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Bilbo’s unexpected journey continues this winter with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and Warner Bros. has a new banner out to show off some of the sights to come.

Whereas the last film’s marketing campaign was stuffed with dwarves, only the prettiest and most popular make the cut this time around. (Though you can barely make out a few of the others in the background, if you squint.) Instead, the artwork makes room for a couple of new characters, like Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans), along with old favorites like Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Check it out after the jump.

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The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

The combined powers of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games have opened the floodgates for a tidal wave of sci-fi / fantasy YA adaptations — it seems like a new potential franchise goes into development every week. As with any genre, though, not all of these films are created equal.

The best ones capture the imaginations of young and old alike, while the worst are forgotten almost before they even open. Time will tell where on the spectrum The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones will fall, but feel free to make an educated guess based on the new trailer after the jump.

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Nothing can stop the wave of YA adaptations coming to movie theaters in the next year or two — not even the relative disinterest in the movies. Beautiful Creatures and The Host didn’t really hit so far this year, but there are more to come. Earlier today we saw the trailer for the new Percy Jackson film, and now here’s the first full trailer for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

The film features Lily Collins as a young woman who learns that there is a shadow conflict just out of sight, with half-angel warriors battling demons right before the unseeing eyes of humanity. With her own eyes open to the conflict, Collins’ character is quickly drawn in. This trailer shows far more of the newly-done effects than did the teaser, and it also makes the film look rather like a revamped Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Have a look below.

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With the last teaser poster for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Warner Bros. marketing team quite consciously called back to Peter Jackson‘s earlier Lord of the Rings trilogy. The portrait of a sword-wielding Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) was of a piece with the posters for Fellowship of the Rings and Return of the King, which showed Frodo and Aragorn, respectively, in similar poses.

But as striking as it was, it left out a many of the key players in the movie — namely, the merry band of dwarves. The new poster remedies that by cramming all thirteen dwarves onto the page at once, along with a plate of cupcakes for them to snack on. Check it out after the jump.

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Ten years ago this week The Fellowship of the Ring was released. Peter Jackson‘s first Tolkien adaption silenced a great many naysayers who said J.R.R. Tolkien‘s novels could never be properly translated to film. It also fostered a mainstream interest in fantasy movies that continues a decade later.

The development of a film based on Tolkien’s original Middle-Earth novel, The Hobbit, was the subject of speculation as soon as Jackson started work on The Lord of the Rings. Actually making the movie was a terrifically complicated process that involved rights deals, the financial solvency of MGM, a long period of development under original director Guillermo del Toro, and the eventual return of Peter Jackson to the director’s chair.

Now the first teaser trailer — a long teaser, at that — has been released for the first of two films based on the novel. Get the first look at footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, after the break. Read More »

At this point what more is there to say about yet another dwarf reveal from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? (Other than, perhaps, “uh, where’s Thorin?”) Here is the latest image dispatch from Peter Jackson‘s version of Middle-Earth, featuring Ken Stott as Balin (on the left) and Graham McTavish as Dwalin.

These two guys are peers, more or less, for Thorin, the dwarf who assembles the company that travels from the Shire to the Misty Mountain. We’ll likely see Thorin next week, and hopefully a couple of the new human character, too. In the meantime, see the full new image below. Read More »

New ‘The Hobbit’ Photo: Dwarves Fili and Kili

Given that the first of Peter Jackson‘s two films adapting J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Hobbit isn’t due out for a year and a half, it is a bit strange to see Warner Bros. milk early character reveals like this. But evidently the studio wants people who aren’t familiar with some of the actors playing the story’s large company of dwarves to learn their names and faces a few at a time.

So here are the heavy metal dwarves, aka Dean O’Gorman as Fili and Aidan Turner as Kili from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Read More »

Warner Bros/New Line Cinema and MGM have announced the start of production on The Hobbit in New Zealand, which includes a full update on the signed cast (many of which have been previously announced or rumored, but a couple new additions):

Martin Freeman takes the title role as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen returns in the role of Gandalf the Grey. The Dwarves are played by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur) James Nesbitt (Bofur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Rob Kazinsky (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), John Callen (Oin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori) and Adam Brown (Ori). Reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum and Elijah Wood as Frodo. Jeffrey Thomas and Mike Mizrahi also join the cast as Dwarf Kings Thror and Thrain, respectively. Further casting announcements are expected.

Director Peter Jackson has also launched a facebook page which will be updated throughout the production. The first updates includes two production photos featuring Jackson in a couple of the completed sets. Hit the jump to see everything.
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