Countdown for Lord of the Rings prequel begins

2011-12-22 09:02

Los Angeles – The release of the first trailer for the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has started the year- long countdown for the eagerly-awaited Lord of the Rings prequel.

The two-minute clip released yesterday shows Martin Freeman (The Office) in the role of young Bilbo Baggins as he is about to step into a ripping adventure with a gang of dwarves to retrieve a treasure from the dragon Smaug.

The trailer is the first glimpse of the new Hobbit franchise for fans of the fantasy series who made the Lord of the Rings trilogy one of the most successful franchises of all time, with over $3 billion (about R25 billion) of ticket sales at the global box office.

Fans have been waiting since 2003 when the last of the Lord of the Rings films, the Oscar-winning The Return of the King, hit the big screen.

The Hobbit films have been repeatedly delayed over a legal wrangle between Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema which backed the film.

The dispute prompted Guillerme del Toro to pull out of his directing duties, prompting Jackson to retake the director’s mantle.

The New Zealand director filmed The Hobbit this year as two separate movies, with the first part scheduled for release next December. Part two, called There and Back Again, will hit screens a year later.

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