Peter Jackson has announced that his film adaptation of The Hobbit will be a trilogy. Jackson had hinted at the possibility earlier in July at the International Comic Con, but only officially announced his decision on his Facebook page today. Although it is unclear how he will stretch the film to three features, he has been very clear about incorporating ideas from Tolkien’s appendices into the story of The Hobbit. The three films will be released in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Following a demonstration and negotiations, Warner Brothers has announced that it plans to keep production of The Hobbit in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson previously filmed the three Lord of the Rings films. The New Zealand government offered to change some local labor laws and offered increased financial incentives. Filming on the two films is expected to begin in February.
New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson have announced preliminary casting for their two-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The title role of Bilbo Baggins will be played by Martin Freeman and the leader of the Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield will be portrayed by Richard Armitage. The rest of the announced company of Dwarves include Aidan Turner (Kili), Rob Kazinsky (Fili), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), John Callen (Oin), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), and Mark Hadlow (Dori). Ian McKellan is expected to reprise his role as Gandalf and Andy Serkis is planning to do the motion capture for Gollum again.