- Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Lee Pace, Aidan Turner, Brian Blessed, James Nesbitt, Sylvester McCoy, Dean O'Gorman, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Dominic Keating, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Jeffrey Thomas, Michael Mizrahi, Eric Vespe, Christopher Lee, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood
- Director: Peter Jackson
- Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien
- Producers: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh
- Co Producer: Philippa Boyens
- Executive Producers: Callum Greene, Ken Kamins, Zane Weiner
- Art Direction: Andy McLaren
- Castings: Amy Hubbard, John Hubbard, Liz Mullane, Miranda Rivers
- Costume Designs: Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor
- D.O.P.: Andrew Lesnie
- Editor: Jabez Olssen
- Makeup: Rick Findlater
- Music: Howard Shore
- Production Design: Dan Hennah
- Set Decoration: Ra Vincent
"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.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: New Zealand
- MPAA Warning: Extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
- Production Budget: $180 million
- Production Companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), New Line Cinema, 3Foot7, WingNut Films
- Production Schedule: 21 March 2011 - 6 July 2012
2012 Guide Analysis: "Easily one of the year's biggest cinematic events, Peter Jackson returns to the world of Tolkien with this first of a two film adaptation of the 'Rings' prequel book "The Hobbit". Like the book, this will have a lighter and more humorous tone to it as it shows a young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) setting off on a quest to the Lonely Mountain with a company of dwarves - played by various well regarded British TV actors like James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Graham McTavish and Ken Stott in heavy make-up.
Much of the "The Lord of the Rings" behind-the-scenes crew is back, as are some familiar faces in both major roles (McKellen, Serkis, Weaving) and minor ones (Blanchett, Bloom, Wood, Holm, Lee), combined with some fresh faces that are also quite familiar like Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, former "Doctor Who" star Sylvester McCoy, and even the national treasures that are Stephen Fry and Barry Humphries. The film had a rough start with changes of directors, union disputes, script issues and more but things finally got underway earlier this year with a big swath of filming already in the can.
Questions remain over the nature of this project. Splitting "The Hobbit" over two films means a lot of ancillary material is being incorporated to not only fill out the tale but bridge it with the 'Rings' trilogy. Some have speculated the first film will essentially be a straightforward 'Hobbit' adaptation with the second its own feature, the more likely scenario is a straightforward single story in two parts.
Then there's the actual shooting. Not only is it being shot with the RED Epic digital cameras in 3D, Jackson is filming at a 48 frames per second rate - double that of the industry standard since the 1920's. The recent first trailer for the project shows a startlingly consistent film - McKellen, Wood, Holm, and the world around them barely seeming to have aged a day. Certainly one of the surer bets of the year, the question is whether the film can live up to the high standard the filmmaker set himself ten years ago with the original trilogy."