Set to the tune of one of the many epic ballads of middle earth, the new trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was released to lucky fans in the famed Hall H at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
In an effort to recreate the mood for you let us start as the panel did, with a rousing speech from die hard J.R.R Tolkien fan Stephen Colbert, who dressed in cosplay as his own Lakewood spy character from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for the event. He was joined on stage by his son, who also dressed as a Lakewood spy. His words might have been those of many Tolkien fans.
Welcome! Hello! We are the Laketown spy network! How you doin’, Comic-Con?
[To his son] Quick, go tell the master of Laketown that the Hobbit panel is about to begin. Swift, boy! Run!
Hello. If I could only go back in time and show this to my 13-year-old self!
Welcome to today’s panel on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and a celebration of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth: The Battle for Six Movies. My name is Stephen Colbert, and if you are anything like me, you don’t just love these stories — you treasure the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Let me take you to a time long ago, an earlier age: the time of Clinton, the dark days of dial-up internet. A rumor came to us that director Peter Jackson would be making an adaptation of the trilogy. At the time, many of us knew him only from his movie Heavenly Creatures, and as great as that movie is, I wasn’t sure there was room for hysterical, murderous teenage girls in Middle-earth … other than, of course, Éowyn.
I was worried that somehow he would take away my treasure, my horde of precious Middle-earth stories. It was a very possessive, obsessive, very dragon-y feeling, so I found and followed everything I could about the progress of these movies. I remember seeing the first stills from the filming of Helm’s Deep. I looked at every casting announcement. I scoured the work of John Howe and Alan Lee. I read the online debates about fantasy versus fairy tales. And I began to have hope.
Not just hope the movies would be good … I was given hope that finally,finally people might not roll their eyes when I started talking about Middle-earth. That my head full of facts from Fëanor to Faramir might suddenly have some social value! That someone might say to me, “Hey Stephen, you know a lot about Tolkien. Can you explain something to me?” And I would say “Yes, oh God yes, I will!”
And then the movies broke upon the world, and to steal a line from C.S. Lewis, “Here were beauties that pierced like swords and burned like cold iron.” Here were movies that would break your heart, good beyond hope. And rather than take away our treasure, Peter and Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and Richard Taylor and Grant Major and Dan Hennah and the cast and the crew and WETA Digital and the land and the people of New Zealand itself added to our stories, complemented our imagination. The only problem, as I saw it, was that at a total running time of eleven and a half hours, they were too damn short.
[Tossing his fake hair behind his shoulders] This must be how Orlando Bloom feels all the time.
We wanted more! And though we had to wait nearly a decade, our patience was rewarded with the cast and creative team we love and trust, and we were invited back to Hobbiton, to Rivendell, across the misty mountains cold, through water, wood, and hill, by reed and willow, to finally come face to face with the beautiful but dangerous silver-tongued villain of The Hobbit … the Laketown spy.
I just hope I’ve fulfilled Professor Tolkien’s vision.
Now, aside from the star studded panel, we also have what is being called a teaser trailer, but in typical Perter Jackson style, it comes in at about twice the length of a normal teaser trailer.
The trailer walks us through the basic plot of what they are calling ‘The Defining Chapter’ – the treasure is won, but at what cost? The people of Lakewood are at the mercy of an enraged Smaug (Benedict Cumberbach), while Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) sits idly by, mesmerized by his new reclaimed treasure. The wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) alone sees another danger coming, legions of stealthy orcs commanded by Sauraun set to attack the Lonely Mountain. Will the kingdoms of Men, Elves and Dwarves Band together to defeat the coming evil, and will our hero Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) convince the Dwarven king to see reason? The Hobbit opens to audiences nation wide this December.
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Image: Warner Bros.