Ian McKellen confirms: The Hobbit begins filming in July

[Updated: McKellen has updated his site to say that the movie now shoots in July, a month later than he originally said.]

Peter Jackson told us in December that production on The Hobbit would begin sometime this year, and now, thanks to one of its stars, we finally know when.

Sir Ian McKellen revealed on his official site that the start of filming for the Lord of the Rings prequel is only three months away:

THE HOBBIT's, two films, start shooting in New Zealand in June. Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started. The script too proceeds. The first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth.

The director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons' and the studio in Miramar.

The two-film adaptation of The Hobbit will be directed by del Toro, with Jackson producing and co-writing along with his partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

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