J.R.R. Tolkien

Dec. 18, 2014 | 1:40 p.m.

‘The Hobbit': Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens on ‘Five Armies’ ending

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” filmmakers Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh are bidding Middle-earth goodbye after six films. “Five Armies,” which caps “The Hobbit” prequel trilogy, is in theaters, and though director  Jackson says he’s “too close” to the movies to know if they’re good, fans of the series appear to be showing up in force at the box office. “Five Armies” grossed more than $11 million in domestic ticket sales for opening-night showings Tuesday, in addition to the roughly $125 million it has earned overseas. For Jackson and Boyens, who spoke to Hero Complex via phone prior to the film’s release, it’s been a long journey from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” which introduced moviegoers to writer J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy world more than a decade ago, to […]
Dec. 10, 2014 | 5:26 p.m.

Evangeline Lilly on ‘The Hobbit': It ‘changed my mind about acting’

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)
One of the most controversial decisions “The Hobbit” filmmakers made was the addition of Silvan elf warrior Tauriel, an entirely new character not present in J.R.R. Tolkien’s story. And perhaps nobody was more suspicious of changes than Evangeline Lilly, the “Lost” alumna who portrayed the new character in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” in theaters next week. “I was adamant that I wouldn’t see [‘The Lord of the Rings’] 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,” the self-described Tolkien purist told Hero Complex last year. But the efforts of screenwriters Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens to craft a character whose presence “didn’t feel jarring” and “felt like she belonged” in […]
Dec. 05, 2014 | 5:30 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ exclusive clip: Smaug attacks

A screenshot of a clip from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)
A new clip from “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” offers a glimpse of the dragon Smaug as he rains down fire on Lake-town. Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at the clip, which also features Luke Evans’ Bard, the bowman who smuggled the dwarf company into Lake-town on his barge in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” At the end of “Smaug,” Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield looked on in horror as the villainous dragon flew from the Lonely Mountain, proclaiming, “I will show you revenge!” “Five Armies,” which ends the saga, picks up with Smaug’s fiery assault on Lake-town, where Bard is trapped in a cell. After Bard escapes, he finds his way to the rooftops of a burning Esgaroth, and […]
Dec. 02, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies': See it early, in IMAX, with cast

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 Battle of the Five Armies,” director Peter Jackson’s anticipated final installment in his latest trilogy of films based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Stars Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Luke Evans and Orlando Bloom will be on hand for a Q&A following the IMAX screening. The event will begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX. “Five Armies,” which arrives in theaters Dec. 17, picks up where last year’s “The Desolation of Smaug” ends, with dwarf king Thorin (Armitage) and company, accompanied by Martin Freeman’s good-natured hobbit Bilbo Baggins, having reclaimed the treasure of their lost homeland Erebor from the evil dragon Smaug (Benedict […]
Oct. 31, 2014 | 6:30 a.m.

‘Hobbit': Peter Jackson promises thrilling finale with ‘Five Armies’

Director Peter Jackson, center, and Martin Freeman on the set of the fantasy adventure movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros.)
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.

‘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 […]
Aug. 06, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’ creators mine Tolkien lore for game

The Wraith, Celebrimbor, Talion in "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor." (Warner Bros. Interactive)
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.

Peter Jackson renames ‘Hobbit’ finale: ‘Battle of the Five Armies’

“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.

‘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 | 4:48 p.m.

Christopher Lee talks ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Wicker Man’ in new Christmas video

Christopher Lee as Saruman in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (Warner Bros.)
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 […]
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