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 sneaked into the tent he stayed in during breaks, and decorated it with mementos from the Lord of the Rings films, and stocked it with records and a player so he could listen to music.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Bombur doesn't say a word during the entire movie.
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.
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.
Thranduil, the father of Legolas, first appeared in the Hobbit book simply as "The Elven King" with no mention of his real name. Is it 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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).
Richard Armitage's (Thorin Oakenshield) wig was the only one 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All cast members (including the extras) wore wigs in the film, except Den Hannah who played Old Took.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The voice of the ailing hedgehog Sebastian was provided by Teddy Bear the porcupine from Zooniversity in Texas.
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.
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.
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).
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.
This film was shot on thirty Red Epic cameras, the newest model of the Red Camera available at the time.
The subtitle "An Unexpected Journey" does not appear until 13 minutes into the film.
The 3D IMAX prints consisted of 98 reels (49 per eye), totaling over 21.5 miles of combined film length.
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).
This film and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) wrapped on July 6, 2012 after 266 days of principal photography.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bill Bailey auditioned for the role of Gloin. In Spaced (1999) he plays a character named Bilbo, named after this film's title character.
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.
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.
The first of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films that does not incorporate the film's subtitle into a line of dialogue.
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.
Ron Perlman was up for a role when Guillermo del Toro was set as director, but left after del Toro did as well.
David Tennant was rumored to be play Thranduil before Lee Pace was cast.
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.
Adam Brown (Ori) originally auditioned for the role of Bilbo Baggins.
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.
John Callen (Oin) auditioned for the role of Radagast and the voice of Smaug.
Saoirse Ronan was considered for the role of a young elf, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and long production schedule.
If the subtitles are on when viewing the movie, Bombur's few spoken lines are brief but apparent.


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.

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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.

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