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Peter Jackson’s long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel has suffered numerous setbacks, but everyone involved is now “raring to go,” the director’s assistant says.
SYDNEY — Filming on Peter Jackson’s long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit gets under way Monday in Wellington, New Zealand, with everyone involved “raring to go,” Jackson’s assistant Matt Dravitski told New Zealand media.
The start of filming on the two $500 million Hobbit films — prequels to The Lord of the Rings — comes after setbacks that have included disputes over distribution rights to the films; financial difficulties of studios MGM and New Line; the departure of Guillermo Del Toro as director; industrial action brought about by N.Z. Actros Equity, which threatened to move the shoot from New Zealand; and Jackson’s hospitalization in February for a perforated stomach ulcer.
Martin Freeman, who stars in the title role as Bilbo Baggins, joked about the so-called “curse of The Hobbit” last month: “There are some bits of bad luck associated with it [but] we’re ready to go — just as soon as 2015 comes around.”
The company of 13 dwarves, Baggins and the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) have been in Wellington for the last two months preparing for the films.
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