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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Preview

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Probably one of the most anticipated prequels of all time, Peter Jackson returns with more antics from the Shire, as director and producer. After the success of the Lord of The Rings trilogy, The Hobbit is set to storm into the record books. Having the release date in December will heighten everyone’s festive cheer and will be a perfect way to end the year.

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins(Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug(Benedict Cumberbatch). Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey(Ian McKellen), Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever, Gollum (Andy Serkis). Here, he finds a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo can’t begin to know.

A focus of discussion is the bizarre, mismatched cast, which ranges from the superb such as Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee and Andy Serkis who reprise their roles and newcomers such as Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch to the strange casting of James Nesbitt as Bofur, ex-Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown and the ever odd Barry Humphries as the Great Goblin.

Cumberbatch vs. Freeman is going to be interesting as we are so used to them working together as Sherlock and Watson and even though its only Cumberbatch’s voice, its going to be intense. They are always brilliant in everything. Richard Armitage as a dwarf is a bit odd but that’s part of the Peter Jackson experience for actors. It also gives us the chance to guess who’s who as most of the cast will be unrecognisable, especially Stephen Fry who sports a bald cap, a comb over and eats testicles as the Master of Laketown. Nice.

The filmmakers have jumped on the same bandwagon as Harry Potter and Twilight and have made the film into three parts, this will end up being very frustrating and rewarding for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien as we won’t get to see the conclusion until 2014 but there will be enough screen time to showcase the entire story and plenty of references to Lord of The Rings to satisfy the most die-hard fan. An Unexpected Journey will run over 160 minutes but it still clocks in shorter than Fellowship Of The Ring, the least lengthy of Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy and so it should be if they’re putting it in three parts. Its a veritable juggernaut and I can’t wait.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will open in cinemas on the 14th December, it will be packed so book in advance and get your geek on.

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Becci Jameson

Deputy Editor, Design – 2013/14

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