‘Hobbit’ fan event: Jackson unveils ‘Desolation of Smaug’ footage

Nov. 04, 2013 | 9:01 p.m.

Members of the Wellington Tolkien Society dress in character for a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Wellington, New Zealand, on Nov. 5, 2013 (Nov. 4 in the U.S.). The event took place simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York and London. (Neil Sands / AFP / Getty Images)

A view of the big screen during a worldwide fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on Nov. 4, 2013. (Dave Allocca / Starpix / Warner Bros.)

Fans line up at the Grove Pacific Theatres in Los Angeles to attend an event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on Nov. 4, 2013. (Eric Charbonneau / Warner Bros. / Associated Press)

Fans line up at the Grove Pacific Theatres in Los Angeles to attend an event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on Nov. 4, 2013. (Eric Charbonneau / Warner Bros. / Associated Press)

Tolkien enthusiasts show off their Middle-earth costumes at a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Los Angeles on Nov. 4, 2013. (Eric Charbonneau / Warner Bros. / Associated Press)

Evangeline Lilly talks during a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Los Angeles on Nov. 4, 2013. (Eric Charbonneau / Warner Bros. / Associated Press)

Evangeline Lilly and moderator Anthony Breznican on stage during a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Los Angeles on Nov. 4, 2013. Peter Jackson is on screen. (Eric Charbonneau / Warner Bros. / Associated Press)

Peter Jackson talks on stage during a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Wellington, New Zealand on Nov. 5, 2013. The event took place simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York and London. (Grant Maiden / Warner Bros.)

Jed Brophy, left, and Peter Jackson talk on stage during a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Wellington, New Zealand on Nov. 5, 2013. The event took place simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York and London. (Grant Maiden / Warner Bros.)

Tolkien enthusiasts dress up for a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Wellington, New Zealand, on Nov. 5, 2013. The event took place simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York and London. (Grant Maiden / Warner Bros.)

Barefoot director Peter Jackson answers questions about "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" during a fan event in Wellington, New Zealand, on Nov. 5, 2013. The event took place simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York and London. (Neil Sands / AFP / Getty Images)

Tolkien enthusiast Shirley Jones holds her pet goanna Hermes as she waits to enter a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Wellington, New Zealand, on Nov. 5, 2013. The event took place simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York and London. (Neil Sands / AFP / Getty Images)

Luke Evans greets people waiting in line for a worldwide fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in London on Nov. 4, 2013. (Dave Dettman / Warner Bros.)

Orlando Bloom, left, Richard Armitage and host Anderson Cooper answer questions on stage during a worldwide fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in New York on Nov. 4, 2013. (Dave Allocca / Starpix / Warner Bros.)

Lee Pace, Andy Serkis and Luke Evans attend a worldwide fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in London on Nov. 4, 2013. (Dave Dettman / Warner Bros.)

Tolkien enthusiasts show off their costumes during a worldwide fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in London on Nov. 4, 2013. (Dave Dettman / Warner Bros.)

Director Peter Jackson showed off nearly 20 minutes of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — the second installment in his planned trilogy based on the J. R. R. Tolkien novel — during a worldwide fan event Monday afternoon.

After the film’s notable absence from San Diego’s Comic-Con International earlier this year, Warner Bros. is beginning to drum up hype for the sequel, which is due out Dec. 13. The event, held in satellite-linked theaters in New York, Los Angeles, London and Wellington, featured the new footage, a look at Jackson’s most recent production blog video, a preview of the upcoming film’s closing song, a peek at a new scene from this week’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” extended edition release and a live Q&A session with Jackson and cast members.

Richard Armitage, who plays dwarf Thorin Oakenshield, and Orlando Bloom, who is set to reprise his “Lord of the Rings” role as Legolas Greenleaf, beamed in from New York. London hosted Lee Pace (Thranduil), Luke Evans (Bard) and Andy Serkis, Gollum performer and second-unit director. A barefoot Peter Jackson joined from New Zealand, along with Jed Brophy (Nori). And Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel) attended in L.A.

The Q&A was also broadcast to theaters in Brussels, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Paris, Rome, Toronto, Hamburg, Germany, and Sydney, Australia, as well as streamed online.

At the Los Angeles event at the Grove’s Pacific Theatres, nearly 400 fans queued in the lobby before the event, taking pictures of the Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield costumes on display. One man wore a Gandalf costume, complete with wig, beard and hat.

But the highlight of the fan event was undoubtedly the roughly 20 minutes of new footage, including a handful of spoilers.

The first scene showed Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins climbing a tree in Mirkwood. He breaks through the canopy and is able to find his bearings in relation to the Lonely Mountain, where the dwarfs are headed to reclaim their kingdom Erebor, only to fall down and find himself caught in enormous spiderwebs, along with his dwarf companions. Bilbo is able to trick the giant spiders using the One Ring and fight one off using his Elven blade. The encounter, as fans of the book will know, is what gives the blade its name, Sting — a moment that elicited raucous cheering from the audience.

