Christopher Lee might not appear in Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in the filmmaker’s most recent cinematic trilogy based on the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien that arrives in theaters Friday. But the venerable actor has taken to the Internet to promise that his wizard Saruman gets plenty of screen time in next year’s final movie in the saga, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.”
“There’s a lot of me in it, a lot,” said Lee of the film that opens Dec. 17, 2014.
He added that viewers can also expect to see “a tremendous amount of fighting, sword play, understanding, sympathy, kindness towards Galadriel, towards Gandalf. I’m not saying anymore because that would give the story away. But it’s the third film in which I have the most to do.”
“I hope I’m around to see that,” he added.
For the last several years, Lee’s made it an annual rite to post a Christmas video to YouTube — in the latest address, the 91-year-old thespian, wearing a hat left to him by his close friend and frequent costar Vincent Price, describes his “Hobbit” appearances and comments on the recent release of the definitive cut of “The Wicker Man,” the early 1970s cult film by Robin Hardy that the actor singled out as one of the greatest British films ever made.
(That movie, which starred Edward Woodward as a detective who meets an unexpected fate after he’s sent to a remote village to investigate the disappearance of a young girl, was famously truncated when it first reached theaters, but was exhibited in its complete form this fall.)
It was “The Hobbit,” though, that Lee discussed mostly, recalling his experiences on both “Lord of the Rings” and his character’s appearance in 2012’s “An Unexpected Journey,” in which Saruman the White shared a council table with Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel, Hugo Weaving’s Elrond and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf.
Watch the video in its entirety above.
– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex
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