Although there are reports claiming that the materialization of "The Hobbit" is in jeopardy due to J.R.R. Tolkien family lawsuit, the work on the two-part feature adaptation has apparently begun. The One Ring reported that the film's production team has started the re-building of Hobbiton with the planting of hedgerows and fruit trees.
"An extension to the path that passes in front of Bag End has been marked out also. There will be several new Hobbit holes dotted along its length," the publication furthermore explained. Pictures of the construction work on the village where Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee live can be seen via The One Ring's Scrapbook.
Though production works for the film have been kicked off, the fate of the Guillermo del Toro-directed movie is still uncertain since there is a lawsuit that hangs over the movie. The Tolkien estates claimed they have not received anything from the three "Lord of the Rings" films and are suing New Line for for $220million for breach of contract.
As part of the suit, they are asking to recover all further film rights to Tolkein's work which jeopardizes the future of "The Hobbit". A court hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court is due in October. Of the lawsuit, the attorney for the author's heirs, Bonnie Eskenazi, said, "Should this case go all the way through trial, we are confident that New Line will lose its right to release The Hobbit."
"The Hobbit" is taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel of the same title and made into two-part movies. The movies will re-create the scenes of the novel, with additional events that make an impact to "The Lords of the Rings", such as the expulsion of Sauron from Mirkwood by The White Council. The first movie is scheduled for December 2011 U.S. release, while the second one is expected to hit theaters across the U.S. a year later.
Shooting is expected to start in March 2010 and go on for about 370 days. Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are all said to reprise their "The Lord of the Rings" roles as Lord Elrond, Gandalf and Gollum respectively in this adventure fantasy.