It has been claimed the production delay will not affect the release dates and casting directors have reportedly been hired to look for the films' actors.
Peter Jackson has hinted that production for "The Hobbit" will be delayed from the original estimate of March 2010 to the middle of 2010. Speaking to German site Movie Reporter, the producer stated the production will be started after scripts for the two films are complete.
"We're currently working on the second script which we hope to have completed by the end of this year or beginning of next. When the scripts are completed, we can begin with the exact calculation of the necessary budget. We hope to start filming in the middle of next year," he stated. "However, we've received no green light from the studio yet."
Following Jackson's statement, there has been a speculation that the release dates for "The Hobbit" and "The Hobbit 2" will also be pushed back. However, Entertainment Weekly has received a confirmation from a source for the movies who insisted that "no one on the creative side is worrying about release dates."
Moreover, regarding Jackson's comment about "The Hobbit" which has not had an official green light yet, the source explained it is simply a matter of protocol. Technically, a green light will be given when screenplays for both movies are finished and budget has been determined.
If there is a thing which can assure that "The Hobbit" is moving forward, Entertainment Weekly has reported the upcoming adventure movie project has been busy looking for actors for the films. Casting directors for "The Hobbit" have reportedly been hired in London and Los Angeles and casting line-up could be expected to be revealed soon.
"The Hobbit" 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 of the fantasy movie is scheduled for December 2011 U.S. release, while the second film is expected to hit theaters a year later.