Benedict Cumberbatch outs a major change to The Hobbit's finale

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Dec 16, 2012

The man of the hour—newly minted Star Trek 2 villain Benedict Cumberbatch—may have just revealed how director Peter Jackson will bridge the gap between the ending of The Hobbit and the start of The Lord of the Rings. Spoilers ahead!

The busy actor has made some interesting revelations to Empire Magazine during a set visit of the very popular BBC drama series Sherlock.

Cumberbatch, who will be giving voice as well as doing the mo-cap for both the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer, has revealed this important tidbit (check Cumberbatch's quote closely below. From what he says, seems that he'll only be voicing the Necromancer. Interesting):

"I'm playing Smaug through motion-capture and voicing the Necromancer, which is a character in the Five Legions War or something which I'm meant to understand. He's not actually in the original Hobbit. It's something [Peter Jackson]'s taken from Lord of the Rings that he wants to put in there."

Empire Magazine assumes that what the 35-year-old actor is actually referring to is the Battle of Five Armies, which will take place in the second Hobbit movie, There and Back Again, and has come up with an interesting theory:

Readers will know that the Necromancer is Sauron, and that Gandalf disappears halfway through (the book of) The Hobbit to lead a coalition force and drive the Necromancer out of his Mirkwood stronghold. But in the book they dispatch the Necromancer back to (as it turns out) Mordor well before the Battle of Five Armies. Here, however, it looks like he's going to turn up to the finale in person, presumably at the head of the goblin and warg army, and face Gandalf's team there.

By changing this important part, Peter Jackson will neatly combine the two story threads: the one that follows Bilbo and the dwarves in their perilous quest through the forest of Mirkwood and then against Smaug underneath the Lonely Mountain; and the one which will follow Gandalf and his own posse, thus fleshing out the original story in the Hobbit book, and providing some of the material Jackson needed to split the story into two films.

It will also (still according to Empire Magazine) give a stronger motivation for those pesky nasty globins (and wargs) whose king's been killed, and who are also hoping to get their dirty hands on the dragon's treasure as well (ah, goblins, greed and gold, such a winning combo). IF they are thus led by Sauron, it will explain their later behavior in Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films.

What do you think about this?

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will hit theaters Dec. 14, 2012. Film two, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released the following year, on Dec. 13, 2013.

(Empire Online via Comic Book Movie)