THE HOBBIT Director Peter Jackson Comments on Negative Reaction to Footage Screening
Jackson and Warner Bros debuted several scenes from the highly anticipated film at this month's CinemaCon showcase in Las Vegas, and many attendees were left unsatisfied by the new 48 frames per second (fps) format.
The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
After premiering new footage from the film at Las Vegas CinemaCon last week, The Hobbit crew came under fire from both critics and attendees who did not like the new digital projection format. The Hobbit will be the first big budget fantasy film to be released in 48 frames per second, as opposed to the standard 24 frames per second. Jackson recently discussed by negative reaction to the 10 minute footage reveal and offered his thoughts on what the problem may have been:
"At first it's unusual because you've never seen a movie like this before. It's literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn't last the entire experience of the film; not by any stretch, after 10 minutes or so. That's a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation.
"There can only ever be a real reaction, a truthful reaction, when people actually have a chance to see a complete narrative on a particular film. A couple of the more negative commenters from CinemaCon said that in the Gollum and Bilbo scene they didn't mind it and got used to that. That was the same 48 frames the rest of the reel was. I just wonder if it they were getting into the dialogue, the characters and the story. That's what happens in the movie. You settle into it."
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released in theaters on December 14, 2012. The second film, titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is slated for release the following year on December 13, 2013. Both movies are directed by Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum, Elijah Wood as Frodo, plus Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Stephen Hunter, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bret McKenzie, James Nesbitt, Luke Evans and others.