So the mystery thickens about The Hobbit filming. Only last week we had Sir Ian McKellen announcing to the world via his website that filming was to start in July , but the website has now been updated (again) and July has gone and replaced with 'at a time to be announced' :
THE HOBBIT's, two films, start shooting in New Zealand, at a time to be announced. Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started. The script too proceeds. The first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth. (Sir Ian McKellen's website)
There is clearly still a lot of uncertenty and confusion around The Hobbit and this has probably a lot to do with MGM precarious financial situation which needs to be resolved before a full 'green light' can be given to Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. It is true that work is under way in Matamata on the (apparent) reconstruction of several hobbit holes however this alone is not an official statement that filming is about to start. There is c complete wall of silence around the movie from official sources, it is clear that things are not as smooth as many would hoped. 3D discussions and speculation seem to complicate the situation even more and add to the confusion. Last night at the Empire Award Ceremony Andy Serkis was asked about filming of The Hobbit by the folks of digitalspy.co.uk and he clearly hinted that filming will not start for several months yet.
Digital Spy: "So you are kind of ramping up for The Hobbit , is that going to start tuning quite soon?"
Andy Serkis: "It is...apparently, at some point towards the end of this year..."
So there you have it, Sir Ian changed his website (again) and Andy Serkis is clearly pointing at the end of this year for filming. As I said many time before, I personally believe MGM's money problems are one of the main causes for all the confusion and conflicting dates . Mind you, things are fluid and can still change ...I'll keep my fingers and Hobbit's toes crossed.
(source : digitalspy.co.uk and Sir Ian McKellen's website)