Oh No! 'The Hobbit' Pushed to 2012!?

The HobbitIt's gone back and forth many times now, but last we heard The Hobbit (which is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Guillermo del Toro) was still on track for a 2011 release. Now, though, that appears to have changed…again…and the news isn't very pretty.

In a new interview in Variety, Warner Bros. chief Alan Horn said it's likely we won't see the first Hobbit movie (yes, they're splitting it into two parts) until the fourth quarter of 2012. Since the other LotR films came out in December, chances are The Hobbit will secure a release date around Christmas 2012 – which means we still have, like, three years until it hits theaters. As it stands right now, the studio is waiting for the second film's script to come in before they begin casting all the roles.

Earlier this month, some folks claimed Tobey Maguire had landed the lead role of Bilbo Baggins after dropping out of the Spider-Man franchise. Maguire has since gone on record as denying those claims, so as of now he's not signed on to anything. Personally I'm glad, because I can't really see Maguire as a believable hobbit. What do you think?

Are there any fans of The Hobbit out there? Who could you see playing Bilbo Baggins? And are you upset about the 2012 release date, or do you have no problem waiting a little longer if it means the movie will turn out better because of it?

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