A new image from The Hobbit has surfaced online today. It is especially heroic, depicting Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins covered in dirt, wielding
a sword Sting, a determined growl on his face. [Update: Commenter Deepak pointed out that Freeman's hand is around Sting, "the blade that glows blue when Orcs are close." My Hobbit knowledge doesn't run that deep, but it sounds noteworthy.] In case you needed any, this is more evidence to me that Freeman is an inspired choice for the part.
Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, and Stephen Fry also star. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on December 14, 2012 followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again on December 13, 2013. Hit the jump for the full image in high resolution, plus quotes from director Peter Jackson and co-writer Philippa Boyens on the story and production.
Image via Hero Complex. Click on the image for high resolution.
“I think fate has actually been kind to us. Yes, I think fate was kind but I don’t know that we knew that along the way… This is the most enjoyable filmmaking experience of my career, by far, which is interesting since I came into it slightly reluctantly. It’s all unexpected.”
Boyens remarked on the differences between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings:
“The story is very much a children’s story so deciding how to tell this was one of the first things we had to do. Who is the audience? It is very distinctly different, tonally, to Lord of the Rings until the very end and then you begin to see the world of Middle-earth opening up… but, having said that, we felt that it is the same audience [who will come to see the films] and then you start to worry because it is easy to repeat yourself. It is quite a similar journey, you’re going from the Shire to a large, dangerous mountain.”
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.