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Amid persistent rumors about production delays and casting, Peter Jackson assures that we shouldn’t believe everything we read about The Hobbit, the eagerly anticipated prequel to The Lord of the Rings.
In fact, he tells Moviefone, there isn’t a production schedule, as MGM Studios hasn’t officially approved the planned two-part film. However, there is a script: A draft of the second screenplay was delivered just last week.
“I mean it’s sort of interesting because the studio has never greenlit The Hobbit,” Jackson says, “so therefore The Hobbit has never been officially announced as a ‘go’ project, nor have we ever announced a date. But there’s so much interest that people — newspapers and magazines, of their own account, say, ah, it’s likely to film in May, it’s likely to film in June, it’s likely to film in September. People make this stuff up. And then if it’s not filming in June, you get a story saying, ‘The Hobbit‘s been delayed.’ But it’s never actually been announced.”
Now that MGM has the scripts, Jackson is “pretty optimistic that we’ll be shooting before the end of the year”: “I’m not announcing it, though.”