The NY Times have confirmed that The Hobbit has officially been greenlit, with Peter Jackson returning as director.

The news comes months of disruptions, legal battles, the budget and union action in New Zealand, but it seems Warner Bros. have finally secured the rights from MGM and will release the first installment on December 19, 2012, with the second following in late 2013.

TheWrap have also announced that filming on the long-awaited two-parter is expected to commence in February, so expect casting details to be revealed in due course.

So, there we have it, The Hobbit has finally been greenlit, with Jackson at the helm. Are you looking forward to finally seeing J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel on the big screen?