After years in the courts, and constant questions if the movies will ever get made, we finally have an answer. New Line and MGM will be going forward with a pair of movies based on the JRR Tolkien book “The Hobbit.” See the full press release here.

The Hobbit takes place before the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and follows a younger Bilbo Baggins on his first adventure. The story also features popular LOTR characters like Gandalf The Grey and Gollum.

No casting has been made, no director has been chosen. Effects are expected to be done by WETA workshop and be consistent with the existing Lord Of The Rings films. Shooting will start in 2009 for release of the 2 films in 2010 and 2011.