The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a 2014 epic high fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson and written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro. It is the third and final installment in Peter Jackson's three-part film adaptation based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, following An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and together, they act as a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
It was produced by New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and WingNut Films, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The Battle of the Five Armies premiered in London on 1 December 2014, and was then released on 11 December 2014 in New Zealand, 12 December 2014 in the United Kingdom, and on 17 December 2014 in the United States. It stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Billy Connolly, Graham McTavish, James Nesbitt, Stephen Fry and Ryan Gage. The ensemble cast also features Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Orlando Bloom. It was Holm's final film before his death in 2020, as well as Lee's final live-action role, although he would be featured as a voice actor in several films released after his death in 2015.
Having reclaimed Erebor and vast treasure from the dragon Smaug, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) sacrifices friendship and honor in seeking the Arkenstone, despite Smaug's fiery wrath and desperate attempts by the Hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) to make him see reason. Meanwhile, Sauron sends legions of Orcs in a sneak attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As the fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance, the races of Men, Elves and Dwarves must decide whether to unite and prevail -- or all die.
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