As we had speculated several days ago, New Line Cinema, MGM, and Warner Bros. will be going forward with plans to convert J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel The Hobbit into a trilogy.

The news means that Peter Jackson, who directed the first Lord Of The Rings trilogy, will be manning the second his career – a rare feet for any director. In terms of source material, Jackson may have his work cut out for him. The Hobbit was only one novel – shorter than any of the three Lord Of The Rings novels.

Jackson released a statement saying, “We recognized that the richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, which gave rise to a simple question: Do we tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as filmmakers and fans was an unreserved yes.'”

Jackson has previously noted that some of the extra material for the final film would come from the large appendix additions in the Lord Of The Rings novels.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is slated for release December 14th, with the first sequel scheduled for December 13th, 2013. The final installment will likely be released summer 2014.

> Peter Jackson releases ‘The Hobbit’ video blog