Benedict Cumberbatch has the spotlight in the latest trailer for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," showcasing his deep, frightening voice as the dragon Smaug.
The movie is due out Dec. 13.
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It's the first time Cumberbatch's role as the dragon, which will occupy the dwarf kingdom of Erebor, will drive the storyline.
Martin Freeman returns as Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit who secretly possess one of the magical rings of power.
"Truly, the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, oh Smaug the stupendous," Freeman tells Smaug in the trailer, his voice wavering with fear.
"Thief, where are you?" Cumberbatch calls out later in the trailer, spitting out a large fireball. "Come now. Don’t be shy. Step into the light."
Kevin Sullivan, of MTV.com,
wrote that while Smaug's voice is prominent in the trailer, the dragon is not shown much to keep fans guessing.
"Just like the previous trailer ... the preview saves its look at Smaug until the very end," Sullivan wrote. "The first trailer gave us a full view of the monster's head, and this latest look at the film delivers on something many fans were anticipating. Benedict Cumberbatch provided the thunderous voice for Smaug, and once again the 'Star Trek Into Darkness' actor is adding a great deal of foreboding to a teaser."
"Lord of the Rings" fans will get to see Orlando Bloom return as the elf Legolas. "Lost" alum Evangeline Lilly will play his love interest Tauriel.
It also appears that Baggins will continue to keep his possession of the ring a secret.
When it looked like he was ready to tell Gandalf, played by "Lord of the Rings" vet Ian McKellen, about what he found in the garden, he backs down and answers that he merely found his "courage."
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" raked in $303 million domestically at the box office last year, as the first in a three-part prequel to the original "Lord of the Rings" series.
Cumberbatch will also play Khan in "Star Trek Into Darkness" and Julian Assange in the upcoming film "The Fifth Estate."
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