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Exclusive: World's First Hobbit Cover
Your return to Middle-earth starts here

26 June 2011  |  Written by Ian Nathan  

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Exclusive: World's First Hobbit Cover

Over ten years ago, catching a whiff something really big was going down in New Zealand, Empire decided to feature the next film from promising Kiwi director Peter Jackson on its cover. After all, he just happened to be making The Lord Of The Rings. Listen closely to his commentary on Return Of The King and Jackson actually recalls the day that issue of Empire arrived on set — he couldn’t quite get his head around the fact they were still shooting! To paraphrase someone in a black and white movie, it was the start of a beautiful friendship.

So in honour of Jackson’s long-awaited return to Middle-earth for two dragon-and-dwarf-laden prequels — as a “good luck charm” according the director — Empire takes its symbolic and rightful place as the first magazine in the world to put The Hobbit on its cover. A resplendent ‘younger’ Gandalf the Grey (look closely for subtle differences in costume from his 60-year older Rings self) taking centre stage alongside the first look at Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins (keep your eyes peeled for a hint or two of dwarf in the issue).

Personally invited onto the set barely a month into production, Empire delightedly watched a film — two films — already in full swing. Thirteen cantankerous dwarves, one barely tolerant wizard, and a befuddled hobbit are seen arriving at the gates of Rivendell and sneered at by local elves. Jackson assures us he is once again reaching for the mighty spectacle of Lord Of The Rings, but also bringing a certain ‘Hobbity-ness’ all its own. “The tone is actually the part of it I’m enjoying the most,” he laughs, casting a fond eye upon his rabble of exotic dwarves, clattering about set like they own the place. “They have a healthy disregard for the icons of Middle-earth.”

For the full story see the August issue of Empire out on June 30. If you can't get to a shop, fear not, you can order your Hobbit issue online now.

Click over to our magazine channel to see a preview of what's inside the new issue.


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Your Comments

Too cute
Great cover Empire! And Bilbo is so cute! Was wondering what Martin Freeman would look like as a hobbit. More

Posted by Enzino at 08:03 on 28 June 2011 | Report This Post

Finger on the pulse?
These pics were on the Hobbit blog days ago... More

Posted by multimedia at 12:56 on 27 June 2011 | Report This Post

The Hobbit is going to be one of the greatest movies of all time. More

Posted by Cyberleader at 12:15 on 27 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE:
L: wgfuzzydunlop1 Is there an alternative cover for people who couldn't give a toss about Hobbits, elves etc? Thought not... s there an alternative cover for people who couldn't give a toss about what you think etc? Thought not... More

Posted by Spaldron at 05:44 on 27 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Why Empire?
Awesome. As always Empire has their finger firmly on the pulse! More

Posted by NinjaShortbread212 at 02:35 on 27 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Why Empire?
Can't wait for Empire in the post now - nice one More

Posted by Ref at 21:25 on 26 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Gandalf.....
Good going Empire, pretty much knew they'd be the first on set considering the early LOTR coverage back in the day. More

Posted by Spaldron at 16:58 on 26 June 2011 | Report This Post

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