The first footage of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been revealed at yesterday’s live internet broadcast, although few firm conclusions can be drawn. The subject is certainly sensitive to Warner Bros. with several videos around the web having been withdrawn by Monday morning due to breaches of the Terms & Conditions attached to the production.
It’s OK to tell what happened though and we can report that the footage ends thus, with Thorin declaring:
“We are the dwarves of Erebor. We have come to reclaim our homeland.”
No surprise there then. The trailer finishes on some sound effects that are unmistakably like a dragon, but of course there was no sign of Smaug himself anywhere. I do not think anyone actually expected that, so what did become clearer?
Alongside some moody shots of Gandalf and Radagast in a mausoleum of a cavern, we begin to learn more about Benedict Cumberbatch’s other character in the movie, at least by implication we do anyway, with Gandalf asking why the sword Glamdring, “got out into the world,” only to discover that there’s much more to it than meets the eye, all of which is meant to tie into the Necromancer storyline.
Peter Jackson appeared very aware of the potential problems with the middle film of any trilogy, responding to one fan’s question with:
“It is complicated to do a middle film, but the advantage is … we have multiple story lines … and we can start following multiple characters.”
Sounds enticing, as making a middle film into anything but a filler with untied endings and ragged beginnings can be a problem. Perhaps we will see a few complete stories within the overall arc; who knows? It is now almost legendary that enough footage has been shot to complete several movies.
More will undoubtedly be drip fed us over the coming months and as Jackson revealed this video release ought to be considered first in a series of blogs about the film. First mystery up, doubtless awaiting further examination later is Gandalf saying:
“These tombs were opened from the inside.”
That’s a little mystery that Gandalf is exploring in The Desolation of Smaug, according to Peter Jackson at the event. He also said that Mirkwood is the scariest land they’ll explore in the movie and described Thranduil’s kingdom using concept art. Cinemablend reported that:
“This looked like that same creepy forest but with some castle-like structure in there. The realm itself is underground, but there’s light filtering in– We want it to be grand, like a cathedral. But this is not Rivendell. This is not the friendly land of elves that we’re used to in these movies. Jed recalls his time spent as a dwarf, held prisoner in Thranduil’s kingdom.”
The approach used in this teaser follows the pattern of previous production video blogs, so you will have recognised the strategy by now no doubt. It looks like we can anticipate a steady ramping up of the pressure from now onwards until the finished trailer is put on general release.