Empire has revealed the first magazine cover image of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which features Ian McKellen as Gandalf.

The Hobbit Ian McKellen Empire Magazine Cover

Empire was invited to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set barely a month into production and were able to see some of the filming:

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"The 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 The 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."