The road to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit has been a long and rocky one, with Guillermo del Toro once on board to direct, but passing on the project when MGM’s financial woes plagued the production. Some good did come out of the development delay, as Peter Jackson returned to Middle Earth to take the directorial reins. The trouble continued, however, when the filmmaker was admitted to a hospital for stomach ulcers, and union boycotts over contract mishaps loomed over the fantasy feature. Somehow the J.R.R. Tolkien adapted story rose from the ashes, and we (finally!) have the trailer to prove it.
The clip has the epic look of the Lord of the Rings movies, but also seems to capture the more lighthearted tone of The Hobbit novel. The dwarves help. Gollum appears all the way at the end, but we get tons of cool shots of Gandalf looking totally badass. Dig the song, too. Hit the jump to watch in full.
The Hobbit is the two-part prequel — shot back to back — to Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Several actors will reprise their roles, including Elijah Wood as Frodo, Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively. Martin Freeman from BBC’s The Office will star as the reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins, who is swept up in a quest to reclaim a lost treasure from the dreaded dragon Smaug. An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14, 2012, while The Hobbit: There and Back Again arrives December 2013. Keep an eye out for the trailer in theaters too, where it’s supposed to make an appearance before the Peter Jackson-produced Adventures of Tintin releasing tomorrow.