Sunday, July 27, 2014

SDCC: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies Panel Description

Saturday Peter Jackson and some of the cast members of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies were on hand at Hall H to discuss the movie. As is usual for these things, none of it is made available to the public (keep thinking that would change each year) but at least have a description of the thirty minute or so panel. It started with a 360 degree reveal of the scroll panorama (video below) for the film, the teaser trailer and then a Q&A with the cast. Chances are the scroll image and teaser will be released very soon, maybe even this week. Full details here and here, highlights below.

- Stephen Colbert moderated the panel with Peter Jackson, Phillippa Boyen, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Graham McTavish, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis in attendance.
- Teaser trailer shown. Footage includes showing Smaug attacking Lake Town, Bilbo promising people will remember what happened (reference to events leading to five army battle), Gandalf riding Shadowfax through a town square, a scene that suggests Bard is the general to the Elf army, a plead for peace from Bard to Thorin who rejects it, a kiss between Gandalf and Galadriel a glimpse of the eye of Sauron and then a series of cuts to various sad characters as Thorin asks them to follow him one more time.
- A gag reel is shown that mixes moments from all six films.
- Q&A starts after the reel. Philippa Boyen mentions she wishes they could have ad Tom Bombadil (personally I am glad they didn't as the character was one long pointless distraction in the Fellowship book) and that Cate Blanchett was their first choice for Galadriel even before casting started.
- Cumberbatch said difference between his two bad guy roles is "One's real, one's made of something that's vulnerable and one seems to be made out of everything tha'ts evil, and difficult to pin down and kill."
- Graham McTavis amusingly summed up The Hobbit trilogy as a journey "seeking a female dwarf. And boy, it takes a lot of time."
- Blanchett once played the Bard in a high school production of the Hobbit. Also said that in the movie she gets to unleash her power on Sauron.
- Blanchett also talked about the Gandalf kiss: "It's an ancient love story, that was actually born the first time around. I adore Ian, and I hardly got to do anything with him at all... Galadriel's just a footnote in the Hobbit, really, to have such a full story [in the film] is wonderful." Then as an extra note, she went commando in her elf costumes since elves don't wear underwear.
- Jackson spoke some of the changes they made between the book and the movie saying: "When Tolkien wrote the hobbit in 1937, it was just written as a book that he wrote, in the absence of any other Middle Earth material at that stage, but of course the Hobbit movie is different. We come at it from a different direction than Tolkien did,' because this comes after the Rings trilogy for us, and we see the wider context. I've always wanted to make [these movies] work as a six-film set. The goal at the beginning was to have the Hobbit go tonally [into] Fellowship, and then [progresses] into Return of the King."
- An example of this: ""When you get to Fellowship, and Legolas says he fell, your reaction to that is going to have a whole new meaning when you see what they went through" according to Boyens.
- Jackson also said there is still some cut footage from the Lord of the Rings trilogy sitting in an Arizona vault that might make an appearance one day.

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