Peter Jackson to Produce The Hobbit and The Hobbit 2

Hear that? That’s the sound of every Lord of the Rings geek trying desperately not to wet his pants, because news is breaking fast that Peter Jackson, the lord of the Lord of the Rings himself, has agreed to produce both “The Hobbit” and its sequel, “The Hobbit 2”, and they’re going to shoot this thing back-to-back and release it one year apart starting in 2010.

The news comes from Cinematical, who has the press release. The important excerpts below:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.

The two “Hobbit” films – “The Hobbit” and its sequel – are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of “The Hobbit” release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.

So there you go, hobbit fans. New Line Cinema has finally paid what they owe Jackson, and he’s agreed to lend his name to “The Hobbit” movies. Stupid New Line. They should have done this years ago to get this thing rolling earlier and capitalize on the success of the “Rings” movies.

Peter Jackson to Produce The Hobbit and The Hobbit 2