Thread: Voice of Smaug
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It has been decades since I saw the Rankin Bass version of the Hobbit. I wasn't very enamoured of the cartoon as a whole. But I don't remember Smaug's depiction very well. I'll have to google it and see if I can at least find a still frame image to see him. I'll get back to you when I have.
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":hyohua2k]It has been decades since I saw the Rankin Bass version of the Hobbit. I wasn't very enamoured of the cartoon as a whole. But I don't remember Smaug's depiction very well. I'll have to google it and see if I can at least find a still frame image to see him. I'll get back to you when I have.
awesome my friend we need fresh eyes to get a real opinion on this
I really hope you like the way Smaug looks like in the animation he fits the character perfectly to me
from voice to look he is the best part of the whole series
besides Gandalf of course
Is this the one you're talking about? http://kilby.sac.on.ca/towerslibrary/pa ... Hobbit.jpg
Not a very good pic of Smaug, but it's better than nothing.
I expect the filmmakers to spend a large amount of the budget on Smaug. Just like with Gollum in LOTR, they want Smaug to make history. They want to make the most real, the scariest, and the best dragon ever created on film. Smaug will be their biggest expense when it comes to CG. Oh, and it'll be cool to compare it to the one that Narnia has to make for VODT.
I see Smaug's appearance as essential. It is one of the most important parts. He is the antagonist, and it is supremely important that they get the right actor, the right CG artists, and the right "feel." For this I foresee them spending a lot of money.
Thanks for finding that Beren. You saved me a lot of effort
. I zoomed in on Smaug. He does look very good. I never cared for their depiction of Bilbo though.
Here's my favourite depiction of Smaug: [url:1gpvdi6f]http://www.theonering.net/scrapbook/view/1085[/url:1gpvdi6f]
Oh, and here is Tolkien's pic: http://www.hobbit.ca/Smaug-Tolkien2.jpg
Tolkien seemed to think of him more as a worm than as a beast with rippling muscles. But perhaps I'm mistaken.
Just variations on a theme. Tolkien's is more like the traditional European Wyrm variety. But British Dragon's look more filled out in the mid-section--especially when their tails are coiled uprather than extended full length.
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":7hcryu1x]Thanks for finding that Beren. You saved me a lot of effort
. I zoomed in on Smaug. He does look very good. I never cared for their depiction of Bilbo though.
Here's my favourite depiction of Smaug: [url:7hcryu1x]http://www.theonering.net/scrapbook/view/1085[/url:7hcryu1x]
that is a very powerful depiction of old Smaug very cool and a lot of muscle on this old Dragon
Ian McShane would be awesome.
Other cool talent that I think could pull off Smaug:
[quote="blingwraith":206a177z]Ian McShane would be awesome.
Other cool talent that I think could pull off Smaug:
wo0a those are good choices my friend.
Nimoy did Galvatron on the Transformers animated movie and Weaving did a great Megatron for the Live Action Movie.
if I had to pick one realistically I would go with Weaving just because he has a stronger baritone and a deeper growl and that is what Smaug Needs to be a believable character from the book to the screen.
how important is the look to you my friend.
we would like to know
With some digital voice effects I think James Earl Jones might be interesting, too. Although having Smaug sound like Vader may bother some.
It's funny, when I was thinking of Weaving, it was his "Agent Smith" voice that got me. I totally forgot he did Megatron.
And for Nimoy, it was definitely Galvatron!
Ian McShane is one of my favorites, and if he could bring back some Al Swearengen mixed with the voice he did on Golden Compass I think that would make a great Smaug. I also think McShane has the look and talent to play some some live action role in one of the movies.
One more for tonight:
Seriously. Think about it.
For those who don't recognize the name, he played Buffalo Bill in SIlence of the Lambs.
I always think of Gollum when Buffalo Bill is running through his house yelling, "PRECIOUS!"
Though Weaving is a great choice, I prefer the idea of having a new to the series actor (don't forget he is Elrond and highly likely to be reprising his role). And as excellent as Nimoy and JE Jones are, I think a GOOD British/Scottish/Irish accent is a must. If either of them could pull it off, then fine. But I have never heard either of them do one in my memory. Elijah Wood and Natalie Portman are the only American actors I've heard in recent years that have pulled off a totally convincing British accent, though neither of them would work for obvious reasons
. And as I haven't seen Silence of the Lambs
I still can't place Ted Levine, but I do know Anthony Hopkins
and as he's Welsh HE would definitely be in consideration.
Now that could work for me. I'm imagining in my head some exposition scene from Zorro with him just talking to Banderas. I can't remember the lines or even what scene. All that I can remember is this perfectly levels explanation that seems like it should be boring. Almost like he wasn't trying. But somehow his deadpan delivery through it just hooks you.
