Comic-Con: Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit,’ George Miller’s ‘Mad Max,’ more

July 08, 2014 | 12:19 p.m.
Peter Jackson on the set of "The Desolation of Smaug," his latest fantasy adapted from the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. (Warner Bros.)

Peter Jackson on the set of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” (Warner Bros.)

Peter Jackson is leaving Middle-earth long enough to stop by Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker will appear in the pop-culture expo’s grandest arena, Hall H, to tout the Dec. 17 release of the final chapter of his second J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” Warner Bros. announced Tuesday. As you might have judged from the more-dramatic-than-“There and Back Again” title, it promises to be the most action-packed of the “Hobbit” films, with the Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced dragon Smaug on the loose, and Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf caught up in a multi-way struggle for the treasure of Erebor.

That presentation, scheduled for July 26 at 10 a.m., also includes more from the studio’s upcoming slate.

Postapocalyptic visionary director George Miller will show the crowd an early look at “Mad Max: Fury Road,” starring Tom Hardy (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises”) in the iconic title role that Mel Gibson originated in Miller’s original 1979 “Mad Max.” The filmmaker has directed all the franchise’s installments, the last being 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” (His credits between “Mad Max” action pictures include “Babe: Pig in the City” and two “Happy Feet” animated features.) “Fury Road” is due out in May.

Warner Bros. will also offer a peek at Andy and Lana Wachowski’s “Jupiter Ascending,” a sci-fi adventure starring Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) and Channing Tatum (“22 Jump Street”). The “Matrix” trilogy filmmakers’ latest is now scheduled to be released Feb. 6, after it was announced last month that it was being pushed back from the pre-Comic-Con date of July 18.

It’s as yet unannounced what actors from those three films may join the panel presentation. The Warner Bros. schedule did not mention any events for Zack Snyder’s 2016 “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” for which production recently started.

And the studio isn’t waiting until the convention’s big Saturday to show all its wares: Steven Quale’s upcoming tornado thriller “Into the Storm,” starring Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”) and Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield in Jackson’s “Hobbit” films), gets an early screening July 23 at 10 p.m. at the Gaslamp 15 theaters, a few blocks away from the San Diego Convention Center.

Comic-Con International runs July 23-27.

Blake Hennon | Google+ | @LATHeroComplex

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