'The Hobbit' to begin production in early 2011
October 18th, 2010
12:59 PM ET

'The Hobbit' to begin production in early 2011

J.R.R. Tolkien fans can rejoice – the movie version of "The Hobbit" is actually happening and is expected to start filming early next year.

According to a joint statement released to The Hollywood Reporter by New Line, MGM and Warner Brothers, "The two films based on 'The Hobbit' are now greenlit and will begin principal photography in February 2011, under the direction of Peter Jackson."

While the movie is expected to shoot in New Zealand, where the mega-hit "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was filmed, a labor dispute between Jackson and New Zealand Actors' Equity and SAG might require the production to move elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Deadline.com reports that Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, while "Hot Fuzz" star Martin Freeman is rumored to be attached to the role of Bilbo Baggins.

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soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Tammy Downs

    I'M STILL WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO CALL ME

    October 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rufus

    I hope they'll bring back Orlando Bloom to at least appear with the Elves in Mirkwood; surely Legolas would have been old enough to go to war against the bad guys in the Hobbit book timeline? It would also rock to see King Thranduil, Legolas's father, played by the guy who was Malfoy's dad in the Potter films. :)

    But if they make the King evil, greedy or stupid I'll be very disappointed.

    Tolkien nerd and proud of it, yup .... :)

    October 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    I think what you meant was, "Peter Jackson fans can rejoice."

    Tolkein fans can groan in unison. The Lord of The Rings movies, while good movies, were terrible adaptations.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • C. Smith

      The books were three books, each of which were composed of two books themselves! Short of making a whole TV season or more, with a movie budget for each hour-long episode, I can't think of any way to make a truly good adaptation of the books. LotR The Movies were far better than I had feared, though.

      October 19, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. chitown

    YES! Peter Jackson is the man! Would have been interesting to see Del Toro's take on it, but you can't go wrong with the director of the other films. Fantastic news.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Firstbank Studios

    Gandalf inspired GETTYMOVIE // the Getty/Hitler trilogy

    October 19, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Grant MacDonald

    Bilbo inspired A BILLION BUCKS 3D

    October 19, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Film the Hobbit in Italy. We have many places in the countryside that would work very well for the movie. Peter you can also employ me to help with the film, I will take anything, I am unemployed right now and I can speak English and Italian fluently :)

    October 19, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. SaintDaveUK

    Look CNN, I know that White British people all look the same to you, but Martin Freeman was certainly not a star of 'Hot Fuzz'. Maybe the American definition for "Star" is "Somebody who has a cameo in a film for 5 seconds", but could you seriously not think of anything else he has been in? Here's a tip; try using IMDB.com or Wikipedia.org – just promise me you will do just a little bit of research next time? K Thx.

    October 19, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. OGRE

    NERDS!!!

    October 19, 2010 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    Yay!!!! is all I can say.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. The_Mick

    My originally copy of The Hobbit had a photo of J.R.R. Tolkien on the back smoking a pipe. I finally talked my father into reading the book. After doing so he looked at that photo and said, "I sure wish I had some of what he was smoking!"

    October 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kay

    The union problems might also mean that McKellan and Serkis won't be involved. The actor's union basically ordered them not to work on it if they can't get the matter settled. So not only might The Hobbit be made somewhere other than New Zealand, it might have entirely new actors in it.

    And yeah, Jackson looks terrible here. This picture was taken a long time ago, though, hopefully by now he's gotten rid of the long straggling comb forward. Those always look stupid no matter who's wearing them. Does he REALLY think he's fooling people into believing he's got a full head of hair??

    October 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. basbleuchick

    What is up with Peter Jackson's new look? He looks like he's been hiking through the mountains of Mordor and could't find a razor or shampoo for years.

    October 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmyJ

      No doubt! LOL He actually had a sort of endearing look when he had a little more weight on him. In that pic, he looks as if he could have crawled right out from under an interstate bridge. ???

      October 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    Martin Freeman is best known to me for his role as Tim in the UK The Office...I think this will be a very good casting job, he has the qualities and features that remind me of the ideal Bilbo in my mind....now let's get this movie made!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Denizen Kate

    So, who's playing the dwarves? I want to know who is going to sing "Chip the glasses and crack the plates"!

    October 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rog

      Too bad the guy who played Gimli had already played Gimli or it could be him. ;)

      October 18, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmyJ

      Oh, I think they could young him down a bit with makeup and let him play Gimli in The Hobbit as well!

      October 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • elsie

      Brian Blessed and a lot of other good names. They could bring back John Rhys-Davies if they wanted, but I doubt he would come near it, he hated the dwarf makeup experience so much. Ten bucks says since this is a Peter Jackson movie, there will be lots of good fight scenes but no songs.

