Peter Jackson’s Adaptation Of The Hobbit Finally Has A Start Date

After director changes, casting issues, problems with financing, and a fire, yes, a fire, Peter Jackson’s long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein’s classic “The Hobbit” finally announced a start date. The One Ring reports that “The Hobbit Part 1” will begin principle photography on March 21, a Monday.

This date has been chosen following practical considerations of the filming schedule requirements, actor availability and the NZ seasons. Shooting will take place at Stone Street Studios in Miramar and on location around New Zealand.

Part one of “The Hobbit” is scheduled to hit theaters in December of 2012, with Part 2 to be released the following year at the same time. The films will be shot back to back in 3D, and star Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, James Nesbitt, Aidan Turner, Jed Brophy, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Mikael Persbrant, Sylvester McCoy, and Elijah Wood.

Director Peter Jackson said, ““Despite some delays we are fully back on track and very excited to get started.”

For those of you not familiar with “The Hobbit”, here’s a summary:

Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”, “The Hobbit” follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo’s journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into darker, deeper territory. The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien’s Wilderland. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature (the “Tookish” side) and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo develops a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The story reaches its climax in the “Battle of Five Armies”, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict.