Dec. 16, 2013 | 5:00 p.m.
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. 16, 2013 | 1:58 p.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” smashed the competition at the box office this weekend, earning more than $73 million. The second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novel also garnered more critical esteem than its predecessor, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” with much of the praise falling to the film’s star, Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, a diminutive hero with a growing sense of courage. In “Desolation of Smaug,” Bilbo faces off against enormous spiders, dangerous elves and, of course, the dragon Smaug, voiced by Freeman’s “Sherlock” costar Benedict Cumberbatch. Hero Complex caught up with Freeman to talk about what motivates Bilbo, the interweaving of fright and comedy and the pressures of taking on a character so beloved by Tolkien fans. Hero Complex: Bilbo Baggins seems to really find his own in this […]
Dec. 16, 2013 | 12:07 p.m.
The first trailer for the upcoming “Lego The Hobbit” video game is out, revealing a comedic take on Middle-earth and its small-statured denizens. The game, which was announced in November, will be based on the first two films in Peter Jackson’s planned “Hobbit” trilogy — “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the recently released “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Like TT Games‘ previous Middle-earth-themed installation “Lego The Lord of the Rings,” gameplay in “The Hobbit” will focus on solving puzzles, finding treasure and battling dark forces, including orcs, trolls and goblins. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Gamers will be able to play as Bilbo (portrayed in the films by Martin Freeman), Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and all 13 dwarfs in the company. The trailer also features scenes with the cave-dwelling Gollum, hungry trolls, mischievous goblins and […]
Dec. 15, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.
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.
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. 14, 2013 | 9:37 a.m.
When it comes to the two different incarnations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s heroic wizard, Ian McKellen prefers Gandalf the Grey. “He’s more fun, isn’t he?” McKellen said earlier this week, speaking at a special Hero Complex preview screening of his new film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” “He’s more fun to play. He’s scruffy and less driven. We all need Gandalf the White when it comes to the really important business of saving the world, but when you’re down having a drink in Hobbiton, isn’t it Gandalf the Grey you want to be with rather than the other one? That was my feeling.” It was just one of the subjects that the man Peter Jackson dubbed “the guardian of Tolkien” discussed during an onstage Q&A at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX on Monday. The respected actor also […]
Dec. 12, 2013 | 4:48 p.m.
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.
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.
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 […]
Dec. 11, 2013 | 4:09 p.m.
When it came time to craft “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in their latest trilogy of movies based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, filmmaker Peter Jackson and his screenwriting partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens had a decision to make. The story, as they saw it, was crying out for a dynamic female character. So, they invented one. With the film arriving in theaters Friday, audiences soon will have the opportunity to meet Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel, the first character entirely crafted by Jackson and his creative counterparts for the screen. She’s a fierce warrior, the captain of the guard in the forest of Mirkwood, and she’s apt to be controversial, merely because she represents perhaps the greatest digression yet from Tolkien’s classic texts. Hero Complex caught up with Boyens to discuss Tauriel in greater detail, […]