After years of disasters including the original director, Guillermo del Toro quitting, and Peter Jackson's workshop burning down, we are this close to production starting on 'The Hobbit' in New Zealand.
The plan is to shoot 2 digital 3D films starting in February 2011 with release dates in 2012 & 2013. According to E!online, Sir Ian McKellan is a sure thing to return as the grey wizard Galdalf (insert reinactments of people bellowing 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS' here - you know you want to) and there is a steady rumor that UK actor Martin Freeman is in line to play lead character of Bilbo Baggins in his earlier years. You might remember that the start of 'The Fellowship of the Ring' involved Bilbo's eleventy first birthday and showed the un-natural attraction that the ring had over him, 'The Hobbit' shows us how he got to that point during his, ummm, youth?!
Peter Jackson was quoted stating "It's an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. We're looking forward to re-entering this wondrous world with Gandalf and Bilbo". After del Toro quit, Jackson has stepped up and is now directing, producing and writing. Phew!
Fingers crossed there are no other set backs and we all get to step back into the fantastical world of Middle Earth.