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Black Sky (previously called, "Category Six")

16th October, 2012 - @ToddGarner tweeted that the name of Richard's character is 'Gary Morris'. This is the first confirmation of the character's last name. His first name has been known for some time. (Thanks to Tempestguy)

23rd August, 2012 - According to philSTAR.com, the "film stars Richard Armitage (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” upcoming “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”), Sarah Wayne Callies (TV’s “The Walking Dead”), Matt Walsh (“Ted”), Nathan Kress (TV’s “iCarly”), Arlen Escarpeta (“Final Destination 5”), Jon Reep (“Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay”) and Jeremy Sumpter (“Soul Surfer,” TV’s “Friday Night Lights”)."

The storyline is, "In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs, and courageous townspeople, “Black Sky” throws you directly into the eye of the storm to experience Mother Nature at her most extreme."

The film is being produced by Todd Garner (“Knight and Day”) and directed by Steven Quale (“Final Destination 5”. John Swetnam has written the screenplay. The creative team includes Brian Pearson (Director of Photography), David Sandefur (Production Designer), Kimberly Adams (Costume Designer).

The film, produced by New Line Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and is being shot in Michigan.

20th August, 2012 - The movie has been officially titled, "Black Sky" (thanks, Lillianschild).

12th July, 2012 - Richard has been cast as a father looking for his son in a new disaster thriller currently being called, "Category Six". According to IMDb, "A group of high school students document the events and aftermath of a devastating tornado." It is due to begin filming in Detroit in August, 2012.

 

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THE HOBBIT

Richard has been cast as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson's forthcoming film of The Hobbit due to start filming in February 2011. On 21st October, 2010, Peter Jackson announced that filming for the long-awaited and much-delayed movie would be going ahead. His lead actors would be Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage as the dwarf leader, Thorin Oakenshield. Explaining his choice of Richard, he said:

Richard [Armitage] is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle Earth is in such good hands.

A little later in the week, responding to some criticism, he added:

Thorin Oakenshield is a tough, heroic character, and he certainly should give Leggie and Aragorn a run for their money in the heartthrob stakes - despite being four feet tall...

In Middle-earth, dwarves are a noble race and have a culture and physical appearance which sets them apart from humans. It’s fun to develop these different cultures for the movie, and we are doing much more with dwarves this time around than we did with Gimli in Lord Of The Rings.

Richard is a powerful actor with a wide range, and we’re very excited to be handing Thorn over to him.

 

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

RELEASE DATES (IMDb)

Country Date
Argentina 13-Dec-12
Armenia 19-Dec-12
Australia 26-Dec-12
Belgium 12-Dec-12
Brazil 21-Dec-12
Canada 14-Dec-12
Colombia 25-Dec-12
Denmark 12-Dec-12
Finland 12-Dec-12
France 12-Dec-12
Germany 13-Dec-12
Greece 13-Dec-12
Hong Kong 13-Dec-12
Hungary 13-Dec-12
Iceland 26-Dec-12
Ireland 14-Dec-12
Israel 13-Dec-12
Italy 14-Dec-12
Japan 1-Dec-12
Netherlands 13-Dec-12
New Zealand 28-Nov-12 (World Premiere)
New Zealand 12-Dec-12
Norway 12-Dec-12
Paraguay 14-Dec-12
Poland 28-Dec-12
Portugal 13-Dec-12
Romania 14-Dec-12
Russia 20-Dec-12
Singapore 13-Dec-12
South Africa 14-Dec-12
Spain 14-Dec-12
Sweden 12-Dec-12
UK 13-Dec-12  
Ukraine 20-Dec-12
USA 14-Dec-12

Cinemas showing 3D versions of The Hobbit

On 16th November, 2012, Hoyts in Australia updated their list of cinemas showing the HFR version of The Hobbit. This list updates the Australian cinemas listed in TheOneRing's:

VIC: Frankston, Northland, Eastland, Chadstone, Watergardens, Melbourne Central
ACT: Belconnen, Woden
NSW: Broadway, Chatswood Westfield, Erina, Blacktown, Penrith, Wetherill Park
WA: Garden
City, Millenium
SA: Norwood, Tea Tree Plaza

See it in IMAX at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Highpoint, Carousel
"

With thanks to TheOneRing.net who have compiled this list of cinemas, worldwide, showing The Hobbit in HFR 3D, IMAX 3D, IMAX and Dolby Atmos.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Merchandise

There are a number of sites either selling merchandise or linking to sites with merchandise. We recommend you keep an eye on the following sites (including this one, of course :)).

