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Last Updated: Tuesday May 31 2011 11:09 GMT

The Hobbit: first film to be released in December 2012

Martin Freeman

The first of two Lord of the Rings prequel films, based on JRR Tolkien's book The Hobbit, will be out in 2012.

It's called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and is released in December; while the second, called The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be in 2013.

The films star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, and will be directed by Peter Jackson, who did the Rings films.

You'll also see Sir Ian McKellan back as Gandalf, Elijah Wood returning as Frodo, and Andy Serkis as Gollum, too.

Jackson's three films, based on The Lord of the Rings books, were released between 2001 and 2003 and won 16 Oscars between them.

But filming on the Hobbit movies has taken a long time to get going - there were big problems over the actors' wages, and Peter Jackson was taken ill in January 2011.



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Martin Freeman who plays Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.

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