New ‘Hobbit’ Images; Interviews with Philippa Boyens & Richard Armitage

3 years ago by  

Considering the unadulterated enthusiasm and sheer joy expressed by Peter Jackson and the members of his creative team on The Hobbit in previously-released production diary videos, it’s easy to forget about all the lawsuits, studio financial collapses, directorial change-ups, union conflicts, and personal health issues that have afflicted this project for the past three years (or so).

In a new interview, Jackson touches (very) briefly on the difficulties he and his his crew have encountered, in their efforts to realize J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous predecessor to the Lord of the Rings trilogy on the big screen. We also have some cool new Hobbit images and thoughts from one of its co-writers (Philippa Boyens) and costar (Richard Armitage) to boot.

The first of two Hobbit-based movies (subtitled An Unexpected Journey) picks up with a young Bilbo Baggins, as brought to life by Martin Freeman (the UK version of The Office) who gets swept up in a quest to reclaim a lost Dwarf Kingdom from the treasure-hoarding dragon known as Smaug (voiced by Freeman’s Sherlock co-star, Benedict Cumberbatch). Joining the mild-mannered Hobbit are the likes of the shabby wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and thirteen dwarves from different regions of Middle-Earth, led by the battle-ready Thorin Oakenshield (Armitage).

Check out a new image of Freeman as a grungy-looking Bilbo covered in cobwebs, with his mystical sword Sting in hand – along with a new behind-the-scenes pic of Jackson and Freeman on the set for Bilbo’s hobbit hole, below:


Jackson (diplomatically) told Hero Complex that he felt that ultimately “fate has actually been kind to us… but I don’t know that we know that we knew that along the way,” as far as pre-production on The Hobbit is concerned. Considering all the strife that Jackson and Co. had to endure in order to finance and get moving ahead with the $500 million venture (to say nothing of the director’s brief health scare) that’s definitely the most polite way Jackson could have put it.

On a different note: here is what Boyens, who also co-wrote all three Rings flicks, as well as Jackson’s King Kong remake and The Lovely Bones adaptation, had to say about adapting The Hobbit:

“The story is very much a children’s story so deciding how to tell this was one of the first things we had to do. Who is the audience? It is very distinctly different, tonally, to ‘Lord of the Rings’ until the very end and then you begin to see the world of Middle-earth opening up… but, having said that, we felt that it is the same audience [who will come to see the films] and then you start to worry because it is easy to repeat yourself. It is quite a similar journey, you’re going from the Shire to a large, dangerous mountain.”

Boyens’ words very much reflect what Jackson and Fran Walsh previously said about The Hobbit, with regards to the original novel’s gentler fairy tale atmosphere – and how the plan is for the second film (subtitled There and Back Again) to be more of a dark epic along the lines of the Rings trilogy that will help to better bridge the gap between the two interrelated, but distinct stories being told over the course of Jackson’s Middle-Earth pentalogy.

hobbittrailer07 570x301 New Hobbit Images; Interviews with Philippa Boyens & Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

Lastly, in an interview with MTV, Armitage had the following thoughts to offer about the original Hobbit novel and how he’s approaching the task of portraying Thorin Oakenshield in cinematic form:

“I read ['The Hobbit'] quite a few times when I was young. I think going back to it as an adult is really interesting because it is a book that was, I think, was written for Tolkien’s children, but when you’re creating a piece on this scale, you have to really visualize it for a much broader audience. I think that’s the beauty of Tolkien. He does create very well-rounded, quite dangerous characters to play his protagonists. He risks scaring kids. He’s the original fantasy creator, and I think you have to invest those characters with the same gravity as if you were making a piece for adults. It was interesting coming back to it as an adult, re-reading it again, because it did have a simplicity to it, which I really like. I felt we could take those characters and really develop them beyond the book.”

Armitage has appeared in many a BBC TV series in recent years (including Strike Back, MI-5, and Robin Hood) but to U.S. moviegoers, he’s essentially a newcomer who briefly played a German secret agent/saboteur in Captain America.

