“The Hobbit” Begins Filming, Finally

It hasn’t been an easy walk through the Shire where “The Hobbit” was concerned.

After several hiccups, including  location disputes and shuffling of directors, the hotly anticipated “Lord of the Rings” prequel has started filming in Wellington, New Zealand, the Hollywood Reporter says.

The two-film saga (which is being shot in 3D) has been bogged down with most every problem under the sun. There were budget issues with MGM, there was the departure of would-be director Guillermo Del Toro, and health issues with Peter Jackson. The Oscar-winning director of the trilogy had been under “house arrest” with a perforated ulcer keeping him home, New Zealand website the Dominion Post reports.

The adaptations from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of the same name will bring in somewhere along the line of $1 billion to the New Zealand economy, the Wall Street Journal reports, and are due out in two parts. The first will be in 2012, with the second installment following in 2013. Several stars from the “Lord of the Rings” flicks will be making repeat appearances, including Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins.

Martin Freeman will also be reprising his role as the lovable hobbit Bilbo Baggins and is keeping a snappy attitude amidst the setbacks. “There are some bits of bad luck associated with [the movie, but] we’re ready to go – just as soon as 2015 comes around.”

Selected Reading: Hollywood Reporter, Dominion Post, WSJ

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