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The official word on The Hobbit movies

10.17.2010

As we just heard, after a beard-graying span of time, two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved book THE HOBBIT are finally getting ready to go there and back again on the big screen.

While the next few weeks will surely see a flurry of casting announcements, for now here's the complete official press release on the massive undertaking of creatures large and small:

The two films based on “The Hobbit” are now greenlit and will begin principal photography in February 2011, under the direction of Peter Jackson, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc..

“Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience” Jackson says, “It’s an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We’re looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo - and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM”.

“Peter is a filmmaker of incomparable ability; having him return to Middle-earth to produce and direct is a dream come true. A true original, Peter is a gifted story-teller, visionary director and pioneer in film technology,” said Emmerich. “Reuniting with Peter, Fran and Philippa truly makes it feel like we are going ‘there and back again’.”

“There is no human being on the planet as qualified as Peter Jackson to direct these films,” said Horn. “Peter is incredibly talented and has the creative vision and experience to bring this beloved property to life in a way that no other filmmaker could. And the team of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens has proven through their work on the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy that no one is more skilled at transforming Tolkien’s written words into a vibrant, living language that makes the audience believe they are not merely visiting Middle-earth, but actually living in it. We couldn’t be more thrilled and look forward to seeing “The Hobbit” take shape under Peter’s stewardship and the team he is putting together.”

“MGM is excited to move forward and add to the successful ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise,” said Cooper. “Under Peter’s direction, the films will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the original ‘LOTR’ trilogy and also bring the stories to a new generation of fans.”

Jackson, who directed all three “Lord of the Rings” films, will helm the two films back-to-back, telling the story of “The Hobbit” in two parts. Jackson will utilize groundbreaking visual effects and his incomparable story-telling to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel to the big screen. Both Hobbit movies will be filmed in Digital 3-D, using the latest camera and stereo technology to create a high quality, comfortable viewing experience. Jackson also co-wrote the screenplays with Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.

“The Hobbit” is being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films, with Phillipa Boyens as co-producer and Ken Kamins as executive producer.

The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed LOTR trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office. In 2003, “Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture - the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.

Source: Warner Bros.

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9:35AM on 10/18/2010
You know, as happy and excited as I am to see these films finally get made - and in the most capable hands of Peter Jackson, no doubt - I'm feeling very worried that he'll try to shoot the films in the very serious manner that LotR was shot, which could really hurt the film as it was always more of a young-adult or children's fantasy compared to LotR.

Either that, or he'll shoot it with the same vibes that the book had and it won't translate to a very exciting film.

I'm probably just
You know, as happy and excited as I am to see these films finally get made - and in the most capable hands of Peter Jackson, no doubt - I'm feeling very worried that he'll try to shoot the films in the very serious manner that LotR was shot, which could really hurt the film as it was always more of a young-adult or children's fantasy compared to LotR.

Either that, or he'll shoot it with the same vibes that the book had and it won't translate to a very exciting film.

I'm probably just over-thinking it though.
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+0
5:56AM on 10/18/2010
Best possible scenario indeed. It's finally being made. Too bad Jackson fell for the 3D gimmick that every high budget director falls for these days.
Best possible scenario indeed. It's finally being made. Too bad Jackson fell for the 3D gimmick that every high budget director falls for these days.
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-8
1:18AM on 10/18/2010
Excellent. And to all the anti 3D wingers, just go see it in 2D. I'm sure there will be plenty of seats in those theaters while the rest of us are moving with the times in the big boy cinema.
Excellent. And to all the anti 3D wingers, just go see it in 2D. I'm sure there will be plenty of seats in those theaters while the rest of us are moving with the times in the big boy cinema.
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5:54AM on 10/18/2010
Ah, yes. Moving with the times with garbled 3D. Sounds great...
Ah, yes. Moving with the times with garbled 3D. Sounds great...
11:01AM on 10/18/2010
Nothing says cutting-edge like gimmicky crap resurrected from the '80s.

Also, things popping out at your face to make you go "squeee" isn't exactly "big boy."
Nothing says cutting-edge like gimmicky crap resurrected from the '80s.

