Has it been over 2 years since this thread last got love? I swear we had a hobbit thread that was more recent!?!? Anyway, things are looking REALLY good right now. Stole this from coming-soon.net:

As for The Hobbit, Sloan confirmed that MGM was in advanced talks with Peter Jackson to make two movies based on JRR Tolkien's "prequel" to "The Lord of the Rings."

The first would be a direct adaptation of The Hobbit, and the second would be drawn from "footnotes and source material connecting 'The Hobbit' with 'Lord of the Rings,'" he explained.

An MGM spokesman emphasized that negotiations with Jackson are still in progress, and that production isn't likely until 2008 or even 2009.
Nice. And here's to hoping for same cast for reoccuring characters. Ian Holm, Sir Ian, etc.