For his turn as dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” actor Richard Armitage drew inspiration from a very different regal figure created not by J.R.R. Tolkien, but rather William Shakespeare.
“I was in a production of ‘Macbeth,’” Armitage told Hero Complex on the occasion of the film’s release last December. “So I went back to all my notes about ‘Macbeth,’ because I just felt there was something about that character unwinding that was relevant to Thorin unwinding in this story.”
Thorin, of course, plays a key role in the first of Peter Jackson’s planned three-part adaptation of Tolkien’s beloved 1937 children’s novel, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which makes the trek to Blu-ray and DVD this week.
Audiences have a new opportunity to enjoy Armitage’s performance as the mighty warrior who joins forces with an initially reluctant Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) to reclaim his homeland and the treasure that’s been stolen by the dragon Smaug.
In the brief video above, Armitage says that he’s optimistic that the film will stand the “test of time” in the same way Jackson’s earlier Tolkien movies have.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opened in December and went on to gross more than $300 million at the domestic box office.
The second installment of the trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is scheduled to journey into theaters Dec. 13, while the final film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” will be be released Dec. 17, 2014.
The final film originally had been set to open July 18, 2014.
— Gina McIntyre and Noelene Clark
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