SAN DIEGO – The realm of Middle Earth and caped superheroes brought adventure and battle to Comic Con, as fans of Warner Bros’ “The Hobbit” and “Batman v Superman” were treated to first-look sneak peeks of the films on Saturday.
The eager audience at the convention, most of whom had camped out overnight to get into the 6,500-capacity hall, were treated to a 10-minute blooper reel of main actors on “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” messing up their lines and goofing around on set.
They were also given a first look at “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” out in theaters on Dec. 17, which saw a glimpse on the epic-scale battle that takes place in Middle Earth, based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkein
“It’s always great when you can kill off some main characters,” said director Peter Jackson, a fan favorite at Comic Con. “You have the chance to do something powerful and emotional. We do get to kill a few of them this time around.”
“It’s not as comical as the first ‘Hobbit’ movie. It’s getting closer to the tone of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ” he added.
Moderator and “Hobbit” superfan Stephen Colbert, dressed as a lake master from Tolkein’s fantasy world, joined many leading cast members on stage, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis. Actors Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage were absent however.
“I was just grateful to get in this one. I thought my time was over in Middle Earth,” Oscar-winning Blanchett said about reprising her role as elf queen Galadriel.
Jackson added “we do get to see Galadriel lose it a little in this movie … she gets to kick Sauron’s arse a little bit.”
Cumberbatch plays two characters in the film, the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer, an iteration of villain Sauron.
“One is made of something vulnerable and one seems to be born out of everything that’s evil and difficult to pin down and kill,” Cumberbatch said.
Serkis, who has been a pioneer in the motion capture world for developing visual effects techniques that helped capture the character of creature Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films, said the film “basically changed the course of my life with such magnitude.” He will next be in the upcoming “Star Wars” films, most likely in a motion capture role.
The other big highlight of the Warner Bros panel was the highly anticipated glimpse at “Man of Steel” sequel “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Director Zack Snyder showed a 30-second clip of Batman, played by Ben Affleck, flaring the bat signal into the sky, only to find the silhouette blocked by Superman, played by Henry Cavill.
Snyder brought Affleck, Cavill and Gal Godot, who plays Wonder Woman on stage, but did not reveal anymore about the plot of the film, due out in theaters in 2016.