The first HOBBIT Trailer (“An Unexpected Party”) is released

“Oh great joy and splendor,” to quote Samwise Gamgee at the end of the RETURN OF THE KING, “all my dreams have come true”. Well, not exactly, but it’s a fun day when Master Visualist Peter Jackson releases a trailer to an upcoming project, and doubly so when the source is J.R.R. Tolkien. Attend, if you will, to the first official trailer of THE HOBBIT, part 1:

I could be all snarky and mention the downside to my reactions– yeesh, not another overpriced 3D movie, good lord, those Dwarves are huge and suspiciously human, etc. etc., but frankly, who cares. We’re almost at the point where we’ll be seeing another Peter Jackson LOTR universe movie, with many of the old cast come back for a shot at the prequel. There will be some logistical problems, of course. Elves are immortal in this universe, and Dwarves and Dunedain age slowly. So, somewhere out there, are young versions of Gimli (allegedly 62 years old at the time of the Hobbit, but still considered a mere boy in Dwarf eyes) and Legolas (far older than Gimli, one presumes, but I don’t have a clue as to how old he’s supposed to be at the time of the Hobbit). The Istari, of course, should be ageless and deathless, as befits their station (thought they were sent to Middle Earth encased in human form, and could die, as we see both Gandalf and Saruman do in the Lord of the Rings books). Getting Ian McKellan and Christopher Lee to reprise their parts is a no-brainer, though both are getting up there in age and it will be a challenge to present them as somehow younger than they were when the LOTR films were released. It’s a smart choice to cast Martin Freeman (who was an excellent Watson in the modern SHERLOCK series on the BBC last year) as a younger Bilbo. He resembles the older Bilbo in a general way, and makeup can do wonders. I was surprised that they were casting Holm and Elijah Wood in the roles they made famous, but it makes sense as it appears that they will be having a “flashback discussion” which is the narrative voice of the story. As for the Dwarves, so central and epic to the story, I have no bad opinion, rather no opinion whatsoever. They look good.. just a bit tall and frankly, too human by far for my tastes. Jon Rhys-Davies’ Gimli did not look human at all– the actors playing the questing party of dwarfs look giant, human, and somber for dwarves. We’ll see. Best of all (for me, as I admit my Tolkien geekiness without shame), there appears to be tantalizing bits that will form the backstory to the Lord of the Rings story arc. The fact that they will cast actors to play Thorin Oakenshield’s father and grandfather, even if they only appear in flashbacks, is very promising. Former Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy will play the third Istari to appear in the trilogy, Radagast the Brown. Benedict Cumberbatch, also fantastic as the titular character in that modern Sherlock series, plays the voice of Smaug AND the Necromancer (Sauron, hiding out in Dol Goldur). SO I think it’s safe to say we’re going to be peeping behind the tapestry on this movie. I am very enthused about this one, and look forward to seeing it the requisite many times.

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