It’ll be interesting to see what Armitage’s post-Hobbit career is like, for that reason. Could he suddenly become as ubiquitous as, say, Michael Fassbender or Idris Elba? Or will he keep a lower profile, a la Rings‘ star Viggo Mortensen? Only time will tell…


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives in theaters around the U.S. on December 14th, 2012.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be released a year later on December 13th, 2013.

Source: LA Times, MTV

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: lord of the rings, the hobbit


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  1. please,he don´t looks like a clingon,and the dwarfs comes from different regions of middleearth,like discribed in the article above,that´s why they all look unique and different together! the clingon discussion about oakenshield was the reason,why i´ve began to write it first.

    • You are absolutely correct, he doesn’t look like a “Klingon” there but can you honestly say he even looks like a Dwarf much less the Thorin Oakenshield described in the book? I would bet you that anyone familiar with LotR but unfamiliar with the Hobbit footage would label him as just another Human. Very sad for the supposed king of the Dwarves to not even look like a Dwarf.

      And when we say he looks like a Klingon we are referring to the initial photo release of him…..×427.jpg

      • He looks exactly how I imagined Oakenshield to look. They nailed it.

        As far as looking like a Klingon – if you take away all the racials of a Klingon, and the teeth, and the body, and everything else that makes up a Klingon, so you’re left with just part of the hair, then MAYBE he looks a little like a Klingon. Otherwise, NO.

        But some people will complain about anything because they CAN.

        • Please, give me a break. They did not “nail it” considering he doesn’t even LOOK like a feakin Dwarf. If you had read The Hobbit then you are lying through your teeth just to spite me.

          • Does it really matter?

        • thank you bardgal!and is it you in the picture?you look very cute.

      • could it be he doesnt look like a dwarf in the pic because there is no contrast? he’s not standing next to a human or elf. John Rhys-Davies is like 6’4″, and looks nothing like a dwarf in a pic by himself, but with the trick photography, viola’! i think (most) everyone will be happy once the final product gets a viewing. lets at least wait until the movie comes out before jackson gets blasted.

        • Nope because Davies DID look like a dwarf by himself. I would suggest googling “Gimli”, take a look at the myriad of photos of him and then tell me he doesn’t look like a Dwarf solo. Has ZERO to do with his height. Of course you probably just do what Bardgal did and disagree just to be contrary.

          • Although he looks different from the “Gimli” character, you cannot claim he is different from how he is described in the book. The book does not give that exact a description of him. There must be a reason he looks a bit different than the other dwarves. I trust Jackson could explain it, and I wish he would. Regardless, big freakin deal.

          • well, i suggest you re-read my comment. at no time did i disagree with you, i simply asked a question, and then made a suggestion of waiting to see the finished film before making such broad judgments on a film you havent seen yet.
            and what did bardgal do? she says that, to her, they nailed the description of Oakenshield, which is her interpretations of a written description.i doubt she’s just trying to be contrary. i have not read the hobbit, so i cant say whether he looks like Oakenshield or not, but i’ll wait untill i see the movie before i go hatin’ on it (and since LOTR is one of my all time faves, I’m sure I will like it. I did try reading those books. i got about 2/3rds thru the first and just found it very dull)

            • OK. according to wikipedia -”Thorin is described as being very haughty, stern, and officious. He has a talent for singing and playing the harp, wears a gold chain, and has a very long beard. His appearance is also characterized by his distinct sky blue hood. He refers to his homes in the Blue Mountains as “poor lodgings in exile.” He is a capable and a cunning warrior, if not a particularly inspiring or clever leader”- so i will give you the beard thing. that part does seem a bit different than his description, but he looks like a dwarf to me in the trailer.

            • @Jeffro… posted a comment suggesting that the problem with Thorin was he didn’t look like a Dwarf because of perspective and then posted verbatim that Gimli didn’t look like a Dwarf alone. Based on what I have seen that was not the case. Alone Gimli looks like a Dwarf but still Thorin does NOT, he looks like a Human.

