It seemed for a while that the big screen version of
was fated to die a slow and agonising death. Luckily, that never happened, and returning director Peter Jackson's lined up a stellar cast of old and new faces.
Here, we get time with the franchise newbies, including Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman - and his
co-star Benedict Cumberbatch, who's got the honour of playing feisty fire-belcher Smaug.
On top of that, there's 'hot dwarf' Aidan Turner (yep, him off
), blockbuster hero Luke Evans and the "etheral and graceful" Evangeline Lilly (her words).