New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM have issued a press release announcing the titles and release dates for Peter Jackson’s two-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”
The first film will be called "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and will be released on December 14th 2012.
The second will be "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" and is slated for release on December 13th 2013.
Both films are set in Middle Earth sixty years before events in “The Lord of the Rings”. Both are being shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology with filming taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.
Jackson has also begun answering fan questions, most notably confirming that both the White Council and Dol Guldur will feature in the movies.
In the books Dol Guldur is where Sauron was based in the years before the War of the Ring. The White Council is a group of wise elders who keep an eye on him from afar and eventually agree to attack Dol Guldur, only for Sauron to flee and settle in Mordor.