First Full Images Of The Hobbit's Smaug

On... an Air New Zealand plane?

It may not quite be the way that most people were expecting to get their first look at The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’s titular reptile in his glory, but after months of teasing trailers and photos, the dragon is out of the bag thanks to Air New Zealand’s new Hobbit-adorned plane. If you’d rather not see the images and are waiting to catch Smaug in the film, click away and avoid the gallery lower down the page. Otherwise, enjoy.

The beast, as voiced (and performance captured) by Benedict Cumberbatch, is an impressive creation, very lizard-like but also with a nasty hint of his intelligence lurking within.

As for the film, it continues Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the dwarf company’s journey to the Smaug-ruled ruins of Erebor as our pint-sized heroes (and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf) meet new potential allies and continue to flee from those nasty Orc villains.

Obviously we’ve met the main gang, so the fun here will be encountering new – and new / old friends – such as Evangeline Lilly’s warrior elf Tauriel, Lee Pace's Elvenking Thranduil and Orlando Bloom’s Legolas.

With the likes of Aidan Turner, Billy Connolly, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Luke Evans, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens and Stephen Fry also in the cast, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is out on December 13. The latest trailer is lurking below like a slumbering leviathan.