May 30th, 2011
04:25 PM ET
Break out the calendar: Peter Jackson's two “Hobbit” films now have release dates – and official titles.
The first, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will arrive in theaters on December 14, 2012, according to Variety. The second half of the two-part adaptation is called “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” and will bow a year later nearly to the date on December 13, 2013.
That’s not the only “Hobbit” related news, however. Last week it was announced that Orlando Bloom is returning to Middle Earth as the elf Legolas in Jackson's films, even though the character doesn't appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's original story.
"I’m thrilled to be working with Orlando again," Jackson said in a Facebook post. "Funny thing is, I look older—and he doesn’t! I guess that's why he makes such a wonderful elf."
Joining Bloom will be Martin Freeman, playing the title role of Bilbo Baggins, and Ian McKellen, who’s once again playing Gandalf. “Lord of the Rings” alums Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis are also returning and reprising their roles.
Production began on the project in New Zealand in March.
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