If anticipation for mega-budgeted medieval fantasy sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug wasn’t high enough already, Warner Bros has just unveiled a very wide, detailed character banner for the film, which you can check out below.
The banner showcases most of the film’s main characters, including a sword-wielding Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and pivotal newcomer Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans). Additionally, the banner includes Lord of the Rings fan favorite Legolas (Orlando Bloom), his powerful Elvenking father Thranduil (Lee Pace), red-headed Elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), along with two of his company members.
We also get a glimpse of the Necromancer’s Fortress, and of the Company of Dwarves escaping down a river in barrels. The latter sequence was a major scene in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey before the story was split across three films.
The only major part of The Desolation of Smaug missing from this banner, as far as I can tell, is the titular dragon himself, who will portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch through motion-capture (think Gollum, but with more scales and firepower). Cumberbatch will also portray an antagonist known as The Necromancer in the film, whom fans of director Peter Jackson’s original Lord of the Rings trilogy will likely recognize.
The film’s vague plot synopsis doesn’t offer much help in deciphering plot details, but it does indicate that viewers are in for more action-packed medieval adventure:
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
With a host of new characters emerging in this installment, Tolkien fans are likely excited to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, despite An Unexpected Journey‘s mixed reception. Criticism of the first film mostly related to its extremely high-quality 48FPS format, sprawling runtime and slow pace, so it will be interesting to see whether Jackson has taken any of those critiques to heart with his follow-up.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens December 13th. Check out the new poster below by clicking on the thumbnail.