I eagerly await the arrival of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, because – to me – the movie felt incomplete. For the first time in the five Middle-Earth films Peter Jackson has directed, I was unsatisfied by the theatrical cut. There are huge plot holes, most notably in Gandalf’s storyline to Dol Guldur. I’m sure I will love the film when I see the true version, but for me the highlight of the middle film in the trilogy was SMAUG!
Ever since I first read Tolkien, I’d envisioned the dragon, how he’d look, how he’d move and for having so much expectation and preconception, now my Smaug is this magnificent combination of CGI and mo-cap performance by Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch based the voice of Smaug on that of his father’s when he read The Hobbit to him as a child. Who could know that Mr. Cumberbatch’s storytelling abilities would pay off so well for fans decades later?
I wish there had been more give and take between Bilbo and Smaug, as in the book (perhaps an EE addition), but when Smaug gets fed up and you start to see him chase Bilbo around his hoard it’s pure movie gold (pun intended).