The much-anticipated first trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on December 20, previewing the first part of the director's adaptation of JJR Tolkien's prequel to The Lord of the Rings.
The epic story follows Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, setting off on an adventure with the wizard Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen reprising his role from Jackson's Lord of the Rings, along with several other characters.
The footage begins comically with the Hobbit meeting the 13 dwarfs, but the tone shifts as their leader Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) leads the group in a somber tune before heading across the Wild.
In two and a half minutes, Jackson journeys back into Middle Earth with this fantasy tale through lush landscapes with Cate Blanchett (Robin Hood) as Galadriel and across treacherous territory and battles, until Baggins encounters Gollum and the ring.
Baggins is warned about the dangers of the quest up Lonely Mountain to reclaim treasures taken by the dragon Smaug, but if he does return home safely, Gandalf tells him, he will be changed.
The Hobbit also stars Elijah Wood, who reprises his role as Frodo from The Lord of the Rings, as well as Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as Gollum, Orlando Bloom (The Three Musketeers), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans), Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and Hugo Weaving (Captain America).
After The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres on November 26, 2012 in New Zealand, where the film was shot, it will open worldwide next December 12-14 followed by the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, to be released December 2013.