'Hobbit: There And Back Again' Gets New Release Date

Peter Jackson's Middle-earth finale moves release dates to December 2014.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead for the brave little Hobbit who we all admire — and now, we know exactly when that adventure comes to an end.

The third and last installment in director Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy, titled "There and Back Again," has a new official release date: December 17, 2014. That's five full months later than its original release date of July 18, 2014 — the same day that Bryan Singer's hotly-awaited "X-Men" sequel, the time-traveling "Days of Future Past," hits theaters.

The new release date for "There and Back Again" upholds the tradition of Jackson's Middle-earth movies hitting theaters in December. All three of the "Lord of the Rings" films were December releases, and the new "Hobbit" trilogy will follow suit. Of course, a third "Hobbit" film wasn't always part of the plan. Jackson and Warner Bros. announced that their original plan for a two-part "Hobbit" adaptation would be expanding to three parts in late 2012, adding this coming December's "Desolation of Smaug" to the mix. In an interview with MTV News, Jackson defended the decision to add a third film to the series, saying that there's more than enough material in J.R.R. Tolkien's works to warrant the expansion.

"A lot of the embellishment, almost all comes from Tolkien because he wrote a lot of notes for an expanded version that he was going to revise after 'The Lord of the Rings.' There were elements looking back at 'The Hobbit' that he wished he'd included," Jackson explained. "So he did have a lot of notes for what he was going to revise but he never got that book done. Those notes were published after his death at the end of 'Return of the King,' so we were able to access a lot of that. All of the expanding and embellishment was based on the ideas Tolkien was exploring. Things involving Galadriel [played by Cate Blanchett], she's part of the White Council, which is [comprised of] Elrond [Hugo Weaving], Gandalf [Ian McKellan] and Saruman [Christopher Lee]. That story line we've included was from those notes as well."

Check out everything we've got on "The Hobbit: There and Back Again."