When Peter Jackson announced that he was making not two but three “Hobbit” movies, we weren’t that surprised, even though the source material from J.R.R. Tolkien’s original work doesn’t seem to have as much meat as his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. And now that we’ve had a chance to hear Jackson’s reasoning and motivation behind the decision, we’re on board.
But that got us to thinking, what did the cast think about the addition and how soon did they know about it before we did?
“By the time they officially told us it was kind of on the grapevine,” star Martin Freeman told MTV News of learning the not-so-secret news during filming of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” “As you can imagine film sets are a hive of gossip, when you’ve been somewhere a year and a half sometimes there is little else to do but gossip. So no we got the idea that it might be happening.”
Sir Ian McKellen’s memory was slightly clearer on the subject as he could pinpoint the actual day when they found out.
“I remember it was the last day of shooting and Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and I were called into see [Jackson] and we thought, ‘It’s too late to sack us,’ ” he joked before adding that Jackson wanted to explain that he didn’t want to not use all the extra material they had already banked during filming and Warner Brothers fully supported a third film.
“Of course they are, Warner Brothers would be happy if Peter Jackson made 13 ['Hobbit'] movies,” McKellen said. “It does mean that we’re going to have to go back and do more filming and that’s fine and next May we’ll all be back in New Zealand, back in Middle-earth.”
But even with Jackson expanding upon Tolkien’s source material, it doesn’t mean that all of the cast will be back. We asked Andy Serkis if the expanded universe might include more work for his Gollum, but Serkis didn’t seem to think he’d be needed for anything else in the next two films.
“That’s a very good question. At the moment there certainly aren’t any plans for Gollum to return,” Serkis said. “But I always say [when working] with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, never say never.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”