Also, things popping out at your face to make you go "squeee" isn't exactly "big boy."
12:00PM on 10/18/2010
"Big boy cinema" and "3D" belong in two separate categories my friend.
"Big boy cinema" and "3D" belong in two separate categories my friend.
6:59PM on 10/18/2010
Don't let these assholes get you down. The Fusion camera is the first and only camera that actualy sees just like the human eye. It's a modern marvel!
Don't let these assholes get you down. The Fusion camera is the first and only camera that actualy sees just like the human eye. It's a modern marvel!
11:03PM on 10/17/2010
FINALLY!!! As a kid I actually loved The Hobbit more than the LOTR trilogy and while those three films are classic I have been waiting for this for a very very long time. @ DougHeffernan-don't be so grouchy friend, 3D (using the actual 3D camera not that conversion BS) is the new color. Would you have been pissed at Kubrick for doing 2001 in color? Welcome to the 21st century hombre!
FINALLY!!! As a kid I actually loved The Hobbit more than the LOTR trilogy and while those three films are classic I have been waiting for this for a very very long time. @ DougHeffernan-don't be so grouchy friend, 3D (using the actual 3D camera not that conversion BS) is the new color. Would you have been pissed at Kubrick for doing 2001 in color? Welcome to the 21st century hombre!
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-12
9:26PM on 10/17/2010
Although the Star Wars trilogy is better than the LOTR trilogy, I have a feeling Jackson's prequels will be much better than Lucas's prequels.
Although the Star Wars trilogy is better than the LOTR trilogy, I have a feeling Jackson's prequels will be much better than Lucas's prequels.
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11:27PM on 10/17/2010
LOTR 17 oscars
star wars 7 oscars

oscars dont' say it all but if you're saying better as in movie quality then it's LOTR by a mile.
LOTR 17 oscars
star wars 7 oscars

oscars dont' say it all but if you're saying better as in movie quality then it's LOTR by a mile.
7:49PM on 10/17/2010

no extra tidbit?

This is really great news, and it's cool to see both films greenlit, and not just one of them. This is the only LOTR book I have read. It's been a while since I've read them though, guess I'll have to crack open the book again.
This is really great news, and it's cool to see both films greenlit, and not just one of them. This is the only LOTR book I have read. It's been a while since I've read them though, guess I'll have to crack open the book again.
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7:18PM on 10/17/2010
stupid double post
stupid double post
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7:15PM on 10/17/2010
i think peter jackson will be restrained and not do all the cheesey crap with the 3D, and use it to (hopefully) make the world more vast and immersive. i just hope they get back ian mckellen.
i think peter jackson will be restrained and not do all the cheesey crap with the 3D, and use it to (hopefully) make the world more vast and immersive. i just hope they get back ian mckellen.
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5:44PM on 10/17/2010
I want cinematic greatness, not a roller coaster ride through middle earth. 3D shouldn't touch these movies.
I want cinematic greatness, not a roller coaster ride through middle earth. 3D shouldn't touch these movies.
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5:28PM on 10/17/2010

Peter Jackson

But does it really seem like he WANTS to make these movies?
But does it really seem like he WANTS to make these movies?
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7:18PM on 10/17/2010
when he filmed the LOTRs back to back he was like a walking corpse between all the stuff he was manageing, so while hes probably happy to revisit the world, hes probably remembering all the sleepless weeks that went with it.
when he filmed the LOTRs back to back he was like a walking corpse between all the stuff he was manageing, so while hes probably happy to revisit the world, hes probably remembering all the sleepless weeks that went with it.
+0
5:18PM on 10/17/2010

Excellent news

After reading all of that, all I heard was that now I have to REALLY hold out for the TRUE LOTR blu-ray box-set...sigh.

HA! I am so glad to hear that Jackson is directing this, completing one hell of an epic tale. We all know these two films will match if not exceed the awesomeness of the LOTR trilogy....can't wait.
After reading all of that, all I heard was that now I have to REALLY hold out for the TRUE LOTR blu-ray box-set...sigh.

