I will tell you that as a bit of a Tolkien geek and a fan of Peter Jackson‘s Lord of The Rings flicks, I was a bit skeptical when Jackson first announced plans to bring Tolkien’s LoTR prequel The Hobbit to the big screen. For starters, The Hobbit is a prequel. We sorta know what happens and why it’s important to the rest of the story. In fact, we see the whole point of the movie in the first five minutes of The Fellowship of The Ring: Bilbo Baggins finds Evil Ring, Gollum finds Bilbo, Bilbo makes off with ring, Gollum shrieks “PRECIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSS!”, resumes living in cave and eating raw fish. Second, The Hobbit reads like a kid’s book. Granted, the rest of the series ain’t 50 Shades, but the level of depth and world-building and all of that Elvish gibberish is largely absent. Third, not a whole lot happens – there’s one big battle at the end, but on the page it’s nowhere near the scale of the three major fights in the LoTR movies. Fourth, the movie dealt with production issues from the get-go: the awesome Guillermo del Toro co-wrote and began to direct the thing, but backed out. Finally, what was one movie soon became two, and is now three: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit:
The Final Cashgrab There And Back Again. Jackson apparently dove into the novel-length appendices at the end of Tolkien’s novels to flesh out the story, and he also gave more screen time to minor characters like Gandalf’s homie and fellow wizard Radagast the Brown (played by recent Doctor Who incarnation Sylvester McCoy):
I was a bit more excited after seeing the initial teaser. Now we have a full trailer, and while it does feature a lot of the “walking in a line with big New Zealand mountains in the backdrop” action (“action” – probably a poor choice of words) that made up about 6 of the previous trilogy’s 12 hours, it looks pretty cool.
So yeah, I’m in. What do you guys think? Will this be as good as the first three? Before you answer, a couple of spoiler-y things: the gang fights an awesomely evil dragon (the aforementioned Smaug, with the Desolation and such), and the awesomely evil dragon is voiced by the awesomely British Benedict Cumberbatch(!).