Hollywood makes awesome visuals all look so commonplace and seamless that we tend to forget that creating creatures like Smaug in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug actually took lots of trial and error and countless pieces of concept art before being finalized for the screen. Today, we’ve got some cool reminders of how that process works – and alternate versions of not only the intimidating dragon, but Beorn’s bear form and the Big Daddy concept from Gore Verbinski’s canceled Bioshock movie.
The Hobbit concept pieces come courtesy of WETA artist Andrew Baker and show off how Smaug evolved into the stunning and terrifying creature we see in Jackson’s finished film. Baker reveals that his contributions to the dragon’s design centered mostly on the head, so have a peek at a few of the shots below.
Baker also contributed to the Beorn design, which the artist says “went through many looks.” The concept art seems to bear this out (pun fully intended), with a wide range of interesting takes on the character’s appearance.
You can check out more of Baker’s work by visiting his blog. There’s some really amazing stuff there for Tolkien fanatics to peruse.
I’m still bummed that Gore Verbinksi’s adaptation of the Bioshock video game never got off the ground, but we can look at these concept designs for the game’s intimidating Big Daddies and wonder what might have been.
As is to be expected when you’re making a film with a $200 million budget, the designs look fantastic – and are completely faithful to the game that inspired them. Unfortunately, Universal got nervous about producing an R-rated film with such an enormous price tag and eventually asked Verbinski to cut it down to a measly $80 million. That pretty much killed Bioshock for the foreseeable future, which is disappointing because it’s one of the rare games that could have made for a really great movie. [via Comic Book Movie]
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