"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (Dec. 14)
Stars: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch Director: Peter Jackson ("The Lord of the Rings")
After a ridiculously long and winding road to the screen—involving multiple rights issues, lawsuits and an aborted stint by Guillermo del Toro in the director's chair—Peter Jackson returns to the realm of his massively popular "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. This earlier story by J.R.R. Tolkien involves hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) and his adventures in saving the dwarf kingdom from a vicious dragon (voiced by Cumberbatch). Expect numerous appearances by "Rings" favorites including Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood and Serkis as Gollum. The second half of the story, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," will follow in December 2013.