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Let Benedict Cumberbatch's Voice In The New 'Hobbit' Trailer Desolate You

By Joanna Robinson | Trailers | October 1, 2013 | Comments ()


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There are still a few people out in the world who refuse to concede the devastating, erudite sexiness that is Benedict Cumberbatch. But even those few holdouts have to give over at the disembodied sound of his voice. You think he looks like an otter? Fine. But his voice? Oh brother. The incomparable Caitlin Moran once described it as a “jaguar hiding in a cello” and it’s the dessert at the end of the new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. Cumberbatch, of course, plays the titular airborne toxic event dragon in Peter Jackson’s sequel.

Why am I flogging the voice so hard in a trailer packed with visuals? Well did you see the last film? This voice-over is obviously the sequel’s biggest selling point.

So enjoy it. Enjoy it with your eyes closed if you must. You deserve it.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Dush Ku

    I kind of wish the book had been a good enough story. Instead they had to create new characters and new scenes and redid existing scenes.

  • annie

    90 minutes into the first Hobbit movie, I couldn't help but lament that I was only halfway through and had two other movies to follow. Maybe I'll just re-listen to Neverwhere for the ghostly resonatingly deep heavenly Cumbervoice.

  • AM

    This desolates me for many reasons. But mostly because my oldest brother passed away this summer and he was a huge Tolkien fan. We didn't have a lot in common but I could always talk to him about Peter Jackson's movies. It's so lame to say this, but the fact that he died without seeing Smaug really encapsulates how I feel about his death. Too fucking young, too fucking soon. Fuck.

  • Mrs.P

    I am pretty sure I just had an orgasm. Yep. My toes are still curled. I would watch the movie just to hear his voice....

  • Mrs.P

    I am pretty sure I just had an orgasm, a little one. I will watch the movie,just to experience that again.

  • kali yuga

    Unfortunately, this guy is an idiot.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cul...

  • AvaLehra

    Speaking as someone who dressed like an elf at the Ren Faire this past July, (I had elf ears and everything! Don't judge.) Lily What's-her-face's elf bores me.

  • emmalita

    A picture of you in elf ears needs to be your next avitar. You can obscure your face so we can't track you down using facial recognition software and force our friendship on you.

  • AvaLehra

    Hahaha! I was just telling Mr. AvaLehra, "I really like all my Pajiba friends -- and I have NO CLUE who they are!"

  • emmalita

    *whispers* you could join us on Facebook Pajiba! You still won't know who most of us are. :)

    I'll look for you!

  • Guest

    Done and done!

  • AvaLehra

    Wait! What's this Facebook Pajiba you speak of? Is it different that the regular old FB pajiba page?

  • Guest

    Yes, search for "Pajiba!"

  • AvaLehra

    Request submitted!

  • MissScarlet

    I've never wanted to f%ck a dragon before...nice job, Batchy.

  • Tinkerville

    Desecration of the source material aside, there's also the fact that "Desolation of Smaug" is the dumbest fucking movie title. It's like they put The Hobbit through a paper shredder and those are the three random words it spat back out.

  • Boy, for a crowd so seemingly indifferent to Jackson's work here, there sure are a ton of opinions. Is this a indication of how many federal employees are here, a little shutdown hangover party? Fess up, you shameless bureaucrats who are undermining Murican values!

  • emmalita

    This is Pajibans being indifferent. If we really cared this thread would be over 200 comments long and Jeezer would be here unleashing the Craugen.

  • I'm not inherently opposed to a love interest for Legolas. But if the LOTR trilogy is an indication of how Jackson will handle it, I'm not looking forward to it. Aragorn and Arwen's relationship fell flat to me. Eowyn was a much more interesting character (probably my favorite in the trilogy) and I bought her relationship with Aragorn a lot more.

  • And yet, Jackson totally glossed over her relationship with Faramir (well, everything right about Farmir, actually), which was one of my favorite parts of that book. I didn't need a full blown love story or anything, but she just shows up with him at the end of the film like he was her consolation prize. Ugh.

  • foolsage

    I was disappointed in Jackson's choice to lessen Faramir's noble spirit. I grant that cinematically, it'd be confusing to viewers to see Faramir blow off the temptation of the Ring and easily rise above it, but still, it was disappointing to see him come so close to failure due to temptation; he was better than that. And I, too, would have liked to see more of the Faramir/Eowyn courtship, but then I would have liked to see more of a lot of things. Sigh.

  • Malin

    I agree completely. Eowyn and Faramir were completely ignored, only given a tiny bit of extra attention in the Extended Cut, and I love their romance so much. It almost makes up for the fact that Tolkien barely mentions women in the rest of the trilogy. I absolutely hate what they did with Faramir as a character, just because they felt "he needed a journey".

