Martin Freeman as Hobbit Bilbo Baggins is front and center in the first wave of promotion for the upcoming film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” based on the masterful trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien. Cate Blanchett is also stunning as elven queen Galadriel.

The movie, which hits theaters in December, is featured in its first television spot and Empire magazine is running a special preview of the epic movie, complete with five separate covers.

The covers provide looks at Freeman as Baggins, Blanchett as Galadriel Richard Armitage as dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield, Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf and the animated Gollum.

Five Hobbit Characters Cover Empire

“Lord of the Rings” veteransAndy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom are also returning.

The highly anticipated adaptation by producer Peter Jackson, who co-wrote the script, is a prequel to Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The other two movies in the series, “The Desolation of Smaug” and “There and Back Again” will hit theaters in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

“There’s still a part of me that doesn’t quite believe it’s going to come out. Not many things you do in your life take on mythical proportions. Because of Tolkien, and because of Peter, it’s the most anticipated film I’m sure I will ever do,” Freeman told the magazine.

The first Hobbit trailer was released last December. It shows Baggins begins a quest to retake the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.

Approached by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (McKellan), Bilbo joins thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield (Armitage).

The television spot includes much of the same footage with a number of quick shots of various characters. Check it out below, the photos above and click here to follow TheImproper on Twitter for more Hobbit updates.

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