It may have taken a little longer than we had anticipated, but production has now officially begun on The Hobbit, the two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s classic tale being directed by Peter Jackson.
New Line Cinema and MGM have sent out a press release announcing the official start of filming, along with some new information on the movie and a cast rundown. Also released is the first two images from the set of The Hobbit, featuring Jackson in a familiar setting.
You can check out the first image above, and you can see a second image and read all of the details mentioned in the press release by continuing on below now.
The movie stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as Gandalf. The Dwarves are played by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur) James Nesbitt (Bofur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Rob Kazinsky (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), John Callen (Oin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori), and Adam Brown (Ori). Other familiar faces include Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum, and Elijah Wood as Frodo. Lastly, Jeffrey Thomas and Mike Mizrahi have joined the cast as Dwarf Kings Thror and Thrain.
It is noted that more castings are expected, so for those of you holding out for appearances by other favorites like Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, and John Rhys-Davies as Gimli, all hope is not yet lost.
For those of you who haven’t read the books, here’s a description of what the movie — set 60 years before The Lord of the Rings — will be about:
“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever “¦ Gollum.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities “¦ A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.