TheOneRing.net

WETA (they also have a newsletter which gives information on their merchandise)

It's probably also worth keeping an eye on The Hobbit Facebook page.

Heirs of Durin

The Geekest Link

And keep an eye on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca. Remember, when you are searching, to include the sub-title of the movie. Otherwise, you'll also get Hobbit merchandise that's not related to the movies. Which is good, if that's what you're looking for. Notsomuch, if you're not.

 

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

On 3rd November, 2012, Middle Earth News announced that 2 editions of the soundtrack for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were available for pre-order from Amazon.

On 2nd November, 2012, it was announced that the soundtrack for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released on 11th December.

A number of items are available for pre-order at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca. They include a The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2013 Wall Calendar, Book tie-ins, and Figurines from Bridge DirectOnline. Just note, not all Amazon sites carry the same merchandise.

The Galaxy Bookshop has The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey 2013 Annual.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

As at early Setpember, 2012, some items, mostly artwork, are available on pre-order at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca. Just note, not all Amazon sites carry the same merchandise.

The Hobbit: There And Back Again

Watch this space! While a search at Amazon brings up some items under this title, they're mostly related to what was the final in the two-part series. Now that the movie's have been split into three, it's probably just a bit too soon yet for merchandise specific to the third movie.

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Information on a number of Hobbit swords, including Orcrist, Sting and Gandalf's Staff, can be viewed at CB Swords. At the moment (early September) they have removed sale information until 1st October.

TheOneRing.net has a link to Mugs at Play.com.

Thror's Key, the first in a line of new licensed jewellery from Badali Jewellery has been given a sneak peak at TheOneRing.net.

TheOneRing.net has announced Gentle Giant will be offering an exclusive Thorin bust figurine for San Diego Comic Con.

LegendsActionFigures have single Thorin figurines as well as sets of the characters available for pre-order.

ToyWiz has comfirmed it has filled its pre-order quota of Thorin figurines. It may have more after the pre-order dispatches in September. It advises anyone wanting one to keep a daily eye on their web page until September for possible pre-order cancellations and check from September for new releases.

The Hobbit blog announced details for WETA's first of its series of action figures, a 1:6 scale model of Thorin Oakenshield, which will be available at Comic Con in San Diego this year. A collector's edition of 500 of the statuette with a shield is available for US$249; 200 are reserved for sale in October at the Weta Cave in New Zealand and at Ring*Con in Germany. (There will be a separate version, without shield, available at www.wetaNZ.com in October 2012.) You can see a picture of the figurine in our Gallery.

 

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On 2nd March, 2011 a number of sources, beginning with The Hobbit Movie.com website, reported that titles for the 2 films had been registered, The Hobbit: There and Back Again and The Hobbit: The/An Unexpected Journey. As of 3rd March these titles are unconfirmed.

On 22nd April Peter Jackson confirmed on his Facebook page that Ian Holm would be returning as the older Bilbo Baggins.

On 24th April, Peter Jackson reported on his Facebook page, sadly that, due to personal reasons, Rob Kazinsky, cast as Fili, would be leaving the cast.

On 27th April, the Noldor Blog reported a sighting of Hugo Weaving in Wellington and on 30th Peter Jackson uploaded a pic of himself and "a friend" to his FB page.

Sir Ian McKellen blogged that Martin Freeman headed off to satisfy his obligation to film Sherlock in early May, 2011.

On 1st May, Peter Jackson announced that Dean O'Gorman will replace Rob Kazinsky as Fili and Lee Pace will play Thranduil, the Elvenking and TORn, picking up a brief note in a Stuff.co.nz article about the new castings, reported that Hugo Weaving's return as Elrond has been confirmed.

On 5th May, 2011it was confirmed that Saoirse Ronan will not have a role due to the length of filming.

On 18th May, Peter Jackson announced 3 new additions to the cast: Stephen Fry will be joining the cast as the Master of Lake Town, Ryan Gage will be playing a 'conniving civil servant', Alfrid, and an Orc, Azog, will be played by Conan Stevens.

On Sunday 22nd, May, 2011, Peter Jackson gave a message of support and Sir Ian McKellen presented a signed copy of the novel to be auctioned, for the Rise Up For Christchurch telethon. There was also a 'special first peak' at the dwarves costumes.

