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The already-busy Peter Jackson did a good job of making himself even busier this year. After first stating that he’d like to expand his two film Hobbit project to a trilogy and getting the okay from Warner Bros., MGM and New Line, the Lord of the Rings director now has more filming, editing and special effects work to do. But if he’s okay with it, so are we.
Deadline reports the trilogy will now be composed of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again — with the second part getting a new title, and the third now becoming There and Back Again. Yes, yes, it’s a little confusing. The films are scheduled to open on Dec. 14, 2012, Dec. 13, 2013 and July 18, 2014, and are being shot in digital 3D at 48 frames per second, though not every theater will have the capacity to show it at that rate.
Starring Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman, The Hobbit also features returning cast members Cate Blancett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis and an ensemble that includes Richard Armitage, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas and Aidan Turner.