- Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Billy Connolly, Lee Pace, Aidan Turner, 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, Manu Bennett, Christopher Lee, 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
After successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest--without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Lake-town it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. And, where has Gandalf got off to? And what is his secret business to the south?
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: New Zealand
- Production Budget: New Zealand
- Production Companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), New Line Cinema, 3Foot7, WingNut Films
- Production Schedule: 21 March 2011 - 6 July 2012
2013 Guide Analysis: "While Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy was met with universal acclaim, the first of his three "The Hobbit" films hasn't been so widely well-regarded … at least by critics. From the near three-hour runtime, to the divisive reaction to the high frame-rate technology, reviews were mixed for this first of three return trips to Middle Earth. Yet, the public obviously doesn't mind and has been far less harsh in its judgement. In just over two weeks, the film has already raked in around two-thirds of a billion dollars at the global box-office.
The final product ended up being closer in tone to the 'Rings' films than quite a few expected. Also the additional material from the LOTR appendices proved better than some of the directly adapted chapters of the book. Still, even amongst the strongest reviews, the single most common criticism was over indulgence regarding the runtime - a complaint levelled at Jackson before, especially with the "King Kong" remake. The two 'Rings' sequels were longer than the first film, will the same thing happen with "The Hobbit"?
With the first film covering events from the Shire through to the other side of the Misty Mountains, the second film is expected to deal with a lot of what remains in the book - the Mirkwood spiders, the Wood-elves dungeon, the barrel sequence, Laketown, Bilbo entering Smaug's lair, and pretty much everything to do with the dragon itself. It's not until the third entry, with the Battle of the Five Armies, that Jackson really starts stretching outside the boundaries of the original Tolkien story.
Luke Evans' Bard the Bowman, Stephen Fry's Master of Laketown, Evangeline Lilly's elf Tauriel, and Billy Connolly's Dain Ironfoot are all expected to show up in this second entry. "Sherlock" star and "Star Trek Into Darkness" villain Benedict Cumberbatch also joins the cast as both the voice of Smaug and the Necromancer within Dol Guldur that Gandalf will confront. Most of the actual shooting on this second film of the trilogy is done, the additional photography in early-mid 2013 will almost entirely revolve around the third film.
With the story known, the tone of this new trilogy set, and the production quality expected to be maintained - most of the lingering questions are logistical. How many screens will employ HFR for the second film? Will Jackson get feedback from audiences regarding its use on the first film and adjust some of the camera shots and/or technology accordingly? What will the runtime be?"