Three new action films based upon J.R.R. Tolkein’s 1937 novel The Hobbit are currently being worked on. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is due to be released in December 2012. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due in December, 2013, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for July, 2014. The three films are directed by Peter Jackson and follow on from Jackson's earlier project, The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy.
Martin Freeman is playing the title role of Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage will portray Thorin Oakenshield, and Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast as Smaug. Several actors from The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy will also be featured, including Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum, and Elijah Wood as Frodo. Filming, as with The Lord of the Rings, was based in New Zealand.