If you haven't seen it already, it's probably best if you don't know – but if you have seen the first Hobbit movie already, here's where he was hiding: in Erebor, dressed up as a dwarf, high-tailing it away from Smaug as the wicked wyrm blasted his particular brand of fiery halitosis all upside The Lonely Mountain.In addition Collider has posted an interview with the director where he discussed why he chose to make it a trilogy, 48FPS, and more. Full interview here, segments below.
"I didn't have a great deal of choice," he explains. "There weren't any human characters in this film, and there weren't any hobbit roles I could play... and I'm not an elf."
Question: It’s a slender children’s story, the Tolkien Road. The movie is going to be three parts. Why?
...It’s written almost like a children’s bedtime story. Once you start to develop the scenes, and plus you want to do a little bit more character development and character conflict than what was in the original book, plus the fact that we can also adapt the Appendices from The Return of the King, which is a hundred odd pages of material that Tolkien developed, so it takes place around the time of The Hobbit, we want to actually expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more. Tolkien himself wrote that material to tie events a little bit more into The Lord of the Rings, which is a book he wrote 17 or 18 years after The Hobbit. So, all those factors combined give us the material to do it. Also, it goes back to the Appendices.
How did you settle upon Martin Freeman for the role of Bilbo Baggins and what was the casting process like?
...we really locked into him for the role. And then, with the delays that happened, which were mainly due to the MGM financial situation, the delays were 18 months’ worth of us developing the movie but not being able to get a green light, and so we couldn’t offer the role to anybody. We couldn’t do anything contractually, and by the time we were able to offer Martin the role, he had committed to the Sherlock TV series. He shot the first season, but the second season of Sherlock was going to fall right into the middle of our shoot. And so, he said, “Listen, I just can’t do it, unfortunately.” He had already done this prior commitment. We were in trouble. I was really panicking. We all were. We looked at other actors possibly, but at least we got this bit of casting right. We knew we were going to be in enormous trouble, and we literally couldn’t think of anyone else that we thought would be as good as Martin, and I was having sleepless nights.
You weren’t always involved as director of this project. Why weren’t you interested in directing it at first?
Jackson: That’s a very good question. I guess I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy it is the truth, because I thought I’d be competing against myself to some degree, and I thought it would be interesting to have another director. Guillermo del Toro was involved for a while, for over a year probably. But after Guillermo left because of the delays we were facing with MGM, it was still about six months or so before we had a green light after he left, and during that period of time, I just thought I am actually enjoying this more.
There’s a speech that Gandalf gives about simple acts of kindness versus great heroism that’s similar to a theme you were developing in The Lord of the Rings. Can you talk about how you carried that theme through in this film?
There was a scene in The Lord of the Rings in The Fellowship of the Rings, the first film, where they’re in the Mines of Moria and they’re stopped at a crossroads, and there’s a quiet moment where Gandalf is talking to Frodo about the events in The Hobbit and how the pity of Bilbo rules the fate of all, meaning that Bilbo had a chance to kill Gollum but he didn’t, and the fact that he didn’t is now directing the story. It’s now created the story of The Lord of the Rings, for good or for bad. It was really interesting that 10 or probably 12 years after we shot that scene originally to come back and actually show the moment when Bilbo stays his hand.
How did 3D change your approach to the visual effects and how you directed scenes?
Jackson: It didn’t change my style of directing, and I didn’t want it to. That was the beauty. ...For me, it was important to not even worry about the 3D and I didn’t. I didn’t even think about it half the time. I was directing like I would normally direct, and the cameras could do what they normally do, and for me, it was a comfortable experience.