The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is slated to hit theaters on December 14. With production costs, ads, distribution, and the new fangled technologies Peter Jackson is bringing to the series, like the new Atmos sound system, hi-def 3D, and 48 frames a second, The Hobbit films are shaping up to be a $500 million dollar roll of the dice.
Still, the fans should be back in droves for this return to Middle Earth, and it had to be a trip for Peter Jackson himself to come back with much of the old gang, including Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis and more.
The site Collider visitied The Hobbit set, and as Peter Jackson reflected: “The way I went into it when I got involved as a director was I’d go into it as exactly the same filmmaker that did Lord of the Rings, like I’m returning to Middle Earth. In the sense that it’s a real place, I’m there to tell another story, but the characters within the story, as well as the story itself, it gives you a different tone and a different feel in places than Lord of the Rings did.”
What I’m especially curious to see with the Hobbit series is how Jackson makes the transition from making the Lord of the Rings movies way back then, and what his return to Middle Earth will be like now after some distance. Jackson also noted that The Hobbit has a slightly different tone than Lord of the Rings, it’s more like a fairy tale, “But in terms of the look, the feel and the filmmaking style I wanted to keep it pretty consistent and keep everything feeling like it’s the same world.”
Considering it’s been over a decade since Jackson made the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, there should definitely be some noticeable differences here and there and signs of age with some of the actors. But Jackson was so immersed in the world of Tolkien, it can’t help but be his vision, even after a long time away from Middle Earth. (It also would have been fascinating to see what Guillermo Del Toro or Sam Raimi could have done with The Hobbit).
You can also imagine Jackson has other worlds he wants to conquer, and having to go back to Tolkien could really be somewhat of a hasses at this point, but surprisingly one of the reasons he didn’t want to return is he was afraid of the dwarves. Yes, some people do have phobias of little people, but this wasn’t the case, otherwise you couldn’t work on these movies in a million years.
As Jackson explained, “The idea of having an ensemble of thirteen dwarves terrified me and I thought, it’s going to be much more interesting to have another filmmaker dealing with that…But the weird thing with this is that having ended up where I am, the fact that there’s thirteen dwarves in it is the great joy of the movie. We’ve given each of them personalities and they are very much the heart of the story. I like these guys now.”