As fans awaited the Warner Brothers panel for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies at San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H today, the massive screens began to play scenes from Peter Jackson‘s Lord Of The Rings trilogy and the two released Hobbit film. This segued right into video of Stephen Colbert on the set of The Hobbit where he played a Laketown spy and his wife and children also had cameo, and we got to see their cameos, as well as an extended scene with Peter Jackson acting silly.
Soon after, more video was soon, including a lengthy blooper reel, but then Colbert came out to moderate wearing his Laketown spy attire. Then, Peter Jackson finally appeared on stage with members of the cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Andy Serkis, and Luke Evans.
Colbert pointed out to Cumberbatch that he plays “two heavies” in the film – the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer – and asked what’s the difference between the two characters: “One’s a dragon; One’s an all-seeing non-corporal entity of evil,” he says, stressing that while Smaug is vulnerable, the latter character is hard to kill.
Colbert asked screenwriter Philippa Boyens if she’s finally gotten over losing to him in the Tolkien trivia challenge. As they laughed about it, Colbert, who is a die-hard Tolkien fan, stressed that the challenge was like preparing his whole life for a race he never knew was coming.
After some more banter about filming in New Zealand and similar matters, attendees finally got the first look at the final film’s teaser trailer, which had a somber tone. It shows Bilbo sitting, with Bilbo’s voiceover: “One day, one day I will remember everything that happened, the good, the bad, those who survived, those who did not” as we see the damage done to the town by the dragon Smaug and the survivors in a mass exodus. We see the dragon scorch the town; Galadriel kiss an injured Gandalf’s forehead. Bard The Bowman asks Thorin, “Will you have peace or war?,” to which Thorin heatedly replies, “I will have war.” Scenes of the dwarves, the dragon’s gold, Legolas with Bard, the Orcs, people readying for battle, and the famous Eye of Sauron; then finally voiceover of Thorin saying “Will you follow me one last time,” as the screen shows the hobbit himself, Bilbo.
After that, the floor was opened to audience Q&A, and if you’ve been to Hall H a lot, you’ll recognize some of the frequent Q&A-ers, like “Button Lady” (who I think said she made 2,000 buttons this year), draped in an elven cloak with Rings buttons all over it. And, I bring this up, because she got Cumberbatch to say “Button Lady” in the dragon Smaug voice, and getting him to say anything as Smaug is awesome to me and obviously to the screaming fans in attendance.
A fan asked if we’ve scene the definitive versions of Lord Of The Rings and if there’s more we haven’t seen. Jackson did say there was a scene with Arwyn and Aragon when they were younger that was a part of the film that didn’t make it; Jackson said that Viggo Mortenson, who played Aragon, looked like a 12-year-old in it.
The lengthy panel ended with Jackson talking about a special contest being held where 75 fans