Smaug, as drawn by Michael Hague
Warner Bros. has confirmed that the title of the 2nd Hobbit movie will be The Desolation of Smaug. They also set the date for the 3rd film: July 18, 2014.
I love this title not only because it’s based on an actual location from one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s maps, but also since it’s an implicit promise that the Smaug scenes in the 2nd film will be dazzlingly epic. Smaug’s attack on Laketown will surely be a huge action set piece, and Bilbo’s initial encounter with the dragon in his lair has the potential to be a classic cinematic moment. Just imagine how cool it will be to see Smaug’s lair and Bilbo’s face decorated with the dancing rainbow reflections of the gems and coins encrusted in the dragon’s hide. When Guillermo Del Toro was attached as director, he confirmed that that the environment would play a major role in the audience’s experience of Smaug’s lair. Here’s to hoping Jackson’s version keeps it this way. Here’s Del Toro talking about Smaug, via theonering.net:
”To me, Smaug is the perfect example of a great creature defined by its look and design, yes, but also, very importantly, by his movement and -One little hint- its environment – Think about it…”
He also says:
“What I meant by the environment / Smaug relationship is about the way he is scaled, moves and is lit, limited or enhanced by his location, weather conditions, light conditions, time of the year, etc. That’s all I can say without spoilers but, if you keep this curious little summary you’ll realize several years form now that those things I had in my mind ever since doodling the character as a kid had solidified waaay before starting the shoot of the film.
“A big tool is also how and when he is fully revealed. I could give you specifics- beat-by-beat in fact (I’m geeking out to do it), but… I will say no more in order to save you from ruthless spoilerage (we have a few years to go, you now…?) and increased anxiety.
Keep this little note…”
Del Toro also talked about how Smaug had to be the best representation of a dragon ever seen on a screen:
“Smaug should not be “the Dragon in the Hobbit movie” as if it was just “another” creature in a Bestiary. Smaug should be “The DRAGON” for all movies past and present. The shadow he cast and the greed he comes to embody- the “need to own” casts its long shadow and creates a thematic / dramatic continuity of sorts that articulates the story throughout.”
Check out theonering.net for more Smaug talk from Guillermo.
Also of recent note in regards to Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch gave away a potential spoiler as to how we may get our first glimpse of the dragon to end all dragons. The source notes that the interview occurred before the decision to add a third movie, so things may well have changed. I think it would be one of those perfect chills-inducing shots if it does make it into the trilogy.
As for the release date for the third film, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman explains: “Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tentpole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure.” Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of international distribution, adds: “The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be an action spectacle and an emotional conclusion for this already much-anticipated trilogy. Opening in the summer will maximize playability for what promises to be an event film for fans the world over.”
Stay tuned for the second official trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which has been confirmed for sometime this in September.