Peter Jackson is bringing Middle Earth back into theaters again this fall with part two of his take on J.R.R. Tolkine's "Lord of the Rings" prequel, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

Last year's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" earned a lukewarm reception from critics, but a brand new trailer for the upcoming "Smaug" re-engages fans by including glimpses of new characters and locales, in addition to offering some significant screen time devoted to some old pals. 

Similar to "The Two Towers," "Smaug" appears to pick up exactly where the first film left off -- with Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Thorin (Richard Armitage), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and the dwarves heading back to reclaim the dwarf homeland of Erebor and vanquish the titular dragon -- but, naturally, there are plenty of new friends and enemies discovered on the way. 

Among them are some elvish allies, including Tauriel ("Lost" star Evangeline Lily) and a familiar face from the "LOTR" trilogy. Plus, "Fast & Furious 6" baddie Luke Evans as Bard.

Watch the trailer here:



Like the previous films, the trailer is loaded with deadly serious narration, eye-popping effects, flowing golden locks, and action scenes that look like a barrel of fun.

It also stars Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Lee Pace, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, and "Star Trek Into Darkness" villain Benedict Cumberbatch, though we don't get to see him in the trailer (but do we hear him?). 

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" opens December 13.

What do you think of the trailer?