Just as he did for his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, writer-director Peter Jackson shot his unfurling Hobbit trilogy back to back to back. That was 266 days of filming, and tons of money spent on beards, blades, and coffee runs. But while in postproduction on the second entry, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, it seems there was a need for some reshoots. And so Sir Ian McKellen once more donned his Gandalf duds and envy-inducing beard for some pick ups back in New Zealand. Jackson seems happy to be reunited, sharing a snapshot of himself and his leading man in an adorable hug.
Who doesn't want to be Peter Jackson here? If you spend a chunk of your day photoshopping yourself into the cozy space between McKellen's hat brim and his overexposed hand, I wouldn't judge.
The caption on Jackson's Facebook page reads:
"Back on set for our last Hobbit pick ups. Our last ever Tolkien pick ups, in fact. It's going to be an intense few weeks, but we're looking forward to shooting some powerful scenes with our great cast. Our next blog is coming soon!"
Last year, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey scored not only critical praise but also the title of #5 top-grossing film of 2012. (Rankings one through four went to The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, and Skyfall respectively). This December will see the release of its sequel, and Jackson has been paving the way by sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits with eager fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantastical world, even answering fans' questions in a special livestream event. For those of us who foolishly missed it in full, he kindly released this video excerpt, which includes a bit with noted Tolkien mega-fan Stephen Colbert. And it sounds like more tantalizing teasers will be on their way before long.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will open on December 13th. And just in case you need/want a further reminder of how awesome McKellen is, watch this: