So, thanks to Jim Lowder for the following link, which I doubt I wd have stumbled upon. Seems there's a company that specializes in making movies with titles and themes similar to big-budget releases --e.g. THE DAY THE EARTH STOPPED (not to be confused with THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL) or TRANSMORPHERS (ibid TRANSFORMERS). I knew there were folks who, every time Disney makes an animated version of a classic folk or fairy tale, immediately releases a genericized version, but didn't know the same happened with live action films.
In this case, they're making a film about Homo floresiensis, the small subrace of hominids discovered in Indonesia a decade or so ago, and thus claim any trademarks and copyrights regarding JRRT's hobbits has no relevance (rather like the guy who called himself "Gandalf the Wizard-Clown" who claimed he'd gotten the name directly from the Elder Edda). If I were them, I'd shudder at the thought of going up against Saul Zaentz -- who, I note, is misidentified in this piece as a "book publisher", showing that the endemic confusion between Zaentz (the movie people) and the Tolkien Estate (the book people) continues. Alas.
Here's the link to the article, with matching trailers both for the Peter Jackson film and THE AGE OF HOBBITS, for those who want to compare 'look and feel'.
For those who just want to see the AGE OF HOBBITS trailer, here's that link all by itself:
I'd say this looks interesting for two reasons: first, its female protagonist, and second, it seems to derive its plot from "The Scouring of the Shire" (hobbits resisting bullying from The Big People), one of the few extended sequences omitted from the Peter Jackson films.
At any rate, an interesting curiosity. Thanks to Jim for sharing.
P.S.: Oh, and the release date? Scheduled for December 11th. Just three days before the Big Event . . .