Peter Jackson kicked off the 2012 Comic-Con Hobbit panel with the premiere of an eighth installment of his video production diary. It focused on the final five (or so) days of shooting on the extravagant $500 million film treatment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s predecessor to his Lord of the Rings trilogy (principal photography had wrapped a week before the Con got underway).

Jackson has released a clip that combines footage shot during his Comic-Con visit with the aforementioned behind-the-scenes Hobbit material. The first two minutes of the video offer a glimpse at the general Con festivities, such as huddled masses waiting to enter Hall H and see the Hobbit panel (sidenote: this writer was among them) – and, Jackson’s comrades-in-arms at the Con: Hobbit co-writer Philippa Boyens and stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis (who also served as a second unit director).

The non-Con-oriented portion of the latest Hobbit clip shows the production winding down to a close, along with brief glimpses at such cast members as Stephen Fry (playing the Master of Laketown) and Lee Pace working on his movement, so as to convincingly portray the graceful Elf King, Thanduil. Both fan-fave actors will either be largely or entirely absent onscreen until the second Hobbit movie, There and Back Again.

Jackson, Boyens, Freeman, and McKellen at the Comic-Con 'Hobbit' panel

Attendees were overwhelmingly receptive to the 12 minutes of partially complete Hobbit footage (primarily from An Unexpected Journey) shown at Comic-Con. That enthusiasm is all the more pronounced throughout the fan community as a whole, thanks to Jackson’s continued release of videos that keep people up-to-date on the project’s progress (in an entertaining fashion, that is). It’s for these reasons that tentative talk of a Hobbit trilogy could readily evolve into something more.

In case you missed them, be sure to also check out the remainder of Jackson’s Hobbit set videos (including the last installment, which offers a tour of Stone Street Studio).

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

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

Source: Peter Jackson