As promised, Warner Bros. has debuted a new trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that perfectly captures that mix of humor and action-adventure found in J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy novel. At the same time, it manages to lay out the plot, bringing back some familiar faces -- hello, Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, Gollum and young Bilbo -- while introducing plenty of new characters and creatures, including Radagast the Brown and Beorn the skin-changer.
The trailer arrives midway through Tolkien Week, which this year celebrates both the 75th anniversary (on Friday) of the publication of The Hobbit and the Sept. 22 birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo.
Watch the trailer below, or in HD at Apple.com. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on Dec. 14, 2012, followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Dec. 13, 2013, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again on July 18, 2014.
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins. Also reprising their roles from The Lord of the Rings movies are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
The ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) Richard Armitage, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas and Aidan Turner.