Almost 10 years since the first installment of The Lord of the Rings was seen in theaters, Middle Earth is getting closer again, as the first trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a prequel to the trilogy, was revealed Tuesday.

Director Peter Jackson is now telling the adventurous story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and how he reclaimed the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug. The movie hits theaters next December and will be followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again about a year later. It is sure to be much anticipated as its release date draws closer.

Jackson had a bit of an unexpected journey himself during production as there were reported financial delays and director Guillermo Del Toro left the project.

Jackson directed movies of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, which grossed billions worldwide.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Philippa Boyens, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who has worked on the writing team throughout the voyage, said the delays for The Hobbit had her wondering if perhaps the magic was gone. Boyens said she now knows it was all just part of the unpredictable quest.

It's been an interesting journey. I was thinking about it the other day, and at some point you have to believe in fate because it's going really well now, Boyens told the Times. I'm touching wood now. But I think if it had all happened any earlier it would have been too soon and any later we would all be too old. Things seem to come together for the right reasons.

In The Hobbit, Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey. The cast also includes Richard Armitage, John Bell, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Ian Holm, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O'Gorman, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Andy Serkis, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, Aidan Turner, Hugo Weaving and Elijah Wood.

You can watch the trailer below: