A scant week after Sir Ian McKellan confirmed he would (if asked) return as Gandalf, comes another good sign for The Hobbit. Composer Howard Shore recently attended a live performance of the Lord of the Rings score in Switzerland. When asked whether he would be returning for The Hobbit, Shore confirmed that he is involved. Not only that, but he's been working on ideas since finishing the score for The Two Towers.

This isn't a complete shock, as he had discussed such a possibility before with Ain't It Cool News' ScoreKeeper, but given the ugly drama that has surrounded this poor movie, it is hard to remember who has jumped ship.

This comes by way of an e-mail to Ain't It Cool News, and I share their general feeling that these snippets mean The Hobbit is finally coming together. Hopefully, we'll have big official statements soon; at least some talk of casting. Something definite. I don't think we can all go through more delays over rights and lawsuits.

But at least this is a cheery bit of news. Honestly, I cannot wait to hear Shore tackle Tolkien's world again. The scores for LOTR are simply a masterpiece. If you ever get the chance to attend The Lord of the Rings Symphony, do! I caught it a few years ago (sadly, our symphony lacked the set up to project the maps and illustrations that generally accompany it) and it was fantastic. It is incomparable live, and will literally break your heart.