Peter Jackson and cast offer praise for ‘Hobbit’ as new photos are released

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The San Diego Comic Con is later this month and the two-part prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” series is set to present some exciting features for fans. To set the table Entertainment Weekly has debuted some still images on Thursday from the hotly-anticipated return to Middle-earth.

A brand new EW also offers some comments and praise from the all-star cast and director Peter Jackson, who prepares fans for the differences between the classic book and his film.

“In the movie we want these characters to have story lines and a little more substance than they do in the book,” Jackson explains. “Almost everything we’re doing is from Tolkien somewhere, whether it’s in the book or the subsequent development that wasn’t published in The Hobbit itself.”

Star Ian McKellen sets the bar pretty high with his comments in the pop culture magazine saying, “A lot of people weren’t even born when we were filming Lord of the Rings and only know the movies from watching them on DVD…. They’ll see Middle-earth on the big screen in The Hobbit, and I guarantee there will be a lot of minds blown wide apart.”

While promoting the Australian drama “Last Ride,” star Hugo Weaving talked to Collider in an interview released Tuesday about returning for “Hobbit,” saying it has a different tone.

“It was really lovely to see some old friends and old faces again, and to go back into a similar world, which is tonally a little bit different.  You’re in the same world, but the story has a different tone.  Peter [Jackson] and Fran [Walsh] are just lovely people, and there’s a particular frustratingly wonderful energy about working onThe Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  The project is so massive and there are so many people.  It makes it frustrating for everyone because things just take time and you don’t know what’s happening.  You don’t know what’s going on, despite all the best intentions, but the people are so lovely that you just accept, “Well, this is the way this particular world is.”

Check out the slideshow of photos featured in EW of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (McKellen), Gollum (Andy Serkis), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and the Company of Dwarves, including Fili (Dean O’Gorman), Kili (Aidan Turner), Dori (Mark Hadlow) and Nori (Jed Brophy).

Also appearing the cast of The Hobbit are Richard Amitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Ian Holm as Old Bilbo, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, Billy Connolly as Dain Ironfoot, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Ken Stott as Balin, Adam Brown as Ori, John Callen as Oin, Peter Hambleton as Gloin, William Kircher as Bifur, James Nesbitt as Bofur, Lee Pace as Thranduil, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn, Stephen Fry as the Master of Lake-town, Barry Humphries as The Great Golblin and Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” hits cinemas on December 14th, 2012, while “The Hobbit: There And Back Again” is slated for release the following year on December 13th, 2013.

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