|Peter Jackson has hinted that production for "The Hobbit" will be delayed from the original estimate of March 2010 to the middle of 2010. Speaking to German site Movie Reporter, the producer stated the production will be started after scripts for the two films are complete.
"We're currently working on the second script which we hope to have completed by the end of this year or beginning of next. When the scripts are completed, we can begin with the exact calculation of the necessary budget. We hope to start filming in the middle of next year," he stated. "However, we've received no green light from the studio yet."
Following Jackson's statement, there has been a speculation that the release dates for "The Hobbit" and "The Hobbit 2" will also be pushed back. However, Entertainment Weekly has received a confirmation from a source for the movies who insisted that "no one on the creative side is worrying about release dates."
Executives close to the project however claim that Warner Brothers is now likely to release the first film at the end of 2012, and not at the end of 2011 as had been hoped for by the fans. The second part would be pushed to 2013.
"While it is still possible that it could come out in December 2011, it looks more likely to be 2012," an executive close to the film told WaxWord.
As for the budget, executives on the film presume it will cost somewhere between $200 and $300 million to produce. If it is anything like "The Lord of the Rings," which grossed some $2.9 billion when all the tallies were done, that will be just fine.
The delayed scheduling makes some sense because the project is still being written by Jackson and Philippa Boyens, and worked on by director Guillermo del Toro. It has not been cast or budgeted. The studio New Line and likely cast member Sir Ian McKellan (who said so) have read a draft of part one. But the second script has not been delivered and is not likely to be before the end of the year.
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