The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) Poster


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In the Lord of the Rings films, the scale illusion was accomplished by playing hobbit or dwarf actors further away from the camera than Ian McKellen, but still live on the same set. This time, however, the illusion had to be accomplished by having the other actors on a completely different set, while McKellen performed his, all alone, on a green-screen set, with only an earpiece connecting him to the performance being provided by the rest of the cast. McKellen ended up feeling lonely and frustrated, to cheer him up, the cast and crew snuck into the tent he stayed in during breaks, and decorated it with mementos from the Lord of the Rings films (mainly old props and tapestries from Rivendell and Lothlorien), as well as fresh fruit and flowers.
Gollum only appears in one scene in the book. Andy Serkis completed that scene during the first week of production, but stayed on as Second Unit Director.
Asked how many wizards there are, Gandalf says there are five, naming himself, Saruman, and Radagast, then saying he can't remember the names of the other two, merely saying, "The two blues." Their names, Alatar and Pallando, appear in the book Unfinished Tales, a collection of J.R.R. Tolkien ideas and half-manuscripts edited into book form by his son Christopher Tolkien. The filmmakers didn't have rights to use material from that book, so the two blue wizards remain unnamed in the film.
Daniel Radcliffe, Shia LaBeouf, James McAvoy, Erryn Arkin and Tobey Maguire were considered for the role of Bilbo Baggins. However, Peter Jackson has said that his first choice was always Martin Freeman. Freeman was initially unable to accept the role, due to scheduling conflicts with Sherlock (2010), but Jackson reworked the entire shooting schedule for the Hobbit films to accommodate him.
The elk that Thranduil (Lee Pace) rides on is played by a horse, named Moose.
While filming the Battle of Azanulbizar, Richard Armitage smacked himself in the face so hard with his shield that he managed to bite completely through his lower lip.
Peter Jackson claims that when he called Christopher Lee to invite him to the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), Lee responded, intimidatingly, "Am I still in the movie?" Lee had originally been slated to appear in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), the final installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but his scenes were cut from the theatrical release which caused the actor and director to have a brief falling out.
Aidan Turner, who plays Kili, was cast by Peter Jackson after seeing him on the BBC series Being Human (2008). Turner quit the series in order to be in "The Hobbit."
Frodo (Elijah Wood), Saruman (Christopher Lee), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) are all returning characters from the Lord of the Rings films though none of them actually appear in the book The Hobbit. This is the same for Radagast (Sylvester McCoy), who is only mentioned in The Hobbit but does not actually appear until The Lord of the Rings. Conversely however, Radagast was omitted from The Lord of the Rings films.
The sequence between Bilbo and Gollum was filmed in complete takes, with the actors performing the entire scene from beginning to end like a stage play over the course of two weeks. It was at the beginning of production, and Peter Jackson wanted to help Martin Freeman settle into the role of Bilbo.
Thranduil, the father of Legolas, first appeared in the Hobbit book simply as "The Elven King" with no mention of his real name. It is only in The Lord of the Rings, when Legolas first appears in the books, that he is identified as the Son of Thranduil of Mirkwood. When Legolas enters Lothlorien in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Haldir greets him in Elvish as "Legolas Thranduillion." which is Sindarin for "Legolas, Son of Thranduil."
Peter Jackson is the third director after James Cameron and Christopher Nolan to make 2 films that have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide (As of April 2013, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has grossed $1,016,944,389 worldwide.).
Saruman, Gandalf and Radagast are also known as "the white", "the gray" and "the brown", respectively. These nicknames match straightly with their clothes and hair. In addition, Saruman is the only one not having hat or cloak over his head, a symbol of his status as leader of the wizards.
Stephen Hunter (Bombur) caught the egg thrown into his mouth on the first take but was unable to catch it on subsequent takes. Therefore the take used was the first one.
Gloin, played by Peter Hambleton, is father of Gimli, the character portrayed by John Rhys-Davies in the Lord of the Rings films. The same axe is wielded by both dwarves.
