After years of squabbling between the creators of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and New Line Cinema (Time Warner, NYSE: TWX), today comes wonderful news that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have agreed to create not one, but TWO new hobbit movies! The prequels will be produced and distributed by New Line Cinema and MGM, and are slated for release in 2010 and 2011.
The first will be based on J.R.R. Tolkien's earlier work, The Hobbit, which follows Bilbo Baggins as he discovers the ring that becomes the macguffin of the record-breaking trilogy. Along the way, we will again encounter Gandalf, as well as a dozen dwarves, two trolls and one very angry dragon.
The plot of the second film, meant to bridge the narrative gap between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, will be stitched together from the volumunous notes Tolkien made for his history of Middle Earth. I'm pleased that Jackson and Walsh are heading this effort, since they have shown that they respect Tolkien's vision.
I can't wait to follow them there and back again, again.
Thanks to Matt Betts for the tip.