Peter Jackson has spent years making JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth into a CGI spectacular – and the director has revealed that he intends to end things with a bang.
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The final instalment in The Hobbit trilogy, entitled The Battle of the Five Armies, is set to culminate in an epic, 45-minute battle scene.
Oscar-winner Jackson, who also directed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, told Entertainment Weekly that designing and creating the footage was a feat in itself.
“There’s a lot of logistics that have to be thought through,” he said.
“We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics.”
The conflict is played out at the bottom of the Lonely Mountain and sees a number of armies fighting for their right to the treasure of Erebor.
With such a vast number of fighters, Jackson explained that it was important to envisage the clash as a whole: “Are they [the armies] going to fill up the valley or look like a speck?”
Jackson added that the eagles will have a key role in the action too, with the Lord of the Eagles making his debut.
“Tolkien uses eagles in a way that can be kind of awkward because they tend to show up out of the blue and change things pretty quickly,” he said.
“So here they’re just part of the plan, not the saviours.”
And if you’re worried that 45 minutes of blood and gore could become tiresome, do not fear. “We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters,” Jackson said.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is scheduled for release in the UK on 12 December.