Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

News From The Shire: Peter Jackson To Shoot 'The Hobbit' On 3D RED Cameras, Ian McKellen Confirmed

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 29, 2010 at 3:20AM

After something of a roller coaster year, with an endlessly sliding start date, the bailing of director Guillermo Del Toro, and nearly losing preferred lead Martin Freeman, "The Hobbit" is finally gearing up to shoot in the new year, with Freeman joined by new cast members like Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Aidan Turner, as well, possibly, as the rumored likes of David Tennant, Michael Fassbender and Saoirse Ronan.
19


After something of a roller coaster year, with an endlessly sliding start date, the bailing of director Guillermo Del Toro, and nearly losing preferred lead Martin Freeman, "The Hobbit" is finally gearing up to shoot in the new year, with Freeman joined by new cast members like Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Aidan Turner, as well, possibly, as the rumored likes of David Tennant, Michael Fassbender and Saoirse Ronan.

As we get closer to production, more and more tidbits will start to leak out, and several broke over the weekend. Firstly, fansite The One Ring pointed out that actor Ian McKellen, who starred as benevolent wizard Gandalf in the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, has recently updated his website to seemingly confirm that he'll be involved in the shoot over 2011, which the site says will kick off in February. While McKellen's involvement was never really in doubt, and we still await an official announcement, it's good to know that he's looking locked-in: Michael Gambon can only take over playing so many famous wizards you know...

The more surprising news, on one level at least, is that Jackson will shoot the film on EPIC, the new digital cameras from RED. The company, founded by Oakley millionaire Jim Jannard, has been making waves in recent years with the first 'affordable' high-resolution camera -- the RED ONE, their first camera, records 4K images at a relatively low cost, and has been championed by the likes of Steven Soderbergh, who shot "The Informant!" and "Haywire" with the cameras, and David Fincher, who used the format exclusively for "The Social Network."

Jackson has a long history with the cameras, shooting a short with them shortly after their release, "Crossing The Line," and using them for much of "The Lovely Bones" (and Neil Blomkamp used them also for most of "District 9," which Jackson produced), so it's not hugely surprising that he's turning to the format, particularly with the desire to film in native 3D making it impossible to shoot on film, as the original pictures were.

According to a press release obtained by Engadget, Jackson will actually be the first to use RED's new cameras, the EPIC, buying up 30 units at a cool fifty grand each. The new cameras are able to shoot up to 120 frames a second at a resolution of 5K, while still being smaller and lighter than the original version, and he seems excited, saying that "The Epic not only has cutting edge technology, incredible resolution and visual quality, but it is also a very practical tool for film makers." However, as unsurprising as the move is, we're not convinced it's the wisest idea.

The results we've seen on Red cameras to date are undeniably impressive (although to our eyes, we've found the format better suited to the chilly, steely looks of films such as "The Social Network" and "Winter's Bone" than anything with a warmer color palette), but they're notoriously tricky to deal with on set -- this writer has seen entire takes wiped from existence at random on the format.

We're not the only ones to be unconvinced -- Rian Johnson wrote a lengthy take-down of the format a few years back, while Werner Herzog, who used RED on "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done," recently told the DGA that "it's an immature camera created by computer people who do not have a sensibility for the value of high-precision mechanics, which has a 200-year history. It's terrible: Whenever you have to reboot the camera, it take 4 1/2 minutes or so. It drove me insane."

Indeed, Soderbergh was meant to be the first to use the new RED format, also shooting in 3D, on "Contagion," but, as we reported a few months ago, the director was unhappy with some last-minute glitches on the new cameras, and so decided to stick with the RED ONE, ditching the idea of filming in 3D. We imagine the problems have been worked out by now, or Jackson wouldn't use the EPIC, but it's still a risk, considering the lengthy delays the production has already suffered, to shoot on a brand new system from a company already well-known for technical issues.

In one final tidbit for the film, Australia-based British actor Shane Briant told the Bram Stoker Horror Film Festival Whitby Hammer Convention and Exhibition a few weeks back that he was up for a role in "The Hobbit," a role which The One Ring suspects is either the Mayor of Michel Delving, or the Mayor of Lake Town. It's all a bit thin, but we figured we'd pass it on while we were here. With shooting now only a couple of months away, and the release of Part One tentatively planned for December 2012, we're sure more news will be along shortly.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Genre Films, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, James Nesbitt, The Hobbit


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates