8 April 2013 8:24 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Sir Ian McKellen has praised Benedict Cumberbatch's performance in the Hobbit trilogy.

Cumberbatch will appear as the dragon Smaug in upcoming sequel The Desolation of Smaug, using the same motion capture technology as Andy Serkis in his acclaimed performance as Gollum.

"Doing motion capture for a part such as that is tricky," McKellen told Metro. "I mean, how do you play a dragon? Then again, before Lord of the Rings people were saying, 'How on Earth do you play a Gollum?'

"None of us have seen the finished Smaug yet, but I saw Benedict Cumberbatch's screen test and it was very impressive."

Director Peter Jackson recently offered a preview of the second film, during which the first glimpses of new characters played by Evangeline Lilly and Luke Evans were revealed.

> 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' for extended version in 2013

> Ian McKellen on returning to Middle-earth »


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