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The video above features a brand new, three minute sneak peek at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Today was a big day for the movie, as Warner Bros., MGM and New Line hosted The Hobbit Global Fan Celebration, an event taking place in multiple cities worldwide that had audiences flocking to their local movie theater to ask director Peter Jackson and stars Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, and Andy Serkis - all spread out in different locations across the globe – their biggest questions about the second film in the trilogy. But while three minutes is a good solid chunk of new material to be released, the clip above pales in comparison to the 20 minutes of footage that those actually attending the theatrical event got to watch earlier today.
As I mentioned earlier today when writing about The Hobbit event, I spent this afternoon at The Grove in Los Angeles (the theater where Evangeline Lilly was broadcasting from) and once the live-cast question and answer session had ended the film’s director introduced a very special extended sneak peek at the movie, which will be in theaters on December 13th. While I can’t give you a full second-by-second breakdown of everything that happened, I can say that the movie looks to be filled with both plenty of thrills and plenty of laughs.
Rather than being a montage like the clip above, the footage we got to see consisted of distinct five scenes from different parts of the movie – which will be very familiar to those that have read the book. The beginning featured Bilbo (Martin Freeman) coming face-to-face with a group of terrifying giant spiders and discovering a special name for his new sword; the second clip had Thandruil the Elf King (Lee Pace), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Taruiel (Evangeline Lilly) interrogating an orc with information about Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the dwarves; the third followed Bilbo as he helped free the dwarves from an Elvish jail; the fourth scene had Bard The Bowman (Luke Evans) sneaking Bilbo and the dwarves into the area known as Lake Town; and the finale featured Bilbo venturing into The Lonely Mountain and meeting the awesomely powerful dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) for the first time. It was a great introduction to some new characters, a fun reintroduction to some old characters, and an eclectic group of tones that previewed what the full movie will have to offer.
Being an arachnophobe of the highest order – and one who was absolutely terrified of Shelob in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - it wasn’t too hard for the first clip in the footage to send shivers down my spine and goosebumps under my skin, but while that was the most action-heavy clip of the group it wasn’t the only one featuring a good dose of high drama. Both the scenes with the elves and Bard were rich with atmosphere, and your blood does start to pump when you realize the size of Smaug compared to the tiny little title character.
Exciting and dramatic as the scenes were, however, they never lost sight of the fun and adventure that is prevalent in J.R.R. Tolkien’s book. The naming of Bilbo’s sword was a cheer-inducing moment for the crowd in the Los Angeles theater, and the hero helping his buddies get out from behind bars (and into a bunch of empty wine barrels) is played more for comedy than anything. Trailers have painted The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to be a darker, more dramatic film, but the levity is still present in the material.
In addition to all of the new footage that was debuted during the fan event, Peter Jackson also debuted the twelfth installment of his long-running production diary, which has now been posted to the filmmaker’s official Facebook page and can be watched below!