The Hobbit: There and Back Again

The Hobbit

Oh, look, it’s time for another Friday edition of Release Date Round-Up, packed to the metaphorical gills with release date changes, switcheroos, change-ups, and push-arounds for all sorts of big-time studio films. Like what, you may ask, what films, why now, why should I care? Well, do you care about the final installment in the never-ending saga that is The Hobbit? Are you anxious to know when you can see Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut? Dying to know which upcoming comic book adaptation is now going the (not totally unexpected) 3D route? Sure ya do. After the break, find out just how much your movie-going schedule is going to change in the coming months. Get ready to change those iCals, folks.

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The Hobbit: There and Back Again

The first film in Peter Jackson‘s new three-entry The Hobbit franchise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is still a week away from release, but that hasn’t stopped the production from rolling out, wait, what? a picture from the third film in the series? Fortunately, this first look stars a fan favorite from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Orlando Bloom as Legolas. But, sorry, just what is Legolas doing in The Hobbit: There and Back Again? He’s not in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s book! As Jackson explains it: “He’s [elven king] Thranduil’s son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit, and because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm.” Fair enough. Alongside Bloom? That’s Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, a Laketown warrior who will be getting a bit more attention in the film than he did in the series’ source material, with screenwriter and producer Philippa Boyens explaining, “We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling.” The first film in the series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will hit theaters next week in 2D, 3D, and IMAX on December 14. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13, 2013, and the final entry, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released on July 18, 2014. [EW]

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