‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company continues East, encountering along the way the skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all – a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself – the Dragon Smaug.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars (in alphabetical order) John Bell, Manu Bennett, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Lawrence Makoare, Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Mikael Persbrandt, and Aidan Turner. ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ arrives in cinemas on December 13th while ’The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ concludes the trilogy on December 17th, 2014.
When we meet Bilbo in this second movie, he’s a lot more experienced – yet we still see his innocence there. How is that to play?
Martin Freeman: I really like Bilbo’s innocence, and I like playing the change from innocence to experience. I like that. So that he has a figurative journey, as well as the literal one as he goes on. Every actor wants to play different things or beats within a moment, or beats within a scene. You don’t want to be playing the same thing all of the time, and you certainly get that aspect of Bilbo, definitely in the second film. There’s a person there with more iron in his backbone, I guess. He’s just seen more, so his whole worldview has shifted.
A24 and Demarest Films have announced that they’ve teamed up on Kevin Smith’s latest film, ‘Tusk,’ and have plans to bring the original, offbeat horror project to theaters in the third quarter of 2014. ‘Tusk’ follows Wallace (Justin Long) a journalist on a mission. He finds the story of a lifetime in Mr. Howe (Michael Parks), a worldwide adventurer with amazing tales and a curious penchant for walruses. Also starring Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment, ‘Tusk’ was born out of one of Kevin Smith’s SModcasts. Currently in production, the modern-day monster movie was also written by Smith.
Hot on the heels of the film’s first official trailer, Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures has set loose this new poster for ‘Godzilla.’ Described as an epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic ‘Godzilla,’ the adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
THR bring word that Juan Antonio Bayona, who last directed 2012’s tsunami drama ‘The Impossible,’ has signed a deal to direct the sequel to Paramount and Skydance Productions’ ‘World War Z.’ The original, which was based on the much beloved novel by Max Brooks, was one the summer’s biggest hits, grossing $202 million domestically and $540 million worldwide. ‘World War Z’ starred Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who travels the world as he and a dwindling team try to stop a zombie plague, all the while trying to communicate with his family.
Juan Antonio Bayona was on the very short shortlist of directors a few weeks ago. He met with Brad Pitt, who produced the movie via his Plan B banner and is also producing the sequel, before getting the gig. No writers are attached at this stage, but Bayona will oversee the writing process. The Spanish director has shown an ability to juggle scares, drama and big sequences — all of which ’World War Z’ did successfully. Bayona directed the well-regarded Guillermo del Toro-produced ghost story ‘The Orphanage.’ Plus, ‘The Impossible’ nabbed star Naomi Watts an Academy Award nomination in a movie that was both tender and jaw-dropping in portraying the real-life tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004. The movie was also a hit, grossing $180 million worldwide.
In a recent chinwag with SFX Magazine, Joel Kinnaman opened up about getting cast as the titular role for the upcoming ‘RoboCop.’ “When I first heard there was gonna be a RoboCop remake, I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll see that somewhere down the line. But it’s nothing I’m interested in pursuing myself.’ Then when I heard it was José Padilha that was gonna direct it, I became very interested. José has fought very hard and succeeded in making something that has a point of view, and a political and philosophical perspective.”
Joel Kinnaman also acknowledged that while they’re remaking an iconic film, he doesn’t consider it a total remake. “It’s a great responsibility. Especially in a world where there’s a lot of remakes being made for cynical economic reasons. But having José as a director washed away those fears. The biggest respect you can pay to the original is to acknowledge it as a very intelligent movie, and try to make something intelligent to follow it up with, and not just replay old catchphrases. We kept one or two as a wink to the fans, but we did not try to remake the movie.”
Summit Entertainment has revealed this first TV spot for ‘The Legend of Hercules,’ which opens in 3D and 2D on January 10th, 2014 in the US. Directed by Renny Harlin, the film stars Kellan Lutz as Hercules, the mythical Greek hero, demigod and son of Zeus. Betrayed by his King and sold into slavery, Hercules must use his formidable strength to fight for his freedom and return to his true love, Hebe, the Princess of Crete (played by Gaia Weiss). The supporting cast includes Scott Adkins, Liam McIntyre, Liam Garrigan, Johnathon Schaech, Roxanne McKee and Rade Serbedzija.
‘The Legend of Hercules’ is one of two high-profile Hercules movies being made by Hollywood studios, the second being an MGM/Paramount co-production to be directed by Brett Ratner. Dwayne Johnson is playing the titular hero in the rival project. The Dwayne Johnson-starring Hercules movie is slated for release in August 2014.