Peter Jackson

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 […]
Feb. 18, 2014 | 3:30 p.m.

‘Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ arrives on Blu-ray, DVD April 8

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” reigned at the box office during the holidays, earning more than $860 million worldwide after it opened Dec. 13. Now the film is set to arrive on Blu-Ray and DVD on April 8 — in a variety of packages, including a limited edition set selling for $105.43. The limited collector’s edition includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection and features the theatrical version of the film in 3-D high-definition, high-definition and standard definition; only 25,000 will be available in the U.S. For those hoping to own the film at a lower price point, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will be available as a Blu-ray 3-D combo pack for $44.95, a Blu-ray combo pack for $35.99 and as a 2-disc DVD special edition for $28.98. All versions include a digital […]
Jan. 03, 2014 | 1:54 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Complete interviews, videos and photos

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” reigned at the box office during the holidays, earning more than $658 million worldwide since it opened Dec. 13. The second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel chronicles Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) journey through the dark and mysterious Mirkwood Forest and through Lake-town to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarfs reclaim their treasure-filled homeland from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). The third and final movie, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is due in theaters Dec. 17. Hero Complex counted down to “Desolation of Smaug” with exclusive interviews, videos and photo galleries.  Now that the spoiler-wary have had a chance to see “Smaug” in theaters, here’s a look back at our coverage leading up to its release. GALLERIES ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: 60 […]
Dec. 30, 2013 | 2:56 p.m.

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: Joe Letteri talks dragons

Benedict Cumberbatch's memorable dragon was a highlight of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)
Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri will receive the Producers Guild of America’s Vanguard Award next month for the groundbreaking digital creations dreamed up in New Zealand’s WETA Digital. It’s an appropriate honor. Together, Jackson and Letteri have conjured all manner of creations — Letteri won Oscars for his work on two films in Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and on the writer-director’s remake of “King Kong” (though Andy Serkis’ vivid performance-capture turns as Gollum and the lovelorn giant ape were certainly central to those victories). The duo might be in contention for Academy Awards once more for Jackson’s latest fantasy adventure, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The movie is brimming with technological marvels — the spiders of Mirkwood, the dynamic barrel chase scene — but perhaps none are quite so marvelous as the vividly rendered dragon Smaug played […]
Dec. 16, 2013 | 5:00 p.m.

‘Hobbit’ star Benedict Cumberbatch on Smaug, his ‘porn star dragon’

Benedict Cumberbatch breathes life into J.R.R. Tolkien's dragon in"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)
Benedict Cumberbatch inspires the sort of rabid, overwhelming Internet love usually reserved for cats wearing sweaters and cute baby videos, but sitting with the actor even briefly, it’s sort of easy to understand why. In the course of 20 minutes, Cumberbatch, while enjoying a cup of tea and some Swedish Fish, sounded off with ease and eloquence on his personal relationship to the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, his “porn star dragon” Smaug — one of the two characters to receive title billing in the latest epic fantasy from Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — and dealing with international celebrity (specifically being recognized for his acclaimed portrayal of Sherlock Holmes by a waitress in Oklahoma, a tale he shared by dropping in and out of a rural American accent). Check out what he had to say below. Hero […]
Dec. 15, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Ian McKellen on his Tolkien legacy

Sir Ian McKellen has played countless classic characters in his decades of work on stage and screen, but he says the wizard Gandalf is the one for which he’ll most likely be remembered. “When I die, that’s what it’s going to say, ‘Gandalf dies,’ ” McKellen offered with a deadpan nod at the Hero Complex preview screening of his new film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Presented in IMAX 3D at 48 frames per second, the free event took place Dec. 9 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, with McKellen participating in a wide-ranging Q&A after the screening. The latest fantasy from director Peter Jackson based on the work of author J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Desolation of Smaug” sees Richard Armitage’s dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield and Martin Freeman’s Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and the other members of their […]
Dec. 15, 2013 | 8:21 a.m.

‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Richard Armitage on Thorin’s madness

In “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy adapted from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Armitage’s dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield is as much the focus of the story as Martin Freeman’s Hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The new film tracks the unlikely partners and the other members of their company as they continue their quest across Middle-earth to defeat the evil dragon Smaug and reclaim the treasure-filled city of Erebor beneath the Lonely Mountain. Meanwhile, Ian McKellen’s wizard Gandalf sets out on a mission of his own, hoping to determine the strength of a primal evil. Critics have responded warmly to this, the second film in a planned trilogy that concludes with next year’s “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” (The Times’ Betsy Sharkey writes, “In the wake of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ last year’s dreary, dense, […]
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 […]
Dec. 12, 2013 | 1:17 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Ian McKellen quotes Tolkien [video]

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. 12, 2013 | 11:51 a.m.

‘Hobbit’ star Luke Evans talks ‘Smaug’: ‘It’s better than the first one’

Welsh actor Luke Evans has a penchant for larger-than-life characters. He has played Apollo in “Clash of the Titans” and Zeus in “Immortals,” and in the upcoming “Dracula Untold,” he’s taking on the role of Vlad Tepes, the historical warrior who inspired Bram Stoker’s mythic vampire. For his role in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in filmmaker Peter Jackson’s latest trilogy based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, Evans is portraying the first human to enter the saga, the brave Bard the Bowman. Hero Complex caught up with the actor in Beverly Hills last week to chat about the character and his experiences filming with Jackson in New Zealand, as well as what’s ahead for Evans, who’s preparing to star in a new telling of “The Crow,” which he’s set to begin shooting next year. Be […]
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