New 'The Hobbit' Image Anticipates Trailer Release

What has caught the eye of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman)? It's like he's staring over my shoulder at some approaching wonder. It's probably not footage from the movie in which he stars, and perhaps we'll find out what he sees when that footage is unveiled. In fact, we'll see the first trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tonight at 10pm EST / 7pm PST, and I'm very much looking forward to Peter Jackson's return to Middle-Earth. While you wait, check out the full image below.

The image comes from Facebook, which offers this caption:

(L-r) JAMES NESBITT as Bofur, MARTIN FREEMAN as Bilbo Baggins (front), STEPHEN HUNTER as Bombur, GRAHAM McTAVISH as Dwalin, WILLIAM KIRCHER as Bifur and JED BROPHY as Nori in New Line Cinema's and MGM's fantasy adventure "THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by James Fisher.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released on December 14, 2012. We'll have the trailer online tonight.

"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.