A small update from Sir Ian McKellen on his website this morning. He revealed that Guillermo del Toro‘s 2 films based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit‘ start filming in June, and he’ll once again be donning the grey beard and pointy hat to play Gandalf.
Both movies will be shot in New Zealand and are expected to take over a year to complete (so probably heading for a Christmas 2011 release for the 1st one.)
Casting is currently taking place in Los Angeles, New York and London, although it is already know that Andy Serkis (Gollum) and Hugo Weaving (Elrond) will be joining Sir Ian in reprising their Lord of the Rings roles. Still no news on who’s taking the lead role of Bilbo Baggins though.
Del Toro has already moved over to New Zealand in preparation of the epic filming schedule, and has taken a home close to Lord of the Rings director and Hobbit producer Peter Jackson.
While in New Zealand, Sir Ian will be filling his filming downtime by appear in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at the St James Theatre in Wellington (starting June 30 2010).