On 23rd May, 2011 it was reported by several sources, including the BBC, that, backstage at the BAFTAs, Martin Freeman let it slip that Benedict Cumberbatch, currently appearing as Sherlock in the television series, Sherlock, will be joining the Hobbit cast. Neither Martin Freeman nor Benedict Cumberbatch have denied the 'rumour'.

On Saturday, 28th May, 2011, Peter Jackson confirmed that Orlando Bloom will be reprising his role as Legolas.

On 30th May, 2011 Peter Jackson began to answer fans' 20 questions - and included a first picture of Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel brandishing an array of fearsome Elvish weapons.

On 16th June, 2011, deadline.com reports that Luke Evans has been cast as Bard the Bowman and confirms that Benedict Cumberbatch will voice Smaug the Dragon and the Necromancer.

On 19th June, Peter Jackson announced that Evangeline Lilly will play a new character - the woodland elf, Tauriel and Barry Humphries will be playing The Goblin King.

In an article about Evangaline Lily's arrival in New Zealand published in Middle Earth News on 22nd August, 2011, a spokesperson for Peter Jackson confirmed that filming had begun again 'last week' and would continue through to December.

On 28th October it was announced that the premier of the first of the Hobbit movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be in Wellington in November 2012. The movie's general release will follow from 13th December.

The Hollywood Reporter reported on 28th October, 2011 that "110 days of studio shooting have already been completed, with another seven weeks of location shoots around New Zealand, followed in 2012 by another five months of studio shooting. Substantial breaks between those blocks are allowing key cast members to do other projects and gives the production time to work on post-production and digital effects.
Hobbiton at Matamata on New Zealand's North Island is the location of the hobbit village in the Lord Of The Rings films and will continue to operate as a tourist park once The Hobbit crew depart."

From 31 October, 2011, Eric Vespe (Quint) a blogger for Ain't It Cool News and hired as an extra for the movie, began a weekly series of reports from the Hobbit set.

On 14th December, 2011, Gandylon uploaded a YT vid of an early interview with Peter Jackson where he talks a little bit about anticipated casting and filming.

On 9th January, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Netflix will be launching its UK/Ireland operation with a deal allowing streaming of The Hobbit.

On 11th January, 2012, MTV.com posted an interview with Richard about his role as Thorin. You can also read it HERE in our Library where it's a 2-page interview. Just click on the next thumbnail to read subsequent pages.

On 6th June, 2012, Stuff.nz.co announced the Red Carpet premiere will take place in Wellington on 28th November.

On 31st July, 2012, Peter Jackson announced on his Facebook page that the films will be released as a trilogy:

An unexpected journey

by Peter Jackson on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 1:30am ·

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie - and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life.  All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.'  

We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance.  The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.

So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.  

It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, "a tale that grew in the telling."

Cheers, 

Peter J

In early August the second trailer, released in early June for cinema, was released online. There is no new Richard footage and only around 30 seconds of new footage. The Examiner details the extra bits.

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Filming Schedule

The cast assembled in New Zealand from early January to attend "Hobbit Academy", learning to ride and fight in costume. The film is to be split into 2 and released in December 2012 and December 2013.

A 'do not work' order by New Zealand Actors Equity against the movie, imposed over pay and working conditions, was lifted in October allowing filming to go ahead. However, it took an act of the New Zealand parliament establishing the difference between film contract and employed personnel, together with successful negotiations over the tax concessions to the producers, to enable the film to be made in New Zealand (The Guardian).

Filming was slightly delayed because Peter Jackson was admitted to hospital in Wellington on 26th January, to undergo surgery for a perforated ulcer. He was released from hospital to finish his recovery on 3rd February. Two days later, Hobbiton, near Matamata, the local township, announced it will close for 5 weeks from 14th February. Although this suggests that's when filming will begin, since Hobbit publicist, Melissa Booth, denied the film had a start date. (The Dominion Post courtesy Stuff.nz.co). On 6th February, it was announced that principal photography for the Hobbit will begin on Monday, 21st March, 2011.

On 20th March, 2011various sources, including Stuff.co.Nz reported that filming is on schedule to begin on 21st March. And, the official The Hobbit blog went live.

