Image from the set of The HobbitWhile The Hobbit remains stuck in development purgatory - director-less, cast-less and release date-less - everything seems to be looking good in The Shire as some images from the film's set have just appeared on the web.

German website have got hold of some pictures taken last month in New Zealand showing the work that's currently taking place on the Hobbiton set and - besides some very un-hobbit like construction workers and the odd pick up truck - definite Middle Earth dwellings are clearly visible.

See the Hobbit set pictures after the jump...

As for the film itself, well, as we all know, legal problems with production company MGM have kept the film from going ahead to such a degree that director Guillermo Del Toro had to drop out after two years of pre production. There is a confidence, however, from several key players that The Hobbit will still go ahead as Ian Mckellen - who is set to reprise his role as Gandalf - was recently quoted as saying that shooting would begin this year.

Harry Potter director David Yates was recently linked with taking the directorial reigns however he has since distanced himself from the project to the relief of many Hobbit fans who (correctly, in our opinion) viewed him as a step down from the visionary Del Toro. Fellow Mexican and Children of Men director, Alfonso Cuaron, has also been rumoured as (of course) has Peter Jackson, though he maintains he is staying on in a purely producer and screenwriter role.

Whoever does step in we hope they get to it quickly. Lord of the Rings was a great trilogy but can certainly be improved upon (less slow motion and singing would be a good place to start).

Anyway, for now, enjoy these Hobbit set pictures and try to imagine small characters with large feet wandering around...