The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hasn't come out yet, but that hasn't stopped Warner Bros from releasing a picture from the next film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (they also released a pic from The Hobbit: There And Back Again, but it's just a shot of Legolas and Bard the Bowman bro'ing out). This Hobbit 2 picture is interesting because it tells us that we're gonna see the dragon in the next one.
You don't really get a look at the dragon in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Smaug is a shape in clouds of steam, and we see his tail and his fire, and at the very end his eye, but otherwise he's out of the film - like Gollum in The Fellowship of the Ring. The picture above tells us that Bilbo will get into Lonely Mountain before the end of the movie, and he'll certainly meet the dragon, played by Benedict Cumberbatch (who doesn't speak in An Unexpected Journey).
What then? I mean, if the whole thing is about getting the mountain back from the dragon and they meet the dragon in the second film, how will there be three more hours of this stuff?
“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.”
She's talking about the Battle of the Five Armies, a war waged over the gold inside Lonely Mountain after the dragon is dispatched. It's considered, by the kinds of nerds who consider these things, an outlying skirmish of the War of the Ring.
A whole movie about the battle? With about thirty minutes of epilogue, I wager. Still, there has to be some other element Jackson and company is saving for the third film. Will the Necromancer end up having a large part to play?