Fact: The Hobbit director Peter Jackson is offering 75 "ultimate fans" of the franchise the chance to attend a luxury screening of the final film The Battle of Five Armies. The fans will get a week-long tour around Middle Earth set locations in New Zealand before watching the movie in the capital Wellington with Jackson in December (14). The competition will launch on 25 August (14).
Fact: The final installment of director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy will be titled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The film, which was originally titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will hit cinemas in December (14).
Fact: The Hobbit star Richard Armitage is close to signing on to tackle classic Arthur Miller play The Crucible on the London stage in his first major theatre role in 12 years. The British actor is poised to star opposite newcomer Samantha Colley in director Yael Farber's summer (14) production at The Old Vic, according to the Daily Mail. His last big theatre job was in a 2002 production of Annie Lee.
Quote: "It was 18 months, a special experience... We lived the life of a Wellingtonian." Actor Luke Evans really felt like a New Zealander while shooting new movie The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
Fact: The life-size image of the titular dragon in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug was unveiled on the side of an Air New Zealand Boeing 737 plane on Monday (02Dec13). The promotional stunt for the upcoming film marked the first time the 54-metre-long Smaug had been seen in its entirety. The Hobbit-themed plane flew from Auckland, New Zealand to Los Angeles, California in time for the film's premiere in Hollywood on Monday night (02Dec13).
Fact: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has become only the 15th movie to pass the $1 billion mark at the global box office, thanks to China. The film has grossed $37.3 million (£23.3 million) in China over 10 days, taking it past the milestone, where it joins films like Avatar, Titanic, Skyfall and Lord of the Rings sequel The Return of the King.
Fact: Fans will have to wait a bit longer to see the conclusion of The Hobbit trilogy. The release of the final installment, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, has been pushed back five months from July 2014 to December 2014. The second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is still set to hit cinemas this December (13).
Quote: "It's like going back to college. You feel it's moved on. You still feel part of the world and what happens, but it's nice it's moved on and someone else is doing it." The Lord Of The Rings star Billy Boyd insists he has no issue over being left out of prequel movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Fact: The cast of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was nearly upstaged at film's star-studded London premiere on Wednesday (12Dec12) after a fan stepped in front of the paparazzi to propose to his girlfriend.
Quote: "I'm standing at a bus stop next to a massive flag of Thorin, and I'm standing there thinking, 'Everyone's looking at this flag and yeah, you don't realise that the man on that flag is standing in the bus stop with you'." British actor Richard Armitage's makeover for his role as dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit movies made him unrecognisable to onlookers.
Fact: New Zealand actor Dean O'Gorman originally auditioned for the lead role of Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movies. Martin Freeman won the part, but O'Gorman was given a chance to play dwarf Fili after Brit Rob Kazinsky quit the Lord of the Rings prequel due to health issues.
Fact: Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are among the 10 films shortlisted for the 2013 Best Visual Effects Oscar. The Amazing Spider-Man, Cloud Atlas, John Carter, Life of Pi, The Avengers, Prometheus and Snow White & the Huntsman complete the list of films being considered for Academy Awards nominations at a ceremony scheduled for 10 January (13).
Fact: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been chosen for a charity royal screening in London later this year (12). The Lord of The Rings prequel will make its debut as the 65th Royal Film Performance on 12 December (12) to raise money for good causes.
Quote: "Putting on the feet again was very surreal. It was strange because it felt incredibly weird and yet totally normal. I did that for four years solid a while ago but it felt like no time had passed. Suddenly I was there in the same costume and the same wig. The ears were basically the same too - so everything was the same." Actor Elijah Wood is delighted to be donning his Frodo Baggins costume from Lord of the Rings for a reprisal in new film The Hobbit.
Fact: The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is getting the Lego treatment. Bosses at the toy making company have been handed the rights to make action figures and play sets based on the three films, as well as the two upcoming The Hobbit movies.
Quote: "It's been rebuilt for The Hobbit, but with sustainable materials - with real wood - so it'll always be there. So from now on you'll actually get to see Hobbiton and visit it as a real place. You can't stay there but they are turning the Green Dragon pub into a visitor centre." Actor Elijah Wood reveals movie bosses built the New Zealand set of the upcoming Lord Of The Rings prequel The Hobbit with green materials to ensure the iconic landmarks could become a tourist hotspot.
Quote: "They broke it to me gently. I was just told the other day. It's OK, it's nothing to do with me. I just focus on the character and do my job." Henry Cavill remains upbeat after learning his debut as Superman in Man Of Steel will be pushed back by six months to allow studio bosses to release The Hobbit next year (12).
Fact: The titles of Peter Jackson's highly-anticipated and delayed Hobbit movies have been announced - the two films will be called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There And Back Again.
Quote: "Ten years ago, Orlando Bloom created an iconic character with his portrayal of Legolas. I'm excited to announce... that we'll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more." Director/producer Peter Jackson confirms ongoing speculation that the British actor will appear in Lord Of The Rings prequel The Hobbit.
Fact: Director Peter Jackson has confirmed New Zealand actor Dean O'Gorman will replace Rob Kazinsky in The Hobbit. Kazinsky recently quit the Lord of the Rings prequel due to undisclosed health issues.
Quote: "No, I'm not actually attached. I'm not confirmed. But they are introducing new characters. I know that... I think I could pass for an elf. I think if I had the right ears. I wouldn't want to be a hobbit. Certainly not." Irish actress Saoirse Ronan insists she hasn't yet signed a deal to appear in Peter Jackson's upcoming Lord Of The Rings prequel The Hobbit.
Quote: "There are some bits of bad luck associated with it. We're all very optimistic about it." British actor Martin Freeman brushes off reports the upcoming The Hobbit film is doomed after a series of setbacks. Most recently the movie's director Peter Jackson has delayed filming while undergoing surgery for a perforated ulcer.
Fact: Actress Saoirse Ronan is reteaming with her THE LOVELY BONES director Peter Jackson to shoot the Lord Of The Rings prequel The Hobbit. The Oscar-nominated teenager will join Sir Ian MCKellen, Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood in the two films, which are currently in pre-production in New Zealand.
Fact: Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt has been announced as the latest addition to the cast of The Hobbit. The COLD FEET star will portray dwarf Bofur in the upcoming Lord Of The Rings prequel. Director Peter Jackson says, "James' charm, warmth and wit are legendary as is his range as an actor in both comedic and dramatic roles. We feel very lucky to be able to welcome him as one of our cast."
Quote: "Absolutely, 100 per cent. I'm a huge fan of his. I love him in The Office and Love Actually." The Hobbit's former director Guillermo Del Toro is convinced British actor Martin Freeman is the perfect choice to play the lead role in the movie.
Quote: "That should have started in April but they didn't contact me about a contract until a few weeks ago and we're in negotiation... I've read the script, or as much as had been written, they sent it to me, which was very accomplished and good, I thought, and a wonderful part. But I don't have a contract and I don't have a start date, so there we are. We're in a bit of limbo at the moment." SIR Ian McKellen on the slow progress of Lord Of The Rings prequel, The Hobbit, in which he hopes to reprise his Gandalf character.
Quote: "The Hobbit, two films, start shooting in New Zealand in June. Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started. The first draft (of the script) is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth. The director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons' and the studio in Miramar." SIR Ian McKellen updates fans on the progress of The Lord Of The Rings prequel THE HOBBIT in a post on his website.