By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 20, 2012 at 5:20PM
...and then there were three. With everything official for "The Hobbit" to be turned into a trilogy, it looks like we're going to be talking about Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth for a lot longer than we expected. And we can also start picking apart when various members of the massive cast will appear across the span of the three pictures. And for those of you who are fans of Benedict Cumberbatch, you won't be seeing much of his Smaug until at least "The Hobbit: There And Back Again" (or whatever the second entry winds up being called).
Doing the rounds for his upcoming BBC mini-series "Parade's End," which starts this Friday, the actor was candid about how much we'll see of him in the first outing of Jackson's epic, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," telling journalist Anne Richardson: "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." And we presume the third movie as well, though it remains to be seen what Jackson will be brining to the final chapter.
For those of you still playing catch up, Cumberbatch will portray and voice the dragon via performance capture in the film(s), who lives on the Lonely Mountain atop a vast amount of treasure, which Bilbo and co. go to reclaim. But as you might guess from the franchise that is now spread to three movies, that journey will take a while with Smaug only making his presence really felt in part two.
So is Peter Jackson stretching this (relatively) simple Tolkien story too thin, or will he surprise us all with something a bit deeper and more layered than we thought? We'll see when 'An Unexpected Journey' arrives on December 14th. [via Bleeding Cool]