“We made it!” announces Peter Jackson. After 266 days of shooting, production has officially wrapped on the two instalments of The Hobbit, with the return to Middle-earth kicking off in December this year with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

As usual, news of the completion of production came from Jackson himself, announcing through his Facebook:

“We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con!
Cheers, Peter J”

So if you’re lucky enough to be heading to Comic-Con next week, you’ve got plenty to look forward to.

The two instalments were shot back-to-back, starting back in March last year, divided into three main shooting blocks, with the third and final block officially finishing up today, 6th July.

“The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.”

It’s been almost ten years since we last made the trip to Middle-earth, and when we did, we did so in huge numbers – the film took $1.1bn. at the box office, and currently ranks at #6 on the highest-grossing films of all time.

You can bet that both instalments of The Hobbit will see cinemas full once more with fans eagerly awaiting what Jackson has to bring us in our return.

The first trailer for the film landed as a nice Christmas present last year, and I’ve embedded it for you below in case you missed it.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is due out on 14th December, 2013 in the US (and seems to have been pushed back to Boxing Day in the UK), followed by The Hobbit: There And Back Again on 13th December, 2013.

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