Perhaps explaining why those Hobbit movies cost so much damn money to make, Entertainment Weekly has revealed that The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies will end with a 45-minute battle scene. Director Peter Jackson spoke with EW about the logistics of creating such an epic climax. “We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics,” Jackson explains, before sharing the highly scientific way he maps out his fight scenes:
The climatic battle takes place at the base of the Lonely Mountain, where five armies are vying for the dwarven treasure previously defended by Smaug the dragon. And while the thought of sitting through 45 minutes of fighting may be enough to steer potential viewers away, Jackson promises that his epic battle won’t lose its human element. “We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal character,” he explains. “Otherwise the audience just ends up with battle fatigue.” And there’s nothing that alleviates battle fatigue like shots of familiar characters fighting in a battle!
Joking aside, Jackson did turn the lengthy Battle of Helm’s Deep into one of the most compelling set pieces in his original Lord Of The Rings trilogy, mostly by focusing on character amidst the chaos. And even if viewers are put off by the drawn-out Battle Of The Five Armies, they can at least take comfort in the fact that nothing that happens there will have any impact on the larger Middle Earth power struggle, because we already know that doesn’t get resolved until later.
But really the best thing to come out of the Entertainment Weekly article is Jackson’s acknowledgement that the giant Eagles who populate Middle Earth—and who show up again in this film—could have really helped Frodo on his epic quest. “I do realize that if the eagles had just been able to bring Frodo to Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings and let him drop the ring in, those movies would have been much shorter,” Jackson acknowledges, echoing what many have being saying for years now.