24/10/2012 06:02 BST

'The Hobbit': Empire Releases Exclusive Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Galadriel and Gollum Covers (PICTURES)

With the release of the highly anticipated 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' getting ever closer, Empire have released five world exclusive covers for their December edition.

The covers feature British actor Martin Freeman as Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield, Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf, Cate Blanchett as elven queen Galadriel and Gollum, voiced by Andy Serkis.

Richard Armitage who plays Dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield spoke to Empire of his excitement at working with Jackson: “I’d read The Hobbit over and over as a kid.

"Then I got into the 'Lord Of The Rings' as an adult, but sadly I was never in a position to even be considered for that trilogy.

“There’s nothing that could have stopped me from doing Thorin. If I never do another piece of work again after this, I think I’ll be happy, genuinely happy."

The first instalment in the middle-earth trilogy will be on general release on 13 December.