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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
It's Really Official Now: Wood & Serkis Press Release

News from Bree

Jan 11 2011, 8:35am

Post #1 of 25 (2964 views)
It's Really Official Now: Wood & Serkis Press Release Can't Post


Los Angeles, CA—January 10, 2011—Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis are set to join the cast of Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic “The Hobbit.” The films, which are scheduled to commence principal photography in February 2011, mark Jackson’s return to Middle-earth following his Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The announcement was made jointly today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Jackson, who directed all three “Lord of the Rings” films, will helm the two films back-to-back, telling the story of “The Hobbit” in two parts from a screenplay by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.

Elijah Wood (“The Lord of The Rings” trilogy, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) will be returning to play Frodo Baggins the young cousin of Bilbo Baggins and Andy Serkis (“The Lord of The Rings” trilogy, “King Kong”) will be returning to play the character Gollum.

Peter Jackson welcomed the two back."I cannot imagine returning to Middle-earth without these two wonderful actors. We began this journey together ten years ago and I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with Eiljah and Andy again."

The actors join the previously announced cast including Martin Freeman (TV’s “Sherlock,” “Breaking and Entering”) as Bilbo Baggins, Cate Blanchett (“Lord of The Rings” trilogy, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). Ken Stott (“Charlie Wilson’s War”, TV’s “Rebus”), Sylvester McCoy (TV’s “Doctor Who”), Mikael Persbrandt (“Everlasting Moments”, “Day and Night”). Ryan Gage (“Outlaw”, TV’s “Doctors”). Richard Armitage (upcoming “Captain America: The First Avenger”), Aidan Turner (TV’s “Being Human”), Rob Kazinsky (TVs “EastEnders”), Graham McTavish (“Secretariat”), John Callen (TV’s “Power Rangers Jungle Fury”), Stephen Hunter (TV’s “All Saints”), Mark Hadlow (“King Kong”) and Peter Hambleton (TV’s “The Strip”). Additional cast announcements include James Nesbitt (“Millions” and TV’s “Cold Feet”) Jed Brophy (“Lord of The Rings” trilogy, “District 9”), William Kircher (“Out of the Blue”) and newcomer Adam Brown.
Since “The Hobbit” films received a green light on October 15, pre-production has been in full swing with release dates targeted for December, 2012 and December, 2013. Jackson will utilize groundbreaking visual effects and his incomparable storytelling to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel to the big screen. Both “Hobbit” movies will be filmed in Digital 3-D, using the latest camera and stereo technology to create a high quality, comfortable viewing experience.

The two films are being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally.

Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films, with co-writer Philippa Boyens serving as co-producer and Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner as executive producers. The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, also from the production team of Jackson, Walsh and Cunningham, grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office.. In 2003, “The Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.

New Line Cinema continues to be one of the most successful independent film companies. For more than 40 years, its mission has been to produce innovative, popular, profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line produced the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which is a landmark in the history of film franchises. New Line Cinema is a division of Warner Bros.

Peter Jackson is one of the world's most successful filmmakers. His monumental achievement co-writing, co-producing and directing The Lord of the Rings trilogy (with fellow Academy Award winners and frequent collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) earned a total of 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 Academy Awards. Jackson and Walsh received their first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for their acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures. Jackson, through his New Zealand-based Wingnut Films banner, also was responsible for the globally successful 2005 remake of King Kong which earned over $500 million worldwide and 3 Academy Awards. Jackson most recently directed the Academy Award nominated The Lovely Bones; an adaptation of the acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, which to date has earned nearly $100 million worldwide; and produced the global sensation, District 9, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He is also developing a trilogy of films with Steven Spielberg based on Tintin, the world renowned comic book series by Herge. In 2010 he received a Knighthood for his services to film.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in domestic and international TV channels reaching over 130 countries. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 11 2011, 1:42pm

Post #2 of 25 (1635 views)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too awesome! :o) // [In reply to] Can't Post



Jan 11 2011, 2:43pm

Post #3 of 25 (1590 views)
Um ..... [In reply to] Can't Post


.... and no Gandalf when McKellen has today officially confirmed it?

This has to mean a larger press release is imminent, by that I mean next 24 hours. Sly


Tol Eressea

Jan 11 2011, 2:49pm

Post #4 of 25 (1593 views)
Elijah Wood [In reply to] Can't Post

Am I the only one not being bothered about him being in it? It's not like they will have him join Bilbo and the dwarves on the journey. Probably some sort of cameo at the end of Part 2.

(This post was edited by Carne on Jan 11 2011, 2:52pm)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 11 2011, 2:53pm

Post #5 of 25 (1590 views)
Yeah, I too was wondering about that... [In reply to] Can't Post

... there'll probably be an official press release from WB about Gandalf's casting. I was surprised they didn't club it with this one seeing as he's already spilled the beans (and how!)

Also, this press release seems to have some outdated information about the financing. It says "The two films are being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally." This seems a little outdated as it was reported on January 6th that WB/New Line would now be handling international distribution.

