The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a 2012 epic high fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson. It is the first installment in a three-part film adaptation based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit. It is followed by The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), and together, they act as a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The film's screenplay was written by Jackson, his longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, who was originally chosen to direct the film before leaving the project in 2010.
The story is set in Middle-earth sixty years before the main events of The Lord of the Rings, and portions of the film are adapted from the appendices to Tolkien's The Return of the King. An Unexpected Journey tells the tale of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is convinced by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to accompany thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. The ensemble cast also includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis, and features Sylvester McCoy, Barry Humphries and Manu Bennett.
Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) lives a simple life with his fellow hobbits in the shire, until the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) arrives and convinces him to join a group of dwarves on a quest to reclaim the kingdom of Erebor. The journey takes Bilbo on a path through treacherous lands swarming with orcs, goblins and other dangers, not the least of which is an encounter with Gollum (Andy Serkis) and a simple gold ring that is tied to the fate of Middle Earth in ways Bilbo cannot even fathom.
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