On 6th July, 2012 Peter Jackson's Facebook page posted, "We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con!
Cheers, Peter J"

On 28th July, 2012, Dean Knowsley, one of the stand-in actors on The Hobbit production tweeted that the production pick-ups Peter Jackson had scheduled has wrapped up.

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Peter Jackson's video blogs

From 14th April 2011, Peter Jackson's Facebook page began publishing a series of video blogs giving insights into the movies' production process.

All the vlogs can be downloaded from our Media page.

On 14th April, Peter Jackson uploaded the first of his video blogs showing the progress of filming. The blog contains footage of the cast rehearsing a fight sequence, the makeup and costume rooms, part of the set including Bag End and Rivendell and concludes with part of the Powhiri ceremony to bless the sound stage featuring Richard leading the ceremony. You can see the 3-minute sequence showing the Powhiri ceremony on our Youtube channel and caps from the blog in the RAC Gallery.

In the second of Peter Jackson's video blogs, posted on his FB page on 8th July, 2011, it was announced that filming for block 2 will begin on 5th September.

Shortly after that, on 21st July, the 3rd vlog was released.

The 4th video blog was released on Peter Jackson's Facebook page on 4th November, 2011. (We have uploaded a 0.59s Youtube video of Richard Armitage moments to our Youtube channel).

The 5th video blog was released on Christmas Eve, 2011. Focussing on location shooting it also featured Elijah Woods reacqainting himself with Hobbiton and some behind-the-scenes footage of the LOTR trilogy not released before.

On 2nd March, 2012, the 6th vlog, part 2 of his Christmas Eve location vlog, was posted to Peter Jackson's Facebook page. We have extracted most of the Richard bits and uploaded a short vid to our Youtube channel and you can find Richard caps in our Gallery and there are selected hi res caps in our Salon Gallery.

On June 6th, vlog #7 was posted on Peter Jackson's Facebook page. You can find caps in our Gallery.

On 24th July, 2012, Peter Jackson posted the 8th vlog, which includes scenes from San Diego Comic Con, on his Facebook page. You can find caps in our Gallery.

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Trailers

The 2 minute cinema trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure was released online at Apple Trailers on 20th December, 2011. We have also uploaded it to our Youtube channel. The reaction was galvanic. Comments on Richard's appearance as Thorin included:

First the International Business Times. Scroll down to Dwarves:

"Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) is especially convincing. He has the arrogant majesty of a deposed king and the underlying steeliness of the dwarves Tolkein fans know."

And, MTV says,

"Fans who feared that the dwarves would look too cartoonish should find some peace of mind with the trailer. They completely worked (especially Richard Armitage as Thorin), with a balance between the child-oriented aspects of the book and the grittier look of the "Lord of the Rings" movies."

While, Empireonline, writes,

"Led by Thorin (Richard Armitage), and seated in Bag End, the dwarfs sing of the loss of their homeland, each slowly standing. It is set against a grave montage of faces, the mood switching in a trice from comic to epic with a tincture of melancholy. The lyrics are taken directly from Tolkien, and where we might have feared The Hobbit’s propensity for song might trigger sniggers now feels like a strength. Carried by Armitage’s impressive basso, the trailer shifts up a gear, and a sense of the scope Peter Jackson intends for his two films becomes clear. We are back in Middle-earth in a big way." (Thanks Jeanlin)

We have added Over the Misty Mountains, the song sung by the dwarves, to our Career Audio page. You can download it here or from our Media - TV page.

 

CHARACTERS

Thorin Oakenshield - Richard Armitage (Spooks, Strike Back, Robin Hood (BBC series), Vicar of Dibley, Sparkhouse. You can read a summary of his 22-year career in his Biography on this site. You can also find details of his career, including his voice work, on our Career pages.)

"Thorin Oakenshield’s story is one of great daring, pride, revenge, and tragedy. Thorin II hails from a direct royal lineage (the House of Durin) traceable all the way back to the original Seven Fathers of the Dwarves. His clan is also known as the Longbeards.

Thorin’s early years at the Lonely Mountain (Erebor) give The Hobbit its foundational plot and all that happens therein comes from his efforts to avenge the wrongs against his House. At the age of 24, Thorin witnessed the arrival of the dragon Smaug and the slaying of his kin (T.A. 2770). The tragic memory was burned permanently into Thorin’s heart. Twenty-nine years later he fought valiantly against the Orcs beneath the East-gate of Moria at the Battle of Azanulbizar, where he earned the surname “Oakenshield” by using a great oak-branch in a pinch as both shield and weapon.

