It's been eight years since epic fantasy lovers were able to see J.R.R. Tolkien's magic world of hobbits, elves, dwarves and wizards come to life on the big screen with 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. But next year, fans can finally return to Middle Earth. Peter Jackson, who directed the epic trilogy, will be at the helm for the first time in almost a decade to direct the 'The Hobbit,' a two-part film adaptation of Tolkien's 1937 precursor to the trilogy.

The first film in the two-part prequel, which chronicles the life of Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman during his adventures and Ian Holm in his old age) before the events of the main films, is 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' and a two-and-half minute trailer was released on Tuesday, although production is still in progress, according to

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' hits theaters Dec. 14, 2012, while it's follow-up, called 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' hits theatres Dec. 13, 2013.  

Here's the official synopsis of the film, courtesy of ScreenRant:

The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

According to reports, there will be a whole lot of dwarves and a whole lot of singing. Also, familiar faces from 'The Lord of the Rings' such as Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Lady Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) will be seen -- although they are absent from the novel -- plus a little surprise at the end will have you feeling...hoarse, to say the least.

Enjoy the trailer: