Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: 10 Movie-Making Facts

If you haven’t heard that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit opens on December 14, you probably haven’t had the TV on at all. I remember this time last year I saw the trailer for the first time. And now, opening night is almost here. Everyone probably knows the story of The Hobbit, a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, but you might not know these movie facts about making the film. Enjoy The Hobbit – in theaters on Friday, December 14!

1. Daniel Radcliffe, David Tennant, Shia LaBeouf, James McAvoy, Erryn Arkin and Tobey Maguire were considered for the role of Bilbo Baggins.
2. The Hobbit is the first feature film to be shot and projected at 48 frames per second, twice as fast as theindustry standard of 24 frames. The intention of this is to provide the film smoother, more realistic motion with reduced strobing. This is particularlybeneficial when viewing the film in 3D, as the higher frame rate helps to correctly synchronize the images for each eye.
3. Christopher Lee commented that he would have loved to voice the Dragon Smaug in a film adaptation of ‘The Hobbit’. Lee, along with Ian Holm, Bilbo Baggins, both shot all of their scenes at Pinewood Studios due to fear of flying to New Zealand because of health concerns.
4. Richard Armitage who plays Thorin Oakenshield, has said that his first experience acting on stage was playing an elf in a theatrical production of The Hobbit.
5. Gollum only appears in one scene in the book. Andy Serkis, who reprises his role as Gollum, completed that scene during the first week of production, but stayed on as Second Unit Director.
6. Martin Freeman previouslyappeared in Hot Fuzz, which featured cameos by director Peter Jackson as “Santa Claus,” Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) as a CSI agent, and Bill Nighy (who played Sam Gamgee on BBC Radio) as a police officer. He also appeared in Shaun of the Dead, also opposite Nighy, as well as Penelope Wilton, who had been married to the previous Bilbo, Ian Holm.
7. This movie went through severalstages of pre-production nightmares, the first being Guillermo del Toro stepping down as the Director as a result of MGM freezing the project while it emerged out of bankruptcy, it was almost cast out of New Zealand when several unions and guilds blacklisted the project and shooting was delayed again while Peter Jackson recovered from surgery from a perforated ulcer.
8. Bill Bailey auditioned for the role of Gloin. In Spaced, a British comedy series featuring the dup of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead) he plays a character named Bilbo, named after this film’s title character.
9. Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug/Necromancer) both star together in the BBC production of Sherlock; Cumberbatch plays the title role with Freeman playing Dr. Watson.
10. Evangeline Lilly appeared on Lost opposite former hobbit Dominic Monaghan (Merry). The two also dated for several years.

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

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