Hobbit filming soldiers on despite mishaps
Peter Jackson’s version of The Hobbit is fast gaining a reputation as a cursed project. As you may recall, problems assailing the production have included the departure of original director Guillermo del Toro, the near collapse of co-parent studio MGM, a labour dispute with New Zealand workers and at least one massive fire. Now it seems that an explosion on set has left two crew members in hospital.
To be fair, the latest crisis seems fairly minor. Apparently the unfortunate workers received “mild burns, but nothing serious”.
In other Hobbit news, the film’s producers have announced the schedule for release of the bifurcated epic and the two proposed titles. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey will open on December 14th, 2012. The Hobbit: There and Back Again will follow on December 13th, 2013.
The Christmas releases will restore a tradition established by the original Lord of the Rings films. From 2001 to 2003, the adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s epic carved out a seasonal space for fantasy films that has been later occupied by Narnia and Harry Potter pictures.
A number of actors from the Lord of the Rings trilogy (including, puzzlingly, several whose characters do not appear in Tolkien’s version of The Hobbit) will be returning to Middle-earth for the looming epic. Look forward to reappearances by Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Ian Holm and Orlando Bloom.
Weird with beard: Ian McKellen will reportedly return as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s two-part Hobbit epic, now in pre-production