The Hobbit just finished shooting in New Zealand after 266 grueling days and Peter Jackson is no doubt frenetically hustling to get the film ready for its long-awaited December 14 release date.
However, considering how much energy Jackson has, the veteran Hollywood director shouldn't have much of a problem finishing up by the deadline. In the meantime, Jackson's certainly ready for Comic Con, with news about Middle Earth hitting fast and furious as geeks swarm into San Diego for the show.
Entertainment Weekly opened a recent story on the film with Martin Freeman who plays Bilbo Baggins. Freeman discussed some of the more mundane aspects of the Shire, such as shaving his legs so he can get his big Hobbit feet on in less than minutes.
Of course, most of the old gang is back in Middle Earth as well, which was not an easy decision for Jackson or the stalwart Ian McKellen to make.
When Guillermo del Toro had to walk away from directing The Hobbit, Jackson realized he had to either get someone else quick, make it himself, or let the big screen version of The Hobbit die a horrible death.
"I knew whoever was going to make The Hobbit had to have a different take on it than Lord of the Rings," he told writer Josh Rottenberg. "I was worried that I wouldn't. I was excited about the film Guillermo was going to make, but when that wasn't happening anymore, I had to think, 'If I was going to do this, where would I want it to go?"
And McKellen, who is now 73, also told Entertainment Weekly he thought, "At my age, I should be trying something new. I don't really like to do things again." But right before the beginning of principal photography, he was back. "Gandalf belongs to a lot of people," he continued. "Not just me."
McKellen also promised that with the new 48 frames a second look, which has already caused a lot of controversy, "there will be a lot of minds blown wide apart." It's certainly another ambitious gamble in one of the most ambitious gambles in cinema history, and we'll find out this Christmas if Jackson's return to Middle Earth pays off. Personally, I think it will.