspot.com/2012/01/hobbit-read-along-chapter-thirteen.html

    • Thanks Alfie. Just had a look at the C.S. Winchester link too – very funny & I know what she means about the food obsession. It’s amazing they go anywhere at all without a catering truck 🙂

  6. I agree with you that Jackson did a bang-up job with FotR. But he went off-track in TTT, changing the plot of the book, and then having to bring it back around to Tolkien’s version. I didn’t have a problem with the deleted and compressed scenes, one character saying another’s lines, or the narratives that filled in some of the background/history. I even put up with the “we need a hot chick so let’s add Arwen, warrior princess of Middle Earth” bit – although it meant that actual scenes in the book had to be cut due to length issues. But Jackson’s actual re-writing of the story was just a bridge too far for me and smacked awfully close to egotism… which is why I generally skip TTT and go straight for RotK. Hopefully, Jackson will adhere more closely to Tolkien’s ideas than his own vis-a-vis the storyline in “The Hobbit.”

    • Thanks Luthien. I know what you mean about the changing story lines but somehow that has ceased to bother me. I experience the book and the film as two separate entities I guess and each works very well in their own right. I suppose a director’s decision of how to treat the story is mostly dictated by the medium. What works in a book sometimes doesn’t quite get across on the screen and vice versa. I’d have to re-read the book again to see how different the story line of TTT is before I could comment properly on your post (it’s been a while since I read the book and I’m afraid my memory is not what it used to be) but I see your point.

      I know PJ has had to introduce some characters from LOTR to The Hobbit that did not make their appearance in the book, simply to bridge the two films. I think he’s also introduced some scenes that serve as narrative background which appear to have been taken from The Silmarilion but if that makes the story better for film it wouldn’t bother me too much.

      Hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog though – I appreciate your feedback & hope you’ll pop in again some time 🙂

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