      October 19, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  16. portalpunk

    great, another 9 hour long movie about wee-man

    October 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • About That

      Hahaha! You know it!
      So long as it makes money, people will continue to make movies such as this one.

      October 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Suzette

    So happy!!! It was debatable for sometime whether Jackson would come aboard, and I'm ecstatic that he is! This is going to be two more movies of AWESOMENESS!!! Tolkein must be dancin' a jig in his grave. :) p.s. not a nerd, just a Tolkein lover who believes this is the best film adaptation of the best fantasy books ever written.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  18. STW

    Actually, Freeman was in both "Hot Fuzz" and "The Office".

    October 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kristin

    It's Ian "McKellen."

    October 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Barry

    Calling Tolkien fans nerds displays your ignorance.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Rob

    Hot Fuzz star...... He has three lines in that movie. Should be "Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy Star"

    October 18, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      Yeah, this. Hot Fuzz star indeed. Couple lines in the first few minutes and gone. He was great in Hitchhiker's though, and he'd make a great Bilbo.

      October 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I'm surprised they didn't say Shaun of the Dead star with his complete lack of dialogue altogether.

      October 19, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  22. tom white

    I heard they might shoot this in Canada

    October 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  23. basher

    wont be the same if it doesn't have the same characters.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • About that...

      The only characters that really transfer over from "The Hobbit" to the 'LOTR 3-movie series' are bilbo, Gandalf, and Gollum. And, as it states above, that two of witch are going to be joinin again, I don't see how it "wont be the same if it doesn't have the same characters.", as basher said.
      It's a prequal, not a sequal.

      October 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmyJ

      ^^^ Totally true – please go read the books! The Hobbit is set many, many years before LOTR.

      October 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Actually, Elrond (a major character from the LotR movies) is in the Hobbit. I have not heard if Peter Jackson intends to carry over his involvement from the book to the movie, and if so, whether Hugo Weaving will be reprising that role. Additionally, Glóin (Gimli's father) has a major role in the Hobbit, however he only appeared briefly in the LotR movies (at the Council of Elrond in Rivendell), and had no on-screen lines.

      October 19, 2010 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Shawnt

      Hugo Weaving is in this movie too.

      October 19, 2010 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  24. Gary

    They built the set of Hobiton in New Zealand and showed pictures of it online over 2 years ago, and they are announcing this like they just finally decided to make the movies

    October 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • tffl

      The movies have been in planning for years, but (part of) the rights are owned by MGM which has been in major financial trouble (and now bankruptcy) for quite a while. Because of that, it was very difficult and time consuming to get the approvals and financing in place (courts and creditors were involved). The final agreements and financing just happened, so that is what is being reported – before this, no movie was going to happen no matter what sets they had built...

      October 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Lawyers, lawyers, and more lawyers. It's all about the money, and who is getting what from whom. (Not sure my grammar is correct . . . close enough though.)

      October 18, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      The set of Hobbiton has been built since LOTR was filmed. It is actually the ONLY structure from LOTR left standing in NZ and is on a sheep farm near Matamata, so that really has no bearing on when the Hobbit was green lighted to begin pre-production...

      October 19, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  25. toddsaed

    Tolkien wrote the books for his children he said, but they are adult classics too, read LOR and Hobbit ten times
    in the army to survive and have the dream of being in the movie, so will pursue that from Mumbai, they must be able to use an extra dwarf, now to find that shrinking mushroom.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • chitown

      LOL. Yeah, I appreciate these books today FAR more than I did when I was a child, actually.

      Thanks for your service, by the way.

      October 19, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Agree with u toddsaed. I want to get in the movie as an extra as well even though I live in Australia....I doubt they'll want a 6 foot dwarf so i might have to be an elf/man instead.

      October 20, 2010 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  26. DC

    For the record Martin Freeman was not the star of Hot Fuzz, that would be Simon Peg & Nick Frost. Why not mention that he was the star of the UK "The Office".

    October 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Sean

    Yay! Hollywood's biggest tease is actually happening! Nerds rejoice!!

    October 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Tammy Downs

    no one told me where the hobbit auditions were

    October 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Tammy Downs

    no has told me where the hobbit auditions were

    October 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  30. modern rocko

    I cant remember seeing that Office actor Martin Freeman in Hot Fuzz. lol CNN mixed British people up.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • tim&dawn

      Yeah, Martin Freeman was in Hot Fuzz. But not enough to say "Hot Fuzz star" or anything. He was in it for half a second.

      October 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  31. cheefsfury

    HEY COOL NOW I CAN FINALLY KNOW HOW ALL THIS NERD STUFF STARTED

    October 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |

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