Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit is one of the most anticipated films of next year, but also a big question mark. Now, there’s a trailer. The new film stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, with many returning cast members from the Lord of the Rings films, including Ian McKellan, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett. And this trailer wants to remind you how much you liked the original series.

The Hobbit has been in development for so long that Guillermo Del Toro – the original director – left the project, leaving Jackson to take back over. And as impressive as Jackson’s work was with the trilogy, in the interim he made King Kong and The Lovely Bones, two films that are – at best – interesting failures. Now you get a trailer filled with imagery and nostalgia for that trilogy.

Here there is scale, and a sense of the lighter tone of the original book, but then also teases of Gollum’s return and the ring. A trailer’s a trailer, but Gollum’s role in the original story is relatively minor, so it makes you wonder if things connected to the original trilogy are going to get too much screen time. The movie is due out December 14, 2012, so for now it’s just idle (and cheap) speculation. That said, this isn’t a great trailer because it seems to function as a nostalgia button-pusher.

Are you more excited for this or The Dark Knight Rises?