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'The Hobbit' trailer starts a Peter Jackson countdown [Video]

December 21, 2011 |  9:56 am

There's a lightness to the opening of the trailer for Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey": a sun-drenched field and a bit of name-themed comedy. It's of a piece with the book, which is deemed just a bit lighter than J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Then, of course, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the "Hobbit" gang get down to more serious business: Questing, sword-fighting and high-stakes intonations ("Can you promise that I will come back?" "No. And if you do, you will not be the same.") All of which will no doubt continue stoking the appetite of "Hobbit" fans, who eagerly await two films that Jackson is shooting back-to-back in New Zealand.

Although the "Hobbit" story takes place about 60 years before the "LOTR" trilogy begins, the trailer also includes the much-discussed Frodo connection, which Jackson has inserted into the "Hobbit" to connect the film to his previous franchise.

"My dear Frodo, you asked me once if I had told you everything there was to know about my adventures," an elderly Baggins tells Elijah Wood's character in the film's frame story. "Well, I can honestly say that I told you the truth. I may not have told you all of it."

The trailer first appeared on Facebook, where Warner Bros. has been making promotional bits available. The movie is scheduled to hit in just about a year.


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Saiorse Ronan on "The Hobbit": "Hopefully they have a part for me"

-- Steven Zeitchik

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