| SAN DIEGO, July 26
SAN DIEGO, July 26 The realm of Middle Earth and
caped superheroes brought adventure and battle to Comic Con, as
fans of Warner Bros' "The Hobbit" and "Batman v Superman" were
treated to first-look sneak peeks of the films on Saturday.
The eager audience at the convention, most of whom had
camped out overnight to get into the 6,500-capacity hall, were
treated to a 10-minute blooper reel of main actors on "Lord of
the Rings" and "The Hobbit" messing up their lines and goofing
around on set.
They were also given a first look at "The Hobbit: The Battle
of the Five Armies," out in theaters on Dec. 17, which saw a
glimpse on the epic-scale battle that takes place in Middle
Earth, based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkein
"It's always great when you can kill off some main
characters," said director Peter Jackson, a fan favorite at
Comic Con. "You have the chance to do something powerful and
emotional. We do get to kill a few of them this time around."
"It's not as comical as the first 'Hobbit' movie. It's
getting closer to the tone of 'Lord of the Rings,'" he added.
Moderator and "Hobbit" superfan Stephen Colbert, dressed as
a lake master from Tolkein's fantasy world, joined many leading
cast members on stage, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate
Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis. Actors
Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage were absent
"I was just grateful to get in this one. I thought my time
was over in Middle Earth," Oscar-winning Blanchett said about
reprising her role as elf queen Galadriel.
Jackson added "we do get to see Galadriel lose it a little
in this movie ... she gets to kick Sauron's arse a little bit."
Cumberbatch plays two characters in the film - the dragon
Smaug and the Necromancer, an iteration of villain Sauron.
"One is made of something vulnerable and one seems to be
born out of everything that's evil and difficult to pin down and
kill," Cumberbatch said.
Serkis, who has been a pioneer in the motion capture world
for developing visual effects techniques that helped capture the
character of creature Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" and
"Hobbit" films, said the film "basically changed the course of
my life with such magnitude." He will next be in the upcoming
"Star Wars" films, most likely in a motion capture role.
The other big highlight of the Warner Bros panel was the
highly anticipated glimpse at "Man of Steel" sequel "Batman v
Superman: Dawn of Justice." Director Zack Snyder showed a
30-second clip of Batman, played by Ben Affleck, flaring the bat
signal into the sky, only to find the silhouette blocked by
Superman, played by Henry Cavill.
Snyder brought Affleck, Cavill and Gal Godot, who plays
Wonder Woman on stage, but did not reveal anymore about the plot
of the film, due out in theaters in 2016.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)