‘The Hobbit’ set photos: Peter Jackson’s quest is finally underway [Updated]

March 21, 2011 | 3:53 a.m.
peter jackson The Hobbit set photos: Peter Jacksons quest is finally underway [Updated]

Peter Jackson (Weta/Peter Jackson)

After much struggle and strife, Peter Jackson is back in the place he belongs — Middle-earth.

The Oscar-winning director and his crew have just begun principal photography on the “The Hobbit,” the two-film, $500-million fantasy adventure that appeared in serious jeopardy over the last year in the face of a studio fiscal crises, the defection of Guillermo del Toro, an especially nasty union dispute and Jackson’s own stressful (and stress-induced?) hospital stay.

peter jackson hobbit The Hobbit set photos: Peter Jacksons quest is finally underway [Updated]

Peter Jackson (Weta/Peter Jackson)

With all of that, the first day of shooting at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand, must have felt like a finish line for the 49-year-old Jackson,who looks fairly serene in photos posted on his new Facebook page. The Wall Street Journal quoted a chipper-sounding spokeswoman who says “the mood is really great” on the set and you can bet the good cheer will spread throughout Hollywood — “The Hobbit” promises a companion epic to Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which merely pulled in $2.9 billion in worldwide box office and that was before the 3-D craze and its pricier tickets. The first of the two new films (which are indeed being shot in digital 3-D) is due in theaters in late 2012, the second arrives the following year unless Orcs or MGM get in the way.

UPDATED: In related news, Warner Home Video has just announced that  “The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: Extended Edition” on Blu-ray will be released on June 28. It’s a 15-disc collection with 26 hours of special features which means, literally, there’s just just not enough hours in the day. The collection follows last year’s Blu-ray release of the individual films. There will be more information coming at the official “Lord of the Rings” trilogy website.

— Geoff Boucher


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27 Responses to ‘The Hobbit’ set photos: Peter Jackson’s quest is finally underway [Updated]

  1. macdonaldbank1 says:

    Respect goes out to Peter Jackson.
    Bilbo, Gandalf and Gollum are going to be awesome to see in 3D.

    I created GETTYMOVIE … Getty/Hitler trilogy inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien.

  2. ScottW says:

    Of the four books the Hobbit was always my favorite. I was a small child when I saw the Rankin/Bass cartoon version, probably 1977 or 1978, and I became obsessed with the tale and the genre because of it. The underground scenes beneath Misty Mountains had a particular impact on me, especially when Bilbo and the company of 13 dwarves were brought before the Goblin King and the riddle competition Bilbo and Gollum waged over whether or not the hobbit would become his next meal…of course climaxing with him discovering the ring and its power and using it to escape from the depths and return to his friends on the surface.

    • Alh says:

      I have a copy of this on VHS…still as wonderful as when I first saw it. The voice of John Huston as Gandolf was a brilliant choice.

  3. martine says:

    Um, Scott; That wasn't a Goblin King. That was an Elf King. I can't say i loved the tale, i always liked Smaug more then Biklbo. But the guy that catches them was an Elf King. Just not the goody-goody High Elves. Some other kind.

    • Chris says:

      No, Scott is right. Your thinking of when they get taken as prisoners from Mirkwood. The goblin scene in the book is MUCH more scary, thrilling and awesome.

    • Cupcake says:

      Martine, you are mixing up the escape from the Mirkwood Elves and the Goblins of the Misty Mountains

  4. Chris says:

    No Martine, Scott is right. Your thinking of when the group gets captured in Mirkwood by the Wood Elves. Scotts talking about when they get pulled into the depths of the mountains by the goblins. Scott, that was an amazing scene in the book and one of my favs too.

  5. JBL55 says:

    To heck with Bilbo. When will "Farmer Giles of Ham" come to the big screen?

