Third HOBBIT Film gets a Title and Release Date!

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Warner Bros. and MGM have officially announced a release date in the summer of 2014 for the third Hobbit film, just six months behind part two. Instead of making us wait until December, we’re going to be given There and Back Again on July 18th.

What’s more, the studios say that they’ve settled on The Desolation of Smaug as the title for the middle chapter. That gives us An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and then There and Back Again – much as we were more recently expecting.

The summer release date is the big surprise here. Seems to land right on Comic-Con, though, which means I might be rather too busy to catch it on opening night.

Here’s the full press release.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures jointly announced today that the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, now titled “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” will be released worldwide on July 18, 2014. All three films in the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

The Studios also announced the title of the second installment in the franchise, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which will be released on December 13, 2013. The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” opens this holiday season, on December 14, 2012. Shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second, the trilogy of films will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D.

Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, stated, “We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films of ‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy. Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tentpole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure.”

Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, added, “‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ will be an action spectacle and an emotional conclusion for this already much-anticipated trilogy. Opening in the summer will maximize playability for what promises to be an event film for fans the world over.”

From Academy Award(R)-winning director Peter Jackson, the trilogy of films is set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar(R)-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first film in the trilogy, is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the films, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

Under Jackson’s direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the two remaining films in the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.

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