Hobbit For 2012: Warner Bros. Inks 20 Picture Deal With IMAX

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Maybe our return trip to Middle Earth isn’t as far away as we all had initially thought.

There was a whole bunch of confusion today, when Warner Bros. announced that it had made a three-year, 20-film deal with IMAX, to put their titles on the biggest screens in the land. This would include works like Harry Potter and Legends of the Guardian: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. (See the 10 best sci-fi films of the decade)

It was big news, but not entirely unexpected. Heads spun, though, when The Hobbit was listed on the anouncement as a 2013 release – which would be a full two years later than the initial speculation that Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro’s two-part adaptation would arrive next year, in late 2011.

By midday, however, apparently Warner Bros. was scrambling to correct the misprint. The Hollywood Reporter is now reporting that the studio will be issuing a clarification, trumpeting the fact the first of the two Hobbit films will be arriving for the 2012 holiday season, with the second edition slated to arrive in 2013.

So it’s still a bit further away now than we were all hoping for, but a year earlier than today’s initial press release would indicate. 2012 Hobbit: Start those countdown clocks now.

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