Some chapter titles from the book are mentioned in dialogue, such as "a merry gathering" and "out of the frying pan and into the fire" and "roast mutton."
Bombur only says one line during the entire movie.
Contrary to popular belief, Cate Blanchett was not placed on a swivel platform, in order to create the delicate turn of her entrance. Merely, she just rotated her body, without any help from a prop.
Dwalin uses two large battle axes in combat. Graham McTavish suggested to Peter Jackson that the axes each be named after Emily Brontë's dogs, "Grasper" and "Keeper". Jackson went for the idea & Dwalin's axes were engraved with both names in Dwarvish runes. He also named his knuckledusters "Insult" and "Injury."
This is the first Middle-Earth film directed by Peter Jackson that does not have any speaking characters that are ordinary humans, known in the work of J.R.R. Tolkien as the "race of Men." Some men appear in the opening flashback but do not speak. Hobbits are technically descended from the race of Men, and Wizards are strictly not man even though they appear so.
In the second trailer, Gandalf can be heard saying, "Home is behind you, the world ahead..." this is a quote from the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, written by J.R.R. Tolkien for the books; it is part of the song which Pippin sings to Lord Denethor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Both Ian Holm and Christopher Lee filmed their scenes at London's Pinewood Studios because health concerns left them uncomfortable with flying to New Zealand.
Richard Armitage's (Thorin Oakenshield) wig was the only one of the Dwarf wigs to be made entirely of human hair.
Despite appearing in all three films of the trilogy, Cate Blanchett was on set for only 8 days of the production.
There are no curves or circles in Dwarvish architecture, and most objects of Dwarvish origin are polygonal. This also is evident in the Dwarvish script which appears on the map of the Lonely Mountain.
Like the previous adaptation, The Hobbit (1977), made for television, the trolls in this film are played by actors who also play members of the company of dwarves.
Dwarvish was designed by J.R.R. Tolkien to sounds like a Semitic language, and the history of the dwarves themselves resembles that of the ancient Hebrews.
This is the second film in which Saruman considers a fellow wizard to be mentally inept due to plant consumption. In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) he suggests that pipeweed has slowed Gandalf's mind. Here, he suggests mushrooms have rendered Radagast a fool.
The method of creating hobbit feet was changed for this film. For the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the prosthetic feet only fitted over the actors' feet, requiring them to be re-applied after periods of walking in them. For this film, the prosthetic went all the way up to the actors' (Martin Freeman, Ian Holm and Elijah Wood) knees.
Richard Armitage has said that his first experience acting on stage was playing an elf in a theatrical production of The Hobbit.
Christopher Lee (Saruman) once commented that he would have loved to voice the Dragon Smaug in a film adaptation of 'The Hobbit'. Instead, he voiced the dragon-like Jabberwocky in Alice in Wonderland (2010).
The first movie in Peter Jackson's Middle Earth franchise without Oscar wins (it was nominated in three categories but failed to win in any).
Azog was a last minute digital addition to the film. He was originally an actor in prosthetics, but Peter Jackson found the effect lacking presence, and had Weta create a digital character, mo-capped by actor Manu Bennett, and insert the character over the previously-filmed live Azog footage. The original Azog appears in the film as Yazneg, the ill-fated Orc lieutenant.
When Gandalf is in Bag End in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Bilbo offers him Winyard wine but he instead asks for tea. In this film, Gandalf is offered tea (by Dori) but instead asks for wine.
Tolkien was especially influenced by norse mythology when he named the dwarves. In the literal work "Gylfaginning", which is dated to ca. year 1220, many character names that are featured in the LOTR franchise are named. The following names were dwarves in norse mythology: Dvalinn,Bífurr, Báfurr, Bömburr, Nóri, Óri, Óinn, Gandalfr, Fíli, Kíli, Glóinn, Dóri, Þorinn (pronounced as Thorin). As you can see, even Gandalf (Gandalfr) is named after a dwarf from norse mythology.
