03/07/2012 09:59 BST | Updated 03/07/2012 10:05 BST

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey': Sir Ian McKellen Promises Minds Will Be Blown, Plus Bilbo, Gandalf, Gollum Pictures

The upcoming big screen version of The Hobbit will blow viewers' minds, according to Sir Ian McKellen.

The veteran actor stars as Gandalf in Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings two-part prequel, which also stars Martin Freeman, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and James Nesbitt.

Sir Ian told Entertainment Weekly: "A lot of people weren't even born when we were filming Lord Of The Rings and only know the movies from watching them on DVD.

"They'll see Middle-earth on the big screen in The Hobbit, and I guarantee there will be a lot of minds blown wide apart."

Meanwhile, director Peter said of the differences between characters in JRR Tolkien's original novels and in the films: "In the movie we want these characters to have storylines and a little more substance than they do in the book.

"Almost everything we're doing is from Tolkien somewhere, whether it's in the book or the subsequent development that wasn't published in The Hobbit itself."

The first of the two movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is due out this winter.

Entertainment Weekly have also unveiled new pictures from the film featuring the characters of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Gollum among others. Click here to see them all.