And to make the month all the sweeter, the sequel is gracing the cover of the next issue of Empire. Returning fan-favourite Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is front and centre, alongside newcomers Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Thranduil (Lee Pace).
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece “The Hobbit”, by J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continues the adventures of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
Martin Freeman will of course be back for more as Bilbo Baggins, starring alongside Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Sylvester McCoy, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Mikael Persbrandt, Benedict Cumberbatch, and many more.
Jackson’s return to Middle-earth sees him once more directing from a script he co-wrote with Fran Walsh and Philipaa Boyens.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released in 3D and HFR 3D on December 13th in the US and UK. And it will be followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again at the end of next year on December 17th, 2014.