There is more tale to tell from Middle Earth. Director Peter Jackson has announced plans to share J.R.R. Tolkien’s story of “The Hobbit” in three films, instead of two. The move creates a new trilogy for the Tolkien-based fantasy franchise, which began with the screen adaptation of Jackson’s Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” series. The director said via Facebook that the richness of the story of “The Hobbit” and some of the related material in the appendices of “The Lord of the Rings” gave rise to the decision to tell more of the story of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and other Middle Earth characters. Jackson says studios New Line, MGM and Warner Brothers are “equally enthusiastic about bringing fans this expansive tale across three films.”
Starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, the first film in the newly-anointed trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” is due to arrive in theaters on December 13th. The second film, “There and Back Again,” will arrive on December 13th 2013. Jackson did not say when the third film will arrive but sources tell “The Hollywood Reporter” producers are eyeing a Summer 2014 release date.