The greatest adventure is what lies ahead, and now you know what the greatest adventurers are going to look like.
Your very first looks at Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey and several other cast members from "The Hobbit" have arrived online. We already saw some tantalizing photos of Peter Jackson on the set of the two-part "Lord of the Rings" prequel just a few weeks ago, but if you're a Middle-Earth maniac like me, your brain is almost certainly bubbling over with awesome overload from this latest batch of images.
Check out our rundown of the latest "Hobbit" photos, which debuted at Entertainment Weekly, past the jump!
We'll get to Freeman as Baggins in a bit (seriously, he's perfect), but let's linger on the dwarves for a minute. You have to squint to get the details on some of these guys, but they look absolutely fantastic. I'm predisposed to liking their look since the dwarves are my overall favorite race in Tolkien lore, but just check out Richard Armitage as Thorin. If you were worried that the "Hobbit" team was going to pretty him up too much, I think this brief glimpse should put your fears to rest.
Seeing the dwarves is certainly electrifying—they're brand new, after all—but Dorothy Gale had it right: sometimes, there's no place like home. And when it comes to "The Hobbit," McKellen as Gandalf brings me right back to that happy spot. I appreciate the good wizard in all forms, but there's an edginess to Gandalf the Grey that just pops more than the admittedly powerful but significantly less playful Gandalf the White. It'll be nice to spend two more rounds with the Grey
"There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin," Peter Jackson wrote of Freeman's casting in "The Hobbit" when it was announced late last year — after seeing the guy in character in two of these three new photos, I'm hard pressed to disagree. It looks as though Jackson plucked the mental picture of Bilbo I've been holding in my head since I was a kid and shot it forth into reality. Mind is literally blown right now. Gonna go take a nap.
What do you think of the "Hobbit" photos? Tell us your take in the comments section and on Twitter!