After years of delays, union troubles, and threats to move production out of New Zealand, we finally have our first real glimpse of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit." 


If you've seen any of the director's previous work with "The Lord of the Rings," you know exactly what to expect. Everything from the Shire, to dramatic vistas, to creepy creatures (including Gollum) and Howard Shore's stirring music is back. Much like the "Rings" trilogy, Jackson and his wife Fran wrote the two-part film with the original work by J.R.R. Tolkien as a solid reference. 


"Exploring Tolkien's Middle Earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience" Jackson said last year, "It's an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We're looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo — and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM."


"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hits theaters next December. 


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'The Hobbit' trailer offers new glimpses of Middle Earth
Peter Jackson's prequel to his successful 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy whets the appetite for more.