Peter Jackson Finishes Principal Photography On ‘The Hobbit’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 12:15 pm,

hobbit trailer Peter Jackson Finishes Principal Photography On The Hobbit

The first of Peter Jackson’s two Hobbit films (subtitled An Unexpected Journey) is easily one of the most hotly-anticipated titles that will make an appearance at the Comic-Con 2012 next week.

An Unexpected Journey teaser trailer was released for the moviegoing masses last winter, while those who attended the CinemaCon Hobbit presentation were treated with previously-unseen material (projected in 3D at high-speed 48 f.p.s., no less). However, Comic-Con will mark the first public unveiling of Hobbit footage, following the completion of principal photography on the $500 million endeavor.

Peter Jackson made the announcement, with the following statement:

We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con!

The key element to keep in mind is that principal photography has been finished; additional photography for both Hobbit movies will surely take place in the future, on top of the lengthy post-production process. Still, this is certainly a noteworthy accomplishment for Jackson and his production team of hundreds (literally) – and now, the general moviegoing public can start looking ahead to the actual films.

Members of the Hobbit crew spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the project, with costar Ian McKellen (back as Gandalf the Grey) offering the following statement:

“A lot of people weren’t even born when we were filming ‘Lord of the Rings’ and only know the movies from watching them on DVD…. They’ll see Middle-earth on the big screen in ‘The Hobbit’, and I guarantee there will be a lot of minds blown wide apart.”

Several new screenshots from An Unexpected Journey were released this week. That provided Jackson with the opportunity to address certain fans’ concerns about the expanded roles for Lord of the Rings characters such as Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) – who were either barely present or not featured at all in J.R.R. Tolkien’s original Hobbit novel:

 “In the movie we want these characters to have story lines and a little more substance than they do in the book. Almost everything we’re doing is from Tolkien somewhere, whether it’s in the [original 'Hobbit'] book or the subsequent development that wasn’t published in ‘The Hobbit’ itself.”

“Subsequent development” presumably refers to much of the supplementary Middle-Earth literature Tolkien wrote in addition to The Hobbit and Rings trilogy. The inclusion of such material has reportedly been part of the plan ever since the Hobbit adaptation was envisioned as two movies (rather than a single feature).

hobbit cinemacon footage Peter Jackson Finishes Principal Photography On The Hobbit

Martin Freeman as ‘The Hobbit’

The question “Can you come home again to Middle-earth?” has been looming over movie geeks’ heads ever since Jackson began production on his Hobbit films. One factor that’ll affect the answer is how those extra narrative threads Jackson mentioned are woven together with Tolkien’s original Hobbit story – and, whether they tie into the Rings trilogy in a manner that doesn’t feel clumsy or forced.

Given the talent involved – coupled with the narrative blueprints already written up by Tolkien, there’s definitely reason to be optimistic, on that count.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in theaters on December 14th, 2012. Look for our coverage of the film’s Comic-Con presentation in the upcoming week.

Source: Peter Jackson, Entertainment Weekly

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  1. Does anyone know if Jackson is still shooting on film?

    • Unknown, but whether digital or film, I have no doubt this will be epic!

      Your alter ego

    • I think he’s actually finished it all.

    • Indeed shot in 3D. Explained how here by the man himself:

    • He shot the whole thing on the RED Epic, at forty-eight frames per second, in 3D.

      • Should be interesting how Jackson uses that tech.

      • The frame rate is what is really new here.

        There are cinematographers who believe the
        higher frame rates for digital projection in the
        future, even higher than 48 fps, will render 3D
        irrelevant because of the very high detail images.

        • I agree. I think with Jackson introducing and making a success with the 48FPS it will open the door for future films with higher tech. I think this film in the end will be just epic. Given the end of year movie lineup it could rival the success that The Avengers had. Hopefully it is just as epic too

    • The hobbit was shot on red cameras.

  2. This is my most highly anticiptated film of 2012…of the last few years, actually. Glad they have completed prinicipal photography. Can’t wait for the return to Middle Earth!

