Peter Jackson

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. 16, 2014 | 12:09 p.m.

‘Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies': Andy Serkis on leaving Middle-earth

'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' (Andy Serkis)
Few actors have been a part of as many celebrated genre stories as Andy Serkis. Following the success of the sequel “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the English actor is slated to appear in next year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” But if there were a pivotal moment in Serkis’ career, it was his portrayal of the tragic creature Gollum in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy more than a decade ago — a role that paved the way for the next chapter in his career and pioneered the performance-capture acting and technology that served as a launchpad for his London studio, the Imaginarium. Now, Serkis’ work on “The Hobbit” marks another turning point in his career — the transition from the screen to the director’s chair. In addition to […]
Dec. 14, 2014 | 12:43 p.m.

‘SNL’ spoof ‘The Office: Middle Earth’ highlights Martin Freeman as Bilbo [video]

bilbo
With “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” arriving in theaters Wednesday, a number of the film’s stars have hit the promotional trail — with even the fearsome dragon Smaug turning in a memorable appearance on “The Colbert Report.” Not to be outdone, Bilbo Baggins actor Martin Freeman hosted “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, and in a brilliant segment, spoofed not only Peter Jackson’s J.R.R. Tolkien films, but also Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s memorable comedy “The Office,” in which Freeman played the likeable, down-on-his-luck Tim Canterbury. Watch the sketch below. Fans of the British “Office” will recognize some memorable lines and scenes directly reference dialog and situations from the series, with Tolkien creations standing in for some of the original characters. The final film in the “Hobbit” series, “Five Armies” picks up where last year’s “The Desolation of Smaug” […]
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. 09, 2014 | 8:08 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies': Luke Evans on Bard, battle

Adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s 300-page story “The Hobbit” into a movie trilogy gave the filmmakers plenty of room to develop supporting characters into major players, not least of whom was Bard the Bowman, portrayed on the big screen by Luke Evans. Evans, whose previous titles include “Dracula Untold,” “Fast & Furious 6″ and “Immortals,” debuted as the devoted father in Middle-earth’s impoverished Esgaroth in last year’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The film saw Bard, who possesses the last black arrow capable of killing the dragon Smaug (played through performance-capture technology by Benedict Cumberbatch), smuggling Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarves into Lake-town — one step closer to reclaiming their homeland. But Bard’s decision to help Thorin and his company inadvertently leads to the destruction of his home after the dwarves unleash the dragon’s wrath. “The Hobbit: […]
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. 03, 2014 | 12:15 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ clip highlights Bilbo’s bravery

Martin Freeman as Bilbo in "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)
A new clip from “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” features an exchange between Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), revealing a glimpse of how far the hobbit has come in terms of courage. The scene takes place in the city of Dale beneath the Lonely Mountain, where armies of men, dwarves and elves are staving off legions of invading orcs. When a new threat is discovered, Gandalf tries to enlist Elvenking Thranduil (Lee Pace) to warn Dwarf king Thorin (Richard Armitage) and his warriors. “I have spent enough Elvish blood in defense of this accursed land,” Thranduil says before taking his leave. “No more.” Then, the story’s diminutive hero steps in. “I’ll go,” Bilbo says. “Don’t be ridiculous. You’ll never make it,” Gandalf retorts. “It’s out of the question. I won’t allow it.” […]
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 […]
Nov. 06, 2014 | 11:12 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Five Armies’ trailer teases deadly battle, Thorin’s downfall

A new trailer for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” offers a glimpse of the fracturing relationship between dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield and the company of small folk who followed him to Erebor. “Five Armies,” the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” 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 Cumberbatch). A vengeful Smaug heads to Lake-town to decimate the nearby village of Men, and the destruction the dragon causes leaves the townspeople insisting upon recompense from the dwarves who disturbed his resting place, setting into motion the conflict that will grow to include the armies of the […]
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, […]
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