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- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Special Extended Edition) 
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New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. announced Friday, October 15, 2010 that the two "Hobbit" movies have been given the go-ahead, and that Peter Jackson will be directing both as well. The status of these movies has been in doubt over the course of the last couple of months, especially after Guillermo del Toro bowed out of directing the movies.
According to the press release, production will begin in February, and the movies will be filmed in digital 3D back-to-back. The first movie is tentatively scheduled for a December 2012 release, with the second following a year later. Guillermo del Toro has joined Jackson and fellow Lord of the Rings writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens to pen the screenplay.
It's good to see Peter Jackson taking complete control over the movies again, even though I'm reasonably sure that del Toro would have done a good job with them, too. The three Lord of the Rings movies were very, very good, pleasing ardent fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien saga and bringing new fans into the fold as well. As a franchise, the three movies brought in $3 billion worldwide and garnered 17 Oscar® statues, plus an additional 13 nominations. These are big shoes to fill, even for the same director that made that happen!
I'm not thrilled to hear that the movie will be created in 3D, as I don't think 3D is necessary to tell a good story, and if done poorly, it will detract from the experience. Avatar 3D remains as the only example of "3D done right" but one could argue that without the awe-factor of the 3D effects, it could have gone down as just another rehash of a familiar storyline. Few directors have the clout of Peter Jackson to get the budget and resources that will be necessary, so one would hope that he is given all the tools he needs to do the job well. Since Warner Bros. already knows what 3D shouldn't look like, let's hope that they have the courage and the vision to bring a 3D rendition of Middle Earth to the big screen.
If you're new to the Lord of the Rings, or if you've seen the movies, but haven't read the book that started it all, Gift Shop merchant Amazon.com has The Hobbit available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audiobook editions:
What Do You Think?
Can Peter Jackson strike gold again? Is it impossible for him to achieve the same success with the prequels? Is 3D a really bad idea, or the best news you've heard? Leave your comments below!
Source: New Line Cinema Press Release
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