Three new official photos have debuted from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is currently shooting in New Zealand and set for release on December 14, 2012. Click on the photos below to access our gallery, and take a look at the captions below the photos, with quotes from director Peter Jackson.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit

Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins)

"He fits the ears, and he's got some very nice feet. "I think he's got the biggest hobbit feet we've had so far. They're a little bit hard to walk in, but he's managed to figure out the perfect hobbit gait."

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit

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Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

"He's in fantastic form. In a way, his role in The Hobbit has more technical difficulties than Lord of the Rings did, because he has scenes with 14 smaller characters - obviously the dwarves and the hobbit are shorter... I remember saying to him [laughs], 'Look, this isn't Waiting for Godot or King Lear. The Hobbit. This is the real thing."

Peter Jackson with Martin Freeman on the set of The Hobbit

Peter Jackson With Martin Freeman

"There's no way you can pace yourself for shoots like these, When we were going through the schedule for The Hobbit, I felt a terrible drop in my stomach when I saw that we'd be shooting for 254 days. We're only 12 days short of The Lord of the Rings even though we're only doing two movies. When I saw that, I had to sort of pick myself up off the floor and carry on."