After years of preproduction, a pair of directors, a bitter labor dispute and a bankrupted studio, The Hobbit has gotten the go-ahead to start shooting in February—with Peter Jackson securely at the helm.
The sets are already built, key players—including Ian McKellen—are waiting, and the script has been underway since 2008. Now, the $400 million, back-to-back production of the two-part Lord of the Rings prequel can finally begin.
Even though the labor issues are still not resolved, it was probably a foregone conclusion that The Hobbit would get made. Given that the Lord of the Rings trilogy brought in more than $2 billion worldwide—no businessman worth his salt would leave that kind of money on the table.
So, back to Middle-earth we go. At last.