Watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Fan Event!

In preparation for the December 13, 2013 release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, New Line and MGM are hosting a global fan celebration today at 5:00 pm EST and simultaneous times around the world. At each of the satellite-linked cinemas in four host cities–Los Angeles, New York, London and Wellington–Peter Jackson and members of his cast and filmmaking team will gather with fans to show exclusive footage from the new film and answer questions in front of a live audience, as well as offer a few surprises. You can watch live in the player below when the time comes and, in the meantime, check out the newly-debuted poster at the bottom of this page!

CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper, who is serving as special host for the entire event, will be based in New York, where he will welcome Richard Armitage, the film’s Thorin Oakenshield, and Orlando Bloom, who returns to the role of Legolas from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Evangeline Lilly, who joins the cast as a new Elf warrior, Tauriel, will be based in Los Angeles. London will host new cast member Lee Pace, the film’s Elf King Thranduil; Luke Evans, who joins the cast as Bard the Bowman; and Andy Serkis, second unit director and, of course, the first trilogy’s Gollum. Peter Jackson will then join the celebration from Wellington, New Zealand (where it will be Tuesday, November 5, at 11:00 am).

Each cinema will be connected by satellite, allowing audiences to participate in a simultaneous Q&A among participants in all four host locations. Additionally, in cities across the globe–including Brussels, Belgium; Hamburg, Germany; Madrid, Spain; Mexico City, Mexico; Miami, Florida, USA; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Sydney, Australia; and Toronto, Canada–fans will be invited to gather at select cinemas to be among the first to see the extended footage debut and watch the festivities unfold live. The event will also be streamed live online so that anyone with an internet connection can join the celebration at home or at viewing parties among friends, though the online simulcast will feature an edited version of the extended footage debut.