Yes, it’s a sad day for Tolkien lovers everywhere as according to a variety of sources the eagerly awaited film adaptation of THE HOBBIT has been delayed further still. Over at The Playlist they’ve compiled various pieces of information suggesting the projected 2011 release date for the first half of the film (THE HOBBIT is being split into two films, just like HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS) won’t be happening.
First off, Andy Serkis was queried by Digital Spy as to whether the films will start shooting soon. He had this to say,
It is, apparently! At some point towards the end of this year, I expect it’ll start kicking off.
Additionally, and contrary to it’s earlier suggestion that THE HOBBIT would start shooting in July, Sir Ian McKellen’s website now states that it’ll start shooting, “at a time to be announced”. If this were not enough, Tolkien fansite The One Ring are reporting troubling financial struggles within the studio behind the films, MGM, which are causing a delay in production.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy was a masterful piece of storytelling from director Peter Jackson (THE LOVELY BONES, THE FRIGHTENERS) and so a prequel overseen by the same visionary director, not to mention several returning cast members, is a very exciting prospect. Guillermo del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH, HELLBOY) is set to direct the two films and has more than enough experience to handle to the job so it’s such a shame to see this project be delayed further than it already has been (THE HOBBIT was originally meant to be on screens this year).