Of course, having freaky ears and being a tad on the short side isn’t a priority, not with the kids and their newfangled computer doohickeys that they have to work with these days. The good news from Middle Earth is that auditions for “The Hobbit” have officially commenced, with producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo Del Toro firmly in charged of choosing the actors for the role. As with the previous “Lord of the Rings” movies, the producer/director won’t be looking for big, famous names to fill any roles, the franchise being bigger than any movie star. But according to Jackson, one role is too big for just anyone: Gandalf, who will once again be played by Ian McKellen.
Also according to Jackson, Internet rumors that “Wanted” star James McAvoy has been approached by the studio for a key role in the upcoming fantasy epic is untrue. Of course, he would say that, wouldn’t he? Jackson also confirms that the script for the first “Hobbit” movie is done, with the trio of Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and director Guillermo del Toro already hard at work on the second installment.
“The Hobbit” will be split into two films shot back-to-back, both to be directed by Del Toro, famous for fanciful entries like the “Hellboy” franchise and his more horror-oriented output, such as “Blade 2”, “Chronos”, and the supernatural ghost movie “The Devil’s Backbone”.
Once casting is done, production is slated to start April or May of 2010.