After several delays and concerns over possibly having to leave New Zealand due to labor strikes, Warner Bros. has confirmed that Peter Jackson has begun filming ‘The Hobbit,’ www.collider.com is reporting. Serving as a prequel to his award-winning trilogy ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ Jackson’s two-film adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Hobbit will be released in 3D in December 2012 and December 2013.
The two ‘Hobbit’ films will be shot consecutively at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on locations around New Zealand, Warner Bros. has also announced via a press release. The movies, which were written and are being produced by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Jackson, will have the same backdrop as ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
‘The Hobbit’ will take place in Middle-earth 60 years before Frodo received the ring. The prequel will follow Frodo’s Uncle Bilbo Baggins, who will be portrayed by Martin Freeman, as he embarks on his own journey. Bilbo will have to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which is controlled by the dragon Smaug.
Ian McKellen will reprise his role of Gandalf the Grey from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in ‘The Hobbit.’ Cate Blanchett will also return to the series as Galadriel, and Andy Serkis will once again portray Gollum. Elijah Wood is slated to appear as Frodo in a cameo role.
Written by: Karen Benardello