Fans are abuzz over the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, as are the cast and crew members.

Director Peter Jackson and cast member Elijah Wood, who reprises his role as Frodo, revealed that working on The Hobbit is like being at a family reunion --  the good kind. Cast members from the LOTR films became famously close, with several even getting tattoos in Tengwar script.

I'm enjoying it much more than I ever thought I would and it literally does feel like a family reunion, which is a nice way to go to work each day, Jackson told Reuters at the Sundance film festival, which ends on Jan. 29.

Wood, who told Reuters he plays a very small role in the new film, echoed the sentiment.

It was very surreal, he said. It kind of felt like no time had passed and suddenly we were back working again. It kind of felt like stepping back into time, family reunion. It was so great.

The book on which the film is based, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, is being made into two movies. The first one, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, hits theaters on Dec. 14 and should prove to be a box office success. Fans of the LOTR highly successful, Oscar-sweeping film adaptations haven't had a movie since 2003, when The Return of the King came out -- and the trailer for this one already has more than 13 million hits on YouTube.

The second movie, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is scheduled for release in December 2013, giving fans plenty of time to recover from the excitement -- and build up some more.

Martin Freeman, who has a history of playing quirky but lovable characters, including Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Tim Canterbury in the original UK series of The Office, will play Bilbo Baggins, a reluctant adventurer.

He is joined by some familiar faces, including Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, and Andy Serkis as Gollum.

New faces to the film series include Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, James Nesbitt, Lee Pace and Aidan Turner.

The trailer for the first movie promises a thrilling adventure.

Watch the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey here.