Principal photography will begin in February 2011, with Peter Jackson once again reprising his place in the director’s chair. The book by J.R.R. Tolkien will be split into two movies, the first of which will be released in theaters on December 19, 2012. Many of the actors from the Lord of the Rings films are rumored to be reprising their roles in The Hobbit, most notably Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Hugo Weaving (Elrond) and Andy Serkis (Gollum).
It will be interesting to see who plays Bilbo Baggins this time around. It is a complex part and the right actor must be tapped for it. Get Bilbo wrong and the whole story falls apart. I feel Jackson did a wonderful job casting and directing Frodo and Sam, so I am optimistic the same will be true of our burglar.
Now if the labor issues can be resolved, the whole thing can bet set once more in New Zealand. I’m not holding my breath. Jackson and crew have already pinpointed five other locations around the world that will work for Middle Earth.
More when it becomes available!