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Warner Bros. didn’t screen The Hobbit footage in 3D nor at 48 frames-per-second (a speed Hall H wasn’t equipped for). Instead, the studio played it safe with 2D, but the fans didn’t seem to mind.
That’s because the footage shown, a collection of full scenes as well as action clips, was packed with elves, giants, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas, all sights that more than enraptured the audience. (There was no Smaug, the dragon at the center of the book and movie, though.)
The panel ran the gamut of audience interaction, with one Brazilian fan gifting McKellen a shirt he brought from his home country.
Co-producer Philippa Boyens addressed some changes made for the movie adaptation, especially the addition of a new character or two, something that could be seen as heresy by the literary community or Tolkien fans.
Boyens said the story felt weighed down by males, so they created a female elf, being played by Evangeline Lilly and seen briefly in the footage.
“We created her to bring that feminine energy,” Boyens said. “We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien. We didn’t want her to be a ploy.”
Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, was asked how he felt taking on such a beloved and iconic character, to which he responded he had to get thoughts like that out of his head.
“You’re not thinking about this. You’d go mad if you did, thinking of ‘How will Comic-Con react to how I movie that bottle?”
Jackson was asked if he will ever tackle an adaptation of The Silmarillion, another J. R. R. Tolkien work partially taking place in Middle-earth. Jackson said even if he lived to be over a hundred, he’s unlikely to do it. He said the Tolkien estate owns it “And I do not think the Tolkien estate likes these movies at all.”
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