Oh right, there's a new "Hobbit" movie coming out!
The second chapter in director Peter Jackson's three-part Middle-earth epic has been flying under the radar for the better part of the year with a notable non-presence at the San Diego Comic-Con and no new footage revealed for several months. Now, "The Hobbit" is back with a burst of dragonfire to remind you that "The Desolation of Smaug" is indeed one of the holiday season's must-see films.
Watch 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' - Official Main Trailer:
The new trailer, like its predecessor, makes for a tantalizing teaser of what's to come, offering only brief flashes of the film's sprawling set pieces and key plot points. But what flashes they are! Here are eight moments from the trailer that have us rarin' for another trek to Lonely Mountain.
1. Smaug Speaks. We see even less of him than we did in the previous trailer, but at last we get to hear the voice of the mighty dragon. Admittedly, he sounds a lot like Benedict Cumberbatch with a sore throat, but hearing him utter the classic Smaug line "Thief!" is pure gold for fans.
2. Legolas in Action. Remember this guy? In true Elven fashion, Orlando Bloom looks like he hasn't aged a day since his turn in "The Lord of the Rings" (the first installment of which was 12 years ago, if you can believe that). Bloom gets a couple of hero's close-ups in the trailer (and something of a colleague-slash-love-interest, played by Evangeline Lilly). We also get to see him in action — and he's still aces with that bow. Speaking of being good with a bow ...
3. Bard the Bowman. The man who will eventually (SPOILER!) slay the mighty Smaug (END SPOILER!) gets a good amount of screen time in the new trailer, with Luke Evans providing antagonism (perhaps leftover from this summer's "Furious 6") as he questions Thorin Oakenshield's quest to reclaim Erebor and fears that his merry gathering of dwarves will only bring Smaug's wrath upon Esgaroth (aka Lake-town). We also see Bard the Bowman with his Bow, which is awesome.
4. Spiders of Mirkwood Forest. We were expecting the trailer to dedicate a little more time to this popular chapter from the book, but we're given at least two quick glimpses of the huge eight-legged beasts that make for yet another crisis for Thorin and his companions. As impressive as Shelob was in "The Return of the King," the spiders of Mirkwood Forest have an extra ten years of special effects evolution on their side. Gross.
5. The Eye of Sauron. Don't blink (ha!) or you'll miss an almost subliminal cameo by one of the most ominous images of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. True, foreshadowing the events that will unfold in "The Lord of the Rings" is for the most part probably unnecessary in "The Hobbit," but it makes for great fan service.
6. Thranduil the Elvenking. Legolas' shady-ish father gets a lot of screen time here, with Lee Pace proving that, like Cate Blanchett before him, he was pretty much born to play an elf. Thorin hints at the trouble to come when he assures his companions that Thranduil is not to be trusted — after all, it's probably best to be wary of anyone whose kingdom contains a forest filled with giant spiders.
7. The Bearer of the Ring. While the new trailer doesn't touch on just how important Bilbo's ability to turn invisible is in this section of the story, we do get a glimpse of the corruption the Ring can bring down on its bearer. It's relatively harmless that Bilbo hides his possession of the Ring from Gandalf, but it hints at just how possessive — and obsessive — one can be about the Precious.
8. Beorn the Skin-changer. Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt plays this fan favorite, a big bearded animal lover who lives in a wooden house somewhere between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood. Beorn also happens to be a shape-shifter, and the trailer gives us a glimpse of him in his big black bear mode as he charges the camera.
As you can see, there's a lot packed into the two-and-a-half minute trailer, with even more exciting images and moments not mentioned here. If you thought you were all Middle-earthed out, this new look at the latest "Hobbit" adventure should get you once again excited to go "There and Back Again" (the title of next year's followup to "Smaug") ... and maybe even have you considering giving that whole 48-frames-per-second thing another chance.
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" opens December 13.