After the smashing success of the three Lord of the Rings movies, all the talk of Hollywood was that Peter Jackson (who directed the three movies) would go on to make one or two movies based on The Hobbit. (The events in The Hobbit take place before the Lord of the Rings trilogy.)
The talk was that because of the length of the story, it would be necessary to break the movie into two parts. Plus they could make much more money that way. ;-)
However, a dispute soon broke out between Peter Jackson and the studio, and the Hobbit movie(s) were put on hold indefinitely. Then at some point Peter Jackson made a statement that he would not be making the movies, and that the studio would be looking for someone else to make the movies.
Boy was I disappointed when I hear that! As a huge fan of the three Lord of the Rings movies, I was really looking forward to seeing The Hobbit get the same premier treatment.
(After seeing the huge spider scene in Return of the King, can you imagine how cool the scene in The Hobbit would be with a whole army of giant spiders?!)
Well, today I just read a news story stating that New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson have come to terms on their past dispute, and that Peter Jackson will be creating the two Hobbit movies after all! (As Executive Producer.)
The first film will come out in 2010, and the second in 2011. If they hold the same pattern as the Lord of the Rings movies, the films will come out in December of each year.
That's still a long way off, but truly good news!