First Photos: Martin Freeman As Bilbo Baggins In 'The Hobbit'

Go back in time and see the Shire before The Lord of the Rings with these first official photos from Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. Jackson has been shooting his two-part film adaptation of the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novel for several weeks but all we've seen from set was one video. Now, Entertainment Weekly has premiered three exclusive images from The Hobbit including Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf and more. Check them out after the jump.

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly for these images.

In the Entertainment Weekly article, here are the cutlines on each photo.

On Bilbo:

"He fits the ears, and he's got some very nice feet,” Jackson says of his Bilbo. ”I think he's got the biggest hobbit feet we've had so far. They're a little bit hard to walk in, but he's managed to figure out the perfect hobbit gait.”

On Gandalf:

”He's in fantastic form,” Peter Jackson says of McKellan. ”In a way, his role in The Hobbit has more technical difficulties than Lord of the Rings did, because he has scenes with 14 smaller characters — obviously the dwarves and the hobbit are shorter... I remember saying to him [laughs], ”Look, this isn't Waiting for Godot or King Lear. This is The Hobbit. This is the real thing.”

On Jackson:

”There's no way you can pace yourself for shoots like these,” Jackson says. ”When we were going through the schedule for The Hobbit, I felt a terrible drop in my stomach when I saw that we'd be shooting for 254 days. We're only 12 days short of The Lord of the Rings even though we're only doing two movies. When I saw that, I had to sort of pick myself up off the floor and carry on.”

There promises to be more in the new issue of EW which hits newsstands Friday June 24.