I just got out of the press conference for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, and as with every other The Hobbit press conference I have attended at SDCC (all of them), I was struck by how totally low-energy this group is. They're very pleasant, but just really, amazingly low-key. With this being the third year of bringing The Hobbit to SDCC, there really wasn't all that much news, and Martin Freeman didn't even attend. But I have a couple of things to report.
Most pressing: literally no one knows how to pronouce Smaug. At first Andy Serkis pronounced it "Smog," and Benedict Cumberbatch leaned over and whispered in his ear, to which Serkis quickly amended, "Sorry, Sm-owww-g." Peter Jackson thanked him for the amendment, but later, a reporter asking a question pronounced it "Shmowwg," and Evangeline Lilly grabbed the mic to say: "Wait a minute. No one should ever listen to Peter Jackson on how to pronounce 'Smaug.' It isn't 'Schmowwg,' it's 'Smowg.' Right, Philippa?" To this, Philippa Boyens just shrugged. It was anarchy!
Other than that, we just learned that we shouldn't necessarily expect the battle of The Battle of the Five Armies to rival that of Return of the King, but that the tone will be closer to that of a thriller, with the darkest feel of any of the films. Jackson said it's "the most emotional, the most tense of the three. It's my favorite of the three."
And my last thing to report: Benedict Cumberbatch made friendly eye contact with me three times, and I am dead now.