The two movies in director Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ series have received official titles and release dates, ReelzChannel is reporting. The films’ partnering studios, New Line, Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM, have confirmed that the first movie will be titled ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ and will hit theaters on December 14, 2012; the second movie, ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again,’ is scheduled to follow a year later on December 13, 2013.

‘An Unexpected Journey’ is a play on the title of the first chapter of the 1937 J.R.R. Tolkein book both films are based on; the opening title chapter is named ‘An Unexpected Party.’ ‘There and Back Again’ uses the book’s subtitle, as the fantasy novel is titled “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again”.

Jackson began filming the two ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequels back-to-back in April 2011 in New Zealand. The production, which is being shot in 3D, has made news for suffering from such problems as being served with a royalty lawsuit, original director Guillermo del Toro dropping out and actors unions trying to boycott. MGM has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

‘The Hobbit’ films were written by Jackson, del Toro, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Such actors returning to the prequel series from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ include Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett. The films’ new actors include Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Sylvester McCoy.

Written by: Karen Benaradello

The Hobbit
The Hobbit

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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