The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a 2013 epic high fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro, based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. The sequel to 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, it is the second instalment in The Hobbit trilogy, acting as a prequel to Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The film follows the titular character Bilbo Baggins as he continues to accompany Thorin Oakenshield and his fellow dwarves on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. Pursuing them are the vengeful orcs Azog the Defiler and his son Bolg, while Gandalf the Grey investigates the return of a long-forgotten evil force in the ruins of Dol Guldur. The ensemble cast includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom.
The films were shot simultaneously in 3D at a projection rate of 48 frames per second, with principal photography taking place around New Zealand and at Pinewood Studios. Additional filming took place throughout May 2013.
The Desolation of Smaug premiered in Los Angeles on 2 December 2013, and was then released on 12 December in New Zealand and on 13 December in the United States, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received mostly positive reviews and grossed over $959 million at the worldwide box office, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2013. The film received numerous accolades; at the 86th Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.
The final instalment of the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, was released in 2014.
Most of the filming was finished during 2012, ending in July 2012. During May 2013, additional shooting for the film and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies began in New Zealand, lasting 10 weeks. Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones were used for some shots in the film.
- Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins: A hobbit hired by the 13 dwarves, on the advice of wizard Gandalf, to accompany them on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug.
- Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey: An Istari wizard who recruits Bilbo and helps to arrange the quest to reclaim the dwarves’ lost treasure in Erebor.
- Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield II: The leader of the Company of dwarves and the true heir to Erebor’s throne who has returned to reclaim Erebor from Smaug.
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug (vocal performance/motion capture): A great dragon of Middle-earth who claimed the Lonely Mountain, its vast treasures and the surrounding human areas.
- Cumberbatch also plays The Necromancer: A mysterious sorcerer residing in Dol Guldur with the ability to summon the spirits of the dead, who is later revealed to be the Dark Lord Sauron.
- Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel: The elven chief of the Mirkwood Guards serving under Thranduil, who develops romantic feelings towards Kili and falls in love with him.
- Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman: A skilled archer living in Esgaroth and the heir of Girion, the last king of old Dale.
- Evans also plays Bard’s ancestor, Girion, in a flashback.
- Lee Pace as Thranduil: The aloof and cold-hearted Elven king of the northern part of Mirkwood (the Woodland Realm).
- Stephen Fry as Master of Lake-town: The pompous and greedy mayor of the settlement of Men at Lake-town near the Lonely Mountain.
- Orlando Bloom as Legolas Greenleaf: An elf from Mirkwood, prince of the Woodland Realm, and Thranduil’s son.
- Graham McTavish as Dwalin: Balin’s brother.
- Ken Stott as Balin: Dwalin’s brother.
- Aidan Turner as Kíli: One of Thorin’s nephews and Fili’s younger brother. He develops romantic feelings towards the Elf Tauriel and falls in love with her.
- Dean O’Gorman as Fíli: Another of Thorin’s nephews and Kili’s older brother.
- Mark Hadlow as Dori: Nori and Ori’s brother.
- Jed Brophy as Nori: Dori and Ori’s brother.
- Adam Brown as Ori: Dori and Nori’s brother.
- John Callen as Óin: Glóin’s brother.
- Peter Hambleton as Glóin: Óin’s brother and father of Gimli, the noble Dwarf who accompanies Frodo on his quest to destroy the One Ring.
- William Kircher as Bifur: Bofur and Bombur’s cousin.
- James Nesbitt as Bofur: Bombur’s brother and Bifur’s cousin.
- Stephen Hunter as Bombur: Bofur’s brother and Bifur’s cousin.
- Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: An elven co-ruler of Lothlórien along with her husband, Lord Celeborn.
- Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn: A skin-changer who can assume the appearance of a great black bear.
- Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown: An Istari wizard whose wisdom is based on nature and wildlife.
- Manu Bennett as Azog the Defiler: An orc and the nemesis of Thorin Oakenshield, on whom he seeks revenge for losing his forearm and hand in battle.
- Lawrence Makoare as Bolg: Son of Azog the Defiler.
- Craig Hall as Galion: Thranduil’s butler, whose fondness for drink allows for Bilbo and the dwarves’ escape attempt.
- Ryan Gage as Alfrid: The Master of Laketown’s conniving and arrogant servant.
- John Bell as Bain: Bard’s son, who is described as “confident and brave and ready to do battle if required even though he is still a boy.”
- Mark Mitchinson as Braga: captain of the Lake-town Guard.
- Ben Mitchell as Narzug: An orc who gets interrogated by Thranduil after the ambush at the River Gate.
- Stephen Ure as Fimbul, Azog’s second-in-command
- Robin Kerr as Elros: An elf of the Woodland Realm who is a captain of the Woodland Guard and Keeper of the Keys – initially charged with watching the dwarves, he is later charged with watching the Front Gate of Thranduil’s Halls.
- Simon London as Feren: An elf of the Woodland Realm.
- Dallas Barnett as Bill Ferny Snr: An assassin sent by Azog to kill Thorin Oakenshield in Bree and retrieve the Key to Erebor.
13 December 2013
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