Warner Bros.

The original "Hobbit" novel, written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published back in 1937, might have been a slender 310 pages, but that didn't keep filmmaker Peter Jackson from expanding it into a second trilogy of "Lord of the Rings"-ian proportions. Last year's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was just the beginning, and this Christmas the second movie in the new trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," will be unleashed worldwide. Today the first teaser poster was revealed, ahead of a trailer that is set to launch later this week.

The appropriately atmospheric artwork shows our heroic hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) standing before what looks like the Lonely Mountain. From within a glowing doorway, smoke escapes, suggesting the titular Smaug, a ruthless dragon played in the film via motion-capture wizardry by Khan Benedict Cumberbatch. Spooky!

Series regulars Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, James Nesbit, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Sylvester McCoy, and Hugo Weaving return for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," along with new cast members like Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, and Cumberbatch.

The trailer for the new film will be revealed tomorrow morning, via the Internet. The movie opens on December 13th and will be projected in the "high frame rate" speed of 48 frames per second.

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CATEGORIES Movie Photos, Movies