The Hobbit Films Get Titles and Release Dates! (Plus “Legolas” Bloom is Back)

by | May 31st, 2011 | 1:32AM | Filed under: Movies, News

No big surprises in the news out of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth (aka New Zealand), but it’s geeky cool all the same: The two films that make up his long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (which cameras are finally rolling on after years of legal, financial, personnel, and even union labor issues) will be titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (in theaters December 14, 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (in theaters a year later on December 13, 2013).

These titles are familiar to longtime fans of the 1937 book (a single, relatively short novel that takes place 60 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, but that Jackson and his creative partners Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and one-time Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro are dividing into two feature films): An Unexpected Journey is a paraphrase of The Hobbit‘s first chapter title, “An Unexpected Party,” and There and Back Again is the alternate title of Tolkien’s book.

And in other fun (but not unexpected) Hobbit news, Orlando Bloom has finally officially signed on to reprise his role as Legolas Greenleaf. Again, astute Tolkien fans know that Legolas, the elven heartthrob and ace archer of LOTR, is the son of the Elvenking Thranduil of the Wood Elves of Mirkwood, a significant figure in The Hobbit plot (played by Lee Pace in the films). Legolas does not appear in Tolkien’s novel, but at the time of the book’s setting the character would have been about 80 years old (still a young man in Elvish years), so it’s no stretch to at least give him a cameo or a few small things to do in the film version.

Other non-Hobbit characters from LOTR are also set to return in the new films alongside Andy Serkis’ Gollum, Hugo Weaving’s Elrond, and of course Ian McKellan’s Gandalf the Grey.  It looks as if Christopher Lee’s health has improved enough that he’ll be back briefly as Saruman the White, leading the White Council of wizards and Elven lords–including Cate Blanchett’s Lady Galadriel–in an early action against Sauron that takes place “off-stage” in the book.

And while Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in the new films, Elijah Wood will once again play Frodo in a framing device set prior to the events of LOTR–Ian Holm’s “Old” Bilbo will tell his young nephew this tale of dragons, dwarfs and magic rings that took place decades before Frodo was born.

So what say you all? Do you like the films’ new subtitles? Are you okay with Bloom popping up briefly again as Legolas? Any other Hobbit issues or questions you’re concerned about with December 2012 less than 19 months away?


More from the cast of The Hobbit films at redbox:

More fantasy from redbox:

5 Responses to “The Hobbit Films Get Titles and Release Dates! (Plus “Legolas” Bloom is Back)”

  1. Dave
    Posted on May 31, 2011 at 9:05 am

    It should be one movie and Peter Jackson should stop adding things. His ego is overwhelming the project.

  2. JoanMcMahan
    Posted on June 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

    It’s about time! At least we probably won’t be subjected to the boring dialog between Aragorn and Arwen this time.

  3. Sareen
    Posted on June 7, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I am so thrilled about the new films. Please ‘Ignore the Man behind the curtain (comment prior to mine)lol’ I see no ego-maniac, Two films are PERFECT! There is Absolutely no reason for you to (stop, ad, remove, shorten, lengthen, or ?) These films are LONG OVER-DUE, HAVE BEEN PRAYED FOR, & WILL BE LOVED BY ALL) Thank you, I am so very pleased about the films and so are ALL of my Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Children, Even my Grand-children ar bitting their nails anxious to see the films!
    I LOVE the cast in the film ( LEGOLAS, Gandalf, Lady Galadriel, and Frodo are an absolute EXCELLENT choice) Viggo Next Time?
    In the future, If there happens to be a continuation to Lotr, PERHAPS The ship they sailed away in will return to the shores and all who were on this ship walked onto ground together. ‘Wouldn’t this be an Excellent opening to the continuation of LOTR? Must not forget to include ‘Viggo Mortensen, and all who left with him on that little ship!
    thanks again and I can’t wait to see the film/s

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on June 7, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I can’t wait!! Mr. Jackson, whatever you decide to do will be just fine with me. As far as I’m concerned, the LOTR series was the greatest ever, and it kind of saddens me that the Hobbit movies should be the last ones. So I hope you and your writing team come up with a sequel to the LOTR, whatever that might be, I’ll be there. Thank you Peter Jackson for your brilliant movies.

  4. Connie
    Posted on June 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

    A sequel to LOTR’s? a return of the king and all who left with him on that little ship, wanted Viggo in the hobbit next time, and ships to return those who left,

    clearly it seems that none of them have read the actual books. if they had they would know that once the elves left and sailed away they could not come back. They would have know the King (Viggo) did not leave on the ships.