The official titles as well as the final release dates have been confirmed for the two movies: Part I, which will be released on December 14, 2012, is called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Part II, which will be released a year later on December 13, 2013, is called The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
The information was announced today in a press released issued jointly by New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, and MGM.
The two films will be take place in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s world of Middle Earth 60 years prior to the events in the author’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, of which Jackson previously adapted to film. Several actors will reprise their LoTR roles for the new movies: Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey; Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo Baggins; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
Starring as the young Bilbo Baggins, the title Hobbit, is Sherlock star Martin Freeman. The ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) 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