Check out this excerpt from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug‘s production notes. There’s some background information on Lee Pace and Thranduil, including director Peter Jackson clarifying just what he saw in Lee — and why he believed the actor was the perfect guy to portray the Elvenking. There’s also some talk about dressing Thranduil and the elves, like how to balance their beautiful aesthetic with a fierce warrior streak.
Lee Pace, who joins the cast as the regal Elvenking Thranduil, feels that his character’s lack of sympathy for the Dwarves’ plight has its roots in this long ago encounter. “My theory is that when Thranduil saw the halls of gold in Erebor, that was the turning point for him,” Pace offers. “He saw all that gold these Dwarves had amassed and thought, ‘You Dwarves are going to burn. This greed is not going to go unpunished.’ And when the Dragon came, the Elves had the power to make a difference and chose not to.”
Jackson and his collaborators had seen Pace in the 2006 film The Fall, and made a special trip to New York solely to read him for this critical role. “Elves are difficult to cast because they possess a quality that’s almost impossible to define,” Jackson reveals. “It’s an elegance, a beauty and an agelessness. You have to do a bit of a mental leap with an actor. You need to have a sense that he could be immortal, but also that he had been through a lot in his long life, and Lee really brought all of those qualities and more.”
In the film, Pace, as well as Lilly and Bloom, converse in the ancient language of Elvish. Tolkien created two Elvish languages for Middle-earth: the common, conversational Sindarin, and the formal Quenyan. As with Jackson’s other films set in Middle-earth, the filmmakers enlisted Tolkien scholar David Salo, who has dedicated his life to expanding the grammar and vocabulary of these languages, to translate those portions of the script, with dialect coach McPherson helping the actors to become fluent in Elvish. “They all took to the language beautifully,” McPherson comments. “Evangeline speaks French, and has a great facility for languages and a very good ear. Orlando has had experience with Elvish, and his passion for the work, insatiable curiosity and infectious good humor made him a joy to work with. And Lee was able to beautifully embody Thranduil’s command of the language and deep, powerful vocal presence.”
A compilation interview officially released by Warner Brothers-New Line Cinema features Lee Pace talking all things Thranduil. After setting up some basic information, he admits that Thranduil’s real desire is to make Thorin kneel — which he delivers with a cheeky grin. As he’s repeated in several other interviews, he also reiterates the importance of nature to the Tolkien elves and how important that is to his character in particular. There’s also a bit about filmmaking and the collaborative process.
Way, way back – on November 4th – Lee Pace attended a special fan event for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Various actors from The Hobbit trilogy all joined together from various cities around the world for a live Q&A session with fans. Lee Pace was joined with Luke Evans and Andy Serkis in London, while Anderson Cooper served as the host with guests Richard Armitage and Orlando Bloom in New York; Evangeline Lilly was also involved. If you haven’t yet seen the full video of the interview, you can check it out below:
I’ve added numerous promotional posters for Lee Pace’s upcoming film, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, to the gallery. There are a couple of banner posters (including one very big one) featuring a good portion of the main cast. You can also find individual, character posters – like the one of Lee as Thranduil, pictured above – for Tauriel, Thorin, Legolas, Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and Bard the Bowman.
LPO has been pretty slow on updates for this particular movie. My apologies! I promise I’ll be catching up in the upcoming days, including lots of magazine scans and some film stills. Stay tuned.
According to TheWrap, Lee Pace has been cast in another new project: a to-be-named Lance Armstrong biopic. Directed by Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette [starring Lee-favorite, Daniel Day-Lewis], The Queen), the film will star Ben Foster as the controversial cyclist. Lee’s role has yet to be announced.
The film is based on David Walsh’s book, Seven Deadly Sin: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong, which has been adapted into a screenplay by John Hodge. Chris O’Dowd (“The IT Crowd,” and recently seen in Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World) will co-star in the film as Walsh, while Jesse Plemons (“Breaking Bad,” “Friday Night Lights”) and French actor Guillaume Canet are also attached.
TheWrap also added this small summary on the film:
The film chronicles Armstrong’s rise to fame and fall from grace, including his Tour de France championships and battle with cancer. Walsh was among the integral figures who helped expose doping within professional cycling.
Back in June, the wonderful Desolation of Smaug teaser was released, which featured Lee Pace fairly heavily. Today, the official, full-length trailer for the film hit the web. Although it doesn’t feature Lee as much, there are still various new shots of him as Thranduil. The footage throughout is incredibly exciting, especially as we get more of a glimpse – and some soundbites – from the dragon himself, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).
There are several new character banners for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, which you can view in the gallery. Lee Pace fans will be happy to see that he was highlighted in a poster of his own, lounging as King Thranduil. Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lily, Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, and a few dwarves are all featured as well. (Check out Evans’ Bard the Bowman banner for our first look at Stephen Fry in the film.)
In February, Lee Pace was announced as a cast member for a potential new AMC series, “Halt & Catch Fire.” The pilot was filmed in April and May and was awaiting word from the network on whether or not it would be picked up for a full season. Finally, we have more news on the future of the series, and it’s good!
Earlier today, at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, AMC announced that they would be picking up “Halt & Catch Fire” for a full season. Additionally, they also ordered a season for another pilot, “Turn” — the first time AMC picked up two series in one cycle, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Although there’s no word yet on when the series will enter into production, follow LPO on Twitter for quick updates. In the meantime, Lee is in London shooting Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel and the “Halt & Catch Fire” team will need to write further episodes, so it may be a while still for us to get a weekly dose of Lee on our TVs.
Yesterday (July 20th), Lee Pace made a rare public appearance at San Diego Comic-Con! He was there as a surprise treat to those lucky fans who were sitting in Hall H for Marvel Studios, who had promised talks for Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As part of his Guardians of the Galaxy cast – most of whom flew in from London just for the SDCC panel – they talked about the film (it’s “early days,” as production only started ten days ago) and even debuted some footage. Check out some pics of Lee and the cast in the gallery.
Alongside Karen Gillan of “Doctor Who” fame (who recently buzzed her hair off for her role as Nebula in Guardians), Lee was also interviewed on the Comic-Con red carpet. They talked of their roles and what to expect with the film, although they can’t give too much information away just yet. You can watch several videos by clicking below: