The two films based on The Hobbit are now greenlit and will begin shooting in February 2011, under the direction of fan favorite Peter Jackson. New Line Cinema chief Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. president Alan Horn, and MGM CEO Steve Cooper made the announcement recently, among high fanboy anticipation.
“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 the Lord of the Rings films, will helm the two Hobbit films back-to-back, telling the story in two parts. Jackson will utilize groundbreaking visual effects 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, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.
“Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal filmmaking experience,” Jackson said. “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.”
“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.”
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 Philippa 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.