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Gandalf: You'll have a tale or two to tell, when you come back.
Bilbo: Can you promise that I will come back?
Gandalf: ...No. And if you do, you will not be the same.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There & Back Again are a two-part adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's classic fantasy novel The Hobbit, directed by Peter Jackson and adapted for the screen by Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. It is a prequel to Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, telling the tale of Bilbo's adventure with Gandalf and a company of dwarves.
An Unexpected Journey is due for release on December 14th 2012, whilst There & Back Again will begin screening on December 13th 2013. Both movies are being filmed in stereoscopic 3D, and in a cinematic first, at 48 frames-per-second.
You can view the trailer for An Unexpected Journey here.
The Hobbit movies provide examples of:
- Actor Allusion
- Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie plays an elf named Lindir. Lindir is Elvish for "singer". (A character of this name does get a brief cameo in Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring.) Also a reference to "Figwit", the unnamed elf (and Memetic Bystander) McKenzie played in The Fellowship of the Ring. If not for that role, he probably wouldn't have a role (let alone a name) in The Hobbit. Lindir is in the book The Fellowship of the Ring, an Elf of Rivendell listening to Bilbo's poetry.
- Actor Swap
- Martin Freeman as Bilbo, replacing The Lord of the Rings' Ian Holm, who was simply getting too old to play the part of a young (well, fiftyish) Bilbo -- though Sir Ian will appear as his older, post-Ring self from the Rings films as well.
- It was thought for a while that Christopher Lee might also be replaced as Saruman for similar reasons, but he is set to come back; his scenes will be filmed in England to spare him the stress of long travel, as indicated very entertainingly in the third production vlog:
- Adaptation Expansion: Enough to fill two movies, from the shortest of Tolkien's books set in Middle-earth. At least initially, the plan was to have the first movie be The Hobbit and for the second to be a "bridge" between the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Since then, however, so many things have been said and then un-said that it's not quite clear. The best-guess answer is that "the script grew in the writing" (to paraphrase Tolkien), and they had to divide the plot of the main story across two films. Many fans are hoping that Del Toro and Jackson took cues from "The Quest of Erebor" in Unfinished Talesof Numenor and Middleearth, where Gandalf lays out much of the story's behind-the-scenes action to the rest of the Fellowship. That would certainly seem to be the case with Galadriel and Saruman being a part of the cast (as they are part of the White Council, but don't show up in the book), but it's not exactly clear how these scenes will be approached. Further suggestion that it's the White Council's story: Radagast the Brown will be showing up.
- Amusing Injuries: Wouldn't you love to know why Bifur has a chunk of pick-axe stuck in his head?!
- Badass Beard: Thirteen dwarves, all bar two have beards and they're awesome. One that doesn't compensates with Badass Muttonchops, and the other has Perma Stubble. In one of the production videos Jackson predicts these movies will bring them back into fashion.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Nori's are braided into his hairdo!
- Canon Immigrant: Quite a few, particularly the White Council.
- Character Development: Early-released pics of the dwarf characters, and accompanying captions, suggest that the dwarves will get to express a lot more individual personality than most ever had a chance to in the novel.
- Composite Character: There has been preliminary references to Azog the Great Goblin, which implies that the movies will combine the Great Goblin who rules the Goblin Town and gets killed by Gandalf in the book soon after his introduction, and Bolg son of Azog, who leads the goblins in the Battle of the Five Armies.
- Jossed. All three Goblin leaders have been confirmed and cast, and they're each being played by seperate actors.
- Creator Cameo: With Peter Jackson at the helm, it's a matter of where in the movie he'll be, not if he'll be in it.
- Doomed by Canon
- Anyone who's seen the three LotR films beforehand, even if they haven't read the books, may catch on that Balin will be killed by orcs between scripts, as he's the one buried in the dwarf crypt from Fellowship.
- The same goes for Ori and Oin.
- Arguably overlaps with Foregone Conclusion to some degree, as Bilbo and Gandalf will survive.
- Drop the Hammer: Dwalin wields a big 'un in the promo material.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Lots. So far, we've got confirmation of Frodo, Saruman, Galadriel, Legolas, and Sauron (at least in voice). Radagast the Brown is an odd case: he was in the book, but his role in the film version of Fellowship was filled by a moth Gandalf used to summon Gwaihir, Lord of Eagles.
- Epic Movie: Two, actually.
- Framing Device: Judging from the comments made by people involved with the production, it sounds like the films will be told as flashbacks interspersed with "in-between" scenes from The Lord of the Rings: the "Unexpected Party" segment will supposedly segue in from Bilbo and Frodo setting up for his Long-Expected Party at the beginning of the film, and later segments will apparently be recounted by Bilbo in Rivendell (and possibly Gandalf or Frodo later on) as the Fellowship goes on its way.
- Leitmotif: The One Ring's leitmotif can briefly be heard near the end of the trailer, as Gollum asks Bilbo what a "Bagginses" is.
- Lighter and Softer: Technically, The Lord of the Rings was the Darker and Edgier sequel to The Hobbit, but since the film version of LOTR came out first, it comes across as this.
- Mr. Fanservice: Aidan Turner's Kili is pretty darn handsome for a dwarf. In the video blog everybody else referred to him as "sexy dwarf" or "the hot one".
- Mythology Gag: The Dwarves' recitation of "The Misty Mountains Cold" use a similar musical composition to the original 1977 rendition of the song.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: According to this, they really aren't. There's a definite family resemblance with Gimli's kin, but on the whole, it seems they're trying to keep them as distinct as possible. On the other hand, the ad copy accompanying the image comes down firmly on the side of "minimal sexual dimorphism".
- Perma Stubble: Kili's beardless face spots this instead.
- Prequel/Interquel: While The Hobbit is not a prequel, the movie adaptation is being produced as a prequel-interquel of Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films.
- Scenery Porn: The trailer has already shown the beautiful landscape of New Zealand, it's easily as beautiful as it was in Lord of the Rings.
- Serkis Folk: Gollum (performed once again by the Trope Namer himself) and Smaug as well by Benedict Cumberbatch. Jackson must be really impressed by Serkis, because he also appointed him Second Unit Director on both installments.
- Token Evil Teammate: Saruman will most likely be played as one for the White Council, even though the viewers are the only ones aware that he is evil. At this point Saruman wasn't evil, though he becomes so not long after the events of The Hobbit. In the Appendix of The Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Talesof Numenor and Middleearth it is revealed that Saruman deliberately delayed the White Council's actions against the Necromancer because he hoped to get a hint of the One Ring's location from the Necromancer's actions, so he could seize it for himself. He only agreed to take action when he started to fear that the Ring could elude his grasp. While not as openly evil as in Lord of the Rings, Saruman is still already working for selfish goals with the intent of becoming the most powerful force in the Middle-Earth.
- WETA Thinks Of Everything: Look at the scene in the trailer where Bilbo finds the Sting. It lacks the Elvish inscription seen in The Lord of the Rings, which read "Sting is my name, I am the spider's bane". Clearly Bilbo had it inscribed only after the adventure was over.
- Vlog Series: Jackson keeps a blog series giving us a good look at the film.