HA! I am so glad to hear that Jackson is directing this, completing one hell of an epic tale. We all know these two films will match if not exceed the awesomeness of the LOTR trilogy....can't wait.
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3:29PM on 10/17/2010
It doesn't need the marketing hook of 3D but still looking very forward
It doesn't need the marketing hook of 3D but still looking very forward
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2:52PM on 10/17/2010
even though it's quite rude of them to not even thanking Del Toro, Jackson helming those movies will give some (visual) continuity. We KNEW it was going to be in 3D... NO studio (even more one who NEEEEDS money as much as MGM Does) would NOT go this way nowadays, but at least, it will be SHOT in 3D...
even though it's quite rude of them to not even thanking Del Toro, Jackson helming those movies will give some (visual) continuity. We KNEW it was going to be in 3D... NO studio (even more one who NEEEEDS money as much as MGM Does) would NOT go this way nowadays, but at least, it will be SHOT in 3D...
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2:42PM on 10/17/2010
Great news, although I could do without the 3D nonsense.
Great news, although I could do without the 3D nonsense.
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+2
2:20PM on 10/17/2010
Wonderful news! Can't wait to see Jackson's vision for The Hobbit.
Wonderful news! Can't wait to see Jackson's vision for The Hobbit.
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-21
2:08PM on 10/17/2010
so sick of the annoying bitches on here about 3D, its fucking cool so shut the fuck up. all acting like some stuck up movie purists, when you are really the opposite.
so sick of the annoying bitches on here about 3D, its fucking cool so shut the fuck up. all acting like some stuck up movie purists, when you are really the opposite.
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11:03AM on 10/18/2010
Well, elegantly worded argument aside, it is NOT cool.

So not cool.
Well, elegantly worded argument aside, it is NOT cool.

So not cool.
+1
1:37PM on 10/17/2010
Hobbit: yay. 3D: nay.
Hobbit: yay. 3D: nay.
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1:22PM on 10/17/2010

OOOOOOH BABY DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT'S WORTH

OOH HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH.

For no reason in particular, this song pops in my head everytime I read any "The Hobbit is Greenlit" news.
OOH HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH.

For no reason in particular, this song pops in my head everytime I read any "The Hobbit is Greenlit" news.
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+1
1:18PM on 10/17/2010
So I take it the first movie will deal with the journey to Smaug's gold and the second one will deal with the Battle of Five Armies?............

Also I hope they get someone good to voice Smaug I know he isn't in a major character but I think with the right voice Peter Jackson can really bring him to life....Maybe JoBlo could do a Cast This column about it down the road.
So I take it the first movie will deal with the journey to Smaug's gold and the second one will deal with the Battle of Five Armies?............

Also I hope they get someone good to voice Smaug I know he isn't in a major character but I think with the right voice Peter Jackson can really bring him to life....Maybe JoBlo could do a Cast This column about it down the road.
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12:42PM on 10/17/2010

Better summary...

"Acclaimed director Peter Jackson is being a paid an absolute shit-load of money to direct the hugely anticipated HOBBIT films. If he is unable to deliver like he did with the previous trilogy, we will place his testicles into a vice. Stay tuned for the latest casting updates as they emerge!"
"Acclaimed director Peter Jackson is being a paid an absolute shit-load of money to direct the hugely anticipated HOBBIT films. If he is unable to deliver like he did with the previous trilogy, we will place his testicles into a vice. Stay tuned for the latest casting updates as they emerge!"
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+8
12:33PM on 10/17/2010
oh, and screw 3d, I surely hope Jackson just films it as he would if it was an old school film!
oh, and screw 3d, I surely hope Jackson just films it as he would if it was an old school film!
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2:09PM on 10/17/2010
no that would be fucking stupid.
no that would be fucking stupid.
+5
12:28PM on 10/17/2010
So happy this is finally kicking into high gear!!! But will the release of the first film be pushed half a year to summer 2012 or moved a whole year to christmas 2012?
So happy this is finally kicking into high gear!!! But will the release of the first film be pushed half a year to summer 2012 or moved a whole year to christmas 2012?
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12:22PM on 10/17/2010

Nice!

I'm so glad this is actually coming into fruition. I'm especially excited that Jackson is taking the helm, as he should be.
I'm so glad this is actually coming into fruition. I'm especially excited that Jackson is taking the helm, as he should be.
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