The Hobbit to shoot in January?

We should know better than to trust any Hobbit news from Ian McKellen. The last we heard from him, the two films were to begin shooting in July of this year. Yeah, how did that work out Ian?

Of course, since that optimistic declaration, the Smaug well and truly hit the fan. Director Guillermo del Toro walked off the films, dispirited by the project’s frequent delays (the result of studio MGM’s bankruptcy).

But there are rumblings that the project is back on track. Last week we discussed the rumour that Martin Freeman had been approached to star as Bilbo Baggins. Now, McKellen has told The Bolton News that filming will begin in January, and that he will indeed return as Gandalf.

According to Deadline, Spyglass chiefs Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber are close to grabbing the reins of MGM, meaning that frozen films such as The Hobbit and the new Bond film can finally move ahead (Sam Mendes is reportedly gearing up for a mid-2011 shoot for Bond 23).

Deadline also believe Peter Jackson will direct the two Hobbit films, but we’ve not heard any official confirmation.

More news as it develops.

Discuss: Should we really be getting our hopes up, again?

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