New ‘Hobbit’ Images Include Radagast the Brown; 2nd Trailer Arrives This Week

3 years ago by  

One question that’s been burning our brains – ever since the announcement that Peter Jackson is turning J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into a trilogy – is how, exactly, Tolkien’s simple story will be stretched out and split up to cover not two, but three massive fantasy epics (much less, a prequel trilogy that matches the accomplishment of Jackson’s Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy).

A third Hobbit movie was not confirmed until two weeks after Jackson had shown off twelve minutes of footage at Comic-Con; even then, the director was already indicating that some of the material might be pushed back to the second film, which has since been re-titled The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Some of the narrative material covered in Tolkien’s Return of the King appendices will also be used to fill in the cracks – especially in the third film, There and Back Again.

Today marks three months to the first installment in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, subtitled An Unexpected Journey; more importantly to dyed-in-the-wool Tolkien fans, this is also the beginning of Tolkien week, a seven-day period containing September 22nd – the birthday of one Bilbo Baggins, as well as his nephew Frodo. To celebrate the occasion, Jackson has announced (via Facebook) that a second trailer for An Unexpected Journey will premiere this Wednesday with additional (almost) finished footage, hopefully giving us a better sense of what will and won’t be covered from Tolkien’s source material.

In the meantime, we have six new screenshots from An Unexpected Journey to help tide you over, including the first official look at ex-Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown. A scan from the upcoming Hobbit tie-in calendar featuring Gandalf’s (Ian McKellen) fellow wizard began circulating a couple weeks ago, but this is the first look we’ve gotten at the character in official image form. As co-writer/producer Philippa Boyens told USA Today:

“[Radagast is] not at all like Gandalf. There’s a power and danger and sharpness and wits and cunning even about Gandalf that you sense immediately, whereas Radagast is much quieter and gentler. You could mistakenly think he’s not even a wizard or that he might not have any powers of his own, and then you discover that he does.”

Boyens may have partially shown her (and, in turn, Jackson’s) hand of cards while discussing the character Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), indicating that the Hobbit trilogy will be as much his story as it will be that of the young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman). Specifically, she said, “You want him to inherit this kingdom. You want to feel that if he can take back his homeland, he’ll rule for a good many years.”

The original published form of Tolkien’s Hobbit novel was a standalone child-friendly fantasy adventure, but later versions were revised to better tie-in to the events of the author’s Rings trilogy. Jackson and his collaborators are taking that a step further, with a three-part film adaptation that has more room for secondary character development (ex. Thorin’s journey) and additional subplots such as that concerning the White Council, where Radagast comes into play.

Jackson and his life partner/co-writer/producer Fran Walsh previously suggested An Unexpected Journey strikes a lighter tone similar to the initial publications of The Hobbit; subsequent installments, in turn, will become progressively darker and more serious, so as to set the stage for the Rings trilogy. The end goal, of course, is to create a hexalogy of Middle-earth films that feel as though they link together in a smooth, organic, fashion.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14th, 2012; its sequel, The Desolation of Smaug, follows on December 13th, 2013; and the final installment, There and Back Again, release on July 18th, 2014.

Source: Warner Bros. (via USA Today), Peter Jackson

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


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  1. Will the trailer be in two parts, but then for creative and in no way financial reasons, it will be shown in three parts?

    • Belittle the trilogy all you want, Dr. Beckett. For most of us, the more of Middle Earth, the better! There is plenty of material for three films, especially when you consider that they will be bridging the gap to The Lord of the Rings.

      • There’s enough for a hundred movies at least. Hopefully there will be a Tom Bombadil solo trilogy in the works after the Hobbit.

      • Except they aren’t bridging the gap anymore, that was Del Toro’s idea and was promptly thrown out when he sadly departed the project.
        What we’ve got here is an LOTR prequel that should have been one fantastic film, and has now had its short story stretched to breaking point over 7 hours.

        More is not always better. Quality over quantity.

        • I don’t know where you heard, with any absolute certainty, that they are not “bridging the gap” anymore? Even if that were the case, which it will not likely be, there is more than enough material in The Hobbit for three films. Cripes, after they kill the dragon, after all, there is a large scale war with the Goblins, which would be a great focal point for the third movie…

        • Okay, my above comment was sarcasm. No offense to the multitude of Tom Bombadil fans.

          I agree with DSB. The Hobbit on it’s own is a charming short story compared to LOTR. The ring is simply a magic ring that makes the wearer invisible. The book could be made into one two hour movie. I wish Del Toro had done it because I’d have rather seen a different tone to LOTR. That is appropriate. These movies are inflating the short novel to the magnitude of the entire LOTR. If one simply compares the thicknesses, the Hobbit is about 1/6th the length.

          This movie is expanding on the story from all the conversations that took place in the council of Elrond in LOTR (book) and all the appendices. There’s going to be Radagast the Red and some war that takes place in the south of Mirkwood forest, and a whole lot of other stuff.

          What percentage is going to be “the Hobbit?” This is “Tales of Middle Earth.” I’m sure Peter Jackson will make good movies, but they won’t be that great. These may end up diluting the first movies. The third movie will limp to a finish.

          • You discredit your comments by indicating that you wish del Toro had done these films, and also by indicating that we should consider the “thickness” of The Hobbit book. Try reading it from start to finish, and imagine all the conversations and interactions that were only briefly alluded to in the book that could be fleshed out on screen. What’s that? Screenplays never differ from the books that they are based on? Really?!

