Dec. 11, 2013 | 4:09 p.m.
When it came time to craft “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in their latest trilogy of movies based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, filmmaker Peter Jackson and his screenwriting partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens had a decision to make. The story, as they saw it, was crying out for a dynamic female character. So, they invented one. With the film arriving in theaters Friday, audiences soon will have the opportunity to meet Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel, the first character entirely crafted by Jackson and his creative counterparts for the screen. She’s a fierce warrior, the captain of the guard in the forest of Mirkwood, and she’s apt to be controversial, merely because she represents perhaps the greatest digression yet from Tolkien’s classic texts. Hero Complex caught up with Boyens to discuss Tauriel in greater detail, […]
Dec. 10, 2013 | 2:25 p.m.
First he was spending time with Loki actor Tom Hiddleston. Now, Cookie Monster’s starring in a new “Sesame Street” “Lord of the Rings” parody that arrives just in time to coincide with the release of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s latest adventure based on the writings of author J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” due in theaters Friday. Jackson’s new fantasy blockbuster centers largely on the middle section of Tolkien’s landmark 1937 children’s novel, but for its latest skit spoofing pop culture, the “Sesame Street” masterminds returned to his previous Tolkien trilogy, the “Lord of the Rings,” for ideas for “Lord of the Crumbs.” Here, Cookie Monster is seeking the long-lost recipe for the “one dessert to rule them all” — chocolate chip cookies, naturally — and with the help of a Galadriel-inspired guide, he attempts to remember how to […]
Dec. 10, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
Charting a course through Middle-earth can be nearly as taxing as surviving an international press tour for an end-of-year blockbuster. But as Peter Jackson posed on a giant chair flown in from New Zealand from the set of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” he appeared none the worse for wear. Although the writer-director’s salt-and-pepper curls fell at slightly unruly angles, and his white dress shirt looked more comfortably lived in than freshly pressed, Jackson himself was in good humor. His newest film based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, which opens in theaters Friday, already had won praise from a chain of admirers, many of whom compared its jovial spirit to the high-water mark of Jackson’s career, his epic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. “Quite a few people are saying that,” Jackson said last week, sipping tea at a […]
Dec. 10, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.
“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. 03, 2013 | 1:08 p.m.
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 […]
Nov. 01, 2013 | 11:15 a.m.
It wasn’t so long ago that Evangeline Lilly was one of those strident J.R.R. Tolkien fans worried that Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations wouldn’t capture the poetic soul of the fantasy she so loved as a child growing up in Canada. “I was a bit of a Tolkien purist before Peter Jackson made the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy,” the actress said recently. “I was adamant that I wouldn’t see those films because there was no way that anybody was going to be able to re-create what I had imagined in my mind on the screen. I ended up being dragged to it for a big family Christmas thing and couldn’t believe how accurately he had portrayed everything that I’d ever imagined.” Now Lilly is hoping that fans will be just as pleasantly surprised by her Woodland elf Tauriel, who makes […]
July 01, 2013 | 4:52 p.m.
J. R. R. Tolkien fans hoping for a glimpse of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in Hall H will have to wait. The second “Hobbit” movie won’t be coming to San Diego’s Comic-Con International, director Peter Jackson announced Monday on the film’s production blog. “I just want to pass on some news, which I’m sure is going to be disappointing to anyone going to Comic-Con this year, any fans,” Jackson said in a video posted on the blog. “A couple of days ago I told [Warner Bros.] that I just really wasn’t ready to present anything of ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ at Comic-Con this year.” Disappointing it may be — especially for attendees who are shining their One Rings and getting their elf ears fitted for some Tolkien-themed cosplay — but at least Jackson appears to have a good […]
March 19, 2013 | 2:30 p.m.
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 […]
Feb. 28, 2013 | 6:45 p.m.
It’s going to take a little longer to get there and back again. Warner Bros. confirmed today that ”The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the third film in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s landmark 1937 children’s novel, will be released Dec. 17, 2014. The film originally had been set to open July 18, 2014. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’ The first of Peter Jackson’s planned three-part expedition, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” opened in December and went on to gross more than $300 million at the domestic box office. The film chronicles the initial leg of Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) trek over the Misty Mountains to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his band of dwarf followers reclaim their lost treasure and their homeland. For the films, Jackson utilized a groundbreaking 48-frames-per-second technology, a new projection technique […]
Dec. 18, 2012 | 11:41 a.m.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” broke a December box-office record by collecting $84.8 million over its debut weekend, but Hero Complex didn’t need the figures to know that J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel would be popular. The first of Peter Jackson’s planned three-part adaptation of Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel, “Unexpected Journey” chronicles the initial leg of Bilbo Baggins’ trek over the Misty Mountains to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his band of dwarf followers reclaim their lost treasure and their homeland. The second movie, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is due next year, with the final chapter, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” due for release in 2014. We’ve counted down to the film’s theatrical release with exclusive interviews and photo galleries. Now that the spoiler-wary have had a chance to see “An Unexpected Journey” in […]