Exactly one year — 366 days in this case — from today will come our first opportunity since 2003 to return to Middle-earth in a new movie. It won’t be easy to wait, but we can feel secure in the knowledge that what we get will almost certainly have been worth waiting for.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel, is scheduled to make its appearance in movie theaters on December 14, 2012. To say that this will be one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of all time almost seems an understatement: There must surely be plenty of geeks out there who, if they could come up with a way to make it work, would very likely set up camp outside their local movie theater now.
For my part, I’m even looking forward to seeing the movie (and part two, which is scheduled for release on December 13, 2013) in 3D, because I’m confident that if any director can be trusted to make 3D really add something to a film, Peter Jackson can. Anyone who can take the most sacred trilogy in geek fiction and turn them into movies that both satisfy most of the trilogy’s devotees and appeal to people who know nothing about the books gets the benefit of the doubt from me on pretty much every decision he makes about the Hobbit films.
Still, just to prevent ourselves from getting too emotionally invested in a movie we still have to wait a year to see, we should probably recall the last time we geeks had anything like this level of anticipation for a prequel to an iconic film trilogy. We didn’t see that one coming, either.
(Yes, I of course know that the book The Hobbit was written first and was thus not a prequel. With the movies being made out of sequence, it’s still the right word for the Hobbit films.)
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