"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" doesn't hit screens until next week and we already have two official images from part 2 of the trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."
The first photo features Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins surrounded by gold in the hoard of Smaug the dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch), whilst the second image features a first look at Bard the bowman played by Luke Evans and the returning Orlando Bloom as Legolas, elf of Mirkwood.
Peter Jackson when speaking to EW said regarding the Legolas and Bard photo;
“He’s [elven king] Thranduil’s son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit," said Peter Jackson. "And because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm."
"Bard is an interesting character, but [in the book] he’s kind of a random character who comes in after the fact," said writer/producer Philippa Boyens. "We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling."
Readers of "The Hobbit" will known that the scene with Bilbo and the hoard of gold is near the end of the novel so will wonder, what will be in the third film?
EW also spoke to "Hobbit" co-writer Philippa Boyens who describes the second image and it's connotations on the third movie - "There and Back Again."
"But hold on, you might be saying: Isn’t The Hobbit basically all about a quest to reclaim a pile of gold from a dragon? If we see this climactic scene in the second movie, what’s left for the final film, There and Back Again, due July 18, 2014? In fact, as anyone who’s read the book knows, the tale of The Hobbit — which Jackson is expanding considerably by drawing on some 120 pages of appendices Tolkien wrote to The Lord of the Rings that elaborate on the story — actually continues well past the face-off with Smaug at the Lonely Mountain, culminating eventually in the epic battle Battle of Five Armies, involving Laketown men, orcs, dwarves, goblins, elves, wargs, and giant eagles. “The dragon is a huge, wonderful, amazing part of the story, but it doesn’t end there,” says screenwriter and producer Philippa Boyens. “Everyone can suspect there’s a rather large battle in film three.”
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" hits screens across the US and UK from December 13th, 2013.