In case you’ve already seen The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and you’re looking for something else to whet your appetite before the conclusion to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, Canal+ has released this lengthy (~24 minute) special feature. Although the content is in French – including the dubbed narration throughout – there is some great behind the scenes footage throughout. At 11:41, they start talking about Thranduil’s costume, mentioning that his cloak was meant to mimic patina (he is an old elf) and how beautiful-yet-dangerous objects like antlers are perfect for the Elvenking. Wait for the part immediately after, where Lee jokes with his hair and makeup person.
I’ve added four scans from the official movie guide of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug to the gallery. (These HQ scans are courtesy of yuna-ya — thank you!) The guide features what is essentially a Lee Pace article, complete with background on him as an actor and quotes on his Tolkien character, Thranduil. There are also some pictures, including a behind the scenes look of Thranduil on his throne and a great promo shot of him wielding his sword.
If you’ve ever wanted to have Lee Pace’s likeness in LEGO form, then you’re in luck: his character, Thranduil, has been immortalized by the iconic company. Check out two “action shots” of his design above. The Hobbit trilogy is getting many LEGO treatments, which you can view on their official site. There’s also a page specifically for the Mirkwood Elf Army, which shows a better closeup of Thranduil. Interested in purchasing a set yourself? It’s available here for $29.99.
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:
Three new, HQ film stills from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug have been added to the gallery. Two of the images feature Lee Pace as the Elvenking, Thranduil, looking quite menacing with his piercing eyes. The third film still is of his lair, and you can see (I believe) Thranduil standing next to Thorin, played by Richard Armitage. I’ve also added a behind the scenes photo of Lee alongside Evangeline Lilly (playing the only female lead in the film, Tauriel) and their director, Peter Jackson.
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).