Mark your calendars: Peter Jackson’s pair of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved first book, “The Hobbit,” have release dates.
The first film, “The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey,” is due in theaters on Dec. 14, 2012. The second part, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” (which just happens to be the book’s actual subtitle) will premiere a year later on Dec. 13, 2013.
Jackson is shooting both films at once. The strategy served him well for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy adaptations. And, as we’ve discussed before, many of the “Rings” regulars are back for “The Hobbit,” including Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett and Ian Holm.
Bilbo Baggins — the central character of “The Hobbit” — will be played by British actor Martin Freeman who discerning viewers might recall as Dr. Watson in the BBC’s present-day update on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales, “Sherlock.”