Oops! Sir Ian McKellen seems to have let the proverbial cat out of the bag. On his official site, the legendary thespian blogged how “The Hobbit” films will begin shooting in July of this year, how the filming will take over a year to complete and that casting has begun in Los Angeles, London and New York City. It seems the powers-that-be at New Line didn’t like their favourite wizard giving so much detail away as, interestingly, Sir Ian’s site now simply says that shooting of the Hobbit will take place in New Zealand, “at a time to be announced.”
I’d be inclined to believe McKellen, though, since it also backs up what Peter Jackson said to German site, MovieReporter.net (translated by TheOneRing.net here) in November of last year. Jackson in the interview said that even though there was no official green light from New Line, he hoped filming would begin in “the middle of next year (2010).”
Going back to McKellen’s original blog, he does also make mention of a few other details with regards to the eagerly anticipated prequels. He mentions how the script is “crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth.” Does this mean that some extra characters from the original trilogy of films could be worked into “The Hobbit” that weren’t in the original Tolkien book? Get to speculating, IJMers!
He also makes mention of the fact “the director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons’ and the studio in Miramar.” It’s an obvious and expected logistical decision, but also an excellent sign that the film is gathering momentum and is at a very advanced stage of pre-production. Whenever filming is due to begin, we can expect Gandalf to be there for “a wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.”
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