Less than a week after making headlines with the announcement that Orlando Bloom would reprise the role of Legolas in the Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit, Peter Jackson is back in the headlines. On May 30th, Jackson, MGM and New Line Cinema grabbed headlines with the announcement of the full titles and release dates for the two epic Hobbit adventures.
The first movie will be called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and will arrive in theaters on December 19th of 2012. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will tell the story of our hero Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, as he joins a group of elves on a quest to retrieve a great stolen treasure from an evil dragon named Smaug.
The second movie is titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again and will arrive in theaters one year after An Unexpected Journey, December 2013. According to rumor, The Hobbit: There and Back Again will tell the story of the wizard Gandalf’s (Ian McKellen) attempts to prevent Smaug from joining forces with the evil Lord Sauron. Meanwhile, Sauron will begin his seduction of future Lord of the Rings villain, the wizard Saruman played by the legendary Christopher Lee.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are being shot back to back and are currently in production in New Zealand. Along with Orlando Bloom, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee the cast includes Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis and Lee Pace.