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I love to read your janotec.typepad.com dude!!

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Christopher Lee's definitely back for The Hobbit. The press release that announced the titles and release dates also lists him among the cast, the first official confirmation we have. His own website also had him down as returning, pending confirmation.

I'm happy that if they have to squeeze more money out of it it's Peter Jackson still in the director's chair. I was really skeptical about Lord of the Rings, but wow they were superb films. It was also great he didn't compromise, and did 3 hours every time to get as much as possible in, really rewarded the fan boys and girls. Can't see how they're getting two movies out of it though, the Hobbit is a fairly shortest book Vis a Vis any of the Lord of the Rings ones.

Steve, I think the Narnian books are even harder to put up on screen. The old Wonderworks (published on PBS) back in the early 90s were better written, though hampered by a truckload of cheesiness (think of the beaver costumes here).

I think you're right about "the director messing with pictures" in one's head. I still cannot allow Viggo Mortenson to inhabit the imaginary space I constructed for Aragorn:

Thanks. Typo. Or rather, mutability and age. Think of the appropriate Shakespearian sonnet here.

FWIW, the second of The Hobbit films will be subtitled, There and Back Again, with the first subtitled as An Unexpected Journey.

I haven't seen the films of Lord of the rings, and doubt that I ever will. I don't want the director messing with the pictures in my head when I read the book.

I'm not sure about "The Hobbit". I did see "The voyage of the dawn treader", and found it sufficiently unlike the book to lose some significant points that the book made.

Well, yes, but I wasn't complaining about there being two movies. My question was whether the movie(s) would cohere with the book.

The honest (non-snarky) answer is that it's so insanely expensive to build Middle-Earth again; the studio required two films to help ensure it covers costs. That's the same reason they shot the three LOTR movies back-to-back, which worked out pretty well.

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