  • CurlieQt

    I agree. It's always disappointed me that they didn't at least acknowledge that they would be married. Not only for the reasons mentioned by you and Reba, but by the awesome implications of a Rohan-Gondor marriage and possible family line. It's really a game-changer for the Kingdom of Men, and most people who only saw the movie probably didn't even think of it that way. (Then again most people are likely not as nerdy as me and didn't think about it beyond the lights coming on).

  • My sons want to see this, so we will go. And then my older son will critique all the things they've messed up about one of his favorite books, which at least will get the teenager talking for a couple hours. I just don't get why they felt the need to change it. The story was not uninteresting, after all, and they could have made some fun allegorical references to more recent events. Ah, well, spectacle before substance, I suppose.

  • foolsage

    My belief is that Jackson's trying to tell one large story. The Hobbit can be treated as a stand-alone tale, which is how it was originally written, but there's also a lot that happens during The Hobbit that's essential backstory to the Lord of the Rings. Much of this is either glossed over or omitted completely from the original text, in no small part because Tolkien was still in the early stages of putting together the overarching plots for Middle-earth, when The Hobbit was published. As a result, the appendices to Lord of the Rings, as well as The Silmarillion, contain essential story elements that were left out of The Hobbit (e.g. the return of the Necromancer to Dol Guldur, and the discovery that the Necromancer was Sauron returned), which are important to understanding the whole story. Most of the changes are in service of the bigger story, and most of the changes are derived from Tolkien's works. OK, Tauriel's all new, Radagast was changed significantly, and Azog didn't even appear in The Hobbit (he was mentioned in passing, but he'd died 142 years prior to the events in The Hobbit)... but by and large, the story remains essentially true to Tolkien's collected writings.

    Tolkien HATED allegory, fiercely and passionately. I think it'd be a disservice to his memory to recreate any of his works in allegorical form. He once wrote, "I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.”

  • Artemis

    I'm with Sara -- I find that backstory entirely unnecessary, especially since the thing it's setting up--LotR--came out a decade ago and non-book readers seemed to understand it just fine without all of the history.

    More than that, I think it utterly destroys the entire purpose of The Hobbit, which was to tell a small story about a small hobbit that had an adventure. The book makes references to bigger things in the world, but it remains a very personal, tightly-focused tale of Bilbo's journey. It was never intended to be an epic, and the adaptation failed the moment Jackson tried to shoehorn it into one. (And this comes from someone who quite liked his adaptation of the trilogy.)

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ah, better said than I could've expressed. It's personal-epic, not epic-epic. Standard hero's quest, but the twist was a small, reluctant, unlikely hero.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I don't think those details actually ARE essential. They are great world-creating, and they put The Hobbit in a [fake] historical context, but they aren't essential to the story. You could follow a story about the guy who assassinated Archduke Ferdinand. The facts leading up to it and the results afterwards enhance the interest, but you can still create a gripping story for someone who doesn't know/understand the full contxt. Indeed, you've failed at the actual storytelling if all those details are necessary.

    Did Tolkein and CS Lewis duke it out over allegory in their fond correspondence?

  • foolsage

    "Essential" is certainly a judgement call, agreed. As a lifelong Tolkien fan, I care deeply about the bigger picture, and I love seeing the fuller continuity at play. I'm generally ok with the changes Jackson makes in Middle-earth, most of which seem, to me, to serve the medium of film well.

    To someone who cares about the setting of the stories, it's important to me to know WHY Greenwood the Great became Mirkwood, and WHY those giant spiders settled there. Thorin's story is intimately tied to the Necromancer's story, as well; the map and the key used to enter the Lonely Mountain were both recovered by Gandalf in the Necromancer's dungeons.

    I don't disagree that the story could be told well without all the details. There's something to be said for an approach more like G.R.R. Martin uses in his books (which is largely jettisoned in the TV show), wherein a large part of the plot develops offscreen, and readers have to figure things out for themselves. Tolkien took a simpler narrative approach, but I do see the appeal in simply showing the viewer parts of the story, and letting the audience figure things out based on clues.

    For my part however, the details make the story considerably more enjoyable. A lot of that certainly derives from my affection for (and obsessive knowledge of) Middle-earth.

  • Right, because LoTR had nothing to do with England's pastoral history being churned to bits by the Industrial Revolution or the ravages of World War. I think perhaps the professor was dissembling, especially since history is a prominent factor in allegory. I think he disliked religious allegory (well, Christian, anyway; he seemed to have no problems with Norse mythology), and I understand that, but you cannot believe he did not incorporate historical events and the consequences thereof in his novels on purpose.

  • foolsage

    That's an easy allegory to claim, surely. And, yes, it's entirely possible (and even likely) that Tolkien was influenced as you noted (e.g. the Shire bears a very strong resemblance to the English countryside of which Tolkien was so fond, and Frodo's PTSD surely seems akin to WWI survivors' troubles upon returning home). However, it's worth noting the explicit feelings of the author when discussing influences and choices.

