Dec. 18, 2014 | 1:47 p.m.
Of all the visually striking sequences in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” one of the most arresting comes well into the film, the final installment in Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy trilogy, where dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield is wrestling with the greed and arrogance that threaten to rob him of his honor. At a special Hero Complex fan screening of “Five Armies” on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, Thorin actor Richard Armitage explained how that scene came together — it was born out of collaboration between Armitage and Jackson. “There were so many moments of experimentation throughout the course of filming, but this was toward the end of the shoot,” said Armitage, seated beside his “Hobbit” costar Lee Pace. “It was just a simple stage direction which said, ‘Thorin sees his reflection […]
Dec. 18, 2014 | 11:23 a.m.
Even for the stars of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” the film’s impressive visual scale can come as something of a surprise. At a special Hero Complex fan screening of the film on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, actors Lee Pace, who plays the Elven king Thandruil, and Richard Armitage, who stars as the dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, explained what it’s like to watch director Peter Jackson’s vision unspool on screen after having spent so much time on the New Zealand set. “You see a lot of stuff that you never knew was there when you were shooting it,” Pace said. “I remember talking to Pete about the army, ‘It’s going to be a big army, right?’ ‘Oh yeah, it’s going to be big.’… Then I watch the movie back and […]
Dec. 17, 2014 | 4:00 a.m.
Richard Armitage came to the New Zealand set of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” primed for combat. The concluding installment of Jackson’s three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel features clashing tribes of warriors racing into conflict over an unimaginably vast treasure inside the mountain kingdom of Erebor. Armitage, the English actor who plays hirsute dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, has been preparing for battle since his acting school days with some very talented classmates. “One of the reasons I went to drama school was because I really wanted to learn stage fighting,” a clean-shaven Armitage explained recently. “Weirdly enough, David Oyelowo was my fight partner at drama school — Benedict was maybe two years behind me…. We won so many competitions together. I’ve still got the trophy on my mantel. It’s a little helmet on a […]
Dec. 02, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
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.
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, […]
Dec. 15, 2013 | 8:21 a.m.
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. 03, 2013 | 1:08 p.m.
Middle-Earth’s denizens journeyed to Hollywood on Monday night for the world premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second of Peter Jackson’s three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel, “The Hobbit.” The film’s stars hit the shrub- and leaf-adorned black carpet in front of the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to fête the latest adaptation of the mystical realm where hobbits, dwarves, elves, orcs and goblins dwell. The carpet was designed to echo the sylvan realm of Mirkwood, which plays an important role in the new film, set to open in theaters Dec. 13. Dwarf-prince Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company, which includes Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), travel through the forest on the next leg of their quest to reclaim Erebor, the treasure-filled city under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped from Thorin’s ancestors by the dragon […]
Dec. 02, 2013 | 3:17 p.m.
Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom and more stars of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” are expected to walk the red carpet this evening at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. Can’t be at the Dolby Theater tonight? Tune in to the live video stream here on Hero Complex, beginning at 6 p.m. PST. “The Desolation of Smaug,” due in theaters Dec. 13, is the second installment of director Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. The movie sees Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) continue along on his journey to assist the company of dwarfs led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) reclaim their lands and the treasure now hoarded by the dragon Smaug (Cumberbatch). Along the way they encounter a host of new friends and foes — including the valiant Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), the first character wholly invented […]
Oct. 25, 2013 | 2:48 p.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” director Peter Jackson has announced plans to preview footage from the new film at a “global fan celebration” that will be simulcast in theaters and feature interviews with cast members including Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace and Luke Evans. The event will take place Monday, Nov. 4, with Jackson and cast members gathering at satellite-linked theaters in Los Angeles, New York, London and Wellington to screen footage from the Dec. 13 release and answer questions in front of a live audience. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will host the event from New York, where actors Richard Armitage, who plays dwarf Thorin Oakenshield, and Bloom, who is set to reprise his “Lord of the Rings” role as Legolas Greenleaf, are set to appear. Lilly, who plays a new elf named Tauriel created for the film, […]
Dec. 12, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” Thorin Oakenshield, a mighty warrior and proud heir of a dwarf king, serves as a foil to the book’s unlikely hero Bilbo Baggins, a humble hobbit with a love for food, comfort and a simple life. While Bilbo achieves his own kind of courage, Thorin’s story is marked by tragedy. For Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of Tolkien’s tale, inspiration for the character came from the story of a different tragic king by another famous English writer — William Shakespeare. “I was in a production of ‘Macbeth,'” Armitage said. “So I went back to all my notes about ‘Macbeth,’ because I just felt there was something about that character unwinding that was relevant to Thorin unwinding in this story.” PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’ “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” […]