'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' premiers Dec. 14, 2012. (Photo Courtesy: USA Today)
No one's more glad to be back on a quest through Middle-Earth than director Peter Jackson and writer/producer Philippa Boyens.
The filmmakers of the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy return to the fantasy land for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (out Dec. 14), which premieres a trailer Wednesday.
It's the first of three movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, published 75 years ago on Friday â?? The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug debuts Dec. 13, 2013; The Hobbit: There and Back Again on July 18, 2014.
The Lord of the Rings followed the Hobbit named Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he traveled to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring; the prequel The Hobbit features another Baggins -- Bilbo (Martin Freeman) -- who goes on a quest to find the treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug.
"I'm not a huge fan of fantasy for fantasy's sake," Jackson says. "I like Tolkien's work because of the language, the cultures he wrote about -- they're anchored in a very real historical mythology that he created."
by Brian Truitt