The Hobbit to be a trilogy

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The first of three films based on an adaptation of the 1937 novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It will star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. Several actors from The Lord of the Rings will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood & Orlando Bloom. Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.

July 30th, 2012

Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' will be a trilogy.

The eagerly anticipated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's book was originally supposed to be in two parts but Peter says after reviewing footage he has already shot he believes there is enough to support a third.

He said: ''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 realised 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.'

''We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and - lastly, and most importantly - we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure. I'm delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. are equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.''

Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema added: ''We completely support Peter and his vision for bringing this grand adventure to the screen over the course of three films. Peter, Fran and Philippa's reverence for the material and understanding of these characters ensure an exciting and expanded journey that is bound to please fans around the world.''

The first film in the trilogy, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' will be released December 14, 2012, with the second film on December 13, 2013, and the third film slated for summer 2014.