  • The author appears to have disliked the word allegory and the application of it to his work, but in his letters he readily admits that he employs it regularly. He outright admits that Sam is a reflection of English soldiers and the Shire represents his childhood home. He simply does not want the story as a whole to be seen as allegory, and with that I can agree.

  • stella

    Dude. Hes like looking at me.

  • emmalita

    That's my favorite part.

  • These films, like the Star Wars prequels, make me wish a crack team of film and story editors would rappel, The Monarch super villain-style, into the post-production studios.

  • There is literally nothing about that trailer that didn't bother me.

  • BlackRabbit

    Even the bear?

  • Sherry

    ^^Everything this. Are you me?

  • emmalita

    Not even Lee Pace on a reindeer will convince me to see anymore of these movies. I've never been so uninterested in a movie with so many actors I love.

  • Maguita NYC

    I can't help it but love that shit. It actually gave me goose bumps.

    Oh, and the cloths are so pretty :D

  • AvaLehra

    So help me, same here.

  • fluff_fluff

    This accurate, but nothing keeps me warm in the winter like completely unnecessary righteous indignation, so I'll probably show up in a theater anyway.

  • stardust

    Dammit, Cumberbatch, stop making me giddy for movies I've resolved to be pissed at.

  • BWeaves

    I'm so sad that I am unimpressed.

    And why do we need a love interest for Legolas? He's not even IN the freaking book. And we all know he runs off with Gimli in the end, so why bother?

  • LucyKlein

    I'm not sure what I'm more annoyed about Legolas being shoe horned into this movie with a pointless romantic interest (she's not the LOTR trilogy) or that the fucking one armed white orc is *still* around. I hope they have lots of scenes of him talking about wanting to kill the dwarfs followed by pointless chase scenes where they just barely get away.

  • Three_nineteen

    Because otherwise there are no women in any of the movies.

  • Because girls can't get into a movie if there's no girl in the movie! Whose clothes are they going to criticize?!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I need a swooping anachronistic pop song over the credits, personally. Something by Taylor Swift would probably be perfect for this film!

  • Sherry

    Come on, now. The only way to make girls get into a movie is to have the Elves sparkle in the sunlight or something. Bonus points if Tauriel sports a vacant, open-mouthed expression and trips over nothing.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I love it when the funny girl falls down.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I don't care if there are no clothes to criticize, as long as I don't have to do any math.

  • emmalita

    I just get really bored if no one is falling in love.

  • Mrs. Julien

    And a montage. They need to fall in love to a montage.

  • BlackRabbit

    Aaaaand then Herman's Hermit's "I'm into Something Good" started playing in my head. Thanks.

  • emmalita

    How else would we know they were falling in love? I stop listening if they talk for more than 5 minutes.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Unless they are talking about clothes, oh, clothing montages are the best ever. Or they could fall in love during a shopping montage and the man pays for everything so the woman doesn't have to do any math.

  • emmalita

    I'm throwing my money at you. I don't know how much. I didn't feel like counting.

  • Wigamer

    Who are you fooling? You can't count. Pshaw!

  • emmalita

    I don't have to count. I have boobies.

  • Wigamer

    'Tis true.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Money is so dirty. I just put everything on a credit card and then I never have to worry about how much things cost.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I love you both so much for this thread.

  • Sherry

    I am downright irritated. Jackson and Co. swore that the female elf wasn't there to be a love interest for Legolas. I actually enjoyed the first one but this looks simply annoying. Also...are they not following the true Thranduil plot? Why did they have to tinker with that? It's good as it is written. This whole mess just left me confused and bothered. BAH.

  • Afferbeck

    It's also not very accurate, Elves find their spouses in adolescence and marry early, they don't hook up on the battlefield amid Orc eyeball shooting.

  • foolsage

    While "Laws and Customs Among the Eldar" did indeed state that MOST elves fell in love and married in their youth (by around age 50), we know that this isn't true of ALL elves.

    Luthien was around 750 years old when she married Beren. Elrond was already roughly 3000 years old when he married Celebrian. Celebrian's age is uncertain, but she was at least 2000 years old when she married Elrond. Their daughter Arwen was roughly 2700 years old when she married Aragorn. Granted, this is all the same family (as Elrond is Luthien's great-grandson), so one could argue that they're outliers. Still, these are clearly exceptions to the general rule that elves marry in their youth.

  • foolsage

    ^ This, right here, is a sterling example of why I don't post in the occasional "share your geekiness" threads that pop up here. :D

  • Tinkerville

    Embrace it, dude!

  • foolsage

    I'm quite content with my geekiness. I don't like to whip it out in public though and wave it around, metaphorically speaking.

  • NateMan

    Runs off while taking very tiny, mincing steps, I believe you mean.

