Midway between the release of An Unexpected Journey and Smaug, here's a wee taste of things to come. What's in it?
+ Most interestingly, a female elf warrior. More on her in a mo...
+ A glimpse of the title beastie Smaug at the end of the promo but no sound from the actor playing him: Benedict Cumberbatch (the recent villian in Star Trek: Into Darkness).
+ Gird your loins for the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas.
With Lord of the Rings and Hobbit, Sir Peter expands on every detail he can in order to be informative, and sometimes adds entirely new elements...as was the case with LOTR's love story between Aragorn and Arwen. Tolkein wrote Arwen a more passive role as Aragorn's love interest and future wife. Peter Jackson put a twist on this by giving Arwen additional screen time and more action.
This time, PJ has added an entirely new character not present in the original book: Tauriel, the female elven warrior (Evangeline Lilly). PJ says she'll have a tremendous impact on the upcoming film...watch this space. But what will die-hard Tolkein addicts think of her red hair? The Sindarin "Moriquendi" - to whom the tribe of the Elves of Mirkwood belonged - were said to be dark-haired. In fact, they were called Dark Elves. Still, Legolas had blond hair (wasn't that strictly a High Elf thing?).
Overall the trailer promises action a-plenty, a relief after Journey's slower character-establishing moments.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug arrives December 13th.