Moviegoers who are eagerly anticipating the December 14 release of the epic fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will be able to secure their seats over a month in advance when tickets go on sale, online and in theaters across North America, at 12:00pm Eastern Time, on Wednesday, November 7.
The film, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), is the first in Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated trilogy adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Being released domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures, all three films in “The Hobbit” Trilogy tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
As part of the celebration, moviegoers will have the opportunity to re-experience Middle-earth in big screen marathons of “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy in their Extended Cut editions on Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9. Tickets for these all-day events will also go on sale, online and in theaters throughout the U.S., at noon Eastern time on Wednesday, November 7.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who joins the Wizard Gandalf and 13 Dwarves, led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” in “The Hobbit” Trilogy are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The international ensemble cast of the trilogy also includes (in alphabetical order) Manu Bennett, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott and Aidan Turner.
The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
Under Jackson’s direction, “The Hobbit” Trilogy has been shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D), other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D. Production has taken place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.
Among the creative behind-the-scenes team returning to Jackson’s crew were director of photography Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, conceptual designers Alan Lee and John Howe, composer Howard Shore and make-up and hair designer Peter King. The film is edited by Jabez Olssen. The costumes were designed by Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor and Bob Buck.
Taylor also oversaw the design and production of weaponry, armor and prosthetics, which were once again being made by the award-winning Weta Workshop. Weta Digital took on the visual effects for the films, led by the film’s visual effects supervisor, Joe Letteri. Post production is taking place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the second and third films of the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will be released in the U.S. on December 14, 2012, with the second film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” releasing December 13, 2013, and the third film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” slated for July 18, 2014.