stephen fry

singing ringing tree

After all the thrill and adventure of The Desolation of Smaug, you’re going to wish there was more to watch. Well, there is, only it’s not necessarily more of The Desolation of Smaug (not until the extended editions on video, anyway). Instead, it’s other movies that I’ve selected as necessary viewing for those who’ve seen the new Hobbit movie. It doesn’t matter if you liked Smaug or not, because many of these titles are preferred predecessors and alternatives, anyway. Others consist of early movies starring prominent members of the cast or just movies that I was personally reminded of and have now made the excuse to share. From the very well known to the very obscure, the long and the short, there’s bound to be at least one title here for you to enjoy in however much time you have leftover following another lengthy trip to Middle-earth with Peter Jackson. This weekend’s list includes 13 titles, one for each of the 13 dwarves in the movie — though not every selection is necessarily tied to a dwarf. That was just my idea of being clever, plus the fact that such a long movie with a lot going on naturally got me thinking of more movies than usual. Check out my recommendations below and share any others you believe are relevant to mention. There are plot SPOILERS for Smaug after the jump, of course, since many of these picks are relevant to various parts of the movie.

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According to a Facebook post from director Peter Jackson, the brilliant Stephen Fry will be in The Hobbit, playing the Master of Laketown. It’s pitch perfect casting that should play both to Fry’s larger-than-life comedic skills and his ability to play complex, darker characters. As fans of the book know, the Master of Laketown is a politician through and through in his hand-shaking, smiley enthusiasm, but depending on what is kept for the movie, the character could experience some tragedies to round out that grin on his face. In huge, yet minor, casting news, Jackson also announced that Conan Stevens will be playing the Orc Azor. Fans of Game of Thrones know him as Gregor Clegane and also know that he is 7 feet tall and looks like an MMA fighter. In addition, Ryan Gage (who, no lie, was in the original 1995 Judge Dredd) was going to play Drogo Baggins, but has gotten a promotion to the larger part of Master of Laketown’s civil servant Alfrid. There are about one hundred million thousand other roles, and most of the rest of the casting will be minor, but Jackson is consistent about letting fans in on the process, so we’ll continue to keep an omnipresent eye on it. Just one though. And the eye will be on fire.

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Johnny Depp makes his seventh appearance in a Tim Burton film officially making the two of them common-law married. Click to read if we think their relationship is still going strong after all these years.

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