1 Jun 2011

Warner Bros unveils Hobbit film names

2:54 pm on 1 June 2011

US film giant Warner Bros has revealed the titles of the two long-delayed The Hobbit movies, prequels to the Tolkien epic Lord of the Rings, directed by Sir Peter Jackson.

There and Back Again was the subtitle of the original 1937 book about the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, while An Unexpected Journey echoes the novel's opening chapter An Unexpected Party.

After years of wrangling and delays, the $US500 million project began filming in New Zealand in March.

The movies are being shot consecutively in digital 3-D at Stone Street Studios in Wellington and on location around New Zealand, the film studio said.

Actors reprising their Lord of the Rings roles include Australian actress Cate Blanchett who returns as Galadriel, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Elijah Wood as Frodo and Andy Serkis as Gollum.

British actor Martin Freeman takes on the central role of Bilbo Baggins.