Access 'Week In Geek' (January 14, 2011) – 'The Hobbit' Cast Gears Up

In the Access “Week In Geek,” the cast of “The Hobbit” talks about reprising their Middle Earth roles, Conan O’Brien gets animated on “Young Justice,” “Attack of the Show!” gets a new co-host, and Chris Evans is revealed in his full Captain America costume.

“THE HOBBIT” CAST TALKS UP THEIR RETURN TO MIDDLE EARTH: It’s been a busy week for news on “The Hobbit,” with the confirmation of Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), and Andy Serkis (Gollum) as returning cast members to the “Lord of the Rings” world (alongside the previously announced Cate Blanchett as Galadriel).

“It’s been 11 years, basically, since I went to New Zealand, so it’ll be a beautiful reunion and I’m just excited to go back and see everybody again,” Elijah Wood told IGN at the Fox TCA party this week.

Wood revealed he never expected to play Frodo Baggins again on the big screen. “No, we thought we were finished, and the character doesn’t even exist in [the book of] “The Hobbit,” so it was not even a pipe dream to imagine the possibility would be there for me to reprise the role of Frodo,” he said.

“But they’ve come up with something that I think is kind of interesting and I think very fitting that doesn’t necessarily infringe upon the integrity of the original novel. It’s great. I’m really excited.”

Rumor has it Frodo would not play a major role, but rather bookend the films, only seen reading the chronicles of his cousin Bilbo Baggins (to be played this time around by Martin Freeman). “I think it’ll be relatively minimal. That’s my impression. I actually haven’t read anything yet. I haven’t read a script. I have almost as much information as you guys have!” he said.

As for Sir Ian McKellan, it was always widely assumed by fans (and by McKellen himself via updates on his website) that he would reprise his role because of the wizard Gandalf’s prominent role in J.R.R. Tolkien’s book. He explained on his website why he only recently resigned on the dotted line.

“For a year or more, I have been arranging my professional commitments around the possibility of “The Hobbit” films starting at almost anytime,” he stated.
“The deciding negotiation was not about money but about dates. Gandalf is needed on set over the next 18 months but with sizeable breaks when I can work on other projects. My worry that I could not easily escape from Middle Earth was lifted,“ he said.
“I am happy to say I start filming in Wellington on February 21, 2011.”

Also possibly in the mix for the films would be screen legend Christopher Lee, who weighed in as well on his website regarding his participation in the films reprising his part as the evil wizard Saruman:

“Slowly but surely, Peter Jackson has managed to secure the return of the majority of the major stars from “The Lord of the Rings” franchise for his soon to be shooting prequel, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,’” Lee stated.
“Sir Christopher Lee had been in talks to reprise his role as the wizard Saruman and it now looks certain, providing that he is in good health, that he will be appearing in the movie.”

Ongoing rumors regarding Orlando Bloom joining his former cast mates as the elf Legolas still remain unconfirmed. Stay tuned.

CONAN O’BRIEN GETS ANIMATED ON “YOUNG JUSTICE”: Conan O’Brien paid a visit to Warner Bros. Animation last month and legendary animator Bruce Timm sketched out the talk show host as he might appear as a DC superhero. Conan’s comical alter ego “The Flaming C,” complete with cape, chest insignia, and fishnet stockings, was the product of O’Brien’s wild imagination and Timm’s skills with the pen and paper.

WB Animation, which recently debuted its latest superhero show, “Young Justice” on Cartoon Network, provided a clip as a surprise for O’Brien. A scene from the pilot episode, albeit altered, featured “The Flaming C” alongside DC icons like Batman, Green Lantern and Captain Marvel.

STAN LEE REVEALS HIS UPCOMING MARVEL MOVIE CAMEOS: Comic book legend Stan Lee received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last week. AH.com’s Dish of Salt caught up with the iconic creator of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and the X-Men at the unveiling ceremony and chatted up his cameos in the upcoming slate of Marvel Studios films.

He revealed that he will be playing a truck driver in “Thor,” (he previously had a cameo in NBC’s “Heroes” as a bus driver), and expects to be in 2012’s 3D “Spider-Man” reboot.

Stan The Man took to his Twitter account on Sunday to share additional details with fans that he got from producer Avi Arad regarding his cameo in the web slinger’s next big screen adventure starring Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy).

“Avi told me my cameo is all set for Spidey 4, and when he described it, I realized it’s the best, most unusual one yet! I wish I could tell you what my cameo is, but that would kill the surprise. But I’ll tell you this much - I’m finally in an action scene!”

ATTACK OF THE SHOW! RETURNS WITH A REVAMP: G4’s popular daily live guide to all things geek, “Attack of the Show!”, took to the airwaves on 1.11.11 with an all new set and new co-host, Candace Bailey. Bailey replaces fanboy favorite Olivia Munn, who co-hosted from 2006-10 (and has since moved on to NBC’s “Perfect Couples,” and serves as a correspondent on “The Daily Show”). Bailey was announced

as permanent co-host last month following much speculation as to who would spar with co-host Kevin Pereira live every night about video games, gadgets, movies, and comics. Did I mention they also featured the return of Wiffle Bat Fight Club this week?

FIRST FULL GLIMPSE OF CAPTAIN AMERICA IN COSTUME: Hot on the heels of Sony’s unveiling a teaser image of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, Entertainment Weekly scores the exclusive first full look at Chris Evans in his rugged Captain America costume from this summer’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

THREE MORE YEARS OF “THE BIG BANG THEORY”: CBS Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television announced they have renewed the smash hit “The Big Bang Theory” for three more years, insuring geek chic stays in prime time until the 2013-14 season.

“LONE RANGER” LOGO REVEALED: On his official website, uber producer Jerry Bruckheimer unveiled the logo to “The Lone Ranger,” starring Johnny Depp as Tonto with a planned 2012 release.

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