Sort of makes me believe this press release was sitting in the can for a while now and whoever released it forgot to update that portion Tongue

If so, there might be more press releases with confirmed actors but WB is probably just staggering them to maintain the continued anticipation and increase the hype. I'm not complaining Cool

(This post was edited by Earl on Jan 11 2011, 2:54pm)


Jan 11 2011, 2:58pm

Post #6 of 25 (1574 views)
Yeah, I wonder if he will [In reply to] Can't Post

be given an announcement of his own soon.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Jan 11 2011, 4:37pm

Post #7 of 25 (1543 views)
Hugo Weaving [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps they will wait for Hugo Weaving's confirmation first and then announce both Sir Ian and Hugo together. They are both significant characters in the book after all. Also, I don't recall any of the previous press releases being about just one actor's involvement, rather two or more actors (the last press release for Elijah and Andy, for example).

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.


Jan 11 2011, 4:40pm

Post #8 of 25 (1568 views)
You are right [In reply to] Can't Post

So far it's never been just one name.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Jan 11 2011, 4:53pm

Post #9 of 25 (1541 views)
Another thing as well [In reply to] Can't Post

Now, as we know for sure when principal photography officially kicks off, we have an idea of when the final casting announcements will be made as you would assume that the production crew would want the cast locked down before filming started.

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea

Jan 11 2011, 5:00pm

Post #10 of 25 (1545 views)
There are plenty of us not bothered- or even happy- that he's in it [In reply to] Can't Post

The poll results on the front page completely show different results than the talk on these message boards. As of my posting:

Love it! 37.22% (1,940 votes) Works for me! 31.96% (1,666 votes) Meh - I guess it works 17.4% (907 votes) Not too excited 7.16% (373 votes) Nooooooooo!!!! 6.25% (326 votes) Total Votes: 5,212

That's ~69% who like/love it, ~17% who are indifferent, and ~13% who aren't thrilled/annoyed about it (and an extra 1% of decimals I didn't include).

So, no, you are definitely not the only one. It is just that for basically all things in life, the loudest things that one tends to hear are complaints. I mean, forum boards of all sorts often thrive on worries and complaints. Those who are happy/content about whatever subject are less likely to post.

Why? I have no idea. It's a strange thing. Same, or at least similar, phenomenon that works with the whole "loud minority" we see often in social issues/politics, I think.

My LiveJournal ~ My artwork and photography

NARF since age 8, when I refused to read the Hobbit because the cover looked boring and icky.

Welsh hero

Jan 11 2011, 5:00pm

Post #11 of 25 (1519 views)
He's narrating [In reply to] Can't Post

so I hear

In both films no more than 10 to 15 min I'd bet



Jan 11 2011, 6:14pm

Post #12 of 25 (1431 views)
We have our Gollum back, woohoo (nt) [In reply to] Can't Post


Peace, Love and Rock & Roll,

The orange stripey One

Cruise to Middle-earth

Grey Havens

Jan 11 2011, 7:47pm

Post #13 of 25 (1455 views)
Time to be THAT guy again [In reply to] Can't Post

Peter Jackson: "I cannot imagine returning to Middle-earth without these two wonderful actors.."

If you can't imagine returning to Middle-earth for The Hobbit without Elijah Wood (who played a character who isn't even mentioned in the novel), then that's not very comforting to me.

Meh. Maybe I'm just reading too much into this comment.

Thrilled about the confirmation of Andy Serkis, though.

(This post was edited by duats on Jan 11 2011, 7:47pm)

Grey Havens

Jan 11 2011, 8:32pm

Post #14 of 25 (1423 views)
Cool [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't wait to hear that Ian Holm and Hugo Weaving are confirmed, I'm surprised they haven't been yet. Also waiting confirmation from WB and Peter Jackson about McKellen and Lee. Also wondering who they've got up their sleeves for Bard and Thranduil, and the Master of Laketown.


Jan 12 2011, 3:06am

Post #15 of 25 (1395 views)
Put me in the happy column :) [In reply to] Can't Post

sub-column *squeeee!!*

Peter Jackson has created a family of people involved with these films now; and I think that honouring the links and bonds of The Lord of the Rings with The Hobbit by including those faces, voices and characters that have brought Middle-earth to life is so very welcome to me. Whether Frodo visits this/these film(s) with dialogue or is seen reading the Red Book of Westmarch just before finishing it as Sam walks in is an intriguing! *twitch*

I don't worry that Peter will kitch-up the film(s) with visits by LotR characters. I trust Philippa, Fran and him to treat this with logic and reverence for the host-work... just as they've always done. I can't WAIT to see what they have to give us... many who are more than just their audience, but also their fans and friends. I like to think they trust us, too :)

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes


Jan 12 2011, 5:37am

Post #16 of 25 (1355 views)
Now I'm just waiting for Serkis to be announced as Smaug... that's what will make me happy!// [In reply to] Can't Post


Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 12 2011, 10:17am

Post #17 of 25 (1402 views)
Posting from the Home Page article "Elijah Wood Speaks About "The Hobbit"" [In reply to] Can't Post

The guys over at IGN managed to catch up with Elijah Wood and ask him a few questions about his recent casting announcement as Frodo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit films. Heres what he had to say:

We thought we were finished and the character doesnt even exist in The Hobbit, so it was not even a pipe dream to imagine the possibility would be there for me to reprise the role of Frodo. But theyve come up with something that I think is kind of interesting and I think very fitting that doesnt necessarily infringe upon the integrity of the original novel. Its great. Im really excited.

