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The Hobbit finally begins filming

21st March 2011

Filming is finally underway on the big screen adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy epic The Hobbit.

Peter Jackson will once again direct, after enjoying huge success with his adaptation of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy last decade, with The Hobbit set to be split into two films, the first due out in late 2012.

As with The Lord of the Rings, filming will take place on location in Jackson's native New Zealand, with interior scenes shot at Stone Street Studios in Wellington.

British actor Martin Freeman will play Bilbo Baggins on the big screen, with Sir Ian McKellen reprising his role as Gandalf, Andy Serkis again voicing Gollum and Cate Blanchett appearing as Galadriel once more.

The big screen version of The Hobbit has endured a troubled production, including original director Guillermo del Toro quitting due to time constraints, threatened strike action from the crew over payments and rows over distribution rights.

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