The Desolation of Smaug

Go Behind the Scenes of ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ and Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Be a Dragon

How am I only just now sharing this? I feel like a bad fan.

The second installment in director Peter Jackson’s epic The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, is due to hit DVD shelves everywhere in a few weeks and, subsequently, we can look forward to an influx of behind-the-scenes material and other fun goodies to help us while away the days until There and Back Again drops in December.

A new behind-the-scenes featurette has been released, focused on how Jackson, the film designers and the crew at Weta Workshop created the titular dragon Smaug, which is fascinating in and of itself, but also features what is potentially the greatest bonus footage ever.

Yes, I’m talking about Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch wearing a motion capture suit, rolling around on the floor and acting like a dragon, in addition to providing Smaug’s very distinctive voice in the recording booth.

That is a thing that has happened and even though this glimpse of it is not nearly long enough, it still exists.

Stop What You Are Doing and Watch: Epic Three-Minute Trailer for 'The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug'

The highly anticipated second installment in The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, is due to hit theaters this December and excitement levels are rising among fans everywhere.

Director Peter Jackson hosted a worldwide Hobbit fan event that spanned several countries this week – it included in-person events in New York, London, Los Angeles and Wellington, New Zeland, all hooked together by a live-stream that was broadcast to cinemas and computers around the world. The event featured a Q&A with many of the film’s stars, including Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Andy Serkis, Lee Pace, Luke Evans and Jackson himself.

But, despite how lovely it is to hear the actors share behind-the-scenes stories, the most exciting thing revealed during the fan event was a brand new, extended sneak peek trailer.

Which you should stop what you are doing and watch right now. Seriously. It's that good.

Who Needs CGI?: First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch Filming Smaug in 'The Hobbit'

The second installment of director Peter Jackson’s epic The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, will open in theaters on December 13. Fans everywhere have been beside themselves with anticipation basically since the credits rolled on An Unexpected Journey last December, eager to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s story continue.

Of course, the main thing we’re all excited about is basically what it says on the tin – this is the one that’s got the dragon in it. Yeah, we will finally meet the titular and legendary Smaug the Golden in this installment, and, if the initial trailer where we finally get to hear him speak is any indication, he’s going to be pretty impressive.

And, of course, many of us would argue he was always going to be pretty impressive given the fact that such an impressive actor is behind-the-scenes. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems to have a different movie out every other week for the duration of 2013, is playing Smaug – or, at the very least providing his voice (which you can here in the trailer above) and doing the motion capture work that is turned into Smaug through the magic of the folks at the Weta Workshop. (Who, obviously, is not our WETA, but who we like quite a bit all the same. Gollum is awesome.)

Watch - First Trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug!

The trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second installment of Peter Jackon’s rather immense trilogy of films based on the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien novel, has been officially been released – and yes, you finally get to see the dragon, along with what appears to be half the working actor population of England.

When last we left our heroes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, our intrepid crew comprised of dwarves, a wizard and a hobbit hadn’t even made it to the Lonely Mountain yet. So there’s still a lot to cover – and this trailer is packed full of all sorts of goodies sure to make Tolkien lovers swoon worldwide.

Back for another go-round are stars Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Lee Pace, Sylvester McCoy, James Nesbitt, Peter Hambleton and many more.

The new trailer also gives us our first looks at Luke Evans’ Bard the Bowman, Evangeline Lily’s elf warrior princess Tauriel, and the return of a familiar face as Orlando Bloom puts the blonde Legolas wig on once again. (And seriously looks as though he has not aged at all. How?) And of course, Freeman’s Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch also shows up for the final shot – as a giant, scaly reptile that sleeps on top of a Scrooge McDuck-style pile of gold. (Cumberbatch is the voice of Smaug, but also provided the motion capture used for the dragon’s animation, much as Andy Serkis did with Gollum.)

Basically, it looks awesome.