It has been confirmed that the upcoming film adaptation of Tolkien’s The Hobbit will be split into two films, set to be released December 2011 and 2012.

There have long been rumors that there would be a second film bridging the sixty years between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, but the filmmakers have debunked that speculation.

Del Toro: “We’ve decided to have The Hobbit span the two movies, including the White Council and the comings and goings of Gandalf to Dol Guldur.

Jackson: “We decided it would be a mistake to try to cram everything into one movie. The essential brief was to do The Hobbit, and it allows us to make The Hobbit in a little more style, if you like, of the [LOTR] trilogy.

The Hobbit really does have a lot of material crammed into one book, and there are likely other writings of Tolkien that could round-out the films.