When it was first announced that a feature film iteration of The Hobbit was coming to the big screen, one of the most exciting prospects was the visual interpretation of the dragon Smaug that we’d see on the big screen. The dragon is the main antagonist of the story, and when Guillermo del Toro was developing the adaptation as director he was giddy about designing something audiences had never seen before. As we all know, del Toro left the project due to extensive delays and Peter Jackson is now returning to Middle Earth for a new trilogy.
It’s unknown how much (if any) of del Toro’s designs Jackson will be using, but we do know that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch performed motion-capture for the character and provides the voice. The actor recently spoke briefly about when, exactly, audiences will get to peep the treasure-hoarding dragon. Hit the jump to see what he had to say. Beware, minor spoilers for The Hobbit follow.
Journalist Anne Richardson asked Cumberbatch when audiences would see Smaug (via Cumberbatchweb), and the actor replied:
“I think my eye might open at the end of the first film and then you’ll get the rest of me in the second.”
It’s worth noting that this statement was made before it was confirmed that Jackson was now making three films out of The Hobbit, so this could very well change. That said, possible subtitles for the second film recently came to light (it’s assumed that the closing chapter will still be titled There and Back Again), and one of them happens to be The Desolation of Smaug. If this is the case, then it’s reasonable to assume that the second film may still conclude with the battle against Smaug.
Jackson has made no secret of his desire to pull more material from the appendicies and such for the third film, so the end of this new trilogy doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of The Hobbit. Whatever the case, we most likely won’t be seeing much of Smaug this December in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.