The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug Reveals Golden First Image

As you've probably heard, the giant fire-breathing dragon known as Smaug (and played in motion-capture by Benedict Cumberbatch) makes but the briefest of appearances in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, with most of the current film's action depicting everything that happens to Bilbo and the dwarves on their way to Smaug's lair. But as promised by the title, the second film in the trilogy-- The Desolation of Smaug will be all about the scaly guy, and while he doesn't appear in this first image released from the film, it's easy to tell he's not far away. Take a look below:

The image premiered at Entertainment Weekly, where they don't have much info beyond what we can all tell-- that's Martin Freeman's Bilbo in the center, and he's probably looking in alarm at a very angry dragon. The pile of gold Bilbo is sitting on actually belongs to the dwarves whom he joins on the quest, attempting reclaim their treasure that Smaug took by force generations ago. As they do in the book, the dwarves sing a pretty stirring song about their quest, and it's obvious even in An Unexpected Journey that they'll stop at nothing to get there.

An Unexpected Journey has earned warm but not rapturous reviews, but we're still expecting something even bigger and grander from The Desolation of Smaug-- after all, how can you say no to a dragon? The second film in the Hobbit trilogy is coming almost exactly a year from now, on December 13, 2013, and then the trilogy will conclude a few months later with The Hobbit: There and Back Again on July 18, 2014. For our recent first look at that film, click here.

Katey Rich

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend