Elijah Wood says the two-part "Hobbit" film, the prequel to "The Lord of The Rings," will be "fantastic," thanks to the innovative 3D animation techniques director Peter Jackson is using.
James Cameron wowed moviegoers with the use of such technology in the 2009 film "Avatar," the most successful movie of all time. Since then, more 3D versions of films have been released but have not showcased the same level of visual effects.
Wood reprises his role as Frodo in the "Hobbit" films, the first of which is set to be released in December 2012.
"They're shooting digitally in 3D," Wood told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "Peter is sitting on set, his monitor is a 3D monitor, and he can watch the 3D on set. There's actually been some really incredible technological advancements that have occurred that have made things a little more complicated, but the result will be fantastic."
The 30-year-old actor made his comments in an interview to promote the new 3D animated film "Happy Feet Two," which features him as a penguin. The movie hit theaters on Friday, November 18.
Jackson explained his 3D shooting techniques in a video posted on his Facebook page earlier this month (watch it below)
"Shooting 'The Hobbit' in 3D is a dream come true," he said. "If I had the ability to shoot 'The Lord of the Rings' in 3D, I certainly would have done it. What I actually did on 'The Lord of the Rings' is I had a 3D camera taking 3D photographs. Hopefully, one day, maybe even on 3D Blu-ray, we might be able to actually show you some of the 3D photos from 10 or 12 years ago."
He then showed off some of the 3D cameras he used, which he gave nicknames such as "Walter," named after his grandfather, and "Stan," named after one of his dogs.
Jackson said that nowadays, "it's not that difficult to shoot in 3D," he said, adding that the technique helps "immerse you in the film."
His words echoed those made by Wood regarding "Happy Feet Two," who told OnTheRedCarpet.com: "What I like about the 3D in the film is that it doesn't feel gimmicky, it just feels immersive. It feels like that wall that separates you and your seat and the screen has been removed and you're just in that world. I think that's what is kind of nice - you almost forget you're watching a 3D film, and I love that."
Production on "The Hobbit" movies began in March in New Zealand, where "The Lord of the Rings" was filmed, after a series of setbacks, such as the threat of an acting union strike and Jackson's stomach surgery.
"It was an incredible gift to go back," Wood said. "It felt like a family reunion, it felt like revisiting another time. The movies are going to be incredible - I've only read one of the two scripts, and it's very exciting."
Frodo was the main character in "Lord of the Rings" movies and is the nephew of Bilbo Baggins, who also appeared in the films and whose character is the protagonist in "The Hobbit" novel by J. R. R. Tolkien. The book tells of Bilbo's quest to find a treasure guarded by a dragon and also explains how he obtained the magic ring that drives the plot of "Lord of the Rings."
Orlando Bloom will reprise his "Lord of the Rings" role of Legolas the elf, while Ian McKellen will play the wizard Gandalf and Andy Serkis will again portray the animated villain Gollum, also known as Smeagol.
Cate Blanchett reprises her role of the elf Galadriel. Among the newcomers are Evangeline Lilly of "LOST" fame, who will play a new character, the Woodland Elf, Tauriel, Jackson had said on his Facebook page in June, adding: "Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas)."
Additional reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).
Check out Peter Jackson's Facebook video about his 3D filming methods below.