'The Hobbit' trilogy is official
30 Jul 2012
After much speculation it’s official, Sir Peter Jackson’s long awaited The Hobbit movies currently being filmed in New Zealand will become a trilogy.
Sir Peter Jackson, the Academy Award winning film-maker behind the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings trilogy, recently wrapped principal photography on the planned two-film adaptation of The Hobbit, which is set in Middle-earth 60 years before 'The Lord of the Rings'.
But, since viewing a cut of the first film and a large chunk of the second, Jackson has made the decision to extend The Hobbit into three films.
"We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and - lastly, and most importantly - we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realise this complex and wonderful adventure."
Jackson said he was delighted that New Line, MGM and Warner Bros. were equally enthusiastic about bringing fans the expansive tale across three films.
A joint announcement from New Line Cinema’s president and chief operating officer Toby Emmerich and MGM’s co-chairman and chief executive officer Roger Birnmaum said: "With the abundance of rich material, we fully endorse the decision to further develop what Peter, Fran and Philippa have already begun. We are confident that, with the great care the film-makers have taken to faithfully bring this journey to the screen, the film will be welcomed by the legions of fans across the globe,"
The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released December 14, the second December 13, 2013, and the third slated for summer 2014. All three films will be released in 3D and 2D.
Tourism welcomes news
The move has been welcomed by the New Zealand tourism sector who see The Hobbit movies as a valuable opportunity to showcase New Zealand landscapes, experience and creative ability.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said "New Zealand will play a starring role in these productions and the international attention the country will receive will be significant with each movie.
"For that attention to now span three movies is fantastic news. We will continue to work hard alongside our NZ Inc and industry partners to take that attention and convert into travel to New Zealand."
Tourism New Zealand is using 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand in campaign work to demonstrate that the fantasy of Middle-earth is in fact the reality of New Zealand - there is a whole world of experiences to be had and people to meet within the movie-scene-like landscapes.
From Academy Award winning film-maker Peter Jackson come three films based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The trilogy of films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before ‘The Lord of the Rings’, which Jackson and his film-making team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield.
Returning cast members from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy also include Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
The screenplay for The Hobbit movies is by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
Filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.
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