Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con Preview issue was released today, revealing news and several new photos pertaining to this winter’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The issue features the film’s stars Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) and Ian McKellen (Gandalf) on the cover and includes interviews with the two actors and director Peter Jackson.
According to EW, in order to expand the classic J.R.R. Tolkien book so that it could support the two upcoming films, Jackson drew from a range of Tolkien’s writings, including characters not present in the book, such as Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Cate Blachett as Galadriel. “In the movie we want these characters to have story lines and a little more substance than they do in the book,” Jackson explained. “Almost everything we’re doing is from Tolkien somewhere, whether it’s in the book or the subsequent development that wasn’t published in The Hobbit itself.”
Additionally, McKellen told EW that “A lot of people weren’t even born when we were filming Lord of the Rings and only know the movies from watching them on DVD… They’ll see Middle-earth on the big screen in The Hobbit, and I guarantee there will be a lot of minds blown wide apart.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is scheduled to be released on December 14, 2012. Pick up the new issue of EW to read more about the film as well as EW’s guide to next week’s San Diego Comic-Con 2012 and previews of Pacific Rim, Iron Man 3, The Walking Dead, and Arrow.