More action! More adventure! More delicate Elvish romance! The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug promises it all in this new trailer, which previews the middle film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.

Among the goodies you can expect in movie number 2: the return of Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, who may or may not take the Hobbits to Isengard; the debut of new characters like Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel, an elf warrior maiden who catches Legolas’s eye, and Mikael Persbrandt’s skin changer Beorn, who can shift between man and bear forms; and a bigger role for Smaug the Dragon, played via motion capture by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch. (Cumberbatch and Hobbit star Martin Freeman already know each other well; they’re co-stars on the British crime drama Sherlock.)

Will Smaug please fans who greeted An Unexpected Journey with lukewarm reviews? It’s too soon to tell — but feel free to speculate after watching the trailer below.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters Dec. 13. The trilogy’s conclusion, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will premiere Dec. 17, 2014.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Movie
  • 170 minutes