The director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy may have decided to take on the Hobbit as well.
Peter Jackson did a fine job on the film translation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and though he wasn't expected to take on Tolkien's The Hobbit too, it's looking like that will be the case after all. Deadline reports that Jackson has decided to direct two Hobbit films and is in negotiations to do so.
Guillermo Del Toro surprisingly stepped down as Hobbit director in May, possibly due to family or MGM financial concerns. Jackson was in the running to direct the The Hobbit films as a natural progression after Lord of the Rings, but was tied up with other projects as of last month and wasn't sure if it'd be a possibility. Deadline's trusted sources are now saying that Jackson has been able to sneak his way out of those obligations.
Once Jackson is confirmed as the director of The Hobbit, there may also be a further discussion about whether to shoot the films in 3D or not, which could lead to the transfer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to 3D as well. Jackson has said that he expects The Hobbit films to be released in December 2012 and December 2013 respectively, and can probably still make those dates happen as he's been tied into their production from the beginning.