The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Dec. 17, 2014 | 3:33 p.m.

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies': 66 images from the finale

A scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)
Peter Jackson’s big-screen adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” is coming to a close with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which opens in U.S. theaters tonight. “Five Armies” caps a saga consisting of six feature films set in Tolkien’s elaborate fantasy world Middle-earth — a project that began more than a decade ago with Jackson’s acclaimed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The third film in that series, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” won 11 Oscars, including best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay and best visual effects. Although “Five Armies” does not seem destined for similar awards gold, fans of Tolkien and Jackson have already turned out in force overseas; the film has earned more than $122 million at the worldwide box office since opening last week. “Five Armies” […]
Dec. 17, 2014 | 4:00 a.m.

‘Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies': Armitage’s Thorin fights to the end

English actor Richard Armitage reprises his role as dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
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. 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. 12, 2014 | 12:51 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Five Armies': Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug

(Comedy Central)
The villainous dragon Smaug brought fire, smoke and more than a few zings to “The Colbert Report” as Stephen Colbert’s guest on Thursday’s episode of the Comedy Central show. Colbert, an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” introduced Smaug as “the last great fire-drake of the Third Age.” “My guest tonight has armor like tenfold shields, teeth like swords, claws like spears, a tail like a thunderbolt, wings like a hurricane and breath like death,” Colbert said, quoting Smaug’s self-description in Tolkien’s writing. “Though he might want to leave that last part off his Tinder profile.” Smaug then makes his CG appearance, thundering through the wall of Colbert’s stage and bellowing, “The chiefest and greatest of calamities is in the house!” Smaug, of course, is the evil and greedy antagonist in “The Hobbit: […]
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 […]
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