I think Anthony Hopkins would be a good choice but he doesn't have that shivering level of creepy but then I haven't seen Silence of the Lambs either
. And according to my brother he is creepy in the EXTREME in that movie. I'll have to rent it this weekend and watch it. But he does have that uncanny ability to make something very boring somehow sound interesting. I always liked that about him.
[quote="blingwraith":30pfdaeh]With some digital voice effects I think James Earl Jones might be interesting, too. Although having Smaug sound like Vader may bother some.[/quote:30pfdaeh]
well we did love him as Mufassa in The Lion King maybe it would work
you may be on to something
I think that James Earl Jones is too familiar. He would be good I don't doubt that but he has just done so many voices that when you hear his voice even with digital effects it is still recognizable.
I'm still holding out for Alan Rickman
. Though his voice is probably familiar to many now.
But Rickman hasn't done any character voices has he? Just regular screen acting... or so I thought. I agree with you GB I think Rickman would be perfect
[quote="lothierial":1p88vrr4]I think that James Earl Jones is too familiar. He would be good I don't doubt that but he has just done so many voices that when you hear his voice even with digital effects it is still recognizable.[/quote:1p88vrr4]
great point I have to side with you on that one my friend
I think Rickman may be the winning voice so far he is the most recognizable and notable voice
so what do you guys think? any one else besides Rickman?
I am still curious as to how important the look is. I feel Del toro will handle the look very well but we need the look to be memorable you guys know what I mean?
now imagine Rickmans voice with the look it just gets better and better
I worry more and more about the look of smaug. I think I only worrry because my first (and the lasting) impression I have of Smaug comes from the illistrated copy of the book I read as a child.
Fast forward to today. The look was kind of cartooney you could say. But that is was Smaug is to me. When rendered into full modern CGI with every scale and muscle movement, will some of the magic go out?
At the same time, I am excited as all get out that I will get to see the epitome of a Dragon. But what kind of dragon?
I always envisioned Smaug as closer to the Japanese/Chinese interpretation. Their's is closer to a worm or snake. Long and viscious, Smaug would sort of curl up on the treasures that he hoards.
Or would he go with the more English version that has a look almost like a dinasour or something. The sleekness is given over to an overpowering symbol of strength and power.
I think the real difficulty is that both of these interpretations could work really well.
This is an original Tolkien illustration of Smaug: http://blog.txapulin.net/img/smaug.jpg
and i must say my personal favorite image of Smaug
. I think it would be really cool to see that withsome cgi! What do you guys think??
Does Smaug have rear legs?
I also wonder how they will move his mouth when he speaks? How does he articulate with that long of a mouth, that many teeth, and that much tounge? How would this phisicality affect the manner in which he speaks. Keeping in mind that the Jackson LotR approch tries to eliminate the "it's magic, just go with it" attitude.
I always thought he had rear legs. It would look kinda weird without them...
And yes, lothierial, that is my favorite, too. And it seems to go with the Chinese/Japanese interpretation that Show envisions. Very wormy and long.
I remember something from the Narnia films about the CG animals talking. The filmmakers were talking about how it was difficult to form some of the words for the CG animals, especially Trufflehunter (the badger) in Prince Caspian. http://features.cgsociety.org/stories/2 ... hunter.jpg
Trufflehuner's mouth is very linear, like Smaug. It's much like a dogs in the way that it's lower jaw is actually the chin too, and the upper jaw is the snout. Smaug's mouth is shaped like that, but his tongue is very different. Since the Prince Caspian crew were able to pull off a convincing talking Trufflehunter, I think that the Hobbit crew will be able to pull of a convincing (visually) Smaug. The problem is with the voice itself. How would a thin, forked tongue affect what the speech sounds like? That's the challenge that the filmmakers have.
Alot of you have said that the actor who provides Smaug's voice should be English, or at least able to pull off an English accent. I have to respectfully disagree. I think Smaug is such an ancient creature that perhaps he should sound more exotic. I keep thinking of the Mouth of Sauron in the RotK extended. He sounded more Eastern European to me and I liked that.
As long as it's not an American Accent (no offense but they are distracting and put-of-place in clearly European settings--excepting Legend of the Seeker which is establishing it's own fantasy world) I am fine with that. So to start the European Actors ball rolling, how about Udo Kier? He always seems slithery to me.
Udo Kier seems quite good. His eyes get to me...
I am open to accents other than British, but, as GB said, [u:1adjpl3d]no American.[/u:1adjpl3d] It would be disgusting. Technically, I guess Smaug would mainly have the influence of Morgoth's "Black Speech," with a touch of the men of Laketown, and possibly some dwarfish. Of course, all of these influences will have faded and mixed over time, and Smaug will have probably created his own style from these influences.
