Film News: ‘The Hobbit’ Set To Be A Trilogy.
Jackson stated: “Upon recently viewing a cut of the first film, and a chunk of the second, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and I were very pleased with the way the story was coming together. We recognized that the richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, gave rise to a simple question: do we tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as filmmakers and fans was an unreserved yes.”
The trilogy is set in Middle-Earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” with Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf (the Grey) and Martin Freeman in the central role as Bilbo Baggins. Returning cast members include Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis.
The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” is due for release on December 14th, 2012, with the second being set for December 13th, 2013. The final movie in the trilogy has been slated for summer 2014. All three movies will be released in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX.