Hobbit Hot For McKellen, RED & White

A bunch of small but interesting news stories have emerged in recent days for the much anticipated ‘Rings’ prequel “The Hobbit” which is gearing up to begin production in February.

First, Sir Ian McKellen has updated his official site with a listing that implies he’s set to reprise the role of Gandalf in the films. Though many thought it a given, McKellen himself even recently said nothing had been set in stone as yet and he wasn’t under contract.

Second story via 3D Radar says that the film is definitely going to be shot in 3D and will be filmed entirely with thirty specially designed RED EPIC cameras.

“The Hobbit” will be amongst the first productions in the world to use the 5k resolution cameras that are much smaller and lighter than current 3D cameras in use.

Next, actor Martin Freeman tells BBC News that he has been fitted for prosthetics to play Bilbo Baggins. “I’ve had wig, feet, ears…full steam ahead for me to look like Bilbo.”

The last is the most inane but potentially disturbing as well. The Telegraph reports that after three hours of standing in a line, a British woman of Pakistani heritage was told she was not white enough to take part as an extra.

The woman, Naz Humphreys, claims the casting manager at the auditions in Hamilton, New Zealand basically said “they weren’t having anybody who wasn’t pale-skinned.”

Jackson’s rep quickly responded to the claims, calling the woman’s dismissal and the casting agent’s remarks “an incredibly unfortunate error” reports Contact Music.

The rep says no such order was issued to casting directors – “It is not something the producers or the director of The Hobbit were aware of. They would never issue instructions of this kind to the casting crew. All people meeting the age and height requirements are welcome to audition.”