The two upcoming film adaptions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings predecessor, The Hobbit, have been given titles and release dates.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of the two installments, will be released on December 14th, 2012. Much like the pattern followed by director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, the story will be concluded one year later with The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which will debut on December 13th, 2013.
Currently shooting in New Zealand, the two films will reunite several LOTR cast members, including Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, and Elijah Wood.
New residents of Middle Earth include Martin Freeman, who will play the titular Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, the role previously played by Ian Holm, as well as actors Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.