The Hobbit begins filming in 2010. The two films are being made back to back.
The live chat “An Unexpected Party” was held today at Weta’s website between fans and Guillermo del Toro, director of The Hobbit and its untitled sequel, and executive producer Peter Jackson. Del Toro and Jackson fielded fans’ inquiries about the two projects, revealing a good deal about their plans for them.
“At this point in time the plan is to write [the screenplays] for the rest of this year and start early conceptual designs. 2009 will be dedicated to pre-production on both movies and 2010 will be the year we shoot both films back to back,” Jackson told fans. “Post production follows one film at a time with The Hobbit being released December 2011, and (Film Two) release Dec 2012. That is the schedule in about as much detail as we have ourselves at the moment.” Del Toro said the ratings for the two Hobbit movies would be the same as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, “an intense PG-13.”
Casting buzz claims that LOTR veterans Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), and Andy Serkis (Gollum) have all been approached to reprise their respective roles for the films. Del Toro clarified the matter by saying, “No casting has started yet … but some people have thrown their helmet into the ring.”
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