richard armitage

In a recent sitdown with IGN, Richard Armitage talked about the final two movies in Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ and ’The Hobbit: There and Back Again,’ and the evolution of his character in the story, Thorin Oakenshield. Asked how Thorin will evolve, Armitage said, “Sadly there isn’t much room for comedy in the rest of the story (laughs), it does get darker. We did try to find moments of lightness and humor for him, which are pretty difficult to find because he’s a pretty serious guy. The closer they get to that dragon [Smaug], the stakes get higher and things become more more threatening for the dwarves and particularly for Thorin as he gets closer to that gold. That’s the thing we established in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ that his family have an affliction to dragon sickness. As he approaches that it’s going to kind of spiral down into madness.”

Asked about the importance of the relationship between his Thorin Oakenshield and Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage said, “I think when Thorin gets to Bag End early in the first movie, he really doesn’t have much time for Bilbo Baggins. He sees him as a liability as he sees him as a halfling, someone who’s not prepared for war. He disregards him. But over the course of that first leg of the journey Bilbo really proves him to be a great use to the quest. That turns Thorin’s mind around and his heart around towards this seemingly insignificant little thing, who saves his life from Azog in that moment. And that’s what that last scene is about, it’s a kind of forgiveness – albeit dressed up in rage. That relationship is interesting, it will evolve through the course of the story.” The actor also confirmed that he has 10 more weeks of filming to go on the ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy. Check out the full interview after the jump.

The adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ was originally made as a two-part film, however Warner Bros, Peter Jackson, producer Fran Walsh and writer-producer Philippa Boyens announced last year that ‘The Hobbit’ films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 upcoming 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. Last month Jackson took to his official Facebook page to reveal a 6-minute excerpt of the live event he hosted for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,’ providing us with a first official look at the film.

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ the first film in the trilogy, recently became the 15th film in history to hit $1 billion in global ticket sales, not accounting for inflation. The film has grossed $302,941,346 million in North America and $714,000,000 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $1,016,941,346. The film 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’ 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. 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.