Comic-Con: Stephen Colbert Kicks Off 'Hobbit' Panel

The comedian's remarks referenced his love of J.R.R. Tolkien and his hopes and fears about first learning of the "Lord of the Rings" movies.
Associated Press

It was hard to gauge what had a bigger impact on fans: Stephen Colbert coming out in Middle Earth costume to moderate The Hobbit panel or Warner Bros. trotting out Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Elijah Wood and Cate Blanchett for Lord of the Rings fans. 

Colbert got the proceedings off to a rollicking start with a long speech, delivered in his trademark late-night host fashion. It was funny and referenced his love of J.R.R. Tolkien and his hopes and fears about first learning of the Lord of the Rings movies.

The panel then segued into a collection of very humorous outtakes from the Rings and Hobbit movies before the cast members appeared.

The panel ranged from insightful (the Hobbit movies are progressively moving from a light tone to a darker one in order to match up with LOTR) to silly (some of the actors began talking about which one had a bigger bow and who was more skilled at using it). Director Peter Jackson said he had more scenes he could insert into Lord of the Rings.

Cumberbatch and Andy Serkis both delighted fans by using the voice of their respective characters, Smaug and Gollum. Serkis also said that acting in motion capture was not different then normal acting.

"All you need is another actor’s eye to look into," he said. "What you need is the ability to lose yourself in a character and bury yourself in a part and believe you're that person."