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Web previews second "Rings" film

"Lord of the Rings" fans seeking a glimpse of the next film in the trilogy need look no further than the Net to find a video preview and trailer for New Line Cinema's "The Two Towers."

A video preview and trailer to New Line Cinema's upcoming "The Lord of The Rings" sequel has spilled onto the Web.

Sites offering the clips Tuesday included ComingSoon.net and TheOneRing.net. Both clips were offered in Apple Computer's QuickTime format.

A representative for New Line, a division of AOL Time Warner, did not immediately respond to questions about the leak.

"The Two Towers" is the second in a three-part series of films based on the classic trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The films were all shot at the same time but scheduled for a staggered release over three years. The first installment, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," was a huge success, winning four Academy Awards and raking in more than $800 million as of April, according to New Line.

Along with a standard trailer, New Line has created a four-minute clip billed as a preview of the upcoming film, which is scheduled for theatrical release Dec. 18. The preview has been playing in theaters since April at the end of "The Fellowship of the Ring."

Director Peter Jackson discussed the preview in a videotaped interview posted on the official Web site for the "Lord of the Rings" films.

Jackson said he had considered releasing the preview along with "The Fellowship of the Ring" last December, but he felt it would interfere with the "emotional reality" of the first movie. Because many fans have seen the movie several times, he added, he felt the preview would now offer people something worthwhile.

"It's something longer than a trailer and something that has more of the elegance of the ending of the 'Fellowship of the Ring,'" he said.