Excited Comic-Con attendees were treated to 12 minutes of footage from Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit blockbuster earlier today. Jackson presented 12 minutes of preview footage, and the audience reaction was nothing short of ecstatic.
The films are based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel novel, and tell the story of how hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) acquires the ring of power. The first installment in the series, An Unexpected Journey arrives in theaters Dec. 14, with There and Back Again following in December 2013.
Jackson introduced 12 minutes of footage that included a creepy exchange between Bilbo and Gollum; a touching scene between Gandalf and elf queen Galadriel, and the fateful moment when Bilbo discovers the ring of power. There was also a behind-the-scenes featurette – all told, a ton of preview footage!
The Hobbit was shot in 3-D and at 48 frames a second, twice the speed of standard motion pictures. The higher frame rate allows for a high degree of visual clarity, which has drawn some criticism from those who feel that it takes away from the magical, cinematic quality of traditional film. For Comic-Con, Jackson chose to show his footage at the traditional 24 frames a second, saying the best way to experience the higher projection speed is by watching the entire movie at 48 fps, rather than just clips. The musical score was also incomplete, though the crowd didn’t seem to mind.
Broken into two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the 3-D epic is Jackson’s prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy. The panel at Comic-Con featured Jackson and Freeman, as well as LOTR star Ian McKellen, who reprises his role as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum, along with Richard Armitage, who plays dwarf Thorin Oakenshield. Elijah Wood, who starred as Frodo Baggins in LOTR made a welcome surprise appearance.
A bit later, a frenzy ensued on the Exhibit Hall floor when a few cast members came out for a signing:
For more information about the upcoming Hobbit series, check out the Official Hobbit Facebook Page.