For fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s tales of Narnia–YES! That’s a joke you Middle Earth nerds…including myself–it’s finally time for the story of Bilbo Baggins to hit the screen and allow you to never need read the book. “The Hobbit” will become The Hobbit, a tw0-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy–a film franchise that reinvented the production of cinematic epics.
Peter Jackson had penned the screenplay, and hoped to hand the directing duties to the visionary Guillermo Del Toro. Del Toro was on board, but then the famed MGM ran into a few problems–specifically, being broke. Del Toro stepped away from the project, and The Hobbit looked dead in the water, until Jackson agreed to pilot the ship, which only seemed right. As production was set to begin, Mr. Jackson was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer–and who wouldn’t have a bleeding ulcer undertaking this SOB?
With the challenge of bureaucracy out of the way, and Peter Jackson’s health on the mend, the 14 month production has begun in New Zealand, with a release date of December 19, 2012, for Part 1 of the untitled film. Martin Freeman will play the role of Bilbo Baggins, while Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis will all reprise their roles in the saga of Middle Earth.
Part 2 is slated to premier a year after Part 1, and no doubt, by summer 2014, you’ll be able to purchase The Complete Tales of Middle Earth on Bluray and DVD, including all 5 films, 36 hours of additional features, a dictionary of Elvish terminology and a visa for visiting Middle Earth.