For the next century Thorin lived with the dwarves of the Blue Mountains (Ered Luin) just west of the Shire, where he became King of Durin’s Folk after his father Thráin’s disappearance. This living situation was considered untenable by the House of Durin, most acutely felt by Thorin, who called it “poor lodgings in exile.”

His desire to seek the vast wealth of Erebor and reclaim it from the dragon was augmented by Gandalf, who promised Thorin the perfect “burglar” to assist. In T.A. 2941 Thorin moved forward with his scheme, bringing twelve dwarves with him (several related directly, such as his young cousins Fíli and Kíli) to Bilbo Baggins’ front door. The Quest of Erebor had begun. ...

...Thorin exhibits the most common (and perhaps endearing) traits with which Tolkien imbued his Dwarven race. He was obstinate, willful, yet very strong – characteristics that placed Thorin deeply in peril as much as they helped save him during their journey. Bilbo learns much of the outside world by attentively listening to Thorin’s passion, stories, and songs. Though they seem to have little in common, the two slowly learn to appreciate each other as they brave many hardships. Thorin’s efforts to secure his rightful place on the throne ultimately leads to a new era for Durin’s Folk in Exile."
(www.theonering.net)

Bilbo Baggins - Martin Freeman (Sherlock, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually)

"Bilbo has a unique story arc that had its origins in the mind of Tolkien as a private amusement. The Professor thought it was quite funny to send Bilbo, a homebody 'rural Englishman,' on a wildly unpleasant adventure for Dragon treasure. The better qualities of sturdy and brave Hobbit-nature are revealed through the course of Bilbo’s journey as the tone of Tolkien’s writing gradually moves from comedic to 'high romantic.'

Against all odds, Bilbo earned the trust and friendship of his Dwarvish traveling party during the many difficult scrapes of their quest; and he further succeeded in forming lasting friendships with other races (the Elves of Mirkwood and Rivendell, the Men of Lake-town) who had never encountered Hobbits before. Bilbo may never have realized it (in fact, Tolkien didn’t realize it when he wrote The Hobbit), but he was a player in Gandalf’s long-range efforts to rid the North of the Fire-drake, Smaug; seen as a potential weapon that Sauron might later set loose upon the Free Peoples of Middle-earth."
(www.theonering.net)

Hobbits

Frodo Baggins - Elijah Wood
Drogo Baggins - Ryan Gage (Doctors, Hamlet, Holby City)

Dwarves

Balin - Ken Stott (Rebus)
Kili - Aidan Turner (Being Human, Desperate Romantics)
Fili - Dean O'Gorman (The Almight Johnsons, Nights in the Gardens of Spain)
Dwalin - Graham McTavish (Secretariat)
Oin - John Callen (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Bombur - Stephen Hunter (All Saints)
Dori - Mark Hadlow (King Kong)
Gloin - Peter Hambleton (The Strip)
Nori - Jed Brophy (Lord of the Rings)
Bifur - William Kircher (Out of the Blue)
Bofur - James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, Jekyll, Murphy's Law)

Other Characters

Gandalf - Sir Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, The X-Men, Richard III)
Gollum/Smeagal - Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Little Dorrit, King Kong)
Legolas - Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings, The Pirates of the Carribean, Love and Other Disasters)
Frodo Baggins - Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings, The Romantics, Happy Feet)
Galadriel - Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood (movie), Charlotte Gray, Elizabeth, Elizabeth the Golden Age)
Radagast the Brown - Sylvester McCoy (7th Dr Who)
Beorn the Shapeshifter - Mikael Persbrandt (Day and Night)
Bilbo Baggins (older) - Ian Holm (Lord of the Rings, 1066, Ratatouille)
Thranduil, the Elvenking - Lee Pace (The Resident, The Miraculous Year)
The Master of Lake Town - Stephen Fry (Alice in Wonderland, St Trinians, Wilde, QI)
Alfrid - Ryan Gage (Hollyoaks, Hamlet)
Azog (an Orc) - Conan Stevens (Mystic Blade)
The Goblin King - Barry Humphries (Dame Edna Everedge, Sir Les Paterson)
Woodland Elf, Tauriel - Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hurt Locker)
Bard the Bowman - Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans, Robin Hood [Ridley Scott])
The Voice of Smaug/The Necromancer - Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Last Enemy)