The two and a half minute trailer starts with the older Sir Ian Holm as the diminutive Bilbo, reflecting on his previous adventures, before showing the younger hobbit. It then shows Bilbo being introduced by Gandalf (a returning Sir Ian McKellen) to those with whom he will set off on his adventures.

The film, directed by Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson after earlier director Guillermo de Toro left the project, has been shooting in its Middle Earth-double New Zealand since February of this year.

The trailer shows this new addition to the box office-busting, Oscar-winning series has the same sense of humour as the earlier trilogy, will boast a host of action, more spectacular scenery than you could shake a Gandalf staff at, and, of course, lots and lots of walking too. The final moments also show the return of Gollum as well, lurking in the dark whispering about ‘my precious’.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is to be released in December 2012, in 3D (which has been shot at twice the industry standard for even greater clarity) with its concluding part due for release a year later.

Photo: Warner Bros