Looks like there will indeed be a Dec 18 2007
Looks like there will indeed be a Hobbit film and Peter Jackson is in (although not as director, at least not yet). The deal includes another film to be made that takes place between the end of The Hobbit but before LOTR. (via crazymonk)
Update: The NY Times says that Jackson will not direct as he is already booked for the period in question.