The WB Grabs a Piece of The Hobbit, Casting Rumors

Looks like it’s good tidings for Peter Jackson’s two “Hobbit” films, and it certainly can use it. After what seemed like an endless series of bad luck that bogged down the production, including losing a director (before getting the one everyone wanted in the first place), the two-parter is now moving swiftly towards production, with a slew of casting news and now, announcement that Warner Bros. and the newly minted MGM have joined forces to fund the estimated $500 million production budget and distribute the film.

In other, less solid news, rumor has it that there are “talks” of bringing Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom back to the franchise. Wood, of course, played Frodo Baggins, the hobbit hero of the first 3 “Lord of the Rings” films, while Bloom played the arrow-slinging elf Legalos. Also in talks to return, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis. Frodo, though, doesn’t actually appear in the original “Hobbit” novel, but then again, that didn’t stop rumors of Cate Blanchett reprising her Galadriel in the two-parter, either.

The two “Hobbit” movies are expected to shoot back-to-back next month in New Zealand, with the first part due out in 2012, followed by the second part in 2013.

'Will there be Orcs to shoot? Cause I ain't coming back if there aren't Orcs to shoot. I love me some Orc shooting, if you haven't already guessed.'