Sir Ian McKellen backs 3D Hobbit film after criticism

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen, one of the stars of Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit, has defended the film after criticism from fans angry at how it looks in 3D.

The movie came under fire earlier this year after 10 minutes of unfinished footage was shown at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas.

Some people claimed it was uncinematic and "looked like a made-for-TV movie".

But Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf, thinks that audiences will be impressed by the film's visuals.

"I've seen enough of it to know it's going to be just as exciting as Lord of the Rings," he said.

"In fact in some senses it's more exciting because it's in three dimensions.

"It's not the sort of crude 3D that comes out of the screen. Rather it brings you into Middle Earth. You see round the corners. You see everything."

Peter Jackson said he wasn't surprised by the reaction in April after shooting the hobbit at a rate of 48 frames per second, compared with the industry standard of 24 frames.

'Jackson's pleased'

Scene from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of a prequel trilogy

Sir Ian McKellen also says it's not just him that is pleased with the way the film is turning out.

"It's not absolutely complete yet but Peter Jackson's very pleased with it," he said.

The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is due out in the UK on 14 December.

Along with Sir Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Evangeline Lilly also star.

Orlando Bloom reprises his role as Legolas, while Elijah Wood will be back as Frodo.

The films act as a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series and the second part, The Desolation of Smaug, will be released in 2013.

There and Back Again, the final film, is due in 2014.