Originally published on JRR Tolkien Examiner on 12/9/09.
Much of the editorial focus of JRR Tolkien Examiner is on the upcoming, two-part film version of The Hobbit, to be released at Christmas 2011 and 2012. The Hobbit Report brings you the latest developments as the production progresses
The production situation for Guillermo del Toro’s two-part The Hobbit adaptation has become clearer in the last week, as it appears that various media and online reports relied too much on casual comments made over the last year by del Toro and executive producer Peter Jackson, rather than official announcements by New Line Cinema.
Jackson denied to The Reporter that any other actors have been approached. (The MTV Movies Blog says Jackson has approached Hugo Weaving to play Elrond, and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, but does not quote him directly as saying so.) However, it seems likely previous reports that Weaving will return, along with Andy Serkis as Gollum, are accurate.
“Apart from Ian McKellen, who we obviously want to return as Gandalf, we are not really offering any roles to anybody until we’ve done a casting sweep,” Jackson said.
“(These movies) have never been a star-driven vehicle. The star is (author J.R.R.) Tolkien and the world he created…Casting someone to portray a hobbit is not as easy as you might imagine. They have to have a particular type of physical appearance and a sensibility. And the same with an elf or a dwarf. These are fantastical characters, but you’ve got to find the right people to play them, the right humans to translate these characters.”
Although Jackson previously stated there would be no official casting until a final script was approved, he told The Reporter that a second draft is currently in progress.
Rumors that the start of production was delayed from March 2010 to next summer have been thoroughly refuted, as the widely-quoted March start date was never official. Jackson told The Reporter he expects to start shooting in April or May.
The announced release dates, for Christmas 2011 and 2012, have not been changed.
Meanwhile, as far as casting rumors are concerned, fanboy hopes that departing Doctor Who star David Tennant may portray the titular character, young Bilbo Baggins, may have been dashed. Tennant is starring in a television pilot for NBC called Rex Is Not Your Lawyer; and if the show is picked up the Tenth Doctor intends to move to Los Angeles, most likely eliminating his availability for The Hobbit.