The Hobbit is a three-part film series and serves as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The first was subtitled An Unexpected Journey (released in 2012), The Desolation of Smaug (released in 2013), and The Battle of the Five Armies.
Along with The Lord of the Rings, the film series as a hole is the fifth-highest grossing film series of all time.
Peter Jackson talked about doing The Hobbit, but he declined from ever doing hte project. At the time The Lord of the Rings was released, The Hobbit was intended to be one full movie with the other two being on THe Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the King, but the idea was dropped and only Lord of the Rings was allowed. After the films' series release, del Toro talked of doing it himself. However, he left in middle of production and Peter Jackson took over. He originally intended on having The Hobbit as a two parter movie, but decided to do a trilogy instead of a prequel and a sequel. The films were titled An Unexpected Journey, Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again. However, in early 2014, There and Back Again was renamed with The Battle of the Five Armies.
In October 2010, Martin Freeman was cast as a younger version of Bilbo Baggins. Later that same year, Richard Armitage was cast to play Thorin Oakenshield. Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, and Cate Blanchett reprised their roles as Gandalf (McKellen), Elrond, Saruman, and Galadriel for the trilogy. Elijah Wood and Ian Holm made cameo appearances, reprising their roles for Frodo Baggins (Wood) and an old Bilbo respectively.
Other cast of characters included Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Aidan Turner as Kíli, Mark Hadlow as Dori, John Callen as Óin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur and Peter Hambleton as Glóin. Later James Nesbitt and Adam Brown were cast to play Bofur and Ori. Later, Nesbitt's daughters, Mary and Peggy Nesbitt were cast to portray Sigrid and Tilda, daughters of Bard the Bowman.