The Hobbit set to soar in digital 3-D

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit to be produced as prequel to the successful Lord of the Rings trilogy. The digital 3-D flick will immerse audiences in Tolkien’s fantastical world.

By Hayley Woodin [entertainment bureau chief]

As a new addition to the fantasy franchise, J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel “The Hobbit” will begin its long journey to the big screen, with filming to begin early next year. The prequel to the highly popular “Lord of the Rings” trilogy will be shown in two movies, but shot back-to-back beginning February 2011.

Peter Jackson, who directed the LOTR series, will direct both films. Jackson also co-wrote the screenplays along with Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.

“Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal filmmaking experience,” Jackson said in a mid-October press release.

“It’s an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama,” he said.

And in keeping with technological trends, the Hobbit movies will be shot in high quality Digital 3-D with the latest visual and audio equipment so as to fully immerse audiences in Tolkien’s fantastical world.

“No one is more skilled at transforming Tolkien’s written words into a vibrant, living language that makes the audience believe they are not merely visiting Middle-earth but actually living in it,” said Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer for Warner Bros, commenting on the team of writers, producers and directors working the films.

Both movies are being co-produced by MGM and New Line Cinema; the latter is managing production, while Warner Bros. Pictures is heading domestic distribution, and MGM international distribution.

The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy has earned 30 Academy Award nominations and has won 17 Academy Awards. In 2003, “Return of the King” became the first fantasy film to ever win an Oscar for Best Picture.


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