"The Hobbit" production is finally kicked off in Wellington, New Zealand on March 21, Warner Bros. Pictures proudly announces. After several delays with the latest one due to director Peter Jackson's hospitalization, the movie now begins shooting according to the scheduled start date with everyone involved "raring to go," Jackson's assistant Matt Dravitski tells New Zealand media.
Along with the statement posted on Jackson's official Facebook page, two first official pictures from the set are also uploaded. The images feature Jackson on the set of Bag End. One photo captures him standing right inside the entrance of the hobbit's house, while the other one has him sitting in what looks like the dining room.
"The Hobbit" follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever ... Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities ... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
Martin Freeman takes the lead role of Bilbo, joined by Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis and Elijah Wood who will reprise their "Lord of the Rings" roles. Richard Armitage, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner and James Nesbitt are among other stars supporting the movie.
"The Hobbit" is split into two parts which are shot consecutively in digital 3-D. The script is written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Jackson.