    • Mine too LOL

  3. This has been number one all along for me this year. Keep your dressed up heroes comic book nerds, because this nerd is all about the high fantasy.
    Batman vs Superman? pphhttt…
    Batman, Superman, and all of the Avengers vs Gandalf and now we are talking.



      “What was that? A speeding bullet?”

  4. I’ve been reading through the book and I’m still curious as to how Jackson, Fran and Philippa are going to handle the lulls in the action from the dwarves and Bilbo side. I think he’ll be intercutting with whatever Gandalf was up to during that time with the White Council and all that. Hopefully it’ll all blend together well.

    • I have little concern, as Jackson more than proved himself with The Lord of the Rings, what I consider to be the best fantasy films ever made. The acting, direction, screenplay, music, special effects, etc. were all first rate and worthy of all the Oscars! I especially hold dear the music, as every time I hear it, I instantly go back to Middle Earth.

      Your alter ego

  5. Wonder if there will be one final production blog, showing bits of final day of shooting,wrap party,and comic con. Anyway Congrats and Thanks to Peter Jackson and all those involved in making the two Hobbit films.

    • I hope so. I loved those production blogs.

  6. “Subsequent development” almost certainly refers to a mix of further written material, but also the possibility of a reference to the unpublished, 1960s re-write of THE HOBBIT that was designed to align the book more with RINGS. This is basically the version that PJ is making.

  7. If you’ve read the “extra narrative” ie: the appendices, you’ll know that the additional plot threads will fit nicely into the series.

    The White Council (second White Council for the nerds) is made up of Saruman the White, Gandalf the Grey, Radagast the Brown, Lady Galadriel of Lothlórien, Master Elrond of Rivendell and Círdan the Shipwright of the Grey Havens.

    The council were put together following rumour that an evil had taken over Mirkwood, known as “The Necromancer”, this evil turned out to be Sauron before he made his return in Mordor.

    The additional material puts the story of the Hobbit on a larger stage, making it a true prequel to the events of Lord of the Rings.

    You’re welcome :)

  8. 2 units shooting for 266 days is nuts…
    After TDKR The Hobbit is easily my most anticipated for the rest of the year. I’ll go see other films and I’ll like or love a few of them but to be honest they are just filler until we get to go back to Middle Earth. In ground breaking 3D!!! This is going to be special. :)

  9. At first I got really really excited by the prospect of a “finish”. And then I remembered how much pickup work Pete Jackson did in the first trilogy. :D Ha!

    Either way, I can’t wait for the movie to finally come out. :D

  10. I hope everyone realizes how special these movies will actually be. I mean, it’s THE HOBBIT, from Peter Jackson. My mind can barley comprehend it! Woo!

    • Th word is FUN not SPECIAL. Special is when you rise above being a simple fun movie.

      • There are some who would say that having a good time IS special.

        We’re spoiled in America, but out there, there are plenty of people who can’t even comprehend that we go to the movies as much as we do.

        • Hmmm….I think the word would be EPIC. This movie has a chance to be epic

  11. Are you kidding?! The Hobbit was written w-a-y before the childish movies to which you refer, so I don’t understand how it could be “trying to copy” them? Don’t know how old you are, but if you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has grossed w-a-y over the dollar amount to which you refer, The Hobbit is being produced by the same people! Please….Harry Potter and Twilight…ppfff!

    • The fact that remains though is that Harry Potter, Twilight, and LOTR/Hobbit are all just simple fantasy. They don’t deal with any complex issues, so it’s pointless to argue which one is better. They are all pretty much at the same level of ‘greatness’ and that level is fun-little fantasy stories. All of them are good in their own ways but they are simple fantasy, and to argue that any of them are ‘great’ is silly.

      It boggles my mind whenever I think about how Return of the King was adorned with one Oscar after another.

