A new image of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) has been released today (via Hero Complex) and it looks like our hero is gathering himself for a crucial struggle. But anyone who has read The Hobbit realizes that the tone of the story is quite lighter than the one for Lord of the Rings so finding the right balance was one of the first main challenge for the filmmakers, according to producer Philippa Boyens:
“The story is very much a children’s story so deciding how to tell this was one of the first things we had to do. Who is the audience? It is very distinctly different, tonally, to Lord of the Rings until the very end and then you begin to see the world of Middle-earth opening up… but, having said that, we felt that it is the same audience [who will come to see the films] and then you start to worry because it is easy to repeat yourself. It is quite a similar journey, you’re going from the Shire to a large, dangerous mountain.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on December 14, 2012 followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again on December 13, 2013.