The first roar we hear from Smaug in the first scene of Smaug's attack on Erebor is actually a sound-bite of the SFX Director's 7 year old daughter "roaring". It was manipulated and corrected to sound like a dragon and was put in the movie.
The first movie in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings franchise not to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
The Hobbit is the first feature film to be shot and projected at 48 frames per second, twice as fast as the industry standard of 24 frames. The intention of this is to provide the film smoother, more realistic motion with reduced strobing. This is particularly beneficial when viewing the film in 3D, as the higher frame rate helps to correctly synchronize the images for each eye. There were controversies about the frame rate with many viewers complaining about the poor quality in certain theatres due to improper equipment and inexperienced projectionists not knowing how to make proper adjustments.
Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug/Necromancer) both star together in the BBC production of Sherlock (2010); Cumberbatch plays the title role with Freeman playing Dr. Watson.
This movie went through several stages of pre-production hell, including separate legal disputes between New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, and Tolkien family members which complicated production. When MGM finally moved the project forward in 2008 more complications ensued when MGM entered bankruptcy and froze production, causing director Guillermo del Toro to step down after three years of pre-production. Later, it was almost cast out of New Zealand when several unions and guilds blacklisted the project and shooting was delayed again while Peter Jackson recovered from surgery from a perforated ulcer.
The opening scenes, in which Ian Holm plays the older Bilbo, do not appear in the book, which is told in present-time, not as a flashback. Shortly after the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Holm recorded similar scenes; this time as Frodo; for inclusion in a new boxed set version of the BBC Radio version of The Lord of the Rings.
All cast members (including the extras) wore wigs in the film, except Den Hannah who played Old Took.
Sylvester McCoy (Radagast the Brown) was previously considered for the role of Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
In 2009 an Internet rumor linked David Tennant to the role of Bilbo Baggins, after he and Peter Jackson both appeared at Comic Con. Both Tennant and Jackson denied this rumor, stating he was never under consideration for the role. However, in 2010 Tennant was considered for the role of Thranduil, but had to turn it down when his then-girlfriend (later wife) Georgia Moffett unexpectedly became pregnant which prevented him from taking part in film's lengthy New Zealand shooting schedule.
Jed Brophy, who plays Nori, is the only dwarf who also appears in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, although this is the first time we see his face. If you listen to the Writers and Director commentary on the extended version of The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson identifies him several times as playing various orcs and background people, including Sharku the Warg Rider, the orc that Aragorn fights in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)' cliff scene.
The voice of the ailing hedgehog Sebastian was provided by Teddy Bear the porcupine from Zooniversity in Texas.
In spite of the quote "Out of the frying pan and into the fire," if you look closely in the climatic sequence, the area is shaped to look like that of a frying pan, with the tree hanging over the cliff face resembling a handle.
Bret McKenzie who plays the elf Lindir, previously appeared as a different elf character in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). His character in the Lord of the Rings movies was officially unnamed during production, but was informally dubbed "Figwit" (which stood for "Frodo is grea [sic]...who is THAT?!?") by fans, and Peter Jackson has accepted the use of that name.
Robert Kazinsky was cast as Fili and had filmed a few scenes, but left the project and returned to England about a month after filming started due to personal reasons. He was replaced by Dean O'Gorman.
One of the dwarves tells Bilbo that his sword is "more of a letter opener." One of the merchandise items sold in connection with the film is, in fact, a letter opener modeled after Sting.
This film and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) wrapped on July 6, 2012 after 266 days of principal photography.
Even though Bombur has no lines, and Bifur can only speak Khudzul, Stephen Hunter and William Kircher both learned to speak in a Northern Irish accent, to match James Nesbitt's natural accent.
This is not the first of Peter Jackson's pet projects where he has asked Guillermo del Toro to direct; del Toro was also offered to helm the now troubled Halo movie, but he turned it down to direct his own pet project Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). Del Toro did accept the chance to direct this film, but after years stuck in pre-production limbo, he left to pursue other projects.
WILHELM SCREAM: Heard when the group are fighting their way out of Goblin Town, one of the goblins knocked off the gangway makes the sound.
Aidan Turner (Kili) is the only dwarf actor sporting his real facial hair, the other 12 all have fake beards or other kinds of fake facial hair.
This is the second "prequel trilogy" that Richard Armitage and Christopher Lee have been involved in. Armitage appeared in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999), while Lee appeared in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
The subtitle "An Unexpected Journey" does not appear until 13 minutes into the film.
This film was shot on thirty Red Epic cameras, the newest model of the Red Camera available at the time.
The 3D IMAX prints consisted of 98 reels (49 per eye), totaling over 21.5 miles of combined film length.
The first of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films that does not incorporate the film's subtitle into a line of dialogue.
Grossed more money than Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring and Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers.
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Gandalf says that Bilbo's sword will glow blue when Orcs or Goblins are near. This was also meant as a clue to Gollum's origins. When Bilbo approaches the lake, his sword is blue, then flickers and goes out after Gollum kills the goblin. The sword doesn't glow in Gollum's presence, which gives the viewer the hint that Gollum is something more benign (but no less dangerous).
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Jed Brophy appears in this film as Nori. His son Sadwyn Brophy appeared as Eldarion in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Jed himself also appeared in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) as various Orcs.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy films were all longer as they progressed (178 minutes, 179 minutes, and the last being 201 minutes). Conversely, The Hobbit trilogy films were all shorter as they progressed (169 minutes, 161 minutes, and the last being 144 minutes).
Was released the same year as the novel's 75th anniversary.
Radagast (Sylvester McCoy, né Percy Kent-Smith) allows animals to hide in various parts of his robes. While his friendship with animals is consistent with the book, this may also be a nod to Kent-Smith's early stage act, Sylveste [sic] McCoy (from which he took his professional name), in which he stuffed ferrets down his trousers.
Luke Evans (Bard) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas) also appeared together in The Three Musketeers (2011). A previous version of this story, The Three Musketeers (1973)/The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974) featured Christopher Lee (Saruman) as Count Rochefort.
Bill Bailey auditioned for the role of Gloin. In Spaced (1999) he plays a character named Bilbo, named after this film's title character.
Ori, the Scribe, is the Dwarf that wrote the book that Gandalf reads in the Mines of Moria, in The Fellowship of the Ring. His body is also seen in the scene. Balin is the Dwarf whose grave is featured in the same scene.
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Martin Freeman previously appeared in Hot Fuzz (2007), which featured cameos by director Peter Jackson as "Santa Claus," Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) as a CSI, and Bill Nighy (who played Sam Gamgee on BBC Radio) as a police officer. He also appeared in Shaun of the Dead (2004), also opposite Nighy, as well as Penelope Wilton, who had been married to the previous Bilbo, Ian Holm.
Graham McTavish's daughter Honor plays a young Hobbit in the flashback to the Old Took's party.
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Ron Perlman was up for a role when Guillermo del Toro was set as director, but left after del Toro did as well.
In the Italian dubbed version, actor Gigi Proietti assumed the role of Gandalf after Gianni Musy, who voiced Ian McKellen in "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy", died on October 7, 2011.
Saoirse Ronan was considered for the role of a young elf, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and long production schedule.
John Callen (Oin) auditioned for the role of Radagast and the voice of Smaug.
Gandalf makes a count of the dwarfs by three times: in Bilbo's house, when they arrive in the Hidden Valley (just before they arrive in Rivendell) and when they leave the Goblin King's cavern.
David Tennant was rumored to be play Thranduil before Lee Pace was cast.
Adam Brown (Ori) originally auditioned for the role of Bilbo Baggins.
Three of the actors in this film have played enemies of the comic book hero Captain America:
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Dan Hennah, who portrayed as the Old Took in the film, was the only actor the Middle-earth saga not to wear a wig.
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Eddie Redmayne auditioned for the role of Bilbo Baggins. However, he did not receive a call back.
