The Hobbit got the much awaited green light!

The two films are set to start shooting concurrently in February next year. And Peter Jackson has, according to the New York Times, signed his deal to direct, in addition to writing and producing the two films.

“Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth goes way beyond a normal film-making experience” Jackson said in a statement. “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 – and our friends at New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers and MGM”.

“There is no human being on the planet as qualified as Peter Jackson to direct these films,” concludes Warners’ Alan Horn. “Peter is incredibly talented and has the creative vision and experience to bring this beloved property to life in a way that no other filmmaker could. And the team of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens has proven through their work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy that no one is more skilled at transforming Tolkien’s written words into a vibrant, living language that makes the audience believe they are not merely visiting Middle-earth, but actually living in it. We couldn’t be more thrilled and look forward to seeing The Hobbit take shape under Peter’s stewardship and the team he is putting together.”

But there is one small snag still sitting like Gollum, waiting to trip the production up – where to shoot. The union issues have yet to be resolved, and if they keep going, Warners and New Line will need to relocate the shoot somewhere else in the world, which will mean a budget recalculation. But wherever they’re shot, both films will indeed be in 3D, utilising the latest technology. Surprised? Us neither.

While no official casting announcements have been made, we know at least that Ian McKellen is waiting in the wings to play Gandalf and with casting having already kicked into high gear, we doubt it’ll be too long before Jackson is announcing who he’s picked to play Bilbo Baggins…


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