The third and final installment in Peter Jackson‘s new film trilogy The Hobbit is scheduled to open in theaters this December 17th. Subtitled The Battle of the Five Armies, the movie will close out the over-extended film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s pre-Lord of the Rings adventure that follows the hobbit Bilbo Baggins after he is recruited by the wizard, Gandalf, to assist Thorin and his band of dwarfs in reclaiming a lost treasure from the ancient dragon Smaug. The first two installments were subtitled An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, and brought back from Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy actors Ian McKellen (Gandalf-X2: X-Men United, The Da Vinci Code), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Orlando Bloom (Legolas-Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), Christopher Lee (Saruman-Sleepy Hollow, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith), Hugo Weaving (Elrond-The Matrix, V for Vendetta), and Ian Holm (older Bilbo-Alien, The Fifth Element). Jackson adapted the screenplay for The Hobbit movies with returning Lord of the Rings collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and writer/director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy). Some cinemas will be playing all three Hobbit films this holiday season to celebrate the Battle of the Five Armies release, and there are rumors flying around all over the web that a teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be played during the previews for The Hobbit. So if you are a fan of Jackson or Tolkien by all means go and catch the final film on the big screen this holiday season. You can watch the trailer right here on MADE.
Although it has been confirmed that Johnny Depp will be reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow for a fifth (and hopefully final) installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and that Keith Richards will also return as Jack’s father Captain Teague, we haven’t really had anymore solid news on the project in terms of supporting cast members, at least until now! Recent reports indicate that original Pirates trilogy actor Orlando Bloom may reunite with Depp for the new project, which is being titled Dead Men Tell No Tales. The film will be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and is currently set to hit theaters in July 2017. Bloom, who recently returned to his other famous role of Legolas in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, has been seen in a number of films outside of the Pirates and Lord of the Rings franchises, including Black Hawk Down (2001), Troy (2004), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and The Three Musketeers (2011), the actor has never really struck a chord with critics and audiences outside of his two famous roles, so maybe stepping back into familiar territory is not such a bad idea. The film is still early in production at this point, with a recent bid from Australia for the filmmakers to shoot the project there, but nothing is set in stone yet, and with more than two years still to go until the release date, I can’t imagine anything being rushed this early on, so we’ll just do what we do and keep our ears open for now.