Today was a good day for Tolkien fans, as Peter Jackson hosted an exclusive live stream event featuring a behind the scenes look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Those who bought The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on DVD this week got a special glimpse into the workings of Peter Jackson’s cast and crew, and even a peek at some clips from the upcoming sequel to last year’s “Hobbit,” set to hit theaters this December. Unfortunately, we did not get a trailer (he hinted that it would be released this summer), but the event hopefully provided enough information to keep fans satisfied until then.
The live stream began with Peter Jackson giving viewers a tour of the motion capture studio and explaining what the crew does on a daily basis. His odd sense of humor kept things interesting as he walked us through his James Bond movie poster collection, but tensions were high among fans as he approached the visual development department to give fans a first look at what we have all been waiting for: Smaug.
He approached the monitor of a diligently working artist, viewers on the edge of their seats, as he revealed the newest visual design of–oh.
Needless to say, he had a bit of fun trolling his fans. Also, it is now official that Kili is “a hot dwarf.” As if that was disputed at this point.
After discussing the acting techniques of Martin Freeman and giving a bit of background information on film sets and new additions to the cast (Stephen Fry, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly), the famous director settled in for a Q&A session. Video questions were sent in from all over the world to be answered live, some of which even featured some of our favorite Lord of the Rings stars. Appearances included Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, and Orlando Bloom. We also got to see Stephen Fry in action as the Master of Laketown, Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, and were also introduced to the lovely Tauriel, one of Thranduil’s bodyguards.
Even Stephen Colbert, long-time Tolkien geek, contributed by asking how Jackson will handle the racial differences between the elves upon consideration of their geographical location, or…something like that. Jackson responded in turn with his own complaints (in jest of course) about the state of The Colbert Report’s cheaply made mugs and questionable status of the set’s sanitary conditions.
The conference concluded with a clip from the second installment of the trilogy, featuring Gandalf and Radagast the Brown. The two wizards seemed to be on an investigation to find the Necromancer, whom Jackson says will play a much larger role in this movie than in the last, and the scene was chilling to say the least. But while still (and rather frustratingly) refusing to reveal Smaug, it did give us a glimpse of how Jackson might tie in some of the appendices and alternate story lines to beef up the content of a trilogy that he has been criticized of spreading too thin.
While providing some great insight into the production process, what this live stream has really accomplished has been to heighten anticipation and buzz among fans about what else may be in store. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is set to arrive in theaters on December 13, 2013.