"Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" director Peter Jackson gave fans their first look at "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" over the summer, but Warner Bros. has just premiered the official trailer for the second movie in the planned trilogy. In the trailer, fans will get to see Benedict Cumberbatch's work as Smaug, the film's main villain, as well as a look at the action, and romance, that will be featured in the new movie.
Despite the relative success of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," which got a 65 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, the part one film was seen as a disappointment. Some of those feelings may have been from comparison to the success, critically and commercially, of the "Lord of the Ring" trilogy and fans' displeasure with Jackson stretching "The Hobbit," a short prequel written by J.R.R. Tolkien, into three films. "The Hobbit" is around 320 pages -- shorter than any of the three "Ring" books -- and could be easily condensed into one film, but a trilogy could lead to some unnecessary filler and a lack of action. Those criticisms should soften a bit as "Desolation of Smaug" advances the plot and includes one of the climatic moments of the book.
With the plot and characters being established in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Desolation of Smaug" appears to pick up the pace, and the action-heavy trailer should please fans. Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage return to play Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield, respectively, and "Desolation of Smaug" will see the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Hugo Weaving as Elrond, as well as the debut of Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock" and "Star Trek Into Darkness"). Cumberbatch will be playing the dragon Smaug, and the trailer gives fans the first look at his voice work for the movie.
In addition to the new trailer, Warner Bros. revealed new character posters on the movie's Facebook page. "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" will hit theaters on Dec. 13, 2013.