Peter Jackson Announces Official 'Hobbit' Titles, Release Dates And Orlando Bloom's Return

The HobbitFROM MTV MOVIES: There is finally some daylight at the end of the long, twisty journey to the screen of the two-film telling of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit." Over the holiday weekend, director Peter Jackson announced the names of the two movies he's filming based on Tolkien's preview novel to "The Lord of the Rings" and the release dates for the eagerly anticipated flicks.

The first part, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," is slated to open on December 14, 2012, while the second, titled "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," will open almost a year later, on December 13, 2013. After years of setbacks and false starts, Jackson finally began shooting the 3-D "Hobbit" movies in March in New Zealand with a cast headed by Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, as well as such returning "Lord of the Ring" stars as Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving.

It was announced on Friday that Bloom would be donning his golden wig again to play the role of the elf Legolas. "The Hobbit" is set 60 years before "The Lord of the Rings" and follows the journey of plucky hobbit Bilbo, who is drawn into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the vicious dragon Smaug.

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