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Tag: The Hobbit (1-10 of 112)

Elijah Wood talks about his new thriller 'Grand Piano'

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In the new thriller Grand Piano, a stage-fright-stricken classical pianist (Elijah Wood) is informed he must perform his comeback recital perfectly or get shot to death. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Directed by Eugenio Mira (Agnosia) and costarring John Cusack and Alex Winter, the film opens theatrically in New York and Austin, Tx., today. To mark the film’s release, we spoke to Wood about tickling the ivories — and why it pays to hang out in Austin bars.

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Christmas box office report: 'The Hobbit' beats out 'Wolf of Wall Street' in a tight race

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In one way, the story remains the same: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continued its winning streak at the box office Christmas Day, snagging a healthy $9.3 million in receipts.

But while Martin Scorsese’s big, bold black comedy Wolf of Wall Street – which opened Wednesday — didn’t manage to vanquish Peter Jackson’s epic sequel, it came pretty darn close; Wolf‘s debut totaled $9.15 million. What’s more, Wolf managed this feat while appearing on 3,100 fewer screens than The Hobbit (3,700 vs. 6,800) and in 1,391 fewer theaters (2,537 vs. 3,928) — giving it the day’s highest average receipts per showing, which bodes well for the picture’s future. (Though as a commenter points out, Wolf‘s surprisingly low “C” CinemaScore could indicate trouble ahead.)

The Hobbit and The Wolf were followed by Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which added $8.1 million to its gross — making the film’s box office to date $56.7 million, or just a few million more than EW thought it might earn over a five-day period. (Anchorman 2‘s been out since Dec. 15.) Two more Oscar hopefuls — Ben Stiller’s Secret Life of Walter Mitty retread, which opened Wednesday (CinemaScore: B+), and David O. Russell’s hair-raising American Hustle — rounded out the top five, earning $7.8 million and $7.4 million respectively.

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Peter Jackson reveals where he would have split 'The Hobbit' if it'd only been two movies

With The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug now in theaters, it’s imperative, first of all, that you know the proper pronunciation of ‘Smaug.’ Never fear: EW’s Anthony Breznican covers that with director Peter Jackson in the interview clip below. The chat is a part of EW Radio’s Hobbit special, which will be replaying on SiriusXM Channel 105 throughout the weekend. Jackson says Breznican was the first reporter to ever ask him where he would have split the films had there only been two. Listen below for the answer. READ FULL STORY

Peter Jackson on bringing the 'Hobbit' villain Smaug to life: 'He's the Hannibal Lecter of the dragon world.'

For months, director Peter Jackson has been teasing audiences with fleeting glimpses of the fearsome dragon that lies in wait for Bilbo Baggins and his cohorts in the second part of his epic Hobbit trilogy: a blast of fire here, a menacing baritone voice there (courtesy of actor Benedict Cumberbatch). In just six days, with the Dec. 13 opening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the director will finally pull back the curtain on his interpretation of one of the best-known villains in fantasy literature.

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Orlando Bloom on the return of Legolas in 'The Hobbit' and how elves make love

If you were a bit befuddled to see Orlando Bloom’s Lord of the Rings fan favorite Legolas pop up in trailers for the upcoming Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug — given that the elf warrior doesn’t appear in J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book — well, you’re not the only one.

Speaking to EW for this week’s cover story on Smaug, Bloom says he was surprised when director Peter Jackson asked him to come onboard the Hobbit trilogy. Nevertheless, Bloom says he happily signed on even before he’d seen a script. “If Pete said, ‘Jump,’ I’d say, ‘How high?’ based on my previous experiences with him and my gratitude toward him for giving me my start in life, as it were,” says the actor, who was all but unknown when Jackson cast him in in the Rings trilogy.

Tolkien purists may wring their hands over the Hobbit films’ deviations from the strict canon, but Jackson argues that bringing Legolas into The Hobbit makes perfect sense both narratively and in terms of Tolkien-ology. As Tolkien later established in the Rings books, Legolas is the son of the Elvenking Thranduil, who is in the Hobbit novel, and since elves are immortal, it stands to reason that he would have been around when Bilbo and the dwarves went tramping through the wood-elves’ territory. “Legolas isn’t discussed in The Hobbit, but as far as Tolkien is concerned, he would have been part of that structure within the Woodland Realm,” Jackson says. “And we needed characters within the Woodland Realm to drive the story.”
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Evangeline Lilly on playing new 'Hobbit' elf Tauriel: 'I did have to hesitate and go, 'Whoa, people are going to hate me'

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The Dec. 13 opening of part two in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, is still weeks away, but some die-hard J.R.R. Tolkien devotees have already been grumbling for more than a year about the invention of a brand-new character for the film: a female elf warrior named Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly. At least one person involved in the film totally understands how they feel: Lilly herself.