              And I don’t have to wait to see the entire film to make a good judgment call. I have seen all the video blogs and they did an excellent job of showing enough footage to make an informed decision.

              As to your description…….It’s missing some important elements like the fact that he is supposed to be OLD. The guy is 195 years old which puts him at the tail end of the Dwarf lifespan but yet this version looks like a Human in the prime of their life. Not a single lock of grey in the hair, not a bit of wrinkled skin. He is supposed to be the grizzled old King of the Dwarves and should look more “Dwarfy” than any other Dwarf but yet we get a Human instead. Huge change from the book so there is no possible way Jackson “nailed it” based on that one fact alone.

              You even admit the beard is not right but to add to why this is so wrong…….Thorin is not only King of the Dwarves but also head of the LONGBEARD Clan. Kind of wrong for the head of that clan to not at least follow what the clan was named for, don’t you think?

              Found a much better pic. of him….

              Looks more like a mountain man or a HUMAN Viking than anything else and certainly NOT a Dwarf let alone Thorin Oakenshield.

              I also am not “hating” on the movie, only Jackson’s decision to drastically change one of the more important characters in the story.

              @Jeff…..the reason why both Thorin and Kili were so drastically changed to look handsome was for the heartthrob factor. They wanted to give the female viewers someone to swoon over like Legolas and Aragorn in LotR.

              Here is Kili….

              Not a drop of Dwarfy look to him. (not to mention he is supposed to have blonde hair like his brother Fili. ;) )

              and before you go ballistic on me, thinking I’m some crazy loner with these opinions, there are a buttload of people out there who are just as outraged as I am about these changes.

          • j.rys.davis looks like a dwarf,of course with the great make -up and c.g.i,the man is so big and tall in reality! but i don´t discuss anymore how oakenshield looks,in my eyes perfect. and,yes i´ve never read the hobbit,but everyones imagination is different,and i love it how the great peter jackson created the 13 dwarfs.

          • and why are you attack bardgal,this is a discussion-pod,are you a freakin´fanatic ?

            • Except that Bardgal wasn’t “discussing” anything. They posted a completely opposite and blatantly false opinion. Maybe they are a Jackson worshiper that doesn’t like anything negative said about Jackson, I don’t know but the deception is obvious. How do I know? Lets examine the facts shall we?…..

              “He looks exactly how I imagined Oakenshield to look”

              This little statement implies they had read The Hobbit because you can’t already have a picture conjured up in your mind if you don’t even know the character in question. The problem though, if they had read the Hobbit they wouldn’t have pictured the Jackson look…..

              Thorin Oakenshield had:

              - a sky blue hooded cloak (with silver tassels)
              - was very old
              - had a very long beard
              - wore a prominent gold chain

              Not a ton to go on I admit but this Thorin has exactly ZERO of the described features so there is absolutely no way they “nailed it”, hence a false statement.

              • but,mongoose,aragorn was also over hundred (120-150)years old. i must say i haven´t read the lords-trilogie,and that i have this from a friend who read all of tolkiens-novells,who told me that. so,i must say i am not a great expert, only of the movies. and for oakensh. in my imagination,dwarfs most of them look like gimli,potatoe-noses,long beards,big strong eyebrows,but i mean oakensh. looks different and that´s what i like.

                • /sigh, must I “geek out”? Yeah ok……

                  Aragorn was not just an ordinary man but a Dunedain, descendant of the Numenoreans. Their lifespan was said to be 3 times that of normal men (other estimates say around 200+ years) At the time of the first meeting in the Fellowship of the Ring Aragorn was 87 years old. So 87/3 = about 29 Human years old by one method and about 35 by the other. If anything Viggo was technically a bit old for the role, as he was in his 40′s when shooting began but I think he visually fit quite well.

                  Thorin on the other hand was 195 at the time of the Hobbit with the average Dwarf lifespan being around 250. So in Human years that would put him in his mid 60′s. Sorry but the “Dwarf” in that photo looks to be about HALF his correct age.

