The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster header

Peter Jackson took the stage at Hall H at Comic-Con for potentially the last time as a maker of Middle-Earth to present the first footage from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Co-stars Andy Serkis, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchet, Elijah Wood and others joined the writer/director to promote the third and final Hobbit film, scheduled for release December 17.

Stephen Colbert hosted the panel, in full kit from his cameo in The Desolation of Smaug, and debuted the first teaser trailer. He also talked about the Middle-Earth saga as a whole. Read about the Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Comic-Con panel and trailer description below.

[UPDATE: Video of the full The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Comic-Con panel has been released, and you can see watch it after the jump.]

Stephen Colbert Hobbit Comic Con

After revealing a huge banner that went across the entire front half of Hall H, they screened a reel that blended the first five movies in the series. It jumped between the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings and then ended with Stephen Colbert on set with his family. It was the reveal that the soon to be Late Show host would be moderating this panel.

He talked about his obsession with the movies from the earliest moments on the internet, how he dug deep into all the stills, trailers and more. He said the only problem was at 11.5 hours, they were too damn short. That lead into a clip which was an extended gag reel from all five films. It started with Colbert’s cameo extending into a Peter Jackson cameo that got cut out. New footage from Hobbit was intercut with low quality footage from the Rings movies. Hugo Weaving dressed as Agent Smith, Gandalf with no pants, it was all super silly, lots of flubbed takes, the whole thing ran about 6 minutes and was tagged with “Thank you for coming on the journey with us.”

Then they brought out the cast.

Hobbit panel

Jackson said they are still doing lots of effects and he’s even still shooting some footage on motion capture scenes. “They haven’t stopped me from filming it yet,” Jackson said. Colbert pointed out when the new movie is in theaters, it will be have been 20 years since he started working on it.

Colbert told Jackson he owes us six more movies because of the new pace of The Hobbit and Jackson joked that Warner Bros would love that. He talked about the tone of the new movie, which was much darker than the last two movies. Jackson called it a progression.

A few interesting tidbits were that Elijah Wood had never read any of the Hobbit books and Evangeline Lilly has never read the ending of the Return of the King. She didn’t want the story to end. Serkis talked about how incredibly much these movies changed the course of his life.

Then, finally, The Hobbit The Battle of Five Armies trailer played. It was a teaser. Bilbo says “I’ll remember everything that happened. Those who survived, those who didn’t.” There’s footage of Smaug blowing fire on Laketown, a decimated city, soldeirs and huge armies walking. Then, finally, Billy Boyd’s song from Return of the King hits, setting a somber, down tone. It promises the defining chapter of the Middle Earth trilogy as we see footage of a chase scene on ice. Flashes of Sauron. Then Bard asks Thorin, “Will you have peace or war?” He responds “I will have war!” A few more epic shots before everything gets quiet. Thorin “Will you follow me one last time?” Title card.

Here’s a bad pic of some of the posters sure to be released.

Five armies comic con banner

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

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