Peter Jackson'S much delayed 'Lord of the Rings' prequel 'The Hobbit' has finally been given the go ahead after Warner Bros agreed a deal with the debt stricken studio MGM. The movie, which will be released in two parts, has an estimated budget of up to $500 million and is set to begin filming next year with Jackson behind the camera. It was previously reported that Guillermo Del Toro pulled out of directing the project, reports the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
It is understood that a number of well-known British actors will be cast in the fantasy adventure movie. Martin Freeman, who starred in 'The Office', as well as in the movie HOT FUZZ, turned down the role of 'Bilbo Baggins' because of filming dates, however, the 39-year-old said, "If something could be worked out, that would be great". The Irish actor James Nesbitt is also in the frame to appear in the movie, as is Michael Fassbender, who played Bobby Sands in the movie 'Hunger' and recently starred in Quentin Tarantino'S 'Inglourious Basterds'. However, despite the speculation a spokesman for New Line Cinema said that the cast had not been finalised.
There is currently no official word on release date, although it is expected that the first part of the movie could hit screens in late 2011.