It's only a brief glimpse at the very beginning and screen captures don't really do much to show you anything extra, but the opening seconds of this new TV spot for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12/14) offer up your first look at the dragon Smaug, which will be voiced and performed as a motion capture character by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Back in October, Cumberbatch told Total Film, "I think my eye will open at the end of the first film and then you'll get the rest of me in the second," but this clip seems to suggest we may get a bit more than that.
As far as the motion-capture aspect of the performance, Cumberbatch added, "You just have to lose your s--t on a carpeted floor, in a place that looks a little bit like a mundane government building... It was just me as well, with four static cameras and all the sensors. Then the boys at WETA work their magic... It's very freeing, once you put the suit on and the sensors. I've never felt less encumbered, actually. And you have to be. You have to be free."
The Hobbit recently had its world premiere in New Zealand and will begin screening for critics and awards pundits tomorrow and throughout the next week so expect reactions from the masses very soon. For now... check out this new trailer.
The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild (Richard Armitage). Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever... Gollum (Andy Serkis).
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.