Empire magazine unveils the World Exclusive covers revealing a first-look at five characters from Peter Jackson’s eagerly awaited The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The covers feature British actor Martin Freeman as Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield, Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf, Cate Blanchett as elven queen Galadriel and Gollum.
Martin Freeman told Empire he still isn’t prepared for the film’s launch in December. The actor, who plays Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, said: “There’s still a part of me that doesn’t quite believe it’s going to come out. Not many things you do in your life take on mythical proportions. Because of Tolkien, and because of Peter, it’s the most anticipated film I’m sure I will ever do.”
Freeman says he popped to the cinema recently and the film’s trailer came on. He said: “It was like, f**k, I thought we were just doing it for ourselves.”
British actor Richard Armitage also makes his debut as Dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield. Armitage, who is perhaps best known for his roles in British TV favourites including The Vicar of Dibley, Spooks and Robin Hood.
In an exclusive interview with the magazine, he spoke of his excitement at working with Jackson: “I’d read The Hobbit over and over as a kid. Then I got into the Lord Of The Rings as an adult, but sadly I was never in a position to even be considered for that trilogy.”
He added: “There’s nothing that could have stopped me from doing Thorin. If I never do another piece of work again after this, I think I’ll be happy, genuinely happy. It feels like an arrival.”
“It’s the fact that it’s Peter Jackson and he’s picking up Tolkien and doing what everybody wants to be done with it. It’s his vision, and it’s so so close, so close to my vision.”
Mark Dinning, Editor, Empire Magazine, said: “It’s been nearly 10 years since film fans were last able to enjoy the magic of Middle-earth, which makes this Christmas’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the most anticipated movie of the year by a mile. With Peter Jackson once again in the director’s chair, and with this movie the start of a brand new trilogy, we could not be more excited to be re-entering a world that we all fell in love with almost a decade ago and because of that we have dedicated an entire issue – and five covers – to celebrating this milestone moment for movie fans. From the set to the edit we have interviewed Jackson and all of his key cast and crew to bring readers the definitive, world-exclusive story on this epic new adventure.”
The December issue of Empire, on sale on Thursday, features an in-depth editorial special on ‘The Hobbit’ with an entire feature section dedicated to the film comprising film visuals, character portfolios and on location interviews.