As a kid growing up in Canada, Lilly tells EW in this week’s cover story on Smaug, she fell in love with Tolkien’s classic 1937 novel The Hobbit (the elves were her favorite characters) and became a true-blue Tolkien purist. In fact, she was such a hard-core fan of Tolkien’s books that when the first film in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy opened in 2001, she refused to even see it at first. “I was like, ‘Nobody is going to bring to life the books that I read in the way they came to life in my mind so I don’t want them touched,’ ” she says.
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'The Hobbit': Evangeline Lilly's elven warrior Tauriel is ... Batman? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Don’t mess with Tauriel, man. Before yesterday’s global fan event for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, series newcomer Evangeline Lilly asked the audience in a Los Angeles theater whether there were any haters present. Her elven warrior is a new creation for the Peter Jackson film, and one of just two major female characters (Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel is the other.)

Some purist fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel have expressed objections to such revisionism, so a few bold hands went up in the theater.

Lilly, a lifelong fan of Tolkien’s books herself, vowed to change their minds.

By the end it was clear she loved the world of Middle-earth as much as anyone. She even corrected Jackson’s pronunciation of the dragon Smaug, whom he kept calling “Schmowwg.”

After the presentation, Lilly stuck around for this extended Q&A with the moderator (me) and some of the audience members. By the end, the former Lost actress revealed some of the surprising backstory for Tauriel that might earn the benefit of the doubt from some die-hards.

As you’ll see, Tauriel’s origin story made me think immediately of a certain shadowy DC Comics hero.
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'The Hobbit' fan event livestream -- watch it here!

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UPDATE: The livestream has finished, but you can watch a replay below.

The Hobbit fan event is going live now! Watch the livestream below for a Q&A with stars Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, and director Peter Jackson (all the way from Wellington, New Zealand).

You’ll want to keep your eyes glued to the screen for a first look at footage from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (which hits theaters Dec. 13).

Check it out below:
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'The Hobbit' Blu-ray: How the filmmakers restored dwarfish dignity -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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In Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, dwarves were a mysterious race. Sure, there was Gimli, a loyal soldier of the Fellowship, but his kind were a scattered, weakened tribe symbolized by the remnants and relics found in the dark caves of Moria. One of the delights of The Hobbit, then, was the rehabilitation of dwarves, in the Tolkien universe and pop culture, in general. Bilbo Baggins is a mere hobbit, but the 13 dwarves who recruit him as a burglar on their quest are a diverse collection of characters — whom Jackson playfully referred to as “the little bastards” — led by the dashing Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage).

In the new Extended Edition Blu-ray for the film, which arrives in stores on Nov. 5, fans can revel in dwarfish delights, just as the film’s creators did. Before the movie, dwarves were still widely perceived as Snow White’s supporting characters, but that wouldn’t do for Jackson’s epic adventure that sends them to face a dragon. In one of the new extras, “Durin’s Folk: Creating the Dwarves,” the creative artists explain how they researched and revised the image of the dwarf from comic sideshow to courageous warrior. “I honestly believe that Peter is going to do for dwarves what Tolkien did for elves, removing what nursery rhyme and folktale has done, which is to diminish them,” says conceptual designer John Howe.

Click below to see the exclusive Extended Edition Blu-ray clip. READ FULL STORY

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' trailer: Bring on the firepower -- VIDEO

More action! More adventure! More delicate Elvish romance! The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug promises it all in this new trailer, which previews the middle film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.

Among the goodies you can expect in movie number 2: the return of Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, who may or may not take the Hobbits to Isengard; the debut of new characters like Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel, an elf warrior maiden who catches Legolas’s eye, and Mikael Persbrandt’s skin changer Beorn, who can shift between man and bear forms; and a bigger role for Smaug the Dragon, played via motion capture by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch. (Cumberbatch and Hobbit star Martin Freeman already know each other well; they’re co-stars on the British crime drama Sherlock.)

Will Smaug please fans who greeted An Unexpected Journey with lukewarm reviews? It’s too soon to tell — but feel free to speculate after watching the trailer below.

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