Ian McKellen

Sept. 16, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Five Armies’ banner captures Middle-earth in widescreen

A panel from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" tapestry. (Warner Bros.)
A massive new poster for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” depicts the ambitious scope of Peter Jackson’s upcoming Middle-earth film, the final installment in the writer-director’s latest trilogy based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The striking tapestry includes not only Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen’s wizard Gandalf, but also nearly all of the key characters — including Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarves; elves Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Thranduil (Lee Pace); even Benedict Cumberbatch’s dragon Smaug. Click through the gallery above to see portions of the image — click here for the full, scrollable view. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the […]
March 24, 2014 | 9:11 a.m.

‘X-Men’: Days of Future Past’: New trailer for Bryan Singer’s mutant epic

The new trailer for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is out, showcasing the epic scale of Bryan Singer’s mutant saga that’s set to arrive in theaters May 23. A familiar sonorous voice-over opens the clip, pondering what events have led the mutants to the futuristic wasteland seen in the accompanying images. “So many dark battles waged over the years and yet, none of them like this. Are we destined to destroy each other? Or can we change who we are and unite? Is the future truly set?” “Days of Future Past” picks up after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” which chronicled the mutant superheroes’ origins as young people in the 1960s, discovering and learning to manipulate their powers. The new film, adapted from one of the beloved comic book story lines conceived by Chris Claremont, stars actors from “First […]
Dec. 15, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Ian McKellen on his Tolkien legacy

Sir Ian McKellen has played countless classic characters in his decades of work on stage and screen, but he says the wizard Gandalf is the one for which he’ll most likely be remembered. “When I die, that’s what it’s going to say, ‘Gandalf dies,’ ” McKellen offered with a deadpan nod at the Hero Complex preview screening of his new film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Presented in IMAX 3D at 48 frames per second, the free event took place Dec. 9 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, with McKellen participating in a wide-ranging Q&A after the screening. The latest fantasy from director Peter Jackson based on the work of author J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Desolation of Smaug” sees Richard Armitage’s dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield and Martin Freeman’s Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and the other members of their […]
Dec. 14, 2013 | 9:37 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Ian McKellen talks ‘scruffy’ Gandalf

When it comes to the two different incarnations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s heroic wizard, Ian McKellen prefers Gandalf the Grey. “He’s more fun, isn’t he?” McKellen said earlier this week, speaking at a special Hero Complex preview screening of his new film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” “He’s more fun to play. He’s scruffy and less driven. We all need Gandalf the White when it comes to the really important business of saving the world, but when you’re down having a drink in Hobbiton, isn’t it Gandalf the Grey you want to be with rather than the other one? That was my feeling.” It was just one of the subjects that the man Peter Jackson dubbed “the guardian of Tolkien” discussed during an onstage Q&A at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX on Monday. The respected actor also […]
Dec. 12, 2013 | 1:17 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Ian McKellen quotes Tolkien [video]

And now, Sir Ian McKellen would like to make a clarification with regard to one of the most famous lines uttered by his wise wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films. “You know, ‘You shall not pass’ isn’t in the book at all,” the legendary English actor pointed out, referring to the fantastic literature of J.R.R. Tolkien. “‘You cannot pass’ is what Tolkien wrote. We got it wrong.” The man who Peter Jackson dubbed “the guardian of Tolkien” held forth on a wide range of subjects earlier this week at a special Hero Complex screening of the new fantasy “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in Jackson’s latest trilogy of films set in Middle-earth. Arriving in theaters Friday, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” sees Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) continue on his journey to assist […]
Dec. 10, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: 60 images from Middle-earth

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” barrels into theaters Friday, but for fans who can’t wait to return to Middle-earth, here’s a sneak peek at the movie. “Desolation” is the second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film picks up where “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” left off, after Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the company of dwarfs barely escape from a band of bloodthirsty orcs. The orcs are still in pursuit in the second film, but the travelers must also face enormous spiders, the dangerous Mirkwood elves and, of course, the eponymous dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). The images released so far provide peeks at the forest realm of the Mirkwood elves, the gloomy waters of Esgaroth (also known as Lake-town) and the treasures of Erebor, the […]
Dec. 05, 2013 | 2:12 p.m.

‘X-Men Apocalypse’: Bryan Singer announces 2016 mutant sequel

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer appears to have announced, via Twitter, that another installment in the mutant franchise, “X-Men Apocalypse,” is due for release in 2016. The filmmaker on Thursday afternoon sent the following tweet: #Xmen #Apocalypse 2016! — Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) December 5, 2013 Few additional details are known — though Fox did confirm later in the afternoon that the movie will be released May 27, 2016 — the tweet implies that the film might involve the popular titular villain of the 1990s story line “Age of Apocalypse.” Singer is already immersed in the world of the Marvel comics mutants, working to finalize his 2014 release, “Days of Future Past,” which arrives in theaters May 23. The upcoming film picks up after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” which chronicled the superheroes’ origins as young […]
Dec. 03, 2013 | 1:08 p.m.

‘The Hobbit’ premiere: Peter Jackson, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans talk Smaug

Actor Orlando Bloom arrives for the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."  (Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)
Middle-Earth’s denizens journeyed to Hollywood on Monday night for the world premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second of Peter Jackson’s three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel, “The Hobbit.” The film’s stars hit the shrub- and leaf-adorned black carpet in front of the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to fête the latest adaptation of the mystical realm where hobbits, dwarves, elves, orcs and goblins dwell. The carpet was designed to echo the sylvan realm of Mirkwood, which plays an important role in the new film, set to open in theaters Dec. 13. Dwarf-prince Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company, which includes Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), travel through the forest on the next leg of their quest to reclaim Erebor, the treasure-filled city under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped from Thorin’s ancestors by the dragon […]
Dec. 02, 2013 | 1:33 p.m.

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: See it early with Ian McKellen

Attention East Coast Hero Complex readers! We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be heading to Manhattan to bring you a special free preview screening of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” director Peter Jackson’s anticipated second installment in his latest trilogy of films based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. What’s more, star Ian McKellen will be on hand for a Q&A to discuss his iconic portrayal of the wizard Gandalf. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which opens in theaters Dec. 13, sees Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) continue along on his journey to assist the company of dwarfs led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) reclaim their lands and the treasure now hoarded by the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). Along the way they encounter a host of new friends and foes — including the valiant Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), the first […]
Oct. 29, 2013 | 7:26 a.m.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ trailer: Wolverine to the mutants’ rescue

Filmmaker Bryan Singer last week tweeted a link to a new clip from a forthcoming trailer to his anticipated “X-Men” sequel, “X-Men: Days of Future Past. “ Just a few seconds of footage, the teaser featured a number of the most iconic X-Men characters, including Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier. On Tuesday, fans got a look at the full trailer, which is heavy on Wolverine, who must travel back in time to save the present-day mutants. “Days of Future Past,” due out May 23, 2014, picks up after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” which chronicled the mutant superheroes’ origins as young people in the 1960s, discovering and learning to manipulate their powers. The new film, adapted from one of the beloved comic book story lines conceived by Chris Claremont, stars actors from both “First […]
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