With the exception of Machete Kills, which is a sequel to 2010 film, everything in today’s Sequel Bits is pretty old school, featuring characters or properties that have been around at least a decade. After the jump:

  • Joss Whedon talks a little bit about The Avengers 2
  • Bruce Campbell says the new Evil Dead is “fabulous”
  • Production resumes on Iron Man 3 after RDJ‘s injury
  • Benedict Cumberbatch reveals when we’ll see Smaug
  • Bobby Farrelly spills Dumb and Dumber 2 plot details
  • Marko Zaror joins Machete Kills, see his character poster
  • See Paul Walker and Vin Diesel on the Fast Six set

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Just two weeks ago, the idea that Peter Jackson would split The Hobbit into three movies instead of two as originally planned seemed like wild, unfounded speculation. But then Jackson began floating the possibility at Comic-Con, negotiations with Warner Bros. picked up, and now Jackson has confirmed that it’s official: The Hobbit will be a trilogy.

The details are still being hammered out, so there’s a lot that even the folks involved aren’t sure of at this point. However, we do have an inkling of what the title and timetable might be. Jackson is reportedly eyeing a summer 2014 release date for the third movie, though an exact date has not been announced. As for the title, domain registrations suggest The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: Riddles in the Dark as potential names. Read more after the jump.

UPDATE: Jackson has taken to Facebook to post his own statement about the decision to split The Hobbit into three films, while the studio has issued a new press release. Read Jackson’s comment after the jump.

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It looks like Peter Jackson will be making a third Hobbit film after all. At least, that’s what he’s decided he wants to do, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the past few days, logistical talks have “accelerated” between the director, his producing partners and Warner Bros., who would be open to the idea if the finances worked out.

Jackson suggested he’d be interested in a third film a couple weeks ago and has since been figuring out when the production would have to come back to do reshoots, how many of the actors would need to come back, when they’d need to come back, and how much all of that would cost. All of that is almost in order. Read more after the jump. Read More »

As Hollywood pushes for 3D, 4D, 48 fps, 60 fps, and Lord knows whatever comes next, a couple of high-profile directors have declared their allegiance to the old ways. Peter Jackson protégé and District 9 director Neill Blomkamp has stated his preference for good old-fashioned 2D over 3D and 24 fps over Jackson’s controversial use of 48 fps for The Hobbit. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan has gone one step further by declaring that, in fact, he’s never met anybody who actually likes 3D. Read their comments after the jump.

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The last time we got a look at the set of Peter Jackson‘s two films based on The Hobbit, the focus of the video diary series had turned to the logistics of location shooting. Jackson has just released the first Hobbit video diary of 2012, and while he opens it with a tease of things we’re not allowed to see until 2013 — sets for Lake-town, perhaps? — this episode turns back to location work.

Unsurprisingly, that means there is a lot of talk and footage in this twelve-minute video dedicated to representing just how jaw-droppingly beautiful New Zealand is.

But you’ll also see Andy Serkis at work as the second unit director and get some info about how the remote second unit stays in touch with Peter Jackson. The logistics and scale of this production continue to impress — there’s nothing quite like the cinematic army that Jackson & Co. have assembled to bring Middle-Earth to life. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The cast of Peter Jackson‘s two Hobbit films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is huge. Like, really, tremendously huge. They actors are all listed at the bottom of the post, but the point is that, after months of shooting, the cast isn’t quite big enough. Jackson has just added the man who will seemingly be the last on the roster: Scottish actor and comedian Billy Connolly. He’ll play Dain Ironfoot, a Dwarf warrior. Read More »

J.R.R. Tolkien fans already got a nice holiday gift earlier this week when the gorgeous first trailer for The Hobbit was released on Tuesday, but Peter Jackson wasn’t done playing Santa. The director took to his Facebook wall a couple of days ago to promise an additional “Christmas treat” to mark the ten-year anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring as well as promote the two Hobbit films, and finally revealed his big surprise — the fifth production video from the set of The Hobbit — earlier today. (Which I think technically makes it a Festivus present rather than a Christmas one, but we’ll let that slide.) Watch the video after the jump.

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Peter Jackson just released a video allowing us to fly across Middle Earth with him, scouting locations for The Hobbit. The first block of the massive 254 day shoot on Jackson’s two part version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book recently came to a close and, to mark the occasion, the director has finally released his second production video. Video number one came soon after the beginning of filming and focused on the rituals of prepping such a huge undertaking. Now, almost three months later with 20% of the shoot in the bag, this second video focuses on location scouting for the second block of filming which beings in September. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

Go back in time and see the Shire before The Lord of the Rings with these first official photos from Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit. Jackson has been shooting his two-part film adaptation of the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novel for several weeks but all we’ve seen from set was one video. Now, Entertainment Weekly has premiered three exclusive images from The Hobbit including Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf and more. Check them out after the jump. Read More »

The rightful heir to the throne of Dale and eventual slayer of the dragon Smaug, Bard the Bowman is one of the key roles in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Hobbit. Director Peter Jackson has been filming the two-part, 3D adaptation of the classic book for several weeks now but had yet to announce who would play this pivotal character. We’ve now learned that Luke Evans, best known for roles in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and Clash of the Titans, has been cast as Bard. Evans is an up and coming actor whose roles in the upcoming The Three Musketeers and Immortals have primed him for a trip to Middle Earth. Read More »