Five Interesting Facts About Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” Movie Adaptations
Nine years after the release of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”, Peter Jackson returns to the cinematic universe he helped define with the release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 2012.
The adaptation, the first of two to be released a year apart, is considered to be one of the most anticipated film releases in the history of cinema. Your appreciation for Jackson’s adaptation can be enhanced with a few pieces of trivia about the film’s production.
Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” adaptation is actually two movies, despite the book being drastically shorter than any of “The Lord of the Rings” books. This is largely because Peter Jackson isn’t just adapting “The Hobbit.” He’s also adapting “The Appendices.” What many people don’t know is that J.R.R. Tolkien himself was planning on one day going back and rewriting “The Hobbit” to make its story fit more in line with the later “Lord of the Rings” books. After his death, these notes were published in the form of “The Appendices” in a famous edition of “The Return of the King.” All of the information from these notes has made it into Peter Jackson’s films, which caused the length to balloon and necessitated the split into two movies.
“The Hobbit” is a children’s book, so adjust your expectations accordingly. “The Hobbit” was never designed to be the dark, gritty and serious work of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. It was written specifically with children in mind and features all of the riddles, singing and comedy that you would expect. Peter Jackson has said that his adaptations definitely reflect this tone.
All of your favorite characters are back again – even ones that don’t appear in the book. Peter Jackson has said that it was difficult to imagine returning to the world of Middle Earth without former collaborators like Elijah Wood and Viggo Mortensen, even though their characters don’t actually appear within the text of “The Hobbit.” Exactly how these characters reappear is currently unknown, but you can expect to see a lot of familiar faces when you sit down in the theater to view the films.
Peter Jackson almost didn’t direct “The Hobbit” at all. Guillermo Del Toro was slated to direct the two “Hobbit” films for several years before constant delays forced him to back out. It seemed at one point that the films wouldn’t get made at all if Peter Jackson didn’t return to the director’s chair, so he made the commitment to film not one but two films back to back to be released in consecutive years.
Peter Jackson is exploring an interesting new technology to bring Middle Earth to life once again. Traditional films are shot at 24 frames per second, meaning that every one second of film is made up of 24 individual frames. For “The Hobbit,” Peter Jackson is employing new cameras that allow him to shoot at double the frame rate for 48 frames per second. He has said that this enables him to capture more vivid, realistic and life-like images. Whether this is actually true or not remains to be seen.
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