Jackson Sneaks New Footage at Hobbit Fan Event

As a kind of mea culpa for missing out on Comic-Con, Peter Jackson more than made up for it with last Monday’s Hobbit-Con global fan event for The Desolation of Smaug, held simultaneously at theaters in LA (the Grove), New York, London, and Wellington. Appearing in Wellington (barefoot, like a hobbit), Jackson unveiled his latest vlog of pick-ups (see below), footage of British pop star Ed Sheeran recording the end song, “I See Fire,” and an exclusive sneak peek of 20 minutes that fleshed out some of the thrilling action glimpsed in the new trailer that was also released (see below as well).

Joining Jackson in the first look/Q&A satellite hook-up were cast members for the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy (opening Dec. 13): Evangeline Lilly (at the Grove), Richard Armitage and Orlando Bloom in New York (hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper), and Lee Pace, Luke Evans, and Andy Serkis in London.

Jackson admitted that the last 10 weeks of shooting both Smaug and the finale, There and Back Again (Dec. 17, 2014), were the most intense of his life. Yet judging from the footage, the wry wit goes hand in hand with the rousing action, which is why The Hobbit continues to be lighter and more whimsical than The Lord of the Rings (after all J.R.R. Tolkien envisioned it as a children’s story). Nevertheless, there’s an ominous foreshadowing of the apocalyptic trilogy to come that makes Smaug a dance of light and dark.

For instance, when an orc prisoner is interrogated by the elves Thranduil (Pace), Legolas (Bloom), and Tauriel (Lilly), he reveals, “Death is upon you, the flames of war are upon you.” But even the violent reprisal is tempered by gallows humor to remind us of the indefatigable spirit of these Middle-Earth inhabitants. Still, the best line is when Armitage’s Thorin says, “If this is to end in fire, then we will all burn together.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Clips, Events, Movies, performance capture, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production

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