I asked Wood directly if he was involved with either sequel. “No, I’m not involved,” he replied. I followed up by asking if all of the scenes that he had previously shot were already used in An Unexpected Journey. “Unless they are to create some extension of that, I have done what I think is my part for the films, which was only meant to be in that first film,” he went on to say. “Because it is based on a framing device, obviously Frodo isn’t alive during the time period of The Hobbit so it was a way mainly to get old Bilbo to tell his story as a conduit for what the storytelling of The Hobbit is.” I followed up again by asking Wood if any of his previously shot footage would be used to bookend the prequel trilogy and if it was possible he might still appear briefly in There and Back Again. “Not to the best of my knowledge, no,” he replied.
Finally, all three prequel films were shot in 48 fps (frames per second), as apposed to the usual 24 fps that we are used to watching most movies in. This new technique caused quite a stir with critics and fans alike and I asked Wood what he thought about all the controversy. “Well I think anytime you see something in a way that you’ve never seen it before, you know our eyes are tuned to 24 frames so it’s going to illicit a strong reaction either way, positive or negative. So I’m not surprised people reacted strongly to it on either side of that,” he answered. “In terms of the filmmaking process it’s no different. It’s just a frame rate issue. It’s not something that you are aware of on set. Everything felt extremely traditional.”
“Watching it, I think it is very interesting,” Wood continued. “Do I feel like it’s the future? I don’t know. There was a lot of talk from filmmakers after seeing it that people would want to make films in different and higher frame rates. It remains to be seen how viable that will be and if things will go in that direction. It definitely creates less of a separation between the audience and the screen. There is a sense that what is happening on screen is more real and more tangible. There is very little motion blur, and it is all really happening. I found that the forth time that I saw the movie is when it settled for me, and then I was able to forget about the 48 fps. But I will say, you forget anyway. To me the 48 is more present in my mind when I watched it initially, the first scenes were where it was really obvious. But then once the storytelling takes over its fine, and at the end of the day if it’s not a good story then there is no point to the argument anyway.”
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is schedule for release on December 13th.
To watch our Comic-Con 2012 interview with Elijah Wood about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, please click here.
To watch our exclusive video interview with Martin Freeman about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blu-ray and DVD, please click here.