After a war with the acting union, conflicts over shooting locations, and the incredible difficulty of finding the right lead actor to carry multiple movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, the first trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released to great fanfare. So great was the fan fare that Peter Jackson, Warner Brothers, and MGM, have taken the unprecedented step of breaking J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into not one, but three stories. The Hobbit films now all have official release dates and names, with the second movie getting a new name and the third movie getting a release date.
The films and their release dates are as follows: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be still be released on December 14, 2012; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13, 2013; and The Hobbit: There And Back Again will be released on July 18, 2014. So, basically, the three movies will be spread across two and a half years.
Pretty risky, but perhaps not as risky as splitting one book into three different stories. The second movie in the series will now focus on the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch in motion capture and voice), who stole the dwarf treasure that kicked off Bilbo’s adventure in the first place. The third film will now focus on the Battle of the Five Armies.
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