Those [the Lord of the Rings] films marked a huge, massive experience in my life. Its been 11 years, basically, since I went to New Zealand, so itll be a beautiful reunion and Im just excited to go back and see everybody again.

Concerning the details of the role hes signed up to play, Elijah says:

I think itll be relatively minimal. Thats my impression. I actually havent read anything yet. I havent read a script. I have almost as much information as you guys have!

If Elijah would like to drop by and read up on the inside information concerning his role that was posted here on TORn late last week, Im sure well all be up for an unexpected party Smile

(This post was edited by Earl on Jan 12 2011, 10:17am)

Registered User

Jan 12 2011, 11:15am

Post #18 of 25 (1369 views)
just signed up [In reply to] Can't Post

Yesterday was a big day for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, seeing not only Andy Serkis sign on to once again play the evil little sh*t known as Gollum, but also Ian McKellen, who will return to play the great wizard Gandalf. The project moving forward is thanks to MGM finally resolving their financial woes, but one question still remains: where the hell is James Bond? For all of the progress Jackson's film has made, there has been no forward motion on the 007 front. The closest thing we've gotten to a plan has been a vague promise about Fall 2011. Well, consider those promises vague no longer.


(This post was edited by dernwyn on Jan 12 2011, 4:20pm)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 12 2011, 11:20am

Post #19 of 25 (1296 views)
Hi THORISBAK... [In reply to] Can't Post

... welcome to TORn :) Glad you joined us.

Concerning your question about James Bond, I've seen just this morning that the studio has set a release date for it. In case you haven't seen it, there's a post about it here on TORn over on the "Off Topic" board.

Kangi Ska

Jan 12 2011, 3:22pm

Post #20 of 25 (1307 views)
I doubt that any announcement will be made about Smaug at all. [In reply to] Can't Post

It would not be wise.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.


Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 12 2011, 4:06pm

Post #21 of 25 (2355 views)
Posting from the Home Page article "Elijah Wood Speaks Even More About "The Hobbit" [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's another neat interview with Elijah Wood (this time courtesy of Collider.com) concerning his return to Middle-earth as Frodo Baggins and having Peter Jackson return to the director's chair after Guillermo del Toro's departure.

From Collider.com:

COLLIDER: Was there a chance that you wouldnt be able to do The Hobbit because of Wilfred?

WOOD: No. As it was always with The Hobbit, they wanted to do it very early in their schedule, so it just happened to work out very well.

COLLIDER: So, did you always know that you were going to be going back and doing it?

WOOD: I didnt always know. I had an idea.

COLLIDER: Whats it like to be returning to Middle Earth again?

WOOD: Its a gift. Were now going on over a decade since I went out to New Zealand to start The Lord of the Rings, so its just going to be a beautiful reunion. I was actually out there in February and a lot of the same crew and designers, and so many of the family are a part of making The Hobbit as well. Its just going to be a beautiful, very surreal reunion.

COLLIDER: Does it make it that much more special to have Peter Jackson back for it?

WOOD: Yes, absolutely. I was very excited at the prospect of Guillermo [Del Toro] doing it. Im a huge fan of Guillermos work and hes a wonderful man, but it obviously makes it that much more special that Peter is doing it. Its going to be a true reunion, in that sense.

COLLIDER: Who else is coming back?

WOOD: Ian McKellan is back. Andy Serkis is reprising his role as Gollum. Cate Blanchett is coming back as Galadriel. Theres a few others from the original trilogy.

COLLIDER: When will you start filming?

WOOD: Sometime in February.

COLLIDER: That soon?

WOOD: Yeah.

COLLIDER: How long will the shoot be?

WOOD: Theyre going for over a year. Theyve got two films to make.


Jan 12 2011, 7:19pm

Post #22 of 25 (1228 views)
It's McKellen! *Grr* :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

All the news lately is very exciting and I'm especially glad of the fact that we will have Chris Lee back.
This was a nice interview but what is it with people spelling McKellen as McKellan ... Unsure


Jan 12 2011, 7:26pm

Post #23 of 25 (1244 views)
Noticed this case too. [In reply to] Can't Post

Loads of people are calling him "McKellan" for some reason.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Jan 12 2011, 7:34pm

Post #24 of 25 (1226 views)
Actually [In reply to] Can't Post

It's Chris Lea.


Mawr yw ein braint i berthyn i'r gwm Llynfi


Jan 12 2011, 8:46pm

Post #25 of 25 (1259 views)
Elijah/Frodo's return [In reply to] Can't Post

ShockedLaugh HeartHeart WAAA-HOO-EEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO HAPPY!!!

also happy to read after that he mentioned Ian, Andy, n Kate
that he also said, 'and a few others'. surely Viggo, n Hugo
will be among those.


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