Director Peter Jackson, along with most of the cast members for this winter’s ‘The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies’ turned out for the film’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con International.  The film marks the third and final installment in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy and seemingly the last time audiences will get to thrill to the adventures in Middle Earth, which was kicked off with 2001’s ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring’.  While ‘The Battle Of Five Armies’ marks the last film based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth books, Jackson did teased that there may be more story to tell.

The filmmaker stated that there were still some scenes that were cut from the original ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and that he was interested in making an extended extended version of the film, but cautioned that might be a difficult task as the “footage is secured in some nuclear-proof vault” in Arizona.

“It’s a big logistical thing,” he stated, “But if there’s enough interest from people, maybe they will figure it out.”

Talk show host Stephen Colbert hosted the panel, wearing his costume from his cameo in ‘The Desolation of Smaug’.  Also joining Jackson were producer Philippa Boyens and cast members Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug and The Necromancer), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Evangline Lilly (Tauriel), Lee Pace (Thranduil), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman), and Graham McTavish (Dwalin).

Those in attendance were treated to the first trailer for the new movie as well as a full-Middle Earth blooper reel.

The trailer is reported as having a somber tone with an opening narration by Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, who apparently wasn’t in attendance) stating “I’ll remember everything that happened. Those who survived, those who didn’t.” The clip also included Smaug decimating the village of Laketown.

Jackson also revealed that the movie wasn’t finished yet and that he was still shooting some footage and working on the CGI and animation  He indicated that this last ‘Hobbit’ movie would be taking on a darker tone, closer to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies than the more light-hearted earlier ‘Hobbit’ films.

He also pointed out that not everyone walks out of this movie alive:

“We get to kill a few of them this time around, which is good.  There’s a lot of sadness and tragedy. It’s always good when you can kill off some main characters, as a filmmaker. It’s a chance to do something ugly, powerful and emotional.”

Finally, Jackson expressed intent to create a museum for his films to display the ornate costumes, props, miniatures and other artifacts.

You can watch the full panel below courtesy of Emergency Awesome.

Are you looking forward to the last trip to Middle Earth?  Or are you scared to see the end of this franchise?

Sources: Slash Film, MTVCollider