The second ‘Hobbit’ film ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ may only just be hitting cinemas, but we’re already eagerly anticipating the release of the third film ‘There and Back Again’ next December, mainly because (and this is no secret now) ‘Smaug’ ends on a huge cliffhanger.
Watch the cast of 'The Desolation of Smaug' talking about the "thrills and spills" of 2014's 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' in our exclusive video above.
Beware, potential spoilers incoming…
“It’s an old-school cliffhanger of the biggest proportions,” Luke Evans, who plays Bard the Bowman in ‘Smaug’ teased. “You’re really sat there going, “Oh my god! Are you really going to stop it there?”
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“Next year’s Hobbit film is the most emotional of the three,” Peter Jackson explained, “Everything that we have established in the first two movies is going to be played out in a very grand way in the third film.”
“It’s going to be full of action that’s for sure. Full of action and very, very emotional!”
Aside from emotions and action, what else do we now about the concluding chapter of ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy?
Anyone familiar with Tolkien’s source novel knows that we haven’t seen the last of Smaug, as voice of the dragon Benedict Cumberbatch told us, “There’s unfinished business when it comes to the dragon obviously and anyone who knows the book knows how that end.”
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“Things come to a head. It’s the end times. Literally,” said Martin Freeman who plays Bilbo in ‘The Hobbit’. “There’s a huge battle, that’s no secret. I’ve got to find my way home. Dragons must be slayed.”
There’s also a big emotional ending incoming for Thorin, the leader of the Dwarves who set out from Hobbiton to reclaim his homeland with Bilbo and Gandalf in the first film.
“The day that Peter Jackson calls you and asks you to audition for this role, that‘s the thing [Thorin’s final scenes], that settles in your mind,” said Richard Armitage who plays the Dwarf king.
“I’m going to have to play that scene and you never stop thinking about it and it was painfully far away. In fact, [the filming] didn’t happen until the 12-week pick-up period earlier this year.”
“It’s a tragic piece of story telling,” says Philippa Boyens, the screenwriter behind the third ‘Hobbit’ film. “Richard Armitage is amazing in the third film. You do, hopefully, care about that character, so to see what happens to him and what he becomes is gut wrenching.”
We’ll also get to see more of Legolas and Tauriel, the two Silvan Elves played by Orlando Bloom and franchise newcomer Evangeline Lilly.
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“It was great to be a part of this movie and transitioning into the third movie,’ Said Bloom, “it’s nice, because it all ties into 'The Lord of the Rings', so you kind of understand who this character is and why he would go on and into the 'Fellowship', being an Elf.”
Lilly says Tauriel will get a similar amount of screentime in ‘There and Back Again’ as her warrior elf enjoys in ‘Smaug’, including the conclusion of her unusual love triangle with Legolas and dwarf Kili.
“You’ll probably see an equal split between fighting and emotion and character development, which I think is a nice balance. And more romance… but I won’t tell you who with!”
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Peter Jackson will not only be bringing ‘The Hobbit’ to a close next December, but he sees it as the end of the whole ‘Lord of the Rings’ saga too
“The third movie is the most self-contained of the three in a sense that it is a very emotional pay-off to everything that been built building up to it.”
“We’re also trying to tell an arc over six films too, because we’re trying to make these three movies be a natural trilogy that lead us into the three films of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as well, so it’s a story that starts with ‘An Unexpected Journey’ and finishes with ‘Return of the King’ and it has a unity to it.”
Now that is a six-movie marathon that we’re already looking forward to undertaking. But with nearly 18 hours of Middle-earth to traverse, just make sure to stock up on the Lembas bread.
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ is in cinemas nationwide now.
Watch Martin Freeman talking about his emotional last day on set below.