  6. Bagdemagus says:

    Um, martine. Get your facts strait before correcting someone. You will look like less of an idiot

  7. guest says:

    Um, Martine, You might want to read the book again. Scott was correct. Bilbo and the Dwarves travel to the mountains and it starts raining so they look for shelter. They find a cave which is really an entrance to the goblins caves Goblins come out of a hole in the back of the cave and take the dwarves and Bilbo. They tried to take Gandalf, but he killed some of them with his magic. The dwarves and Bilbo are taken captive and a little later are set free by Gandalf.while they were escaping, Gandalf killed the Goblin king which made all the goblins upset. while they were running out of the cave Bilbo fell down and hit his head. when he woke up no one was there and he was all alone he found a ring and put it in his pocket. and started walking down the dark cave.

  8. Penny says:

    WOOOT!!! GIANT NERD fan over here. Cant wait till this movie comes out. I have nearly all of J.R.R. Tokein and Christopher Tokeins books and I must say, this is exciting.

  9. Dawn says:

    if it sucks as bad as the triology they made then i probably won't watch this one either. I made it as far as Arwen picking up the sword in the 1st movie and that was the end of my interest. and my viewing they slaughtered it and i refuse to play into that.

  10. ScottW says:

    You are completely mistaken. The Elf King was the leader of the Wood Elves in the Mirkwood forest while the goblins lived in a tunnel system under the Misty mountains and Gollum used the ring to hunt and eat them…mainly their children.

  11. ScottW says:

    I've read the book many times so please check your facts first.

  12. poochie says:

    Will my post finally make it? So exciting….

  13. Alex says:

    Martine can't even spell Bilbo correctly. Snicker.

  14. poochie says:

    Something's weird, all my posts about how you wrote "principle photography" instead of "principal photography" didn't make it. Now you've corrected the article without making any mention of the edit. I thought this was professional journalism. I guess I was wrong.

    • Geoff Boucher says:

      It was a typo and we corrected it, why would we mention that? We acknowledge when we correct matters of fact, not a minor misspelling. Thanks for reading.

  15. poochie says:

    There's no such thing as a "minor" misspelling. We thought that you proofread your articles before posting them, but now we know that you want readers to edit for you.

    • Geoff Boucher says:

      I hope someday I will be as perfect as you…but maybe a bit less strident.

    • Chris Anthony says:

      If "all [your] posts about how [he] wrote 'principle photography' instead of 'principal photography' didn't make it" until after the correction had been made, how can he possibly be relying on readers to edit for him?

    • GGD says:

      Y'know, I was amused by the back and forth on the facts about the Elf King and Mirkwood — because pedantic geek debate about facts in a book are both fun and educational. If nothing else, someone got their facts straight and someone else got to feel like their time and dedication to reading yielded them something.

      Aside from making you feel like a big shot for all of two seconds about an error that may have just been a mis-click on a spellcheck, what did you achieve here?

      Was your principal goal to demean the writer on principle? Or were you looking for a copywriting job?

      Just sayin'.

  16. Bill A says:

    3-D = LAME. I like my life in Three dimensions and my movies in 2.

  17. Boltzwing says:

    Well Peter i hope one day, you will bring the story of silmarillion to the the screen even though i know the depth and the complexity of the whole story. But with technology and and meticulous planning i know you will be able to deliver it beyond what we can imagine. I'm sure the understanding how middle earth began from the time of the Ainur right down to the final chaining of Melkor will bring forth such life and vibrancy to us all. Sorry Harry Potter, but Tolkien's middle earth rule them all!

  18. Rosellettred says:

    I am so excited for The Hobbit!!!!! My brother and I have been obsessed with Lord of the Rings since we were seven. I just read The Hobbit again this summer, and have fallen in love with it all over again. Chapter 5 'Riddles In The Dark' is definitely my favorite.
    By the way, Scott, you're right.

  19. Ben Ball says:

    I have met people with Dawn's opinion of the trilogy – however you have to accept that there is a difference between a book and a film. You could not film the trilogy you have to adapt it and I think in that context Jackson and his team have done a great job. As to the 3D debate I think it can add to films of this genre. I certainly look forward to the Hobbit.

  20. Eric says:

    I have to say I was a bit miffed at the differences in the book and the movie, the Elves in Helm's Deep for instance, but over all I think he captured the essence of the book wonderfully. I was moved to tears more than once during the film. I am confident in Jackson's ability to bring out The Hobbit in wonderful ways. The spiders in Mirkwood are going to be especially cool.

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