We imagine one of the buzz words in movie marketing departments these days, along with 'Pinterest' and 'viral games' is 'app.' Barely any major movie hits theaters without some kind of iOS-related promotional tie-in, often in the form of a game, or something similar. Some are genuinely nifty (the Hans Zimmer one for "Inception" was pretty great), most are a bit half-hearted, but few are particularly revelatory about the movie themselves.
But the new one for Warner Bros./New Line/MGM's "The Hobbit" has been a little more useful (via Coming Soon), providing a raft of new images from the first film of the hastily extended trilogy, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Mostly focusing on the band of dwarves that accompany Bilbo Baggins on his quest, including the best looks yet at Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner, the glimpses are also joined by the first look (from fan-site The Noldor) at American actor Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies," the upcoming "Lincoln") as Elvish king Thranduil, who is, as it turns out, is the father of Orlando Bloom's Legolas from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Judging by the outfit, he may have also been the bass player in a '70s glam rock band.
Finally, the app's also unveiled a new banner for the film (split into two chunks below for legibility), which according to Bleeding Cool, may mean that the first film ends on a sequence where Bilbo & co. hide in trees to escape from a pack of wolves, only to get caught in a forest fire. It's not a bad guess, but we won't find out for sure until the film opens on December 14th.