10. Guillermo understands how important Smaug is.
Guillermo del Toro: “I plan to create something new and groundbreaking.
Smaug should not be ‘the Dragon in the Hobbit movie’ as if it was just ‘another’ creature in a Bestiary. Smaug should be ‘The Dragon’ for all movies past and present.
The shadow he cast and the greed he comes to embody - the "need to own" casts its long shadow and creates a thematic / dramatic continuity of sorts that articulates the story throughout.
In that respect, Smaug the CHARACTER is as important, if not more important, than the design. The character will emerge form the writing - and in that the Magnificent arrogance, intelligence, sophistication and greed of Smaug shine through.
One of the main mistakes with talking dragons is to shape the mouth like a snub Simian one in order to achieve a dubious lip-synch... A point which eluded me particularly in Eragon, since their link is a psychic one.
To me, Smaug is the perfect example of a great creature defined by its look and design, yes, but also, very importantly, by his movement and - one little hint - its environment.
Think about it... the way he is scaled, moves and is lit, limited or enhanced by his location, weather conditions, light conditions, time of the year, etc.
That's all I can say without spoilers but, if you keep this curious little summary you'll realize several years form now that those things I had in my mind ever since doodling the character as a kid had solidified waaay before starting the shoot of the film.
As to his voice- well, each reader has a Smaug voice in his / her head, just like you always do when "hearing" a great character in a book.”
I have mine... and it will be revealed in time...”
11. There will be talking animals.
Guillermo del Toro: “I think it should be done exactly as in the book - the “talking beast” motif has to exist already to allow for that great character that is Smaug. It is far more jarring to have a linear movie and then – out of the blue – a talking Dragon.”