Oct. 31, 2014 | 6:30 a.m.
Judging strictly from the title, it might seem safe to assume that “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the concluding installment in Peter Jackson’s latest trilogy of films based on the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien, would arrive as something of a war film, Middle-earth style. But Jackson insists that the blockbuster fantasy, which opens in theaters Dec. 17, is far more interested in charting the descent of proud dwarf Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) into a crippling madness than it is in conjuring images of battlefield brutality. “It’s very much like a thriller. That’s the tone of it,” Jackson said, speaking by phone from New Zealand, where he was in the final throes of completing the film. “I’m not letting that tone go for a second. It gives me a chance to feel like I’m making a different movie, […]
Sept. 16, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.
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 […]
Aug. 06, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.
Last month, filmmaker and J.R.R. Tolkien ambassador Peter Jackson made his final appearance at San Diego’s Comic-Con International to promote one of his feature film adaptations of the literary master’s work. But December’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” wasn’t the only project inspired by the imagined geography of Tolkien’s universe to make news at the pop culture expo. During the “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” panel, it was revealed that the Wraith, a character in the newest “Lord of the Rings” franchise video game, was actually Celebrimbor, the greatest Elven smith of the Second Age. He was deceived by Sauron into working with him to forge the Rings of Power, then murdered along with his family. His spirit was residing in Mordor, awaiting vengeance against the Dark Lord, when Talion, who was also murdered at the hands of […]
April 24, 2014 | 10:21 a.m.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” will be the title of the final film in Peter Jackson’s latest J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy. The last installment, which previously had been titled “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is set to open Dec. 17, and will follow on after the events depicted in last year’s second movie, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Jackson announced the new title on Facebook on Thursday and offered an explanation for the change. “When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title. We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels […]
Dec. 14, 2013 | 9:37 a.m.
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 | 4:48 p.m.
Christopher Lee might not appear in Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in the filmmaker’s most recent cinematic trilogy based on the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien that arrives in theaters Friday. But the venerable actor has taken to the Internet to promise that his wizard Saruman gets plenty of screen time in next year’s final movie in the saga, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” “There’s a lot of me in it, a lot,” said Lee of the film that opens Dec. 17, 2014. He added that viewers can also expect to see “a tremendous amount of fighting, sword play, understanding, sympathy, kindness towards Galadriel, towards Gandalf. I’m not saying anymore because that would give the story away. But it’s the third film in which I have the most to do.” “I hope […]
Dec. 12, 2013 | 1:17 p.m.
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. 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 […]