There hasn’t been much news on part two of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films since the whole project (production on all three films) wrapped in late July. And after a first film, subtitled An Unexpected Journey, that was divisive on both technical and narrative fronts, we all might almost be forgiven for forgetting that part two, The Desolation of Smaug, is due out this December amidst a flurry of other high-profile films.
Then there’s this new trailer, which declares that The Hobbit is neither to be forgotten nor overlooked. Have a look:
Like the first part, there are plenty of expansions to the original Hobbit story culled from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion which contributes to making The Hobbit into three movies. Legolas (Orlando Bloom reprises his breakout role) is featured prominently, and a romantic storyline is hinted at. Gandalf also shows up at several points and has some meaningful voiceover regarding the rise of Sauron (there’s even a glimpse of the all-seeing eye).
Getting back to the book, also featured (and looking so similar to Bloom that the casual viewer would be forgiven for confusing them) is Luke Evans in the role of Bard the Bowman, concerned with fair reason that the dwarves’ meddling will spell the doom of his town. This in itself is a minor departure from the book, but much like the one-handed orc-lord invented in the first part (and by the looks of it reappearing), this probably serves to provide tension and a complete narrative arc for the second film.
There are also glimpses which suggest the movie will end (SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK!) with Smaug’s assault on Lake-town, as the fiery turrets are seen collapsing, amidst people looking to the sky. We wonder if this means Smaug’s end will provide the climax of the movie. Benedict Cumberbatch (the voice of Smaug) is still listed among the cast on There And Back Again, part three of The Hobbit, but perhaps tellingly he’s listed only as “The Necromancer,” rather than “Smaug/The Necromancer” as it appears on the page for The Desolation of Smaug.
This seems like a lot of ground for one movie to cover, but would set up part three well, which principally involves a massive conflict among armies of Dwarves, Elves, Men, and Orcs (not to mention quite a lot of additions to tie into The Lord of the Rings).
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters December 13.