The hotly-anticipated first trailer of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been released. The return of the stout short people with hairy feet created an instant social media buzz with thousands of tweets on Wednesday. An Unexpected Journey, being filmed all around the country, will have its world premiere in Wellington in November next year, before a worldwide release on December 13.
It will be the first of Sir Peter Jackson’s two movie adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings. While the film focuses on the adventures of Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, Elijah Wood also revisits his role as Frodo Baggins.
The trailer, featuring sweeping vistas of Middle Earth style scenery and a lot of special effects, shows Ian McKellen as Gandalf beckoning Bilbo to go on an adventure he might not return from. “Can you promise I will come back?” Bilbo asks Gandalf.
“No, and if you do, you’ll not be the same,” he warns. And there’s a little snippet of Gollum hissing his classic “precious” line as well.
Wood told E! Online recently he thinks The Hobbit films are going to be “big”, and may even “outdo” the massively successful LOTR trilogy.
Now aged 30, Wood said: “They’re gonna be big. The audience is huge. The anticipation for The Hobbit has been so massive for so long.”
He was just 19 when he made his first LOTR movie. Cate Blanchett, who plays Galadriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas also appear in the new movie.
Production finally began on the movie in March following months of delays, a dispute with actors’ unions and Jackson’s hospitalisation for treatment of a perforated ulcer.
The delays forced director Guillermo Del Toro to leave the project and Jackson stepped in to take his place.