Hobbit Stars Ian McKellen & Andy Serkis Talk Returning To Middle Earth

Fans will return to Middle Earth in just six months with the debut of Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” prequel, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

Access Hollywood caught up with some of the stars of the sure-to-be-epic movie at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego over the weekend where they talked about returning to the beloved characters and world.

According to star Ian McKellen, Gandalf will be back to his old tricks and even show off a bit of a wild side of the wizard.

”‘The Hobbit’ is an adventure story, but not saving the world. We are just going on an adventure. So there is a lighter tone to it. But my character is the same, except he’s Gandalf the Grey not Gandalf the White,” he told Access.

“Peter Jackson and I always preferred Gandalf the Grey. We like the guy who enjoyed a drink and a smoke and a joke with the Hobbits,” he explained.

Andy Serkis, who returns as Gollum, told Access the character has still been living inside him since fans last saw him in 2003’s “Return of the King.”

“Gollum has never been really that far away from me, I have to say. He’s always just been lurking under the skin. It was wonderful to come and attack [the work],” he told Access. “It was really very, very exciting to work with Martin [Freeman as a younger version of Bilbo Baggins].”

As for the film being shot with new technology that uses 48 frames per second (as opposed to the usual 24), Andy is firmly onboard with the new process that some panned after seeing early footage earlier this summer.

“Every single film that Pete makes, he not only pushes forward storytelling, but he is pushing forward technology, pushing forward with ways of making film and ways of audience receiving stories and this is no exception” Andy explained.

Adding, “The clarity of 48 frames a second works terrifically well. It really draws you in… [He] is challenging himself to push storytelling – future storytelling – again and again.”

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” debuts in theaters on December 14, 2012, followed by “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” in 2013.

-- Jesse Spero

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