Benedict Cumberbatch's name can be seen almost everywhere these days ever since J.J. Abrams cast him as the main villain in "Star Trek 2," but that isn't the only big franchise where you'll see the British actor in the next few years.
A few months ago, Peter Jackson chose Cumberbatch for the iconic role of Smaug in "The Hobbit," for which he'll provide the motion performance for the famous dragon. The announcement for Cumberbatch's casting, however, offered an unexpected piece of additional news. Some spoilers ahead...
Cumberbatch will also provide the voice for the Necromancer. This is significant for a number of reasons, the main being that the Necromancer ends up being Sauron, the master of the One Ring from "The Lord of the Rings." It also matters because we knew that Jackson would use information from the appendixes of "LOTR" to pad out "The Hobbit"'s two installments. Casting the Necromancer, a character that appears only in name in the book, signals where Jackson intends on taking the extra story.
But in a quote to Empire, Cumberbatch elaborated on his role, stating "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."
"The Five Legions War" is most likely a mistaken reference to the Battle of Five Armies, one of the key scenes from "The Hobbit." If the Necromancer does make an appearance as Cumberbatch claims, that would signal a significant change to the original story and plans to more closely align these prequels to Jackson's trilogy.
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