"Where are you going?" comes a voice. "I'M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!" yells Martin Freeman's Bilbo, his hands flapping wildly around his face.
Even with that rather lovely moment, the new trailer for The Hobbit doesn't have anywhere near the I've-been-blown-away feel of The Lord of the Rings. Maybe it's the broad humour of the whole thing - far more evident than that cracking Hobbit teaser trailer. But you know what it does have? ONLY SYLVESTER RUDDY MCCOY. That and a ton a dwarves. What's the collective noun for a group of dwarves? Someone at Warner Bros is gonna have to work that one out before December.
Here's the trailer. Are you excited? Or merely just whelmed?
Stop what you're doing and put aside five minutes. Now look at this HUGE Hobbit banner, which has popped up online over at Entertainment Weekly.
You can scroll and zoom through the whole ruddy thing on the EW site - and it's MASSIVE. But the highlight? Gandalf vs a bear. Or, to be more accurate, Beorn, the shape-shifter played by Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt.
There's also lots of Martin Freeman, shiny sword Sting and and many sexy dwarfs.
I don't much care about Comic-Con, but if this steady stream of Hobbit posters and artwork keeps on coming, hell, they should host it every weekend.
Read on for the whole Hobbit banner. Then set aside another five minutes to wipe that drool off your face.
Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Cast: Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Martin Freeman, Brian Blessed, Lenny Henry, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
Carving their own plasticine niche in the creature feature genre and the prison break, the talented team at Aardman lend their pliability to the popular pirate genre for their latest assault on the box office. The tale follows wannabe swashbuckler Pirate Captain (Grant) and his loveable misfit crew of stereotypical pirates/British actors - and a particularly big-boned parrot.
Together, they sail the Seven Seas in search of fame and fortune, battling the formidable pirate-hating monarch Queen Victoria (Staunton) and allying with luckless young scientist Charles Darwin (Tennant), hoping to finally win their captain the coveted Pirate of the Year award.
The Hobbit trailer has hobbled onto the internet. And Martin Freeman has never looked happier.
"I am a Baggins! Of Bag End!" he huffs, refusing to go anywhere.
Two minutes and thirty-two seconds later, and he's upped sticks, left The Shire, met a company of plate-throwing dwarves, picked up a sword and crossed paths with... well, you know who. (No, not Voldemort, silly.)
And the best bit? Not the wonderful set design that looks completely consistent with Lord of the Rings, not the nifty camerawork of Peter Jackson, not the return of Ian McKellen's Gandalf, Richard Armitage singing or the promising visual effects - it's the fact that Jackson knows just how much to reveal.
There's internet fan hype. There's pointlessly dissecting The Dark Knight Rises trailer. There's releasing previews of previews of teasers of trailers for films that aren't out until 2012. And then there's the perfectly judged first trailer for The Hobbit.
Read on to see the full video - you can see the actual film this time next year.
Aardman's The Pirates! trailer be sailing the online seas today, but as well as the genius video, there be a poster too. Arr, be readying yourself for... The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists:
Directed by Peter Lord, it looks set to be a completely barmy bit of animation. The plot involves the enthusiastic Pirate Captain and his crew trying to win the Pirate of the Year Award. Or, to quote the amazingly catchy song in the trailer (to the tune of What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?): "There's a fish in a hat, and the last dodo, ripping, roaring and a 'Yo-ho!', Charles Darwin and his monkey Bobo, and the Pirate Captain!"
The cast sees Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven joining the pirate ranks, with Imelda Staunton as Queen Victoria and David Tennant as Darwin. And the Pirate Captain himself? Yarr, he be played by none other than salty sea dog Hugh Grant. And you thought he could only do this:
Read on to be seeing the trailer.
Whenever I feel sad or angry, I just look at Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins on the set of The Hobbit and everything is right in the world once again.
There now. Don't you feel better?
After all that hoo-hah and cackwaffle, The Hobbit has finally got its fight with the New Zealand folks settled and will be shot in Peter Jackson's home country.
