Advertisement

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – First trailer


It's been a long-time coming, but finally the teaser trailer for 'The Hobbit: An Expected Journey' - the first in a two-part movie adaptation of the Tolkien story, has arrived.

Check out the 'Hobbit' trailer below.

Five things we noticed about 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' trailer

1) It looks and sounds awfully familiar, and we love it!

The very first scene in the trailer - a prologue that sees Elijah Wood and Sir Ian Holm reprise their roles as Frodo and Bilbo - immediately brings back that 'Lord Of The Rings' feel. From the Hobbiton countryside, the insides of Bag End and the lush Rivendell set, Jackson and his production designers haven't strayed at all from the earlier films. Same with the music: Howard Shore's familiar LOTR score plays from the start.

2) Lots more Gandalf the Grey

It's great to see Sir Ian McKellen back as the fresh-faced (relatively speaking) Gandalf the Grey, rather than the moody and fatalistic 'White' iteration from the 'Rings' sequels. McKellen once said: "Grey Gandalf is my favourite… because he got down and dirty. He slept in the hedgerows; he was closer to the earth and not quite so spiritual. He's also funnier — he's got more variety to him." The wizard is in the trailer a lot - he even has a fight scene - and alongside Martin Freeman's Bilbo he'll surely have the most screen time in 'The Hobbit'.

[See more: 'The Dark Knight Rises' trailer explained]

3) Martin Freeman is perfectly cast

Speaking of which, this is also the first time fans have seen Martin Freeman as Bilbo (most famous as Tim from 'The Office' of course). When he was first announced as the younger version, the vast majority of fans reckoned it was perfect casting and there's nothing to dispel that here. We see Bilbo riding a pony, running with a map, finding ace sword 'Sting' and generally being bumbling and bemused. As he should be.

4) It will be funnier

'The Hobbit' book was much more light hearted and whimsical than the epic and serious 'Lord of the Rings' series, which is reflected in the physical comedy seen in the trailer. We have fat Bofur smashing a chair, the dwarfs falling through a door and what looks like a food fight. Despite the familiar setting, it seems the film makers are striving for a lighter tone this time round. As well they should, 'The Hobbit' is a children's book after all.

5) It's heavily connected to 'The Lord of the Rings'

When it was first green lit, we heard the film makers would use additional story from 'The Lord of the Rings' appendixes to make the second 'Hobbit' a 'bridge' to the 'LOTR' films. It seems from the trailer however that Jackson has also used these elements for 'Part 1' as well. We see Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) - who was not in the book - as well as Frodo and the older Bilbo. McKellen said in an interview that Gandalf's mission to Mirkwood, and his attempts to get the White Council to attack The Necromancer (Sauron), would also be included at some point.

The 'Hobbit' movies: The back-story

A decade ago director Peter Jackson sent people on an epic journey to middle earth when he released the first part of 'The Lord of the Rings'.

It became the kind of cinematic phenomenon that had been sorely lacking since the original 'Star Wars' trilogy came to an end in the late 80s.

It was inevitable Tolkien's earlier book 'The Hobbit' would then be made, but it's taken a while.

Disputes over the rights, issues with the New Zealand government and 'Pan's Labyrinth' director Guillermo Del Toro dropping out of the production all delayed the project.

Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee and Elijah Wood returned to their roles and it was announced, rather surprisingly, that the film was going to be split into two.

[See also: Exclusive interview with 'Dragon Tattoo' stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara]

The idea being that they could delve deeper into the back-story and do more to set up 'The Lord of the Rings' than Tolkien originally did with his first book. The gaps would be filled with the encyclopedic appendices found in LOTR, which fleshed out the world.

Martin Freeman joined the cast as the perfect Bilbo Baggins, both in likeness and as an actor. He may be unproven in a film as big as this but fans once disputed the casting of "that kid from 'The Goonies'" as Samwise Gamgee and how wrong were they?

It is to be filmed in 3D and, rather more excitingly, in 48 frames per second (fps). Films have always been filmed in 24 fps so this will mean a far smoother image, and presumably a far better 3D experience.

The trailer above shows what you'd expect from the first trailer. It's light on action but is instantly recognisable as a return to Middle Earth, with a hint of foreboding to keep us tantalised. There are plenty of gorgeous shots and an emphasis on Bilbo and Gandalf.

It amounts to just a slither of the final product but it's a Christmas treat for sure. As the months roll on towards release, we cannot wait to see more.

Prior to the release of the trailer, another official image was released which can be seen below.

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' will be released December 14, 2012. The second film, 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' is slated for release the following year, on December 13, 2013.

A decade ago director Peter Jackson sent people on an epic journey to middle earth when he released the first part of 'The Lord of the Rings'.

It became the kind of cinematic phenomenon that had been sorely lacking since the original 'Star Wars' trilogy came to an end in the late 80s.