So far, most of what we’ve seen from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been more bright and colorful than footage from Peter Jackson‘s previous films in The Lord of the Rings series. The stills and first trailer emphasize that this is a film based on a decidedly more easygoing story than LotR.

More easygoing, yes, but one that still involves trolls, giant spiders and a dragon. In a new still from the film, we get a look at Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in one of the film’s more down and dirty moments, seemingly just after the unlikely adventurer has made first use of his sword.

Click to enlarge:

The LA Times offers the image, and quotes co-writer and producer Philippa Boyens explaining,

The story is very much a children’s story so deciding how to tell this was one of the first things we had to do… It is very distinctly different, tonally, to ‘Lord of the Rings’ until the very end and then you begin to see the world of Middle-earth opening up… but, having said that, we felt that it is the same audience [who will come to see the films] and then you start to worry because it is easy to repeat yourself. It is quite a similar journey, you’re going from the Shire to a large, dangerous mountain.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on December 14. The cast also includes 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.

“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: