By Jeff Otto | The Playlist July 16, 2012 at 9:24AM
To say the Comic-Con crowd is a little excited about the long-awaited release of the first “The Hobbit” movie this holiday season would be the understatement of the century. Saturday morning’s Hall H line was quite possibly the longest in the convention’s history, which could be attributed partially to other big guns such as “Django Unchained” and “Man of Steel,” but it’s hard to imagine the legendarily loyal Tolkien faithful didn’t play the biggest part in the mob scene.
When Peter Jackson took the stage, the reaction of the Hall H crowd was palpable. He was soon joined by co-writer Philippa Boyens and cast members Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellan and, in a surprise appearance, Frodo himself Elijah Wood. Below is a rundown of some of the topics covered by the panel, and what you can expect from the two the films over the next couple of years.
There aren’t a lot of women in the Tolkien universe. A female fan who admitted her father used to change some of the characters to women, including Gandalf, during bedtime readings of Tolkien, asked whether the gender might be any better represented in “The Hobbit.” “Galadriel is the most powerful being in Middle Earth and we wanted to go out there and tell that story,” said Boyens. “Cate Blanchett did a phenomenal job. I had my total geek-out moment when she stepped up. And, the battle of Dol Guldur. She immediately brings a very powerful energy to the film. We did feel the weight of it being a boy-driven story so we did create a character named Tauriel. She’s an elf and she’s played magnificently by Evangeline Lily. We didn’t want it to be a ploy. We wanted her to fit in the world and I think you guys are going to fall in love with her.”
2. Peter Jackson’s "The Hobbit" Cameo
Rumors have recently circulated that Jackson himself will be making an appearance in “The Hobbit,” and the director teased you might want to keep your eyes peeled. “I haven’t shot my cameo yet,” said Jackson. “But I’m due to shoot it tomorrow when I get back to New Zealand. Seriously. I’m not going to tell you where I am. I’m the handsome one. You’ll recognize me.”
3. The Extended Editions
Having released Extended Editions of all three “The Lord of the Rings” films, it stands to reason that Jackson will ultimately do the same with the “The Hobbit” movies. “People often assume we earmark scenes for the Extended Edition, which is not true. It may be that we write a scene halfway through the shoot we think we need to tell the story. It's not until you assemble the film that you start to decide," Jackson explained about the process of putting together the longer cuts. "You end up with a film that's too long that you need to trim down in order to distribute it. When we cut scenes out that have nice character moments or add to the story, then we put it into the extended cut. It’s a very organic process. We don’t really know until we get to the end what’s going to be in the extended cut. There will certainly be extended cuts of these I'm sure.”