Warner Bros. has released the first official look at the highly anticipated prequel to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," late Tuesday night.
The events in the film take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings story. The young Bilbo embarks on an adventure with a group of warrior dwarfs to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from an evil dragon.
The announcement trailer shows Bilbo Baggins as he tells his nephew Frodo about his extraordinary adventure that led him to finding the notorious Ring of Power.
"You asked me once if I had told you everything there was to know about my adventures," Bilbo says in the trailer. "Well, I can honestly tell you I told the truth... I may not have told you all of it."
MovieFix staff noted that the familiarity of the story actually will help the movie in the long run. The staffers called the trailer a "must-see." "It's so good to see Gollum, Gandalf and the marvelous world of Middle-earth again!" MovieFix wrote.
The Hobbit, written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1937 is the lone novel written before The Lord of the Rings trilogy of books that were later published in the 1950s. This first novel is the premise of the first of two films based on the book.
"While it was all too fleeting there was enough in it to stir the heart of fans," Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times wrote.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will hit the theaters on Dec. 14, 2012. The sequel, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," is expected to follow sometime in 2013.
Both films are directed by Peter Jackson, who was responsible for the first trilogy, and won an Oscar for the last installment "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" in 2003.