The Hobbit Premiere: Sir Ian McKellen To Miss While Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood & Others Are Confirmed
Sir Ian McKellen will give the premiere for The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey a miss as other stars of the movie turn out in Wellington next week. In a statement from Warner Brothers today, McKellen said he was envious his co-stars could attend.
“It is thrilling that Peter and my other friends from the cast and crew will be re-united for the world premiere. I know they will have a wonderful welcome from the fans and I envy them. As ever, my heart is in Wellington, and I send my love.”
Those who will attend the red carpet along the capital’s Courtenay Place include Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Andy Serkis who are reprising roles from Lord of the Rings in the new JRR Tolkien-inspired movie.
Martin Freeman, who plays the central role of Bilbo Baggins will attend, as well as Richard Armitage who plays Dwarf warrior Thorin Oakenshield. The Company of Dwarves will also join filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
Ian McKellen Reveals He “Broke Down” On ‘Hobbit’ Set
Sir Ian Mckellen broke down in tears on the set of The Hobbit after becoming so frustrated filming green screen scenes with only visual aids to act opposite. The thespian, who reprises his role as wizard Gandalf in the new Peter Jackson movie, found it difficult to shoot scenes on his own with just photographs for reference - and he reveals he threw a tantrum.
He tells ContactMusic,
“In order to shoot the dwarves and a large Gandalf, we couldn’t be in the same set. All I had for company was 13 photographs of the dwarves on top of stands with little lights - whoever’s talking flashes up. Pretending you’re with 13 other people when you’re on your own, it stretches your technical ability to the absolute limits. I cried, actually. I cried. Then I said out loud, ‘This is not why I became an actor’. Unfortunately the microphone was on and the whole studio heard.”
‘Premieres’: Ian McKellen’s Official Blog (11/1/2012)
The premiere in Wellington is nigh, followed by another in New York City and the prestigious Royal Film Performance at London’s Leicester Square, where I hear two cinemas will be needed to accommodate the guest-list. It’s not yet announced which royals will attend but I can tell you that those who will, specifically requested to see The Hobbit as they are fans of The Lord of the Rings. I’ve not yet decided whom to take as my date but no applications please – it will be a close friend or maybe two.
Meanwhile the publicity has started and giant wizards are turning up all over the place. Way back, the cast posed for 3D-effect photos, so expect to see our eyes following you in your cinema lobby any day now.
I’ve been busy talking to journalists (about 70 so far) and reminiscing about the shoot. Their opening question is usually identical: “So, what was it like going back to New Zealand, a decade after LOTR. Did it feel the same?”
Well much of it was just the same, thankfully: the same crew and technicians and heads of department behind the cameras. Rick Findlater did my make-up again and Emma Harre undressed and dressed me twice daily, as she did last time.
The cast was mostly new, though: 13 dwarves and a hobbit who all wanted to know “What will it be like?” Yet the first actor I met on set was Elijah Wood, 13 years older and yet looking the same ever-youthful, modest, enthusiastic, charmer as before. That other charmer, Orlando Bloom, was back, too, living with his family next-door to me on the Wellington bay. It was old times especially when Elrond and Galadriel flew in from Australia, and our reunion a high spot of the whole shoot. Saruman joined us for our scenes in Rivendell but Christopher Lee was actually filmed later in London, though you’d never guess from the finished cut. There was less work on location, once we had revisited Hobbiton, rebuilt in Matamata. Concentrated into two months touring both islands with our caravanserai of trucks and trailers and 4-wheel drive saloons. The studios in Miramar were luxuriously improved, particularly Studio K (K for King Kong), though the Bag End interiors were housed in the old paint factory as of old. I noted that the front door keys were nowhere to be seen. That’s because they hang on a hook by my back door in London. Don’t tell anyone.
— Ian McKellen, London, 1 November 2012
From Entertainment Weekly’s The Hobbit cast interview
Entertainment Weekly Cast Interview
The Hobbit Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, Peter Jackson, Phillipa
Elijah Wood Interview- 2012 Comic Con
The Hobbit: Ian McKellen Interview - Comic-Con 2012
The Hobbit: Ian McKellen Interview - Comic-Con 2012 (x)
Peter Jackson Talks Lukewarm Response For ‘The Hobbit’ At CinemaCon
Expectations were extremely high for Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit Part 1’ movie so introducing a whole new technology wound up losing the focus on his storytelling and more on reactions to something unfinished and new. Naturally Jackson had something to say about the lukewarm reception for his long gestating journey.
Viggo Mortensen Talks ‘Hobbit’
I understand they’re doing two [Hobbit] movies. Now they may be doing two in order to be able to tell the whole story. I’ve heard the same rumors you probably have that the idea was to do some sort of bridge between “The Hobbit,” and – you know there’s a 60 odd year time span between the end of “The Hobbit” and the beginning of “The Lord of the Rings.” So they could feasibly have done that, since Aragorn lives much longer than humans do, being part Elf and all that. Sure, if it seemed like something they wanted to do, I guess I would have done it, and it would have been fun.
I really enjoyed working with New Zealanders as crew members, as teammates. They’re great, and it’s a beautiful country. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and I’ve traveled quite a bit. It just has so many things. It’s a good feeling being there. I have fun with most of the people that work on “Lord of the Rings,” too. Like the ones that did get to go back, some were obviously central to “The Hobbit.” Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Cate Blanchett and I guess Elijah went back for a small part, and Orlando Bloom as well. I know that they had a good time and so forth.
I go back there [New Zealand] occasionally. I have friends there, and go back there when I can. It would have been nice to have work, but apart from going back to New Zealand, I don’t have a strong contact with the filmmakers, but I do see a few of the actors here and there once in a while. It’s something that was an important part of all of our lives, and I have fond memories of it. If it would have been possible I would have returned [for the new movies.] But I don’t really feel – I mean nostalgia, in a sense. I have for many experiences, for many people I’ve known and places I’ve been. But I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel like suddenly it’s over now, or something. It was over when we finished it. I look forward to seeing what they do with it. I’ll be fun to see some the way they’ve adapted that book.
Andy Serkis Talks ‘Hobbit’
Andy Serkis has been the latest to give an update on proceedings, and says the new technology on offer to Peter Jackson has made the set a joy to work on.
“It’s fantastic,” says Serkis of his return to New Zealand. “What’s great is that, with the technology, we can shoot on a live-action set. I don’t have to go back and repeat the process. There’s no disconnect anymore.”
“When I’m acting with my fellow actor on a live-action set, it’s all for real and whatever happens between those two actors is what’s recorded,” he explains. “The live-action actor is recorded with film cameras while my performance as Gollum is recorded with performance capture cameras.”
What’s also different this time around, is that Serkis has been involved behind the camera as well. “Because I’m directing the Second Unit on The Hobbit, I feel very at home with Middle-earth,” continues the star.
“I feel equipped to be Peter’s eyes and ears on the Second Unit, which is a big operation. We’re covering a lot of stuff. We shoot everything from drama to aerial shots to battle sequences. I’m very pleased to be at this point.”
And as for Gollum? Well, seeing as this film is a prequel to The Lord Of The Rings, he’s a little different to how we remember. “All I can say is that he’s 60 years younger,” says Serkis, “and a lot more handsome.”