                  • so, what is the point you are making? is it that this movie will suck because some character is not as exactly described in the book? it is an “adaption”, after all, not a word for word movie from the book. the screenwriters will make some changes, spruce up, or tone down, some characters, just like in LOTR.(i.e., Arwen). i have tried reading the LOTR books and i couldnt even get thru the 1st one, but i loved the movies. but you are certainly free to pre-judge this film if you want

                    • Did I EVER say the movie would suck? No. The fact is I want it to be great but with sore sticking points like the way the Dwarves look is going to taint the otherwise great experience for many of us who HAVE read the book(s). Would it have been so difficult to match the descriptions? Jackson did an excellent job in LotR so why did they fail so miserably here?

                      And while I agree it won’t be a word for word faithful reproduction, they again should, at the VERY least, have been striving to match the characters AS DESCRIBED in the book. There were precious few in depth details about each of the Dwarves but Jackson choose to ignore virtually ALL of them. Thorin doesn’t even come close to matching up as we have discussed, Kili is supposed to be blonde like his brother and doesn’t even LOOK like a Dwarf! Fili is supposed to have the largest nose and the list goes on and on.

                  • Mongoose….I like details as much as the next person, but for Godsake get a freakin’ life!!

        • you´re right jeffro,in the trailer you can see it for a second,gandalf stands in front of oakensh.,you see oakensh.backfront and he´s very small.

      • I think I found a pic of Thorin AFTER Jackson applied some CGI. He looks a lot better, more “Dwarf” like. His beard is quite longer and he even has his blue hood. Enjoy.

        • that was hilarious!!!

  2. I like that they’ve acknowledged the drastic difference in tone between hobbit and lotr, hopefully it’ll lead to something not too kiddy (which isnt always bad, just, too drastic a change) but not so similar it
    s stale

  3. This film is gonna kill the box office. I’ve been waiting years for this style to return to the big screen.

    • For real! Look out Avatar!

    • No doubt, it will be the biggest box office hit of the year, and the sequal will be the biggest hit of 2013. Fans have been waiting close to ten years for a return to Middle Earth. By far, Jackson, with Tolkien’s help, is the best fantasy director/visionary of our time.

  4. Don’t know why so may commentators have refered to The Hobbit as a children’s tale. An objective reading of it would reveal that it is equally dark, dramatic, and serious. I truly hope Jackson and company do not make it too “light” and “fun”, and thus, “user friendly”.

  5. :)hobbits rule

  6. I’m pretty sure the second image, with Jackson in it, is not new. I think I saw that one months ago…

  7. so excited for this! Seen Armitage a lot on tv over the years so it’s great to see him get a shot at film success!

  8. I stumbled across this short children’s animation of “The Hobbit”. It’s really quite charming, but terribly stripped down and inaccurate. But it is really cute and perfect for very young children to watch. It’s only 12 mins long.

    • ther is an animated the hobbit movie fron bakshie(director)who also made the animated l.o.t.r,and i think it has a playtime of 90 minutes,i don´t know the 12 minutes movie.

      • Yeah, I vaguely remember seeing that “Hobbit” movie when I was very young. I’ve got the animated LOTR on DVD somewhere. I don’t think it ever got the funding to finish the three books though, so it sort of just ends.

        I think there was a rights issue as well with Bakshie still having some of the rights to “The Hobbit” and “The Lord Of The Rings” that they had to sort out before Jackson could make a start on his movies.

        • oh man,how much words did i´ve write wrong,me stupid! yes,motoko maybee it will be a little bit influenced from bakshies work,like it was in jacksons lord movies. for example,the hobbit from the pridefeets-clan at the party from bilbo in the first movie.

  9. Mann December can’t come fast enough

  10. Anybody got any idea at what point in the story the first movie will end? I just realized that we wont be seeing Smaug in the first one.

  11. I can’t wait!! Will be looking for anything with Richard Armitage!!

  12. Follow the link on my name, the only changes to the picture was the forehead and the weapon.

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the original picture was, Klingon!