'The Hobbit' start date delayed until next summerYou can't keep a good Hobbit down, but you can certainly keep him waiting. While production for the 'Lord Of The Rings' prequel 'The Hobbit' was originally set for March, it appears that its filming start date has been pushed back to next summer ... at the earliest.

According to JRR Tolkien fansite TheOneRing.Net, executive producer Peter Jackson told German media outlet Moviereporter.net that the film is still in development. "We're currently working on the second script, which we hope to have completed by the end of this year or beginning of next," said Jackson. "When the scripts are completed, we can begin with the exact calculation of the necessary budget." They hope to start filming by mid-2010, but Jackson stressed that "we've received no green light yet from the studio yet." 'The Hobbit' start date delayed until next summerYou can't keep a good Hobbit down, but you can certainly keep him waiting. While production for the two-part 'Lord Of The Rings' prequel 'The Hobbit' was originally set for March, it appears that its filming start date has been pushed back to next summer ... at the earliest.

According to JRR Tolkien fansite TheOneRing.Net, executive producer Peter Jackson told German media outlet Moviereporter.net that the film is still in development. "We're currently working on the second script, which we hope to have completed by the end of this year or beginning of next," said Jackson. "When the scripts are completed, we can begin with the exact calculation of the necessary budget." They hope to start filming by mid-2010, but Jackson stressed that "we've received no green light yet from the studio yet."

While the news might worry some hardcore fans, the release dates for the two 'Hobbit' films have been planned for December 2011 and December 2012, so there is still time to reach those deadlines unless another delay ensues. And this is not the first time that plans for the movies have been stalled. Fresh off of the Oscar-dominating success of the famous 'Ring' trilogy, Jackson originally planned to direct 'The Hobbit,' but talks broke down over alleged profits he was owed by New Line Cinema. By the time a settlement was reached, Jackson had moved on to other projects, so 'Hellboy' director Guillermo del Toro was brought in to helm the project. A lawsuit against New Line Cinema brought by the Tolkien Trust in February 2008, also for alleged unpaid profits, was settled this past summer.

Three actors have officially been announced for the 'Hobbit' cast -- Ian McKellan (returning as Gandalf), Andy Serkis (Gollum) and Hugo Weaving (Elrond) -- and plenty have been tossed around in the rumor mill, including James McAvoy, Ewan McGregor and Martin Freeman (all possible as a young Bilbo Baggins), as well as Doug Jones, Ron Perlman and Stephen Fry (as a Dwarf).

As to whether or not Aragorn might appear in the film version of 'The Hobbit,' his real-life alter ego Viggo Mortensen told Moviefone that he would love to reprise the role, though this would likely only occur if a bridge movie between 'The Hobbit' and the 'LOTR' trilogy is made. Some 'Hobbit' fans might go for that (and some purists might not), but for now, the main concern for Jackson and company is just getting the ball rolling.
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