Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.
No, I sill have no idea if Hugo Weaving will be attending the New York premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this evening; he hasn’t been doing US media appearances, but as I mentioned in a previous entry, he doesn’t tend to appear on US talk shows much anyhow, and Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage and Elijah Wood are performing most of those duties– quite entertainingly too.
I’ll add links to all their recent interviews in a moment, but wanted to share a few videos in which Hugo does appear. The first, which just debuted via the LA Times, is a one-minute scene from the film featuring The White Council (Gandalf, Elrond, Saruman and Galadriel) discussing Gandalf’s premonitions. This isn’t terribly spoilery (especially to anyone who’s seen LOTR), but might include a substantial amount of some of these actors’ full screentime in the film, you should decide for yourselves how much you want revealed in advance. As of this moment, I can’t embed the clip, but will add it the moment some kind soul uploads it to YouTube. Meanwhile, do click on the link.
Fortunately two new behind the scenes compilations are available for embedding; the first is a fairly official-looking overview of the making of An Unexpected Journey, including footage not seen in the previous Production Diaries and official cast interviews. Hugo is briefly seen at 8.52.
Here’s a WETA Workshop profile which includes comments from the Wellington premiere, including Hugo:
Air New Zealand also has a shorter, exclusive making- of which focuses on location filming. Since all of the Rivendell sequences were shot on a sound stage, Hugo isn’t in this one.
Other new TV interviews: Peter Jackson was on Today this morning and will appear on The Colbert Report tonight. (There are also exclusive online clips featuring Jackson at MSNBC here and here.) You can view Stephen Colbert’s interviews with Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman at Colbertnation.com. (Since Colbert is a certified Tolkien geek– who beat screenwriter Philippa Boyens in a trivia contest about the author held on the Hobbit set– the full shows include lots of jokes and material about the film, and are well worth a look.)
Richard Armitage was on Today yesterday, as was Elijah Wood. Martin Freeman appeared on David Letterman on Tuesday night. Many, many entertainment programs have featured similar brief preview pieces with recycled footage from the Wellington premiere, the WETA interviews and, typically, a host from a given show messing about in Hobbit feet or Elf ears on the set. Hugo hasn’t appeared in any that I’ve seen, apart from the Entertainment Tonight segment I shared in the previous entry. Some shows have included Cate Blanchett or Elijah Wood quotes from the group interviews and simply cropped Hugo out of the frame. Needless to say, that’s not going to get them cross-posted here. 😉 But in some cases, websites for various shows will include footage not aired on TV… so I’ll keep an eye out. There are new (non-video) interviews with Peter Jackson at the New Zealand Herald, The Guardian, Total Film and The Huffington Post as well. The last includes a video preview of the 48 FPS technology that is already causing controversy among viewers. Ian McKellen counters the two major criticismws of the film thusfar– the 48 FPS technology and the decision to turn it into a trilogy– at OK Online.
New York premiere is officially underway… no sign of Hugo Weaving yet, but I’ll update the moment I have pics or confirmation he isn’t there.
UPDATE: No signs of Hugo yet, but here’s another WETA cast interview filmed for Australian TV, Channel Four this time, shared on YouTube by superfan MrBBi:
Yes, there’s also a clip of Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Andy Serkis. And Ian McKellen managed to charm despite a 1-minute interview restriction in Alicia Malone’s Movie Minute. McKellen also held a two-part Twitter interview for The Hobbit Movie’s Twitter feed yesterday and this morning … I was unable to catch the second part live due to a family health issue, but it’s still a very entertaining read, and a Twitter pal of mine got a Hugo question in. 😉 Warner Bros has posted TV Spot 10 and an unnumbered “extended TV Spot” on YouTube. Andy Serkis gave a lengthy interview about his career to AFI.
As I predicted, it didn’t take long for the LA Times White Council video (here called “Dragon”) to make it to YouTube:
The film has drawn mixed reviews, though no outright pans. Most negativity seems to take issue with the HFR technology (though some, like the New York Daily News praise it) and the choice to turn the book into three films; some critics apparently feel too much time is spent on character development. 😉 (Seriously, though, I preferred the Expanded Editions of LOTR to the rushed-feeling theatrical versions. I’m more concerned with some iffy looking VFX shots in released footage.)
It’s not looking good as far as Hugo’s participation in the Hobbit New York premiere goes. Photos confirm that Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Elijah Wood, Lee Pace, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman and Adam Brown are on hand, with Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving the most prominent no-shows… of course, both attended the Wellington premiere and have done press for the film, and it’s entirely possible Hugo has other work commitments with three films and a play planned for the next 18 months or so. Also fair to repeat that Hugo and Cate play relatively brief (if iconic) roles in the film. Getty Images has a selection of photos already up from the New York premiere.