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The Hobbit films get titles and release dates

In a joint statement released by New Line, Warner Bros and MGM, the titles of Peter Jackson’s upcoming two The Hobbit films have been announced. The press release was distributed through Facebook and also confirms the (US) release dates for the two films, with worldwide openings inevitably not long after.

The first film, slated for a December 14, 2012 release has been titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The second, which will arrive a year later (December 13, 2013) has been titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again. This follows the basic distribution strategy of the three Lord of the Rings films, which were released mid-December in the US and Boxing Day in Australia.

Here’s a snippet from the press release. Head over to Facebook to read the complete release.

Under Jackson’s direction, both movies are being shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology.  Filming is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and Martin Freeman, who just won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the BBC series “Sherlock,” takes on the central role of Bilbo Baggins.  Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” movies are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum.

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