A new two-and-a-half-minute trailer for the first installment of “The Hobbit” arrived online this week, just in time for the 75th anniversary of the publication of the book, which will be celebrated on Friday.
The preview features the reappearances of several “Lord of the Rings” characters, including wise wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan), elves Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and Gollum (Andy Serkis), whom Bilbo encounters and must engage in a battle of riddles.
The character of Thorin (Richard Armitage), the leader of the company of dwarves which Bilbo joins in an attempt to take back the dwarves’ home from the dragon Smaug, also makes several appearances.
The trailer begins with Gandalf explaining the dwarves’ quest, after which the dwarves show up at Bilbo (Martin Freeman)’s home.
“I like visitors as much as the next hobbit, but I do like to know them before they come,” Bilbo complains. But soon after, he’s seen running through Hobbiton, clutching a map.
“I’m going on an adventure!” he hollers.
Gandalf also explains to Galadriel, co-ruler of Lothlórien, why he chose Bilbo for the quest.
“Perhaps it is because I am afraid and he gives me courage,” he says.
A character who appears to be the wizard Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy) states that “a dark power has found its way back into the world,” perhaps referring to the ring that jumpstarts the plot of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
The character of Gollum is seen entering into the battle of riddles with Bilbo, discussing the terms of the game.
“If Bagginses loses, then we eats it whole,” he informs Bilbo, with a head tilt suggesting this is a perfectly fair deal.
Various battle and adventure scenes are also shown, including wargs (wolf-like creatures) attacking, the dwarves and the trolls which the party encounters around a campfire as well as the dwarves braving a rockslide.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first movie in a planned trilogy, is scheduled for a Dec. 14 release. The films’ director Peter Jackson originally stated that the book would be adapted into two films, but recently announced that a third movie will be released in 2014, with the second installment coming in 2013.
Check out the full trailer below.