A second trailer arrived today for part one of Sir Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit — which is now to be a trilogy — in celebration of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ shared birthday (not to mention this week’s 75th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s celebrated novel). This new trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey showcases a considerably lighter tone, with a stronger focus on humour than the poignant first trailer, and while it still looks promising we get very little sense of which part of the book this film is covering — although we know Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) won’t be featured until the second film thanks to its new subtitle The Desolation of Smaug. In an interesting marketing move, Warner Bros. also released a further four endings for the trailer, which alternately focus on Gandalf (Sir Ian Mckellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), the sword “Sting”, and Gollum (Andy Serkis). It’s still difficult to tell at this early stage how An Unexpected Journey will play in either 3D or most crucially 48fps (where available), let alone how it will compare to the monumentally successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, but undoubtedly it will be one of the biggest film events of the year, so let’s hope Jackson is back in his element after the disappointment of The Lovely Bones.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in 3D, 2D and 48fps in select theatres and IMAX on December 14. The massive cast includes Martin Freeman, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Christopher Lee, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mikael Persbrandt, Lee Pace, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Sylvester McCoy, Jeffrey Thomas, Mike Mizrahi, Bret McKenzie, Ryan Gage, Barry Humphries, Conan Stevens, and John Bell. Watch the new trailer below (via The Playlist).

UPDATE: The film now opens one day earlier in New Zealand on Wednesday 12 December.

Watch four alternate endings for the above trailer below.

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