Peter Jackson says Smaug WILL (kinda) be in the 1st Hobbit pic

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Dec 17, 2012, 4:24 PM EST

Ever since we learned that we're getting three Hobbit films instead of two, we've been wondering just how Peter Jackson might fit everything together. Given that film two is subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, we assumed the big bad dragon wouldn't show up until then, but according to Jackson, we'll get to glimpse him this December.

In a new interview with Empire, Jackson revealed that the legendary treasure-hoarding dragon that Thorin and company are out to take down will make his debut with a "fleeting appearance" in the prologue of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Just what "fleeting" means for Jackson isn't clear, but at the very least we know we'll get a second or two of dragon action in this film.

Jackson also revealed two other bits of chronological arrangement in the interview. First, he noted that the spiders of Mirkwood will not make an appearance until the second film, and that they'll speak with a kind of "psychic communication" that only Bilbo hears.

The interview also revealed that film two will take us to the dark stronghold of Dol Guldur, the hideout taken by the evil Sauron in the years when he lived in a weakened state and was known only as "The Necromancer." According to co-star Sylvester McCoy, those scenes include moments "where the wizards are together, battling not each other but some other evil." We knew Jackson would be expanding the novel beyond its original page count to include other elements of Middle-earth lore that fit into the chronology, and so far this is the most exciting bit we've heard about.

What do you think? Does Jackson seem to have the arrangement of the story well in hand?

(Via Comic Book Movie)