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December 3, 2021
ARTS & LEISURE

The Hobbit finally greenlit by studios

Ten years after the unprecedented success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and after entire months of tribulations, it looks like the first JRR Tolkien’s story, “The Hobbit” will finally become fact. It has been a road almost as long as Bilbo Baggins’s legendary journey to the Lonely Mountain to battle Smaug the dragon. But according to reports, the film has finally been greenlit. Deadline, the online film magazine reported at the end of last week that shooting could begin as early as February 2011, after studios MGM and New Line, which both have an interest in the two-film project, agreed on a production schedule. There remains the issue, however, of a dispute between producers and unions, which have called on actors to boycott the films if they are shot in New Zealand. Furthermore, MGM remains in the middle of a financial crisis that could see it merged with other companies to help pay off its estimated $3.7bn debt. Jackson’s screen adaptation will tell the story across two films, both of which will be shot in 3D. The three studios which will jointly produce the movies – New Line Cinema, Warner Bros and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) – confirmed that initial photography will begin in February 2011. The films are expected to appear in cinemas in December 2012 and 2013 respectively.


The Hobbit, which was published in the 1930s, follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins from his home in the Shire to search for hidden treasure guarded by a dragon named Smaug. It also recounts the tale of his discovery of the Ring, which would later be inherited by his adopted son Frodo. The project has been hit by the financial difficulties which have hamstrung MGM. An ongoing labour dispute also stands in the way of filming. An influx of familiar faces into Middle Earth is expected after the announcement that filming of will finally begin, among them many say the title role will be played by British actor Martin Freeman, who has recently gained success playing Dr. Wat­son in BBC’s modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation.


A lineup of British actors is also rumoured for other parts, from former Dr. Who star David Tennant to Inglorious Basterds star Michael Fassbender. Sir Ian McKellen will reprise the role of Gandalf the Grey and that Andy Serkis will again play Gollum.

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