Just a day after the first image of "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" was released, a first look at Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is made available for viewing pleasure. Uncovered via Entertainment Weekly, the photo sees the uncle of Frodo lying on a massive pile of treasure in what appears to the titular dragon's lair.
The scene in the still may be the climatic scene where the reluctant hobbit finally reclaims Erebor from the fire-breathing dragon (played by Benedict Cumberbatch). That raises questions among rabid "Hobbit" fans about what's going to happen in "There and Back Again" if Bilbo's battle against Smaug is finished in the second film.
Answering the question, screenwriter Phillippa Boyens tells EW, "The dragon is a huge, wonderful, amazing part of the story, but it doesn't end there." Boyens goes on teasing about another massive war in the final chapter, "Everyone can suspect there's a rather large battle in film three."
Peter Jackson himself recently explained to reporters when attending "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" premiere in New York about why he made a trilogy instead of just concluding the story in two movies. "The book is written in a very brisk pace, so pretty major events in the story are covered in only two or three pages," he said.
"So once you start to develop the scenes, and plus you wanted to do a little bit more character development, plus the fact that we could also adapt the appendices of Return of the King, which is 100-odd pages of material that sort of takes place around the time of The Hobbit. So we wanted to expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more, as did Tolkien himself. So all those factors combined gave us the material to do it."
Of casting Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Jackson said, "Martin was the only person that we wanted for that role. We knew him from The Office and Hitchhiker's Guide [to the Galaxy], and we just felt he had qualities that would be perfect for Bilbo. The stuffy repressed English quality. He's a dramatic actor, he's not a comedian, but he has a talent for comedy."
The first "Hobbit" will be released on December 14, while its follow-up "Desolation of Smaug" will open next year on December 13. The finale, meanwhile, will arrive in 2014 on July 18.