            • Enjoy the movies, Jeff.

    • Wah wah wah Dr. Beckett, this is definitely not the property and creative team to complain about MORE of.

  2. Can not wait! This week is going to be awesome. And the CGI for Gollum looks incredible! Cant wait for the trailer.

  3. Ive been waiting since 2003 for this movie.. its finally almost here!

  4. Gollum looks incredible.

    • I think he looks too cartoony if you ask me, not realistic at all.

  5. This transition through the 3 prequels into Lord of the Rings sounds similar to what George Lucus tried to do with his prequels… But I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Jackson will handle that better.

    • Well, no Jar Jar crap and horribad young actors are a good start (although the two “human” Dwarves are a stumbling block imho)

      • I am not sure what the reasoning is for the dwarves who look more, as you say, “human”. I know they are the younger dwarves, and the rationale I suppose is that their noses get bigger and generally uglier as they get older, but how do they know that dwarves start out looking more human?

      • Tell me again how the appearances of Fili and Kili change anything about the story? Now, it would be different if they weren’t included in the story – but they are. I really don’t care about their appearances. So long as they’re in the story and they’re actually distinguished from every other dwarf, I have *no* problem. And that’s exactly what Jackson did.
        Fili and Kili are younger dwarves, therefore it’s only understandable that they would look a lot different from the older ones (e.g Balin or Oin). I really don’t understand all the hype and hate about how they look younger and have short/non-existant beards.
        They’re still going to be as awesome as the others. We’ve already caught glimpses of how awesome Thorin is. It’s gotta be in the bloodline.

          • Beg to differ – Some of us fairer types are more keen on the depiction of the story…. Although there is no Arwen to attract the less fairer types, there is a made up bogus elf Tauriel to possibly encourage the gents to watch…. :)

            • There is a reason for having the elf Tauriel in the film. Philippa Boyens, one of the writers said at Comic-con that she felt that there was a need to bring a female role into the story because it was very male heavy/driven. She wanted the female audience to have a connection as well with the female characters in the film, such as cate blanchett who played Galadriel. She wanted to balance it out, and she thinks fans will enjoy the added character. So I think she was added more than just for mere eye candy for the “gents” lol :]

            • @ EvilFluffyFirefly….I don’t know what you are disagreeing with. That IS the real reason why they did it (although they will never openly admit it) If you think I’m incorrect then would you be so kind as to give us your explanation of why Jackson turned Thorin into a dashing looking younger “Dwarf” and Kili into what is basically Aragorn 2.0?

              Look, I think it’s personally demeaning for them to feel the need to change the characters so dramatically for no good reason. It’s marketing crapola pure and simple. The female audience that fell in love with LotR are going to go to see The Hobbit. PERIOD.

              I also agree with Justin and the silly Tauriel probably has a dual role of giving the female audience a character to relate to (along with some eye candy for the guys). It does make a certain amount of sense since all we have is thirteen Dwarves, one Hobbit and an old wizard.

              To think the movie can’t stand on it’s own and needed all these “hooks” is insulting to both the female audience and to the books themselves (especially when you consider Jackson keeps saying he strives to stay true to the source material which this proves is somewhat of a falsehood)

          • Oh, Mongoose. In a sense, this concern of yours has become your “ring”. Let it go. Let it go, else it will be your doom… :)

            • I post a single line and others then express a similar concern that I have not seen before. If that had not happened I would not have re-explained my PoV. Many don’t read all the articles so I find new dissenters all the time. :)

              • I too am a little perplexed by the visual look of the Dwarves. But I’ll try to look past it for fear of it ruining a good movie experience. And it’s been a few years since I read the book, so I probably won’t pick up on many of the other changes.

                • What exactly are you perplexed about?

                  • Perhaps “perplexed” was the wrong word. The dwarves don’t really look anything like they are described in the book. They don’t even seem to tally with what was established in TLOTR trilogy. They seem like a strange departure.

                    They are very odd looking. And the faces of the younger Dwarves seem at odds with their stocky bodies. I know why they have changed them, but they way they have done it seems strange. It’s not really bothering me, but it’s not really gelling with my impression of Tolkien’s Dwarves generally.

                    But, as I said, i don’t think it’ll bother me once the movies start.

  6. I can kind of sort tell that they made Gollum look slightly younger. Geez, when you’re already 500 whatever years old, there’s not much difference between in those last 50-100 years I know.
    With so little information from JRRT on what Radagast looked like, I wonder from where Jackson et al. drew their inspiration for his look.

  7. Radagast looks like Gandalf and Jethro Tull had a son lol

    • Jethro Tull is the name of a band. You are most likely referring to their lead musician, Ian Anderson. 😉

  8. bout time we finally get another trailer!!! its only been NINE months since the announcement trailer.

  9. I really hope they make a 48fps version of the trailer, for those of us that are just dying to see what the controversial HFR footage we’ve read/heard about actually looks like.

    But then again, with Jackson saying that it will take a while for people’s eyes to settle in and get used to the footage, I’m kind of doubtful that it’ll happen.

  10. Man, just saw the movie, and can I just say, Radagast the Brown is amazing! A shame he wasn’t in the Lord of the Rings.