      Oscars should be for more complex films. Like this year, it’s safe to say that Hunger Games has shown us that you can deal with a lot of complex issues and be entertaining. Now THAT has done much more with its pages, than LOTR or any other fun BUT SILLY fantasy has ever done.

      • You’re joking right? You’ve gotta be joking. Because otherwise I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. I have trouble believing ANYBODY could be THIS ignorant and uninformed, and I can believe a lot.

      • trolling much?

      • I don’t know about the original books for the other movies you mentioned, but if you read Tolkien and some of what was going on at the time he wrote The Hobbit, and then followed with the Lord Of The Rings series you’ll find it is more than basic fantasy withing the layers……But then again…It does require more than watching….

      • Don’t have to argue, as The Lord of the Rings trilogy won a total of 17 Oscars. Now, how many did Harry Potter and Twilight win? I hear a cricket chirping…

      • You’re clearly biased just from your username alone. Hunger Games is literally Running Man and Battle Royale redone for teenagers. The concept is extremely unoriginal, and made worse by cliche plot devices/emotionally manipulative tropes like ‘must avenge little sweet girl’s tragic death’, yet another love triangle, and again, ‘hot guy’s about to die–now I’m going to win!’ The movie was disappointingly shallow from a sci fi perspective due to the focus on easy plot elements like those, with cardboard cut out characters filling the players. And if you think it’s ‘deep’ for being an allegory on society, well that’s exactly what LotR is, only for early 20th century society, such as the takeover of industry, actually written by a guy experiencing what he was writing about. Also putting Twilight in the same camp as anything by Tolkien is nothing but a reflection of your own limited literary framework. That’s just…silly. Please go expand your horizons.

        • I did not even see you all calling her out on trolling before that rant. I just really didn’t like the Hunger Games…

    • Please disregard my comments above, as they were in response to another poster here, whose comments have since been removed. (He/she suggested that no one would be interested in The Hobbit, since in his/her opinion, the film is just “trying to copy” movies like Harry Potter and Twilight.)

  12. I got flamed for saying this on RottenTomatoes, but I’m really worried about this movie just because of it being shot in 48 fps. I’ve seen how it looks before and it’s jarringly different from what the originals looked like and the dwarves are not what I imagined based on Gimli and dwarves from LotR. I don’t know why Jackson couldn’t resist pulling a Lucas and stick with the original technology for visual consistency because it’s definitely not going to be what people are expecting.

    • You for sure have a point, but I do not think for one minute that these prequels will be “lucasized. Lucas was not only the director but the storyteller as well.
      It will be different technically, but for $500 million I can assure you that everyone will get the “bang for thier buck”, so to speak.
      The story has already stood the test of time, and Jackson’s flair for direction will most likely make these two movies the zenith of his career.

    • Well I did hear that those who saw the raw footage at 48fps felt that the studio scenes looked “fake” because the high detail showed the flaws.

      and the tampering with all the Dwarves so dramatically also bothers me, especially Thorin and Kili (the two “Human” Dwarves)

  13. How are your trolling comments coming along? Not quite the action on them that you were hoping for hey?
    I have a strong feeling that you are also “Twighlighter” as well, aren’t you?

    • @ hungergamesgal

      You mostly seem interested in making other people angry with your comments, which goes against our rules for conduct. Consider that your warning before your comments start being moderated.

      And yes, hungergamesgal and Twighlighter are the same person.

      • block her already.

        • It’s been handled.


          • Just a suggestion Vic but you might want to consider simply deleting the text and replacing it with a (comment was removed). That way we know the replies are directed at that post and don’t jump to the left (after that post is deleted) as main posts that then read as nonsensical.

            • Plus, when you delete a post all posts below it fail to properly indent if you are replying to someone. (like this post and the one above it should be replies to your post)

            • @mongoose – Like Vic said, it’s easier to just click the “trash” button than it is to edit and save the comment – at least from my phone it is. NOw that I’m modding comments from my iPad however, it might be easier to do.

