Peter Jackson is throwing the doors to Middle Earth wide open.
Back in New Zealand to shoot "The Hobbit," a two-part prequel to his illustrious, Oscar-winning film adaptations of JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings," Jackson is using Facebook to take fans closer to the action, posting videos that take viewers behind the scenes of the film.
In his first video, he opens up the costume shop (a Wizard Workshop, as he calls it), reveals the reconstruction of vital sets and shows the intense training and scientific precision needed to capture all of his intense battle scenes. Many of the sets and fighting training sessions were the same as the first three movies, providing a look back into those three classics, as well.
Martin Freeman, perhaps best known for his role in the original UK version of "The Office," will star in the films as Bilbo Baggins, joining Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom in the epic series. Bloom hasn't officially signed on yet, but says he plans on being in the film.
The director also revealed a bit of casting news for the film. In April, Rob Kazinsky had to pull out of the role of Fili for personal reasons; Jackson listed Dean O'Gorman as his replacement.
Dean's a terrific Kiwi actor, who I am thrilled to be working with. He's recently been in an excellent TV series down here called "The Almighty Johnsons", and I should let fans of that show know that our shooting schedule allows Dean to continue with a second series next year. Dean will be joining us next week.
Similarly, Jackson praised Lee Pace, newly cast as Elvin King Thranduil, father of Legolas.
Casting these Tolkien stories is very difficult, especially the Elven characters, and Lee has always been our first choice for Thranduil. He's going to be great. We loved his performance in a movie called "The Fall" a few years ago, and have been hoping to work with him since. When we were first discussing who would be right for Thranduil, Lee came into mind almost immediately.
Additionally, Hugo Weaving will play Elrond, who houses the Hobbits at a particularly crucial part of their journey.
For more, click over to Jackson's Facebook page.