[quote="blingwraith":3o8md4f9]Alot of you have said that the actor who provides Smaug's voice should be English, or at least able to pull off an English accent. I have to respectfully disagree. I think Smaug is such an ancient creature that perhaps he should sound more exotic. I keep thinking of the Mouth of Sauron in the RotK extended. He sounded more Eastern European to me and I liked that.[/quote:3o8md4f9]
is it true that the gentleman who played the mouth of Sauron was also the same guy who played the helicopter pilot in the Road Warrior?
I have to agree to a point as long as the actor can pull it off it really wont mater where he is from so long as he can pull it off
by the way any one know of any concept art being released yet?
Yes, that was Bruce Spence the Aussie character actor. He's bloody brilliant
. He also was the Trainman in the Matrix (an updated version of Charon the boatman who ferried people across the river Styx to Hades). And he can recently be found playing the Wizard in Sam Raimi's latest TV production Legend of the Seeker (it's great
), based on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth novels. I never really considered him for Smaug, but come to think of it he would probably be excellent.
[quote="Sauron222":j65j77qd]by the way any one know of any concept art being released yet?[/quote:j65j77qd]
I don't think anything has been released yet. I know that Del Toro wants to use Alan Lee and John Howe, who did the concept art for LOTR. But he also wants Mike Mignola and Wayne Barlowe who did the concept art for his Hellboy films. Mignola's style seems like a comic-strip style, while Barlowe is more disturbing...
[quote="Beren":ful1p6ea][quote="Sauron222":ful1p6ea]by the way any one know of any concept art being released yet?[/quote:ful1p6ea]
I don't think anything has been released yet. I know that Del Toro wants to use Alan Lee and John Howe, who did the concept art for LOTR. But he also wants Mike Mignola and Wayne Barlowe who did the concept art for his Hellboy films. Mignola's style seems like a comic-strip style, while Barlowe is more disturbing...[/quote:ful1p6ea]
Barlowe would put an interesting take on Smaug how ever but you are right he does have that creepy feel to his work
I just hope if he is picked to do some concept work he does Smaug justice.
thanks for the info my friend please keep me up to date
Re: Voice of Smaug
by Sauron222 on Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:59 am
is it true that the gentleman who played the mouth of Sauron was also the same guy who played the helicopter pilot in the Road Warrior?[/quote:31fk27y3]
The very same.
I agree with all you guys in that the voice of Smaug should NOT have an American accent.
ok gang so the American guys are out for the voice of Smaug now who should we narrow it down to? and I wonder if we should take a poll m friends, what do you think?
What about Ian McKellen? I know he's playing Gandalf, but that means he'll be a two for one deal. He can have a deep, fruity, pompous and menacing voice if he has to. (Think the toad in flushed away only more serious.) Plus he's had experience in roles such as this in his delvings into Shakespeare, eg. King Lear.
There's no question that McKellan or Weaving could turn in outstanding Smaug performances, but I think we should try to stick with actors who aren't already strongly associated with the series. Though, having said that, Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) is still third or fourth on my list
as he hasn't had as much impact on general audiences, not being a central character. And I think most people on this forum already know my number one pick *cough...Rickman...gasp*
yeah, I think we're almost all agreed that having someone from LOTR wouldn't be the best idea.
I have to agree lets get somebody outside LOTR to do Smaug and then we can concentrate from there.
I myself have to say i am pulling for Rickman so that is two votes I have counted so far
anyone else want to go for Rickman??
Yes, Rickman would be perfect, although he does have a very recognizable voice. Any time you hear him, you immediately think of one of his roles. (I usually think of Snape or the Sherriff of Nottingham.)
[quote="Barrel the pony":12uywcak]Yes, Rickman would be perfect, although he does have a very recognizable voice. Any time you hear him, you immediately think of one of his roles. (I usually think of Snape or the Sherriff of Nottingham.)[/quote:12uywcak]
Hans let us not forget Hans from the first Die Hard
My first thought of rickman is always him calmly putting a bullet in Mr. Ticagi. And yes, I'm sure I spelled it wrong.
and I will vote for Rickman as well.
Of all things about the Hobbit, I'm least worrying about Smaug's voice.
No doubt they'll attend a decent studio, and get the right person.
Maybe even a combination of persons, something like they did in the LOTR White wizard/Fangorn scene?
Smaug is in my mind the second most important character in the book next only to Bilbo so it is really important to me that they get the voice right but ya my vote goes to Rickman!
Big fan of his! He just has this wierd sophisticated creepy guy aura about him i don't know what it is but he seems so smart but a total lunatic at the same time!
I think Rickman is wining by a landslide so all I have to say all in favor of the Venerable Allan Rickman for Smaug say AYE! those against Say Naye.
I think I'll have to say "Aye." Although it is entirely possible that I'd like someone who isn't famous. And it is entirely possible that they'll pick someone from obscurity.
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[quote="Gandalfs Beard":1vxbdp27]Aye Laddy
good one my friend