Ahead of the second film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy’s release, an extended, for-the-fans trailer has been released, giving us a better look at the Desolation of Smaug, which will hit cinemas this December.

Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

The long trailer was shown at a fan event, which featured a Q&A with the film’s stars, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, and, of course, the director Peter Jackson.

Jackson’s first effort, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was certainly a financial success, bringing in over $1b worldwide, but it was received lukewarmly by the critics, who had plenty to pick at when it came to writing their reviews.

It managed a 65% cumulative score on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics citing the lengthy run time, intertwining & oft-irrelevant plot strands and style reining over substance as the film’s main shortcomings.

Watch the official trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:

But Jackson seems to have learned from his mistakes in the first film, even if the hefty financial success would suggest he made none at all. In an interview with Empire, he opened up on how the new film would differ stylistically from the franchise’s debut. You can see the new trailer here.

Read our review of the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

“This has less humour in it for sure. The first film was where we allowed ourselves to try and capture something of the children's book, but it is really not appropriate to do that any more. Some pretty serious stuff is going down and it is important that we don't undercut that now."

orlando BloomOrlando Bloom as Legolas returns despite not starring in the book

Orlando Bloom has also admitted that he was "concerned" about reprising the role of Legolas, due to the character not appearing in the Hobbit novel.

"I was concerned a little bit, how to justify Legolas's return. But Peter, Fran [Walsh] and Philippa [Boyens] were very clear about how it would work. It feels authentic, you know?" the 36-year-old said, according to Digital Spy.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13 with final film There And Back Again following in December 2014.