The first photo of The Hobbit cast has found its way online. With shooting on the film set to begin in New Zealand on March 21st, the image comes courtesy of a press conference in Wellington for which members of the cast assembled. Unfortunately, director Peter Jackson was unable to attend as a result of his recent medical issues. Nevertheless, Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage, and William Kircher among others were present, leaving us with out first look at much of the cast (albeit not in costume).
To check out the full image, hit the jump. The Hobbit is looking to release its first part in December 2012 and its second in December 2013. Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Sylvester McCoy, Saoirse Ronan, and Ian McKellan also star.
Here’s the image [from New Zealand’s Stuff]:
Here’s the synopsis for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:
Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit, is a peaceful sort of cozy hole in the Shire, a place where adventures are uncommon and rather unwanted. So when the wizard Gandalf whisks him away on a treasure hunting expedition with a troop of rowdy dwarves, he’s not entirely thrilled. Encountering ruthless trolls, beastly orcs, gigantic spiders, and hungry wolves, Bilbo discovers within himself astonishing strength and courage. And at the ultimate confrontation with the fearsome dragon Smaug, the hobbit will brave the dangers of dark and dragon fire alone and unaided. [Amazon]