‘The Hobbit’ titles and release dates announced

More details for Peter Jackson's fantasy movies are revealed

The Hobbit movies have officially been given titles and release dates.

JRR Tolkien‘s fantasy novel will be split into two films, directed by Lord Of The Rings helmer Peter Jackson, with production having started recently. Now, New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers have released details of both movies.

The first film will be called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and will be released on December 17 2012. The second is titled The Hobbit: There And Back Again, released on December 13 2013.

Both titles draw inspiration from the source material, according to Total Film. The first chapter of The Hobbit is called An Unexpected Party, while There And Back Again was the alternative title Tolkien used for his 1937 book.

Martin Freeman will star as the hero Bilbo Baggins in the films, leading a cast that also includes Stephen Fry, James Nesbitt, Aidan Turner and Richard Armitage.

Meanwhile, Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Cate Blanchett will reprise their roles from the Lord Of The Rings films in some capacity, even though not all their characters feature in the original book.