The Warner Bros. presentation on Saturday ended with [The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies](movie:512312). The new moderator for the end was the one and only Stephen Colbert. As many people know, Colbert is one of the biggest and most knowledgeable Lord of the Rings and J.R.R. Tolkin fans, so it was appropriate to have him for the last Middle Earth panel for San Diego Comic Con.
The panel started off with very long gag reel from the production of the original Lord of the Rings and the new Hobbit movies. The entire theme of the panel was not just the new movie, but rather the complete saga as a whole. The panel was surprisingly light on The Battle of the Five Armies in that respect and how The Hobbit fits into Lord of the Rings and how the three films make up The Hobbit.
Colbert introduced the panelists, including director Peter Jackson, co-writer Philipa Boyens, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Graham McTavis, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis.
Peter Jackson talked about making the transition from The Battle of the Five Armies and The Fellowship of the Ring and how the tone will shift from film to film. While Jackson didn't reveal any details, some of The Hobbit's characters will not make it to the end of the new trilogy. The tone of the film will also shift to something darker than the first two films - An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug.
The saga's co-screenwriter Philipa Boyens talked about adapting the books into a six-film saga and how taking characters like Tom Bombadil had to be left out of the series. Benedict Cumberbatch also addressed issues playing The Battle of Five Armies' two villains, Smaug and the Necromancer, and how being separated from the rest of the cast help his performance overall.
Andy Serkis' performance as Gollum in the Saga was also a talking point with Serkis talking up his new production company The Imaginarium. While one of the highlights of the panel was Colbert bragging that he once beat Philippa Boyens in a Tolkin trivia contest. Peter Jackson also expressed interest in one day opening a Lord of the Rings museum that would feature original costumes from the first and new trilogies.
Warner Bros. also debuted the first teaser trailer for the new film. While the new footage featured heavy action and excitement, a highlight was that it also featured Pippin's Song "Edge of Night" from The Return of the King. The teaser ended with the beginning of the war and the first battle of the five armies.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will hit theaters everywhere on December 17, 2014.