Peter Jackson

Oct. 23, 2014 | 7:25 a.m.

‘The Hobbit’ stars cameo in new Air New Zealand safety video

Air New Zealand's safety video pays tribute to "The Hobbit" film trilogy. (Air New Zealand)
A new safety video from Air New Zealand once again features a host of stars from “The Hobbit” films, including Frodo Baggins actor Elijah Wood and director Peter Jackson, in a tribute to Middle-earth. Titled “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” the video instructs passengers including dwarves, orcs and elves in the proper use of seat belts, oxygen masks and life jackets. The video was released online Wednesday and is being rolled out across Air New Zealand’s fleet. The safety video — the airline’s second “Hobbit”-themed video after 2012’s “An Unexpected Briefing” — comes ahead of the final film in Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which opens Dec. 17. VIDEO: Watch Benedict Cumberbatch writhe and snarl as Smaug The video begins with two “Hobbit” fans rushing through the Wellington Airport, pausing to take a picture […]
Oct. 21, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Hobbit': See Benedict Cumberbatch writhe and snarl as Smaug

Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Screenshot from bonus feature footage)
The extended edition of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is available for digital download today and out on Blu-ray Nov. 4, but Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at a clip from the bonus features. The clip showcases actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as the deadly dragon Smaug, a miserly lizard who guards his hoarded, stolen gold in a mountain lair that was once home to the dwarf king of Erebor. Like Gollum actor Andy Serkis, Cumberbatch employed performance-capture technology to play the enormous dragon in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel “The Hobbit.” “You kind of have to … imagine yourself into a vast creature in a huge space when you’re really crawling about on a gray bit of carpet,” Cumberbatch says in the video. Serkis — who has pioneered performance-capture acting with his […]
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 […]
July 28, 2014 | 2:14 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ trailer brings war to Middle-earth

Ian McKellen  and Luke Evans in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."  (Mark Pokorny /Warner Bros.)
The first official teaser trailer has arrived for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the film that will bring to a close Bilbo Baggins’ journey and mark the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s years-long cinematic exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this past weekend, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the Hall H presentation devoted to the series, dressed head to toe in the Lake-town garb he wore in his brief cameo in the last “Hobbit” film. Joining Colbert and Jackson on the stage were a full assortment of familiar faces from both the “Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” films, including Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, […]
July 26, 2014 | 2:47 p.m.

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson takes a bow, George Miller shows off ‘Fury Road’

Benedict Cumberbatch, from left, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom attend the Warner Bros. Pictures panel for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 26, 2014, in San Diego. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Zack Snyder’s early peek at “Batman v. Superman” kicked off the Warner Bros. Comic-Con International panel with some serious fanboy firepower, but the studio still had three other highly anticipated films in store for the 6,500-odd fans gathered in Hall H: Andy and Lana Wachowski’s sci-fi epic “Jupiter Ascending,” George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action reboot “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and the final installment in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster “Hobbit” trilogy, subtitled “The Battle of Five Armies.” Neither the Wachowskis nor “Jupiter Ascending” co-star Mila Kunis were on hand at the panel, so it fell to Channing Tatum to introduce footage from the space opera, in which he plays a genetically engineered warrior who comes to Earth to reveal to Kunis’ Jupiter Jones that she is interstellar royalty. “We really try to do something different, something you’ve never seen before,” Tatum told the crowd, calling the Wachowskis “absolutely out of their […]
July 12, 2014 | 2:38 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: ‘The Hobbit,’ Marvel surprises, ‘Gotham’ on Saturday

The July 26 schedule for Comic-Con 2014 was officially released Saturday, with big offerings from Warner Bros. and the always highly anticipated Marvel Studios panel topping the day’s events. Warner Bros. will be kicking off the day from 10 a.m. to noon in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center, the event’s 6,500-seat premier venue, in a big way. Peter Jackson will be on hand to share details of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” set to open Dec. 17. Director George Miller will also be appearing to share an early look at “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which reimagines the post-apocalyptic saga and stars Tom Hardy (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises”) in the title role of Max Rockatansky. Finally, “Matrix” creators Lana and Andy Wachowski will be on hand to share their first original science fiction film […]
July 08, 2014 | 12:19 p.m.

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit,’ George Miller’s ‘Mad Max,’ more

Peter Jackson is leaving Middle-earth long enough to stop by Comic-Con International in San Diego. The Oscar-winning filmmaker will appear in the pop-culture expo’s grandest arena, Hall H, to tout the Dec. 17 release of the final chapter of his second J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” Warner Bros. announced Tuesday. As you might have judged from the more-dramatic-than-“There and Back Again” title, it promises to be the most action-packed of the “Hobbit” films, with the Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced dragon Smaug on the loose, and Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf caught up in a multi-way struggle for the treasure of Erebor. That presentation, scheduled for July 26 at 10 a.m., also includes more from the studio’s upcoming slate. Postapocalyptic visionary director George Miller will show the crowd an early look at “Mad Max: […]
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 […]
April 08, 2014 | 1:14 p.m.

Exclusive ‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ clip: Giant Mirkwood spiders

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at video promoting the release. The film, which was a box-office blockbuster last winter, is the second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned movie trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel. “Desolation of Smaug” chronicles Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) travels with Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarfs in their mission to reclaim their treasure-filled homeland Erebor from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). The journey takes them through many mysterious corners of Tolkien’s fantasy world, Middle-earth, including the dark forest Mirkwood, where Bilbo experiences a milestone in his personal quest for courage. In the exclusive video below, Jackson talks about creating the giant spiders that Bilbo faces. “This time […]
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