When Peter Jackson announced that he would be turning "The Hobbit" into three films, some fans of the Tolkien books groaned. Even though he's well-known for his drawn-out storytelling style, some don't think the tale of "The Hobbit" needs to be spread out over a trilogy, regardless of how gorgeous the effects are sure to be.
But hardcore fans of the films are elated to finally have photos, a trailer, and an estimated running time for the first film, entitled "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey". At two hours and forty minutes, Jackson says--rather proudly--that it's the shortest film in the entire series so far.
Fans will also be happy to see familiar faces, especially that of Gandalf the Grey, played by Ian McKellen. McKellen wasn't sure he wanted to appear in the trilogy at first, however, saying that it didn't seem very challenging.
“It was a little like going back to something that wasn’t necessarily going to be particularly challenging,” he said. “Gandalf is still inside me, as it were, so the business of getting to know a new character -- I was sort of going to be robbed of that.”
"The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey" is due out in theaters December 14th.