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.