Comic Con: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies panel!
Peter Jackson and company descended upon San Diego Comic-Con one more (last?) time for THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. There to moderate was Stephen Colbert, super Tolkien fan and supporting actor in THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG as a member of the Laketown spy network. Colbert is perhaps the best moderator I've ever seen at Comic-Con; I really hope the organizers consider bringing him back again for more Hall H goodness.
- Almost the entire main cast of the HOBBIT movies attended; only Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage were absent. Jackson, Phillippa Boyens, Elija Wood, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Graham McTavish and Luke Evans filled up a long table at the front of Hall H and all seemed to be in very good spirits.
This was a long panel, about an hour. A lot of it was fluff, I must admit, but anyone who just loves watching these people interact would certainly walk away satisfied by it. The highlight came early on, when an extended blooper reel from the LORD OF THE RINGS/THE HOBBIT was shown. Ian McKellen was the highlight of that, as any moment of him forgetting a line was immediately followed by good-natured ribbing and sarcasm.
In terms of pertinent details, here's some info:
- Jackson is not done with the third movie just yet. They're still editing, as well as filming motion-capture and animating sequences. In a way, they're still filming.
- Jackson never imagined making these movies would take, as Colbert put it, a generation of his life. He originally wanted to make THE HOBBIT, as a stand-alone film, and then if was successful he's make LORD OF THE RINGS as two movies. Obviously, things worked out differently.
- There will be a lot of "sadness and tragedy" in the final HOBBIT film, according to Jackson. He thinks it's "always good when you can kill off some main characters." It's not as comical as the last HOBBIT movies, and the tone is moving toward the LORD OF THE RINGS.
- Benedict Cumberbatch says he was just "throwing himself around a carpeted floor like a lunatic" while playing Smaug, and thinks the actors who work in front of green screens have it much more difficult than someone doing motion-capture. Andy Serkis' only advice to him was "don't get carpet burns."
- Luke Evans has known how to shoot a bow since he was a child.
- Cate Blanchett gets to fight in this film; she says she "loses her shit" and Jackson claims she gets to kick Sauron's ass a bit.
- Colbert once beat Philippa Boyens at Tolkien trivia. He was all too happy to remind her of this fact.
- Elijah Wood has still not read the books. Meanwhile, Evangeline never finished reading THE RETURN OF THE KING because she didn't want it to end.
- Andy Serkis thought he would be done with motion-capture work after wrapping LORD OF THE RINGS, but on one of the very last days of shooting that film, Jackson asked him to play King Kong. That's when he realized typecasting was no more.
- Cate Blanchett revealed that she never wore underwear while making the movies, because elves don't wear underwear. That's method acting for you.
- Jackson hopes they can build a LORD OF THE RINGS museum someday.
- Warner Bros. evidently keeps all of their film negatives in a giant vault in Arizona. Jackson mentioned that there's a chance we'll see even
- Finally, they plugged a fan contest where entrants can win the chance to travel to New Zealand in November and watch THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES with Jackson. Sounds like a pretty good deal! You can enter HERE.