    Cuz, y'know, Gimli's legs are so stumpy.

  • emmalita

    He runs ahead and doubles back. It's how he keeps his figure trim now that he's drinking with a dwarf every night.

  • fluff_fluff

    I love everything that Caitlin Moran has ever written, but her Sherlock perving is next-level wonderful. "Jaguar hiding in a cello", indeed.

  • His Smaug voice reminds me of Tim Curry getting his evil sexy on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • AvaLehra

    This was my childhood crush. I was so confused -- how could I be so hotly attracted to him? This explains all the bad boys in my life...

  • OMG the Lord of Darkness is SUPER sexy. Just look at that movie - it's Tom Cruise at maximum drabness. He's armwrestling with Sloane for King of Dull until the Lord of Darkness makes her hot and interesting. So not only is the Lord of Darkness evil and hot, he makes others super hot just by basking in his sexy presence.

    Of COURSE you had a childhood crush on him! If you had a crush on Cruise in his leather jerkin I would be worried for you.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Tim Curry has only three modes:
    a. evil sexy
    b. obsequious mellifluence
    c. that clown thing [photo implied, but redacted]

  • Sherry

    Don't forget

    d. Wadsworth, the awesome butler from Clue.

    That was the first role I ever saw him in and I have loved him since.

  • So does B also cover "Rooster" from Annie? Because that was the first role I ever saw him in....

  • Mrs. Julien

    I would think that is covered by b.

  • Sherry

    Aaand...you are correct. [shows self to door]

  • Mrs. Julien

    You were rattled by foolsage's wrongful and terrifying provocation. Come sit by me and breath into this paper bag. We'll watch a montage of shopping montages culminating in Julia Roberts gesturing with her purchases and this exchange -

    Vivian: You people work on commission, right?
    Shop assistant: Yeah.
    Vivian: Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.

    ... and then a man will pay for everything. It's gonna be so much fun!

  • Sherry

    Question: Does she trip on her way out the door? Because that would be the icing on the cake of your thoughtful antidote to CURRY CLOWN. I appreciate your support in my time of need.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I think the funny girl tripping will be covered by the Sandra Bullock makeover portion of the montage.

  • foolsage

    I aim to entertain. Failing that, I aim to disrupt.

    For another good example of Curry's (b) roles, I submit his Farley Claymore, from The Shadow.

  • foolsage

    Coulrophobia, in one picture:

    http://cdn3.whatculture.com/wp...

  • Sherry

    Okay, that needs to come with its own kind of NSFW label. Like, NSFL (not safe for looking). Or, NWFECYEIBA (not safe for ever closing your eyes in bed again). Because that's what happened when I tried reading "It." I was 1/3 of the way through when I realized that my eyes were popping open every 30 seconds as I tried to go asleep, just KNOWING that It was standing over me, watching me. Literally the only book I have never finished.

    Long reply short: YOU ARE AN UNKIND PERSON BECAUSE I CANNOT UNSEE THIS NOW. Ahem.

  • foolsage

    Apologies. I'm home sick today, and the government shut down for stupid godsdamned reasons, so I might not get my fucking passport back in time for an upcoming trip to France. As a result, my normal compassion filters are malfunctioning.

  • Sherry

    Hm. [Taps fingers on desk.] Okay, you're forgiven. Just this once. And seriously, that sucks--good luck on that.

  • Uriah_Creep

    You have to clean your compassion filters regularly and replace them at least once every 1,000 spent empathies.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    aw, that sucks. My sister & her hubbie probably going to be furloughed, but they aren't terribly upset about it. (though receiving backpay is apparently less likely this time around?)

  • foolsage

    I truly hope their jobs are returned to them very soon.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    ironically, she just earned a "time off" bonus at work.

    and I hope you get your passport back in time! that would suck.

  • foolsage

    It would indeed suck. I have a rather important conference to attend, plus I'd like to visit France again, dammit. C'est un bon pays.

  • Mrs. Julien

    So much for kind-hearted redaction.

  • foolsage

    I'm not in the kindest-hearted of moods this morning. Sorry. ;)

  • Samantha Klein

    Yeah, sorry. It's fine, but I can name half a dozen people I'd rather listen to, including Richard Armitage and Lee Pace, who I'd MUCH rather look at, to boot.

  • IngridToday

    I'm assuming you've seen Lee Pace in "The Fall", but, in case you haven't it's fantastic.

  • Also oh, god, Lee Pace looks so stupid. There's some serious Queen of the Carnival drag going on right there.

  • Samantha Klein

    SERIOUSLY. Still more attractive than Benedict "Where's my chin?" Cumberbatch, though.

  • Sherry

    YES. And...hm. I seem to be an amalgamation of Figgy and Samantha Klein in these comments...

  • Mrs. Julien

    That's an excellent amalgam.

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