‘Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ trailer spotlights Cumberbatch

Oct. 01, 2013 | 7:07 a.m.
hobbit2 orc Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug trailer spotlights Cumberbatch

Azog, portrayed by Manu Bennett through motion-capture technology, in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

J. R. R. Tolkien fans finally get a glimpse of Bilbo Baggins facing off against the dragon Smaug in a new trailer for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” released Tuesday.

The trailer, which runs 2½ minutes, offers the first extensive look at Benedict Cumberbatch’s motion-capture performance as Smaug, whose attack on and occupation of the dwarf kingdom of Erebor is the catalyst for the story in Peter Jackson’s planned “Hobbit” trilogy.

“Truly, the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, oh Smaug the stupendous,” Martin Freeman’s Bilbo says in a quivering voice after sneaking into the dragon’s treasure-filled lair. Smaug responds later in the trailer.

“Thief, where are you?” Cumberbatch’s distinctive low voice rumbles before the dragon breathes a giant fireball. “Come now. Don’t be shy. Step into the light.”

“The Desolation of Smaug,” which hits theaters Dec. 13, is part two in the series and picks up where last year’s box-office hit “An Unexpected Journey” left off, after hobbit Bilbo, wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the dwarfs escape from a band of bloodthirsty orcs.

In the action-packed trailer, the Elvenking King Thranduil (Lee Pace) offers dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company aid in reclaiming his kingdom, though the dwarfs aren’t sure whether he can be trusted.

The trailer also spotlights fan-favorite elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), a “Lord of the Rings” alumnus, and hints at a possible relationship between Legolas and Tauriel, an elf woman created for the film and played by Evangeline Lilly.

“Legolas has grown very fond of you,” an unseen voice tells Tauriel. “Do not give him hope where there is none.”

The trailer also features several new characters, among them Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans), a Laketown human who has a key role to play in the tale.

“You have no right to enter that mountain,” Bard warns .

“I have the only right,” Thorin responds.

The trailer hints at more of the controversial storyline leading to the events of “The Lord of the Rings” — a plot not explicit in Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” but rather culled from his other writings of Middle-earth.

“We have been blind, and in our blindness, our enemy has returned,” says Ian McKellen’s gray wizard Gandalf as images of a dark army and the Eye of Sauron flash across the screen.

Like its predecessor, “The Desolation of Smaug” was shot in 3-D at 48 frames per second and will be released in 2-D, High Frame Rate 3-D, other 3-D formats and IMAX.

The third and final film in the trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is slated for a December 2014 release.

Watch the trailer and check out stills from the film in the gallery above.

— Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+


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6 Responses to ‘Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ trailer spotlights Cumberbatch

  1. Jay says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch tho <33333

  2. George says:


    Looks like Pete got tired of that hack Tolkien and finally decided to make the story right.

  3. mayron says:

    Wow i gotta say this looks like its going to be epic!!

  4. Anthony Pirtle says:

    How disappointing to see that Evageline Lilly's character, ostensibly created to appeal to women, is nothing more than a love interest for Legolas. I don't mind so much the fact that Jackson is diverging wildly from the source material so much as that his divergence is usually into boring clichés of the action/romance variety.

  5. EMatter says:

    Consider a movie where you are literally sitting in the middle of the action, and can turn your head and look around you.

    A few top 3D films in production have been asked to use a device which records the exact position, lighting and time of the camera. The Oculus Rift team then use a 3D Surround “Street View” camera to capture 360 degrees. A separate bit of software then combines the 3D surround with the 3D movie.

    The 3 minute HD demo is spell-binding; an experience that will blow you mind away! The action occurs in front of you, the only notable oddity is the tearing that blurs along the perimeter of the film, with anything that passes it disappearing.

  6. Andrew says:

    Smaug will be fun. But this is basically "Lord of the Rings V."

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