Peter Jackson has shared on his Facebook page that Martin Freeman has finished his last shot as the film’s titular character Bilbo Baggins. The filming segment currently underway is a 10-week period that was always scheduled for pickups (shots that fill in the cracks once a rough edit of the film is assembled) and scenes for the massive Battle of Five Armies. Bilbo, as written in the book, has a relatively small part to play in the actual battle with his more significant role happening in the lead up to the massive conflict. (Knowing Peter Jackson, this will really be a spectacle!)
Jackson, who shares photos and videos on his Facebook page, captioned a photo of Bilbo waving goodbye:
“Tonight Martin Freeman finished his last shot as Bilbo Baggins. The end of an incredible two and a half years. I cannot imagine anyone else in this role – a character that Martin has nurtured and crafted with love and great skill.
We have said goodbye to our elves, humans, wizards and now the hobbit. We now enter our final 2 weeks of pick-ups, and it’s wall to wall dwarves. These pick-ups have been gruelling and intense, but I’m so happy with what we’ve been shooting. These next two movies are going to be pretty great!”
Soon after, Jackson followed up that post with a somewhat historical shot of Freeman as Bilbo with Benedict Cumberbatch, famously his partner in their Sherlock Holmes television series. The two also figure prominently together in the next Hobbit film as Cumberbatch performs the massive dragon Smaug from his performance capture suit and has a key exchange with Bilbo. When behind-the-scenes content rolls out after the film, there may be more of them together on the Hobbit films but little has been seen so far. With the performance capture role, there could be precious little of the two actors together in New Zealand.
All reports and word from Jackson indicates there will not be pickup shooting next year but Jackson had a period of these after ever LOTR film and it is tempting to suggest there will be more next year. But with such a large principal cast, such an effort might be impossible because of scheduling.
Still in Wellington are the Company of Dwarves which could mean a heavy dose of battle scenes as audiences will want to follow each of them in battle. The book plotting calls for ferocious and deadly action.
Luke Evans, playing the enigmatic Bard the Bowman in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” also tweeted that his last day on the film is over. Evans’ Tweet suggests he is off to work as Dracula after a summer where his “Fast & Furious 6” did big business at the box office.
Graham McTavish also tweeted his farewells to Freeman.