Filming starts on Peter Jackson’s Hobbit


Production has finally started in New Zealand on The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s two film adaptation of the J.R.R Tolkien novel, after many delays and setbacks.

Jackson posted a statement on Facebook saying that the two films will be shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology.  Filming will take place at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

The Hobbit is set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Martin Freeman takes the title role as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen returns in the role of Gandalf the Grey. Also reprising their roles from The Lord of the Rings trilogy are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum and Elijah Wood as Frodo.  Jeffrey Thomas and Mike Mizrahi join the cast as Dwarf Kings Thror and Thrain.

  According to the project has seen years of wrangling and delay, with the most serious threat appearing in October last year when actors’ unions slapped a global boycott on the production in a dispute over pay and conditions, nearly shifting filming away from New Zealand. Warner Bros. eventually agreed to keep production in the country after the government changed employment laws and gave the studio millions of dollars in tax breaks.

In February Jackson underwent surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer, again postponing production by several days.

The Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy grossed nearly $3b worldwide at the box office. In 2003, Return of the King swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film.


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