'The Hobbit' Trailer / Clip: Gandalf Offers Philosophy (and Merchandising-to-Be?)

The Hobbit Gandalf Ian McKellenThe Hobbit movie clip: Gandalf lectures on True Courage

The Hobbit movie adaptation (see clip below) is one of the most anticipated releases of 2012 (as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) – and 2013 (as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) and 2014 (as The Hobbit: There and Back Again), and who knows, maybe 2015 and 2016 and 2017 as well, in case Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. decide to expand J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings prequel a little (or a lot) further, or do a little rebooting here and there. In fact, we (or at least some of us) could theoretically be watching The Hobbit movies all the way to 2,065 or whereabouts. (Image: Ian McKellen Gandalf The Hobbit movies.)

Anyhow, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey gets philosophical in the clip below, as Ian McKellen's Gandalf hands a sword to a somewhat reluctant Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins. “The blade is of elvish make,” Gandalf explains, “which means it'll glow blue when orks or goblins are nearby.” Gandalf then lectures: “True courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one.”

Whether that line will give you goosebumps or make you sick to the stomach depends on what you consider great and profound vs. sappy and phony writing. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Knight Ian McKellen courageously delivers that line as if he believes every word.) I should point out that Academy members (and most movie critics) tend to find such lines all but unbearably moving and of a depth to make Nietzsche and Kant look like amateurs. My point: Barring a total critical and box office misfire, expect The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to get tons of Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

I should add that the sword given to Bilbo also plays an important role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And, I'm pretty sure, it'll play an important role in The Hobbit merchandising as well, as according to reports Warner Bros.' Consumer Products division and US-based toy company The Bridge Direct will be launching a toy line featuring The Hobbit weapons for kids. It's unclear whether or not those will also glow blue when bullies and other human fiends are nearby.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey release date, cast

Directed by Peter Jackson, from a screenplay by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14. Besides Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman, the extensive cast includes The Lord of the Rings veterans Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, and Christopher Lee.

Also: Stephen Fry, Lee Pace (a member of another extensive cast in a 2012 fantasy movie, Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2), Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Andy Serkis, Barry Humphries, Mikael Persbrandt, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Aidan Turner, Sylvester McCoy, James Nesbitt, Adam Brown, Dean O'Gorman, Jed Brophy, Billy Connolly, Graham McTavish, Brian Blessed, Dominic Keating, and Mark Hadlow.

Ian McKellen Gandalf The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey photo: Warner Bros.

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2 Comments to 'The Hobbit' Trailer / Clip: Gandalf Offers Philosophy (and Merchandising-to-Be?)

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