Warner Bros. have reached a deal with the Kiwi government, which will see new legislation introduced to clearly distinguish between employees and independent contractors.
Not that anyone wants to read more about Peter Jackson and his hairy midget friends. I'm certainly sick of writing about it. What I will say is that it's great news for my friend Ed, who moved over to New Zealand looking for production work a while back. Working in a range of museums and constantly bumping into Guillermo Del Toro in comic book shops, he's been pestering Wingnut Films every day for several years. Now there's some actual work for him to beg for. Good luck to him, the bespectacled darling.
For all the other Middle Earth nonsense, you can read our Exclusive Generic Hobbit News Story, which will cover you in the event of any possible rumours.
As the controversy dies down/starts up following the recent disagreement/agreement over casting issues, The Hobbit is now officially going ahead/not going ahead.
Peter Jackson, who will direct/will not direct the adaptation of J.R.R Tolkein's Middle Earth epic, has stalled/pushed ahead with production thanks to the new exclusive breaking news that something has happened/nothing has happened and that The Hobbit is now going into production/never going to happen/continuing to maybe start happening sometime soon.
It's all thanks to the New Zealand Actors' Equity who previously decided to boycott production but have now agreed to star/not star in the long-awaited fantasy film. As a result, The Hobbit will definitely be shot in New Zealand/Europe after Jackson's ultimatum/hollow threat suggested that the production would move/not move from the Lord of the Rings location.
This is, of course, good/bad news for MGM and Warner Bros, who have lots of money/not enough money as their financial troubles have finally been sorted/continue to be completely screwed.
It's also been confirmed that Martin Freeman will play/not play Bilbo Baggins, with Richard Armitage, Michael Fassbender, James Nesbitt, Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant all approached/not approached to play supporting roles. Andy Serkis is expected/not expected to return as Gollum and Ian McKellen has tweeted that filming will start/will not start in February/January/next week/tomorrow afternoon.
The Hobbit will/will not be released in 2012/2013.
So yeah, that got announced over the weekend. The Hobbit's officially got the green light (it's been confirmed by two sources) and will start shooting in February.
Peter Jackson - now the official director of the Lord of the Rings sequel - had this to say:
"Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience. It’s an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We’re looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo -- and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM."
The Hobbit is on its way back to cinemas. Jackson's back at the helm. All is right with the world. No go away and stop talking about Martin Freeman as Bilbo, James Nesbitt as dwarf Bofur and David Tennant/Michael Fassbender for other supporting parts. Let's just presume Freeman's onboard now and save ourselves the hassle.
And if I anyone so much as mentions Ian McKellen's tweets or the New Zealand actors strike, I'll throw them into Mount Doom myself.
After all the stuff written below happened, certain people (like me) were sad that Martin Freeman wouldn't be playing Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. But now, Entertainment Weekly have themselves a source who say MGM and New Line have approached the actor again - this time with a schedule that won't conflict with the shooting of BBC's Sherlock.
Watch this space for more conjecture and/or rumour.
According to The Sun (yes, I could just stop writing there**), Martin Freeman has turned down the chance to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.
With MGM still screwed financially, Peter Jackson's been trotting the globe to find himself a Bilbo. But the Lord of the Rings director, who is still to confirm he'll be helming this one, was rejected by Freeman due to other commitments. Namely returning to star as sidekick John Watson alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the next run of the BBC's excellent Sherlock.
"It was one of the most difficult decisions of his career," is what The Sun got told by their anonymous source. "MGM, who are making the film, only got a formal offer over in the last couple of weeks. It was too late for Martin because he had already signed up for another series of Sherlock. It was agonising but he had no other choice."
Meanwhile, The Hobbit still has no official start date, Peter Jackson continues his hunt for a "hidden gem", and the tabloid rumour mill continues. The only thing that's definite? Sherlock's coming back next year. Hooray.
** It's actually worth reading the article by The Sun, just to appreciate their glorious pun. Because Martin Freeman chose to "stay at Holmes". Get it? HOLMES. Amazing.