Nov. 06, 2014 | 11:12 a.m.
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.
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, […]
Oct. 23, 2014 | 7:25 a.m.
A new safety video from Air New Zealand once again features a host of stars from “The Hobbit” films, including Frodo Baggins actor Elijah Wood and director Peter Jackson, in a tribute to Middle-earth. Titled “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” the video instructs passengers including dwarves, orcs and elves in the proper use of seat belts, oxygen masks and life jackets. The video was released online Wednesday and is being rolled out across Air New Zealand’s fleet. The safety video — the airline’s second “Hobbit”-themed video after 2012’s “An Unexpected Briefing” — comes ahead of the final film in Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which opens Dec. 17. VIDEO: Watch Benedict Cumberbatch writhe and snarl as Smaug The video begins with two “Hobbit” fans rushing through the Wellington Airport, pausing to take a picture […]
Oct. 21, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
The extended edition of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is available for digital download today and out on Blu-ray Nov. 4, but Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at a clip from the bonus features. The clip showcases actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as the deadly dragon Smaug, a miserly lizard who guards his hoarded, stolen gold in a mountain lair that was once home to the dwarf king of Erebor. Like Gollum actor Andy Serkis, Cumberbatch employed performance-capture technology to play the enormous dragon in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel “The Hobbit.” “You kind of have to … imagine yourself into a vast creature in a huge space when you’re really crawling about on a gray bit of carpet,” Cumberbatch says in the video. Serkis — who has pioneered performance-capture acting with his […]
Sept. 16, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.
A massive new poster for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” depicts the ambitious scope of Peter Jackson’s upcoming Middle-earth film, the final installment in the writer-director’s latest trilogy based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The striking tapestry includes not only Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen’s wizard Gandalf, but also nearly all of the key characters — including Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarves; elves Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Thranduil (Lee Pace); even Benedict Cumberbatch’s dragon Smaug. Click through the gallery above to see portions of the image — click here for the full, scrollable view. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the […]
Aug. 06, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.
Last month, filmmaker and J.R.R. Tolkien ambassador Peter Jackson made his final appearance at San Diego’s Comic-Con International to promote one of his feature film adaptations of the literary master’s work. But December’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” wasn’t the only project inspired by the imagined geography of Tolkien’s universe to make news at the pop culture expo. During the “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” panel, it was revealed that the Wraith, a character in the newest “Lord of the Rings” franchise video game, was actually Celebrimbor, the greatest Elven smith of the Second Age. He was deceived by Sauron into working with him to forge the Rings of Power, then murdered along with his family. His spirit was residing in Mordor, awaiting vengeance against the Dark Lord, when Talion, who was also murdered at the hands of […]
July 28, 2014 | 2:14 p.m.
The first official teaser trailer has arrived for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the film that will bring to a close Bilbo Baggins’ journey and mark the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s years-long cinematic exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this past weekend, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the Hall H presentation devoted to the series, dressed head to toe in the Lake-town garb he wore in his brief cameo in the last “Hobbit” film. Joining Colbert and Jackson on the stage were a full assortment of familiar faces from both the “Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” films, including Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, […]
July 23, 2014 | 4:54 p.m.
If you’re planning to spend any time in downtown San Diego this weekend, keep an eye out for Homer Simpson’s head. That iconic bald pate is expected to take up a noticeable portion of the city’s shoreline in a clever bit of promotion for “The Simpsons,” one of thousands of movies, TV shows, comic books and video game titles vying for attention at the annual pop culture expo that kicks off Thursday. FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Comic-Con International long ago evolved from its modest origins — it began as an intimate gathering in the basement of San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970 — into an important marketing platform for Hollywood, an opportunity for studios and networks to bring an increasingly broad range of movies and series directly to an enthusiastic audience of roughly 130,000 fans amid a frenzied, carnival-like […]
July 12, 2014 | 2:38 p.m.
The July 26 schedule for Comic-Con 2014 was officially released Saturday, with big offerings from Warner Bros. and the always highly anticipated Marvel Studios panel topping the day’s events. Warner Bros. will be kicking off the day from 10 a.m. to noon in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center, the event’s 6,500-seat premier venue, in a big way. Peter Jackson will be on hand to share details of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” set to open Dec. 17. Director George Miller will also be appearing to share an early look at “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which reimagines the post-apocalyptic saga and stars Tom Hardy (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises”) in the title role of Max Rockatansky. Finally, “Matrix” creators Lana and Andy Wachowski will be on hand to share their first original science fiction film […]
July 08, 2014 | 12:19 p.m.
Peter Jackson is leaving Middle-earth long enough to stop by Comic-Con International in San Diego. The Oscar-winning filmmaker will appear in the pop-culture expo’s grandest arena, Hall H, to tout the Dec. 17 release of the final chapter of his second J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” Warner Bros. announced Tuesday. As you might have judged from the more-dramatic-than-“There and Back Again” title, it promises to be the most action-packed of the “Hobbit” films, with the Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced dragon Smaug on the loose, and Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf caught up in a multi-way struggle for the treasure of Erebor. That presentation, scheduled for July 26 at 10 a.m., also includes more from the studio’s upcoming slate. Postapocalyptic visionary director George Miller will show the crowd an early look at “Mad Max: […]