cumberbatch smaug

“Oh, I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.” Sketchditto has drawn this top-notch ‘The Hobbit’ piece focusing on Benedict Cumberbatch’s Smaug the Dragon and Sherlock. If you weren’t already aware, Cumberbatch is playing Smaug and The Necromancer in ‘The Hobbit’ film series. Smaug, one of the last remaining dragons in Middle-earth, guards the treasure in Erebor. Cumberbatch will portray Smaug and The Necromancer through motion capture, similar to Andy Serkis with Gollum. Smaug has a very brief appearance in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ during the opening prologue and the ending, but only portions of him can be seen, not his full body. I’m looking forward to seeing him unleashed in ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’!

Benedict Cumberbatch can next be seen on the big screen in ‘Star Trek into Darkness'; alongside the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Kenneth Williams, Ruth Negga, Brad Pitt, Quvenzhané Wallis and Adepero Oduye in Steve McQueen’s ‘Twelve Years a Slave’; and as Julian Assange in ‘The Fifth Estate.’ Steve Moffat, the co-conceiver, producer and screenwriter of BBC’s ‘Sherlock,’ recently revealed that the third ‘Sherlock’ series would begin production shortly, reuniting Cumberbatch as the eponymous Sherlock Holmes with his fellow ‘The Hobbit’ star, Martin Freeman, as Dr. John Watson. The actor is also said to be in negotiations to play the English mathematician Alan Turing in ‘The Imitation Game.’

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ recently became the 15th film in history to hit $1 billion in global ticket sales, not accounting for inflation. Propelled by China, the New Line and MGM epic crossed the milestone last weekend.  ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ has grossed $301,976,034 million in North America and $708,100,000 million internationally. The film, the first in a trilogy, has grossed roughly $37.3 million in its first 10 days of play in China, the movie’s final major market. The top foreign markets for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ are as follows: Germany ($90 million), followed by the UK ($84.3 million), France ($44.9 million), Australia ($44.3 million) and Russia ($43.8 million).

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ will arrive on Digital Download on March 12th, and will then be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 2-Disc DVD Special Edition on March 19th. Additionally, Peter Jackson will host a live first look at ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ on March 24th at 3:00PM Eastern/Noon Pacific. Content will be streamed live and an edited version will be archived on the Trilogy’s official website. Access to the live event will be limited to holders of an UltraViolet code available by purchasing ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack or 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. Select digital retailers will issue access codes upon purchase of the film.  Visit for more information.

The adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ was originally made as a two-part film, however Warner Bros, Peter Jackson, producer Fran Walsh and writer-producer Philippa Boyens announced last year that ‘The Hobbit’ films will be a trilogy. The release schedule for the subsequent two films are as follows:  ‘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.

‘The Hobbit’ films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ which Peter Jackson and his film-making team brought to the big screen in the fantastic blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar-winning ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.’ Reprising their roles from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies are Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast includes the likes of Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, and Aidan Turner.

The official synopsis and production notes for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ can be read below the other drawing. My interviews for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ can be found through the following links: Peter JacksonAndy Serkis #1Andy Serkis #2Ian McKellen #1Ian McKellen #2Richard Armitage #1Richard Armitage #2Martin Freeman #1Martin Freeman #2Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman and James NesbittElijah Wood and Christopher Lee, and Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving.

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will be released December 14, 2012, with the second film releasing on December 13, 2013, and the third film slated for summer 2014. All three films will be released in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes three films based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The trilogy of films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield.  Returning cast members from “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy also include Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis as “Gollum.”  The international ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.

The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro.  Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

Under Jackson’s direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and its successive installments are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.