Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 16:08 UK

Peter Jackson to adapt The Hobbit

Peter Jackson
Jackson directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy

Peter Jackson is to co-write the screenplay for The Hobbit, according to US trade paper Hollywood Reporter.

Jackson, who presided over the Oscar-winning Lord Of The Rings trilogy, is executive producer on the new Tolkien adaptation, which is due out in 2011.

He had already handed over the director's reigns to Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro.

But following an eight-month search for a suitable scribe, the pair decided to adapt the epic novel themselves.

Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who worked with Jackson on Lord of The Rings, have also joined the writing team.

Written by Tolkien years before the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit follows the life of a young Bilbo Baggins on his journey to kill a dragon accompanied by the wizard Gandalf.

The big-screen version will be split into two parts.

As with Lord Of The Rings, they will be shot simultaneously and released over consecutive years.

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