Cast favorites return for 'The Hobbit'
UNDATED (NBC) -- It was a big day for fans of "the lord of the rings" trilogy.
Nearly nine years to the day since the Oscar winning finale to that saga was released, a new "prequel" trilogy began with "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey".
Actor Martin Freeman never realized he would be perfect to play "The Hobbit" - but many of the book's fans did.
"I was aware that fans saw it for me. For years, years ago, and I didn't really know what they meant. Really? I'd be perfect Bilbo Baggins? Why? I don't get that,” said Freeman.
Freeman's the major addition to a cast of familiar faces from the “Lord of the Rings" trilogy, including Ian Mckellen as the wizard Gandalf.
His return to the role was also a bow to fans' wishes.
"The fans don't care how much you're being paid. They don't care that you're living away from home. They don't care that you've got doubts. They just want Gandalf back!" said McKellen
Fans were also heartened that "Lord of the Rings" mastermind Peter Jackson got past his initial reluctance to direct the new trilogy.
"I was just worried that, would I be thinking you know, how to top what I did before, would that
be my focus? But at the end of the day, that wasn't an issue at all, because it's a new script, a new
story and there's a lot of new characters in it,” said Jackson.
There’s also new technology some theaters will show the film in 3D at 48 frames per second....twice the speed of traditional films, resulting in super sharp images.
"It solidifies things and makes them feel very real. It's like the missing half of 3D in my mind. It makes 3D into something really cool,” said Jackson.
Jackson's hoping fans say the same thing about the newest journey to middle earth.
Cate Blanchett also returns for duty in "The Hobbit". The cast and crew
filmed all three films in the trilogy back to back to back. The second one
will be released next December, the third and final one in July of 2014.