              I’ll try to remember to do that going forward – just for you :)


              • I understand easier but, as I mentioned, it screws up how the reply button works below it and of course the posts that then make no sense or could then be misinterpreted (I had that happen to me last week because of a deleted post)

                So I appreciate your efforts ;)

  14. Actually, I didn’t forget about The Hunger Games. It’s just not a movie I was excited for.
    Different strokes for different folks…
    Your entitled to your opinion but that doesn’t mean you’re right and everyone else is wrong. The Lord of the Rings saga has been well known and loved worldwide for over half a century. You may not find meaning in them but millions of people have.

  15. Half a billion for one movie? I wonder how that compares in price to the complete Lord Of The Ring series? I remember the huge fuss the first time hit the 100 million mark, but half a billion? Have to sell a lot of everything to make up for that…

    • To clarify: that’s the price for both Hobbit films (so $250 million is budgeted for each one – still a massive number, of course).

      • That’s what I ge for skimming the article instead of reading it whole…Thanks…

  16. This is off topic but all the above comments were hilarious without knowing what she said. Laughing my nuts off.

    On topic, 48fps, 3D or 2D, film or digital this will be epic. This is the only film that I can safely say will blow you away. TDKR and Spidey are already getting a few doubters and Avegers Assemble wasn’t for everyone (even though it was awesome) while Prometheus left a lot of people disappointed. Not this, the original trilogy are arguably the best trilogy of films ever made (and I don’t say that lightly my Padawans) and these will just add to the magic.
    I want to watch the others again now.

  17. 266 days of shooting a movie(s) is actually quite an achievement if you think about it… Kudos to Mr Jackson and his team. Now don’t disappoint us!

    I cannot begin to explain how exited I am for this movie! :D

  18. The Hobbit remains the #1 movie event this year and still believe it’s the only film that has any sort of chance of outgrossing the Avengers.

    The Lord of The Rings is still by some distance, the greatest cinematic trilogy ever. Post Return of the King, I’ve still yet to see a movie match the same combination of story, scale, spectacle, characterization and sheer, epic greatness.

    Just can’t wait any longer for December 2012 to arrive.

    • What about the original Star Wars trilogy?

      • I think you put Star Wars #1 and The LOR trilogy #2. Some will debate on it being the other way around but either way that is an excellent accomplishment

  19. I think all those New Zealanders who worked on rings, when they finish the post-pro, should utilize the sets/costumes/equip/talent and film the Dark Elf novels with Drizzt Do’Urdan.

    • I was down at the Hobbiton set in MataMata two weeks ago. The sets are still co-owned by Peter Jackson with the family that owns the farm. So nothing that Jackson doesn’t approve can be filmed there. The good news, though, is that the family that owns the farm the set is on has received permission to convert the Green Dragon Inn set building into a working pub. It’s supposed to open in January.

      • I’d love to drink there.

  20. Can’t Wait for the Hobbit- Some questions i’d like to ask PJ would be in regards to the Battle Of Five Armies. Will Dain arrive at the battle or i should say right before the battle with an army of 500 or will that number be larger for the movie, say 1000+. It would make sense, considering Bolgs army from Mt Gundabad will number in the thousands+ not including the wargs. Just for the sake of cinema it would be cool to see a larger army of dwarves than just 500. Listening to Gimli in the LOTR trilogy makes me want to see a fully armored fighting force. Either way I’m sure it will be Epic. And what about Beorn, will Beorn arrive at the battle alone(like he does in the book) or will he arrive with other Beornings(While at Beorns house Bilbo see numerous Bear tracks around the house. It would be cool to see Beorn arrive with other Beornings. Sort of like how Treebeard led the assault of Ents against Saruman at Isengard, so could Beorn lead a few hundred Beornings into the battle. Just a thought. From what i have heard Beorn(the man) will be like ten feet tall in the movie. And then we have the EAGLES. How many will Arrive. I think the scenes with the Eagles arriving will be breathtaking. Either way I’m sure PJ and crew have made one hell of a movie. And the Battle of Five Armies will be an EPIC Showdown.

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