With Peter Jackson completing the first block of shooting on The Hobbit last month the cast and crew have had a bit of down time before the next block of shooting begins, and British actor Richard Armitage took this time to speak about his role as dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in the films.
From Total Film:
“There’s going to be quite a lot more humour. The book is so focused on the dwarves, so I think it’s a chance for Peter [Jackson] and Fran [Walsh] to really look at that whole race in more detail, their heritage and what they’re like as characters.”
The dwarves aren’t just there as comic relief though, as Armitage has learnt while wielding the Orcrist, Thorin’s legendary goblin sword.
“It’s bloody heavy!” he told us. “But it’s absolutely beautiful to look at. Every time they bring something new out everyone gasps. The armour that the dwarves emerge from the mountain wearing at the end of the film will be the armour of all armour.”
Tolkien fan Armitage said that he’s in his element shooting in New Zealand: “There was a scene in The Lord Of The Rings where they find the stone trolls, and they’re identical in The Hobbit. I love those moments, when you link into the world of the film that you’ve seen before.”
While there will be more laughs in The Hobbit there’s plenty of death, destruction, and greed. There’s more potential for character-driven humour with the dwarves (like we had with Gimli) and Bilbo Baggins is more of a jolly lead character than Frodo was. Plus The Hobbit takes place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, therefore Sauron has not yet risen to power and it’s not as gloomy.
The first film, titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be released on December 14, 2012 and the second film, titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is slated for release the following year on December 13, 2013.