Moviefone have been talking with Peter Jackson (THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE LOVELY BONES), who is producing the two HOBBIT movies, and he’s cleared up a lot of the rumours surrounding the delay in production. Jackson says that scripts for both parts of THE HOBBIT have now been handed to the studio and that he believes shooting will start at the end of the year.
Jackson states that,
“We’ve just delivered the script. Literally last week, we delivered the second of the two screenplays — the first draft. So the studio’s got both scripts now, which is a milestone; and if anything was holding it up, it was us doing the screenplays, because we’d just been writing as fast as we can, but it took us this long to get them finished…And we’re now in the process of budgeting the films, and then hopefully we’ll get to a budget the studio are happy with, and they’ll greenlight the movies and we’ll announce the shooting dates. I’d be pretty optimistic that we’ll be shooting before the end of the year. I would imagine October, November, we’d be shooting by”.
He goes on to add,
“Well, it’s not really been delayed, because we’ve never announced the date,” Jackson told the site. “I mean it’s sort of interesting because the studio [MGM] has never greenlit The Hobbit, so therefore The Hobbit has never been officially announced as a ‘go’ project, nor have we ever announced a date…But I would imagine that if we get a green light within the next month or two, we would be hopefully making some casting announcements by, I guess, the middle of the year”.
So it seems, unsurprisingly given the LOTR films’ popularity, that the fans and media have jumped the gun somewhat on this one. However everything Jackson says here is extremely encouraging and it’s good to hear news straight from the horses mouth for once. Here’s hoping that MGM’s financial troubles won’t get in the way of THE HOBBIT’s green light and Jackson’s projected shooting date will go ahead as planned.