With a brilliant performance in the Sherlock TV series, as well as an upcoming part as the main villain of Star Trek 2, Benedict Cumberbatch is establishing himself as the next big geek icon. Cast him as the next Doctor and we'll get fanboys to have seizures. Of course, Cumberbatch also has a roll in the three Hobbit films as the voice of Smaug, the villanous dragon. He doesn't show up towards the end of the book but Cumberbatch hints that things might be different for the trilogy.
In a recent interview with Blastr, Cumberbatch said "I think my eye might open at the end of the first film and then you'll get the rest of me in the second." Makes sense, they'd have to do some pretty intense plot gymnastics to strongly work Smaug into the plot any earlier. Of course, it's also worth noting that this all change with the introduction of a third film into the Hobbit saga. Unless Peter Jackson plans to continue the series for one movie after the main villain has been killed, the main battle against Smaug will be pushed back to the third film. I also can't help but wonder how Cumberbatch, known for his stoic performances, will pull off the voice of a dragon. Any Tolkien fans out there have an opinion on this?