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Peter Jackson was hospitalized in January 2011 for a perforated stomach ulcer, which just so happened to be one of the contributing causes of Tolkien's death. Luckily, it was caught in time and surgery went smoothly, with the only impact on production being pushing back principal photography by a month so Jackson could recover before putting himself under three more years of constant stress.
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According to Peter Jackson, the Goblin Town sequence was initially imagined as a lot more gory, especially concerning the disembowelemnt of the Goblin King, but the PG-13 rating nulled those plans.
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Peggy Nesbitt, Mary NesbittJames Nesbitt's daughters have uncredited roles in the film's prologue as children in the city of Dale.

Director Cameo 

Peter Jackson:  The dwarf running past the camera in front of Thorin as the dwarves flee from Smaug's attack on Erebor.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The ghost who attacks Radagast in Dol Guldur is Witch-King of Angmar, the same who stabs Frodo on Weathertop in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). The Necromancer spotted by Radagast is the first sign of Sauron's re-manifestation in Middle-Earth.
When Gandalf, Bilbo, and the dwarves arrive at Rivendell the wizard mentions it's also known as "Imladris". This name is a word in Elvish (a fictional language created by J.R.R. Tolkien) and both names mean "deep valley of the cleft". Rivendell was established and ruled by Elrond in the Second Age of Middle-Earth, about four or five thousand years previous to the Lord of the Rings events.
When Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarfs arrive to the edge of the cliff just before of the fight against Azog and his orcs, a familiar landscape can be seen in the distance. This landscape is the same seen by Merry, Pippin and Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) when these three see the Saruman's Uruk-hai armies moving to Helm's Deep.
The riddle competition at the end between Bilbo and Gollum is inspired by the Norse legend of the riddle competition between the wise giantess Vafþrúðnir and Odin, the mayor god in Germanic Mythology (who is also an inspiration for Gandalf). Bilbo wins the competition by asking what lies in his pocket, a question only he could know the answer to. This is exactly the same way Odin wins over Vafþrúðnir: by asking "what did Odin whisper in his dying son Baldr's ear?" A question only he would know the answer to.
The orc that Gollum kills was played by an actor wear an animatronic head and then covered in full-body prosthetic make-up. Andy Serkis was so aggressive in hitting the forehead with the rock that the electronics inside were broken and had to be repaired for more takes the next day.
The meeting between the orcs and Azog happens in the Weathertop, the same place where Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are attacked by the nazguls in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
Ken Stott's character, Balin, is the same character whose tomb is visited by the Fellowship in Moria in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
The explanation of Elrond about Orcrist and Glamdring, the swords found in the troll cave by Gandalf and Thorin, is suddenly cut by a dialogue between Bilbo and Balin. Orcrist and Glamdring were forged in the First Age of the Middle Earth for Ecthelion and king Turgon respectively, to fight against the Balrogs sent by Morgoth (the first Dark Lord before Sauron) to rule the Middle Earth.
When Elrond examines and gives the sword Orcrist to Thorin, in the middle finger of his left hand can be seen a ring. This ring is Vilya, one of the three rings given to the Elves at the beginning of the Second Age of the Middle-Earth, and seen in the prologue of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Vilya is a word in Quenya, a fictional language created by J.R.R. Tolkien, and means "air". The ring was originally given by Sauron to Gil-Galad, last King of the Noldor, but passed to Elrond after Gil-Galad was killed at the Battle of Dagorlad.
The movie ends with a close-up of the Smaug's eye, which has a strong resemblance to that of Sauron's eye in the original the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The answers to riddles proposed by Gollum and Bilbo, including the first riddle said by Gollum after the game, are these: 1st - a mountain, 2nd - teeth, 3rd - wind, 4th - eggs, 5th - time, and 6th - The One Ring.
The final shot of the movie with Smaug opening his eye was put in the movie because Peter Jackson had not yet decided on the look of Smaugs body.
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The song that Bofur sings in Rivendell (There was an inn) is actually a song written by Bilbo in the book The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, so it is not a dwarf song.
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