Akin to what many attendees at the San Diego Comic Con have grown accustomed to, Salt Lake Comic Con attendees got inside information on one of the year's most anticipated movies -- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug!
Moderated by the creators of the popular website TheOneRing.net, the panel, aptly titled "An Unofficial Look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, was filled with interesting facts about the upcoming sequel, as well as some information about the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the extended edition of An Unexpected Journey, which is due out November 5 -- over a month before Desolation of Smaug hits theaters in the U.S.
One interesting fact about the upcoming extended edition release is that, while the disc will have close to 15 hours of bonus footage, including at least 15 minutes of film not previously seen in theaters, Warner Bros. is claiming they may only put instigate a maximum limit of two hours of special features per future release if the home video release does not sell well. Though this has yet to be confirmed by anyone at Warner Bros., it was reported by Empire earlier this week as well, so, if you enjoy 15 hours more than merely 2 hours of bonus footage, let's make a point to buy this new edition -- especially if you're a fan of Peter Jackson's work on these films!
Adding to the surprises was the spontaneous additions to the panel -- actors Manu Bennett and William Kircher, who played Azog and Bifur in The Hobbit movies respectively! Bennett amusingly gave demonstrations on his green screen acting for Peter Jackson, while Kircher offered stories on how he not only played the dwarf, but did motion capture work for the troll Tom in An Unexpected Journey.
Other treats offered to attendees of the panel were first images of Stephen Fry as the Mayor of Laketown, Evageline Lily as Tauriel, an elf not originally in J.R.R. Tolkien's book so that there would be a female lead in the film (who also will be romantically linked to one of the principle characters...and it will not be Orlando Bloom's Legolas), and Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman (who will be given three children as part of his backstory), as well as the vicious Beorn, played by Mikael Persbrandt.
The world premiere of The Desolation of Smaug will happen in Los Angeles this time around, not in New Zealand as with the other Tolkien films, this November, and is promising to be more "wall-to-wall action", unlike An Unexpected Journey, which was more burdened with establishing the story, and is rumored to feature the book's fabled "Battle of Five Armies".
Check out TheOneRing.net for more rumors, information, and Line Parties, and see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug coming out December 13!