The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be hitting the big screen next weekend, and there’s understandably a huge level of anticipation surrounding Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-earth.
The film kicks off a new trilogy, following Jackson’s incredibly successful three films for The Lord of the Rings, and with the first instalment on the cusp of release, EW have treated us to our first look at the final film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
The image below gives us a new look at a familiar face in Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, with startlingly sharp eyes here. And it also gives us our very first look at Luke Evans, starring as Bard the Bowman.
“Bard is an interesting character, but [in the book] he’s kind of a random character who comes in after the fact,” says screenwriter and producer Philippa Boyens. “We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling.”
The exact casting of the third film remains to be seen, with more shooting to get underway early next year, but provided there aren’t many lost along the way, we can look forward to seeing a whole host of fantastic faces.
Martin Freeman will of course be reprising his role as Bilbo, starring alongside Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Bret McKenzie, Stephen Frey, Sylvester McCoy, Billy Connolly, Ian Holm, John Callen, Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, Aidan Turner, Peter Hambleton, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Ken Stott, Stephen Hunter, James Nesbitt, and William Kirchner.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be released in theatres on 18th July, 2014. It will be the final instalment in the trilogy, beginning next week with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (13th December in the UK, 14th December in the US), following next year with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 13th December, 2013. For now, here’s the brilliant first image from the final film, which you can click through to enlarge.