New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, and MGM have announced the titles and release dates for the two parts of The Hobbit from director Peter Jackson. Jackson is adapting the popular J.R.R. Tolkien novels to the big screen in two separate parts - released on year apart from one another.
The first film will be titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and will be released on December 14, 2012. The second film will be titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again and will be released one year later, on December 13, 2013.
Both films will be set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson actually directed in three installments. This time around, Bilbo Baggins is much younger and will go on an adventure to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug.
Ian McKellan returns as Gandalf the Grey and Martin Freeman takes on the central role of the young Bilbo Baggins. Also returning are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Iam Holm as the elder Bilbo, Elijah Wood as Frodo, and Andy Serkis as Gollum.