When it comes to Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of The Hobbit, we’re never surprised to hear bad news. The two-part fantasy film has been through the wringer over the past two years thanks to the financial woes of its home studio, MGM. A few weeks ago we received some positive reinforcement when Jackson confirmed that the scripts for both installments had been completed. It gave us hope that we might see The Hobbit in theaters sooner than later but earlier today a press release from distributor Warner Bros confirmed the movie has been pushed back…again.

UPDATE: THR is now reporting that The Hobbit is being fast tracked for a 2012 release.

Warner Bros recently announced a new 3 year deal with IMAX to distribute up to 20 films from now until 2013. One of the movies they listed as an IMAX candidate was The Hobbit, which they have scheduled for a December 2013 release. Basically, this movie is almost four years away so if you thought the wait was long before, it’s about to get longer.

When Jackson opened up about the screenplay he also stated that a release date hadn’t been set because they were awaiting budget approval from the studio. If The WB has December listed they must have gotten some type of greenlight over the past week. Either way, it’s time to get this show on the road. Fans are getting restless and Jackson, del Toro, MGM, and Warner Bros. need to deliver the goods.

Are you surprised that The Hobbit won’t debut until 2013?