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, left, and Lee Pace as Thranduil in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, left, and Lee Pace as Thranduil in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” (Warner Bros.)

Another scene featured a stoic Thranduil (Pace), his son Legolas (Bloom) and elf warrior Tauriel (Lilly) interrogating a captured orc about his attack on Thorin’s company. The orc’s response hints at the events of “The Lord of the Rings.”

“You know nothing. Your world will burn,” the orc says. “Our time has come again. My master serves the One. Do you understand now, elf king? Death is upon you. The flames of war are upon you!”

In the following scene, Bilbo helps his dwarf companions escape from an elven dungeon by hiding them in barrels, which he sends floating down the river. The footage also offered an extended look at Bard the Bowman (Evans) as he steers the elves amid submerged ruins to the gates of what appeared to be Lake-town.

In the final scene, fans got a glimpse of a the dragon Smaug, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”). Bilbo enters the dragon’s lair after Balin (Ken Stott) asks him to find the Arkenstone — a dwarven heirloom jewel — and warns him not to wake a slumbering dragon. But in a comical scene involving an avalanche of treasure, Bilbo does just that and is shocked by Smaug’s enormity.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of  Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” (Warner Bros.)

Jackson also introduced a scene from the first film’s extended edition, due out Tuesday, in which James Nesbitt’s Bofur sings “The Man in the Moon,” a song Frodo sings in the pages of Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Nesbitt was tasked with inventing a melody, and the scene features the dwarfs’ blatant disrespect for the elves in Rivendell.

The Q&A portion of the event was punctuated by jokes from the cast members and cheering from the fans. Bloom recalled being asked to reprise his role as “Leggy” and decided to try on his old costume from “The Lord of the Rings” to see if it still fit. (It did, he confirmed, to considerable whooping from the audience.) And Armitage was asked to share his favorite line for Thorin, which after some consideration, he decided on, “If this is to end in fire, then we will all burn together.”

Evans talked about learning to use a long bow for his performance as Bard and defended the seemingly odd way he holds it in the trailers. Pace talked about learning to walk like an elf, and Serkis recalled filming the riddles in the dark scene for “An Unexpected Journey,” and praised Freeman.

Evangeline Lilly talks during a fan event for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Los Angeles on Nov. 4, 2013. (Eric Charbonneau / Warner Bros. / Associated Press)

Evangeline Lilly talks during a fan event for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in Los Angeles on Nov. 4, 2013. (Eric Charbonneau / Warner Bros. / Associated Press)

At the L.A. event, Lilly acknowledged Tolkien fan skepticism about her character — a female elf created for the film and not part of Tolkien’s work.

“I need an honest show of hands — who in the audience is a Tauriel hater?” she asked. “How many still need convincing? I’m up to the challenge.”

Lilly revealed some of her character’s back story — something not explicitly covered in the film, she said — as an orphan whose parents were killed by orcs.

“Once you understand that, you can understand how and why this girl became the lethal killing machine that she is … how she got taken under Thranduil’s wings and why she’s so passionate about fighting back the evil that exists in Middle-earth,” she said. “And I’m sorry, but if an orphan story doesn’t win you over, then you’ve got a heart of steel.”

Lilly said she deliberately avoided imitating Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett’s “The Lord of the Rings” performances as elf women and instead found inspiration for her character from an unlikely source.

“One of my inspirations I used when I was preparing Tauriel was Tinkerbell,” Lilly said. “Tink is a bad-ass little fairy. She’s tiny and she’s cute, but she is fierce, and you don’t want to get on the wrong side of Tink. And so somewhere in my brain, these two things connected, and she ended up as my inspiration.”

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” (Warner Bros.)

She also spoke about being the only woman on set — “I felt like I was sort of the belle of the ball,” she said — and said that Tauriel’s motivations set her apart from most of the other characters in the story.

“For me, the most exciting thing about playing this character was, in a film that is male-driven and driven by things with selfish aims, that want things for themselves, whether that be their title or their crown or their jewel or whatever else, Tauriel is one of the few characters in the film who is purely fighting for truth and justice,” Lilly said. “And she cares more about those two things than any private gain, any personal gain. And as a character representing one of two women in the film, I love that as a woman, I’m fighting for truth and justice.”

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is due in theaters Dec. 13.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

RECENT AND RELATED

A poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)‘The Hobbit’ collected: Complete coverage

‘Desolation of Smaug’ trailer features Cumberbatch

‘Hobbit’ 60 photos from Middle-earth

‘Hobbit: Unexpected Journey’ earns $1 billion

‘There and Back Again’ release pushed back

‘Hobbit’ Blu-ray first release: No extended edition

‘Hobbit’ FX wiz Joe Letteri on Gollum, the Goblin King

‘Hobbit’: Martin Freeman on Bilbo’s moral code

Ian McKellen, Tolkien guardian, acting wizard

‘Hobbit’: Richard Armitage finds Thorin in ‘Macbeth’

Comments


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close
E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis