The second installment of director Peter Jackson’s epic The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, will open in theaters on December 13. Fans everywhere have been beside themselves with anticipation basically since the credits rolled on An Unexpected Journey last December, eager to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s story continue.
Of course, the main thing we’re all excited about is basically what it says on the tin – this is the one that’s got the dragon in it. Yeah, we will finally meet the titular and legendary Smaug the Golden in this installment, and, if the initial trailer where we finally get to hear him speak is any indication, he’s going to be pretty impressive.
And, of course, many of us would argue he was always going to be pretty impressive given the fact that such an impressive actor is behind-the-scenes. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems to have a different movie out every other week for the duration of 2013, is playing Smaug – or, at the very least providing his voice (which you can here in the trailer above) and doing the motion capture work that is turned into Smaug through the magic of the folks at the Weta Workshop. (Who, obviously, is not our WETA, but who we like quite a bit all the same. Gollum is awesome.)