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Audience wowed by preview of Hobbit films
Audience wowed by preview of Hobbit films

Clips of the highly anticipated Hobbit films, directed by New Zealander Sir Peter Jackson, have wowed crowds at a pop culture convention.

A 12-minute long reel showing footage from The Hobbit which is broken into two films - An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again - was shown at the annual Comic-Con convention in San Diego on Sunday (AEST).

"I'm an unabashed fan of Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and this footage from both Hobbit films did not disappoint," a reviewer from Collider.com said.

Another reviewer, from Zap2it.com, said: "If the audience reaction to the films' footage is any indication, Jackson might want to start prepping another Oscar speech".

The films are based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, which tells the story of how hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) acquired the ring of power the Lord of the Rings trilogy is centred on.

The preview footage includes an exchange between Bilbo and creepy ring-keeper Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the moment Bilbo discovers the ring.

Jackson and other stars from the film, including Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen - who plays wizard Gandalf - and Serkis took part in a panel discussion at the event.

Freeman said he never felt intimidated as a newcomer to Jackson's team.

"Obviously, you can't really take intimidation or pressure to work with you, because you won't do your best work," Associated Press reported him as saying.

Both of the Hobbit films are shot in 3D and at 48 frames a second, twice the speed that has been the standard since the 1920s.

However, Jackson decided to show the preview in the traditional 24 frames a second, saying the best way to experience the higher projection speed is by watching an entire movie at 48 frames a second, not just excerpts.

The first Hobbit film is due out in December 14 and the second a year later.