Presumably by now you'll all have seen the photos of Benedict Cumberbatch covered in mini ping pong balls, contorting his face like a trooper in order to provide motion-capture for Smaug, the dragon in The Hobbit. Now I don't mean to be a killjoy, but... this is a wind-up, right?
So we're back to the familiar LARPing territory of Middle Earth then. With wizards and elves and dwarves and huge CGI monsters and big sweeping shots of the New Zealand countryside. The Hobbit may be a different story to The Lord Of The Rings - an independent story that came first, with its own characters and dangers and adventures - but there is really nothing all that unexpected about this journey. Oh apart from the singing. That’s a bit of a shock.
After seeing how Warner Bros and Lionsgate doubled their profits from the final books in the Harry Potter and Twilight series by splitting them into two films, Peter Jackson has gone one better and split JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit into a trilogy, averaging around 99 pages per movie. We investigate after the jump, then in more detail after another jump.