The Hobbit, Ian McKellen, Gandalf
If you've been following the making of 'The Hobbit,' you know the project has been on a roller coaster ride since it was optioned in 2006. But the troubles date back to 1995, when Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh expressed interest in filming the story as part one of a trilogy. Frustrations arose over production and distribution rights, and Jackson and Walsh went on to adapt the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy with New Line Cinema instead.

A prequel to the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'The Hobbit' follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, who journeys to the Lonely Mountain accompanied by a group of dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen by the dragon Smaug. As of this writing, the story will be made into two films scheduled for release in December 2012 and December 2013.

After the jump, a rundown of where things stand.